British actor and heartthrob Max Parker of Emmerdale fame has officially confirmed prior reports that he is gay and living with his boyfriend and on-screen sibling Kris Mochrie.
In an interview with Attitudemagazine, Parker talked about how he met Mochrie on the set of the British soap opera and how their relationship has blossomed ever since.
"I feel comfortable now knowing that I am gay," Parker said.
Life wasn't always this comfortable, though. Parker grew up in a town outside Manchester in the 1990s, where all the cool boys played football and had a girlfriend. He played along and lived two lives as a teen.
Parker says that during the week he was a typical straight teen boy who played sports and dated girls, but on the weekends he took part in theatre and hung around with other gay kids, though he still remained in the closet.
He eventually ran away from home at the age of 16 to meet new people and live more openly. Over the years he finally felt comfortable enough to come out to himself, and then his parents -- who, of course, knew all along.
"They were like 'Are you dating anyone else?' and I was like 'Yeah I'm dating somebody,' and I kept referring to them as 'they,'" Max said. "My dad was just like 'Oh, is that because it's a guy?' and I said 'Yeah', and I just remember he put down his wine and gave me a hug. And then my mum was like 'Show us him, then! It was really nice, and we're much closer now for it."
Parker met Mochrie on the set of Emmerdale onMochrie's last day of shooting. While they had no scenes together, Mochrie briefly introduced himself in passing, which was enough for Parker to be hooked.
"I didn't know he was gay but I remember thinking he's very handsome," Parker said.
He quickly consulted Tinder to check his status, and saw Mochrie's profile "pop up" which Parker took as a sign, so he "made the first move by sending a message on Instagram."
The pair quickly began dating and the rumors swirled not long after. Even though he had already come out to his parents and select friends, the very public news stories speculating about his sexuality and relationship with Mochrie were unsettling and forced him to come out to his grandparents. Like with his parents, though, he had nothing to worry about.
"My grandma sent me a really nice message afterwards being like 'We're absolutely fine with it, glad you're happy,'" Parker said.
Parker also revealed that despite the pandemic and uncertainty of the future, he feels good about where he is and his relationship with Mochrie.
"When you go back to basics, it shouldn't really matter," Parker explained. "I'm with someone and I'm really excited, and I'm looking forward to what it's going to be like - and if people want to know, that's absolutely fine."