Cherry Valentine county Darlington Pride LGBTQ+ Cherry Valentine county Darlington

Traveller was branded ‘disgrace to community’ after coming out as gay

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When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.James texted his mum to reveal he was gay, before turning off his phone and running away from home for two days.When he switched his mobile back on, he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw his mum didn’t care about his sexuality, but was simply worried about where he was.James, now 24, later came out to the rest of his family on his personal Facebook page, and was ‘astonished’ at the positive reaction.‘I got a lot of encouraging comments from other Travellers saying things like “fair play” which was really nice to see,’ he said.It wasn’t until James joined Tiktok that his sexual orientation became a problem to others in his community.He’s been branded a ‘disgrace to the Traveller community’ by those outraged by his decision to go against tradition.The 24-year-old faces a slew of online ‘trolls’ in the comment sections of many of his videos.He said: ‘I’ve been told I bring shame to the Traveller community.

There’s been horrible things, one person said I should have acid thrown at my face.‘People have told me I should kill myself.

You don’t know who these people are, they post things they would never say to your face.’While attitudes to LGBTQ+ people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) backgrounds are changing, they still face a lack of respect among some communities.Cherry Valentine, a drag queen who starred on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, grew up as part of a Romany Traveller community in Darlington.The 28-year-old was forced to leave her community aged 18 due to backlash received about being gay.Rather than face a similar fate,.

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