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Former ‘Great British Bake-Off’ Host Sue Perkins Left In Tears After Man’s Vile Homophobic Attack

Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Despite significant strides achieved in the fight for equality, homophobia is still an unfortunate reality experienced by many people in the LGBTQ community.

Former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins, 51, shared a horrific encounter she recently had with a homophobic man while walking her dog in Hampstead Heath—a popular gay cruising spot in London.

Perkins opened up to hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney on a recent episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast about the scary encounter that left her in tears.

She said:

“I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently.”

“And I thought, ‘Oh, I wonder if that’s coming back?'”

The man was apparently loitering near the public restrooms when he presumably recognized the beloved comedian and shouted:

“You f’king dyke.’”

Perkins described a contemplative moment many people are familiar with after having a similar confrontation.

“You know when something bad happens and on the bus on the way home you think of all the brilliant things you should have said in that moment?”

“I had that very profoundly.”

“At the time, I sort of went right up to him and went, ‘What did you say?’ And he sort of postured a bit almost as if he was going to hit me, almost like an intimation of something physical.”

But Perkins maintained her composure and kept her distance as she repeated her inquiry.

“I just thought I’m going to stand here. And, very calmly, I went, ‘What did you say?’”

“I remember my hand was out – I wanted to keep that distance, like if you come within the length of my arm I know that something really bad is going to happen.”

“He just sort of buckled a bit and he went, ‘I just mean you’ve got a nice face, why would you…’ I just thought, ‘What’s my face got to do with you?’”

Perkins continued:

“I just said, ‘I’m just walking my dog and I’m quiet and I’m in a good mood and I’ve got love for everyone here and you’ve destroyed that and you can’t take that back today’.”

“And I went off and I burst into tears. It was so shocking and so unusual.”

“I didn’t want to replace knee-jerk unkindness with knee-jerk unkindness.”

“I was so jittery and upset afterwards […] No one’s ever actually said that to me, that was the first time ever.”


Concerning past homophobic encounters, Perkins recalled:

“When I was growing up it was just mutterings, it was all quiet, and a cultural thing of that’s just not quite right.”

The beloved presenter interpreted the moment as a lesson on how to face aggressive situations.

“’It’s interesting what you do in the moment, and I felt very threatened by him, but it was more homophobia aside, it was more an indicator of what I would do in an aggressive situation.”

“I thought I might have to recalibrate. I don’t want to necessarily walk towards angry people.”

Perkins lives in Cornwall and has been in a relationship with TV presenter Anna Richardson since 2014.

Koh Mochizuki

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1