Sue Perkins has revealed that she felt like she “wanted to throw up” when she first came to terms with her sexuality.
The TV personality, who is best known for hosting the Great British Bake Off, spoke about coming to terms with being a lesbian on Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs.
Perkins, who is in a relationship with TV presenter Anna Richardson, said that she was 28 by the time she came out to her parents.
She said that she was thrown by the realisation, having previously dated a man for six years who later came out as gay.
The TV host explained that she realised when she began to have feelings for a woman.
“I came to my evolution quite late.
“I was doing a theatre education show and I remember saying to my friend, ‘I’m just not eating, I don’t know what’s happening. Then my friend said, ‘You’re in love’.
“I just thought, ‘I just want to throw up’. And I was [in love].
“And it came to nothing. It was an unrequited passion.”
The star added that the “violent” reaction to the realisation felt like a “second adolescence”.
“I just thought, ‘That’s what it is’. It was so far from my frame of reference that when it was presented to me as a truth, I had that violent reaction.
“And then it all made sense and because I came to it quite late, I was in my twenties, it’s like having a second adolescence.”
She said that she is proud of the leaps and bounds the LGBT community has made in terms of acceptance.
“I laugh and get hugely cheered by the fact my goddaughter is 14 and some of her friends identify as pansexual,” she said. “It’s just like, ‘Good for you’.”
Perkins added that she hoped the spectrum and binaries would soon be disregarded so that people do not feel as panicked as she did when she came out.
“I’ve always thought it was a spectrum and I’ve been slightly dumbfounded and made furious by the fact that I was forced to make a binary choice because it’s always about the person.
“Why should people have to go through this painful ritual to go home to their parents and tell them they’re having sex?”