I’ve written about countless celebrity weddings during my 30 years as a journalist, but I felt privileged to cover Emmerdale actress Michelle Hardwick’s nuptials, which feature in this week’s TV Times.
When I say cover, I wasn’t actually at the Yorkshire wedding that took place over Easter, although by all accounts, it sounded like a blast and I wish I had been. The wedding cake was made of cheese – how cool is that?
I think I can safely say that Michelle’s is the first lesbian wedding to have featured in a double page spread in TV Times and it shows just how far we’ve come. Let us not forget that until 2005, same sex couples didn’t count in the eyes of the law and before 1967 gay sex was illegal . It’s not that long ago – some of us were already born then.
Michelle told me earlier this year, that she used to dread that moment in interviews when journalists asked if she was in a relationship. It’s not that she was ashamed of being gay, she was worried about how people would react.
Now she can relax. The world knows she is happy, in love and married to a woman and there is a lot of love going her way – Michelle’s Twitter feed was inundated with congratulatory messages on her wedding day.
‘It is so much easier being able to talk about it,’ Michelle said. ‘When you are in the closet, you don’t know how people are going to react, but the response from people has been absolutely fantastic.’
The actress who plays vet Vanessa Woodfield, also explained that when she was growing up, there were no female gay role models for her to look up to.
I am not gay and have no idea how hard it must be to come out, but I know that the more gay weddings that are pictured in the sort of glossy magazines that normally only feature marriages between men and women, the easier it will be for people to be open about who they are.
I wish Vanessa and Rosie all the very best – and if they ever get round to renewing their views, I hope they save me a slice of cheese cake.
PS If you want to know more about my soap views, visit the TV Times Facebook page and watch myself and colleague Alison Slade prattle on like a couple of old fishwives about what we’re digging in soap land. We’ve got some giveaways and competitions coming up, so do pay us a visit. You can find the latest episode here on.fb.me/1HRq7je