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Vas J Morgan has revealed he came out as gay on The Only Way Is Essex before telling his family – and then switched his phone off for a week.
Speaking on Badoo's The Truth Flirts YouTube series with Ella Eyre, the 31 year explained he lived a “double life” and that his family only found out about his sexuality when the episode aired.
Vas said: “I did it on screen, on TOWIE, and I hadn’t spoken to my family about it, prior to that episode going out, so I just came out to everyone basically at the same time, and then I just switched my phone off for a week.”
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He continued: “My friends all knew, but I lived such a double life at home and outside of my house, so I forgot that it was a big deal until the episode went out, and my family watched the episode and I was like, ‘Oh yeah I forgot it was a big deal.’
"So then I sort of went through it again, it was very difficult…I think they just had a lot of conversations internally, amongst themselves, and then it was OK.”
The reality star also opened up about his experience of being a black gay man in the UK.
“Being a black gay person is very different. My mum was born in Jamaica, she was raised in Africa, and I think in six or seven countries in Africa it’s still punishable by death,” he said.
“So, her vision of it was very much like, ‘You’re going to hell.’ And my siblings were raising with that inherent feeling of, being gay is so wrong. So, I had this internalised homophobia for such a long time where I thought I was going to hell, and I thought this is so wrong, this is so evil.
“So that was a huge hurdle for me to overcome, because when my family then became OK with it, I still wasn’t. I still thought I’m wrong, for a long time."
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Vas revealed he was gay on the ITVBe show in 2015 after there were rumours he attempted to kiss pal Jasmin Walia amid confusion over his sexuality.
He later broke down during an emotional chat with close friend Lauren Pope, where he admitted he thought he was bisexual.
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Now, he’s helping others in similar situations who are questioning their gender identity or sexuality.
“There’s no rush. It’s your own journey, just live your life as you and be happy and know that you’re loved,” he said.
He added: “Sometimes people just need an ear, they don’t need a voice, they just need an ear, and I think it’s really important to just let that person know that you are a very understanding ear, even if you don’t agree and you don’t understand.”
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