Coronation Street star Dolly-Rose Campbell has called for more representation for the bisexual community on TV, stating that soap is the best possible platform to serve them authentically.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk during Pride Week, the ambassador of Manchester Pride also gave an inspiring message to those who may be struggling with their sexuality and their identity.
Here, the Gemma Winter actress talks Pride, Coronation Street changing attitudes and what might lie ahead for her alter ego…
How proud are you to be a part of Coronation Street, which embraces the LGBTQ+ community and culture?
I’ve always been proud to be a part of Coronation Street. Obviously we celebrate a lot of LGBTQ+ culture and the characters are always embedded into the show rather than seen as ‘others’. The way the characters integrate into the Street is completely normal, which it is. Characters like Hayley made huge changes to the way people thought about LGBTQ+ characters – that’s the power of Coronation Street. She became one of the most popular Coronation Street characters ever.
And it’s so important for soaps not to have LGBTQ+ characters to tick a box but to allow them to have the same storylines as every other character…
Absolutely, of course. The people having these storylines are no different to other people apart from their sexuality or their gender. It is good that Corrie shows characters in a fully rounded way and that these characters exists outside of their sexuality. They have a range of things happen to them in their normal lives like everyone.
Would you like to see more bisexuality representation on TV?
I would definitely like to see that more on TV. There is a common trope of someone going gay for a day and then they’re back to being heteroexual. Bisexuality is quite hard to cover on screen but with something like a soap, you get to tell stories across a longer period of time than any other series, so you can explore the characters and have bisexual characters not defined by their sexuality. I know Emmerdale have a bisexual character who is a truthful representation without it being a shock to the audience as they already know her. The story time in a soap is so much longer – I think it is something that can we will see more of it on screen. If bisexuality was included more in shows that are a part of everyday’s life – similar to how Corrie did with Hayley – it would change attitudes and show that we are less “other”.
Hayley was just Hayley – not the transgender character, wasn’t she?
Everyone just thinks of Hayley – the fact she is transgender never comes into it. Nobody thinks that’s Hayley who used to be Harold. She is Hayley. And that was such a defining thing and something Corrie should be so proud of.
Were you well supported when you came out as bisexual?
I have always been supported by my friends and family – for people who are struggling, I would always say people who mind don’t matter, people who matter don’t mind.
How do you normally celebrate Pride?
I’m an ambassador for Manchester Pride so usually I am out celebrating and raising awareness with the charity. It’s a time for friends and family and to enjoy the part and culture of all aspects of LGBTQ+ cutlure which we all enjhoy
Can you tease what’s ahead for Gemma?
I don’t actually know! I’d just had the post-natal depression so I was due to go quiet anyway before my next big storyline. So I am totally out of the loop now! I hope I don’t die, but you never know!
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