Big Brother's Cameron: 'I get homophobic abuse on a daily basis'

By Steve Holden
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionCameron Cole won the final series of Big Brother

Cameron Cole won people's hearts when he came out to his housemates on last year's final series of Big Brother UK.

He went on to win the show but says he's experienced constant homophobia ever since.

The 19-year-old says he receives abusive messages and phone calls on a daily basis.

Cameron tells Radio 1 Newsbeat he's had face-to-face abuse too, with one incident happening at a bowling alley in Norfolk.

He said: "There were a couple of people sniggering and as I walked past, they said the homophobic remark beginning with the letter f."

He says the same word was shouted at him in a central London hotel by a group of men who were getting into a lift.

media captionBig Brother's Cameron reveals he's gay to the housemates

"Somebody, somehow, got my number too. It's a no-caller-ID and rings me every time I'm on an Instagram live.

"They shout a barrage of homophobic remarks and you can't get a word in edgeways."

Cameron has not reported any of the abuse to the police, even though a friend has advised him to.

"The issue with the stuff in the streets is you can report but the likelihood is that it will never be traced back and it's just going to be a waste of time."

He says the homophobic messages began on Twitter and Facebook the night he won the show in October.

"I got back from the wrap party and started reading the comments on Big Brother posts and stuff. I can't help reading them, even if they're negative."

He thinks he would need "a hotline to police" if he reported every homophobic comment he gets - which is why he doesn't.

Before appearing on Big Brother, Cameron had only told a handful of people he was gay, including his mum.

He says no-one should have to suffer abuse and says other LGBT people message him frequently with their own experiences.

"It might come across like it's not affecting me but of course it is. It affects everyone for other reasons too like race, religion and gender. It makes you feel worthless.

"We've come a long way and we should applaud ourselves for how far we've come," he says.

"But laws don't change attitudes and we've got a long way to go and we need to accept that."

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