Interview: Nathan Graham meets Keegan Hirst

Nathan Graham meets with LGBT+ rugby hero Keegan Hirst to discuss James' storyline around homophobia in football.

Keegan, who in 2015 became the first openly gay rugby league player in Britain detailed his journey of coming out in the public eye and shared his experiences of working with the FA to combat discrimination of the LGBT+ community.

On the Street, James is hiding his sexuality from everyone apart from his family. He fears that his career will be over if he comes out publicly and is scared of the resulting press coverage and repercussions from fans due to homophobia in the sport.

Keegan visited the set of Coronation Street where he discussed the storyline with Nathan and talked through his own experiences with the actor.

Though James has been known to viewers as a gay man for some time a dramatic series of events will force him to to decide whether to go public or to continue to live a lie. His family are panic-stricken and torn over what is best for James, his career, his safety and his life. 

Currently there are no out, gay professional footballers in the top tiers of men's UK football. 

To have someone on TV who is representing what you might be or want to be is really important; there was no one like me to look up to when I was growing up and maybe if there was, I would have thought a bit differently about what it is to be a gay man. It’s about educating people and suddenly this starts to dispel all the stereotypes.

Keegan Hirst