Caller Rachel phoned in, disguising her real name, to share the story of her worries over coming out to her friends in church during a Dear Deirdre segment.
The host, 60, who came out as gay on This Morning in 2020, urged Rachel to ‘be happy’ and enjoy her new relationship, even if that meant leaving her faith group behind.
‘I’ve had relationships with women when I was younger. I’m in my late 30s now and then I sort of settled for heterosexual relationships.
‘But over the last few months, I’ve met a lady who I’d really like to develop a relationship with,’ she began.
‘And pretty much 90% of my friends are people from church. So I know if I did pursue this relationship and it became public knowledge – which I don’t see why I should have to hide it – not only would I risk getting thrown out of the church but also leaving all those friendships.’
Phillip urged the called to ‘be happy’ on This Morning (Picture; ITV)
Left shocked by her revelation, Phil said: ‘So in 2022, your church and faith group would throw you out?’
‘This is where religion drives me insane! For all the wonderful goodness it does, that aspect – that medieval aspect – could step in the way. Surely, if there was a god, that god would want you to find some sort of happiness? And be loving?
‘I truly, truly believe those people aren’t worth knowing!’ Phil told the caller.
‘I believe God is loving and forgiving, I don’t see it as something he would personally punish me for, I think there are a lot worse things that happen on a daily basis,’ Rachel noted.
Phil shared his frustration at Rachel’s situation (Picture: ITV)
Deirdre advised her to reach out to other groups, who may offer more support than her current one might be able to.
‘There is no badness here,’ Holly told her.
The agony aunt said: ‘This is only good, I think initially, I would make contact with the leader of the faith community who will be more accepting and talk. It’s one of those where there is a good side to new technology. Be true to yourself, be true to this lovely new person you’ve met.’
Deirdre offered up some sensible advice (Picture: ITV)
Phil added: ‘It would be wonderful to be able to weave your faith in your sexuality. Life is so short, be happy, as happy as you can. It’s time.’
One wrote on Twitter: ‘For once I agree with Phil get out of it Rachel #ThisMorning.’
‘Rachel, love. Be free. Don’t let a book written 2000 years ago dictate who you are. Live life. Have fun. Join twitter #thismorning,’ another shared.
Someone else commented: ‘Rachel, if your faith is a big part of your life there are other churches that will accept you with open arms! But 100% leave the group you are part of!!!’
‘Their are definitely faith places out there that will accept you regardless of sexuality, Rachel #ThisMorning,’ [sic] a viewer wrote.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.