Mitchell Deveraux (Imran Adams) has finally come out to granddad Walter Deveraux (Trevor A Toussaint), only to be rejected by his religious relative and thrown out of the family home.
In Wednesday 5th February’s emotional E4 episode of Hollyoaks, tormented Mitchell was forced to admit his concealed sexuality after fuming Walter found pictures of his grandson smooching with Scott Drinkwell at a photo booth. Raised in a strict Christian household by Pentecostal priest Walter, Mitchell understandably dreaded the day his secret would be exposed, as Toussaint explains:
“In the Pentecostal church, homosexuality is not looked upon favourably,” says the actor, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “Mitchell knows Walter’s beliefs, and coming out to someone you know will not necessarily approve is a minefield. It will create fear of being open. And don’t forget, Mitchell himself spent a long time confused and frightened by his own sexuality.”
The patriarch’s controversial views have torn his precious clan apart, but Toussaint points out the situation is not as cut and dried as putting his beliefs above all else.
“I don’t think Walter sees himself as homophobic,” he explains. “He sees being gay as being un-Christian, as opposed to hating someone for their sexual orientation. He questions the choices Mitchell is making as his won beliefs teach him it is wrong.”
A tragic secret came to light that has clearly shaped Walter’s views – the tragic death of his twin brother Wilfred who took his own life after coming out as gay and the negative reaction he received.
“Walter never hated his brother,” continues Toussaint. “When the community turned against him and he took his own life, Walter saw it as his brother’s views were what killed him. Maybe he blames himself, however? Inherently, Walter has a fear, not a hatred, of homosexuality.
“Throwing Mitchell out of the house was not something he did lightly, but he didn’t think it through as there were so many emotions going on: pain, loss, regret, remorse, the need to protect – telling him to leave was the only way Walter could deal with the situation at that point.
“Walter doesn’t stop loving Mitchell for being gay, he is actually heartbroken that he can’t reconcile his beliefs with his grandson’s choices. And it’s not as simple as choosing his faith over his family, it goes deeper. But for now it is very difficult for him accept Mitchell for who he is.”
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