Having received backlash over the decision to kill off lesbian Rana Habeeb in a roof collapse, ITV’s Coronation Street is reportedly set to introduce a new gay character. According to The Sun, auditions were held last week for the part of Kai, a young black footballer who will come out to his brother in his first scene.
Kai will not have come out to his family when he first appears on the show, but will confide in his brother after a gay man knocks on the door of the family home looking for him.
This news comes a week after the exit of lesbian Muslim character Rana, played by Bhavna Limbachia. Rana was due to marry her partner Kate Connor, played by Faye Brooks, but died in a roof collapse on what would have been her wedding day. The two exchanged wedding vows while Rana lay in the rubble of the collapsed Underworld factory.
Coronation Street fans were quick to take to social media with their frustrations over what they saw as yet another example of a show playing into the Bury Your Gays trope.
One Twitter user wrote “So #corrie has decided to follow the bury your gays trope too? Disappointing tbh.”
Another said “#corrie has no excuse for its blatant, homophobic ‘bury your gays’ trope. Shame on them. F**king heartbroken.”
Limbachia, however, has stressed that Rana’s death was her decision.
“When I told Kate Oates and Iain McLeod that I wanted to leave the show to try other things, it was my decision and my choice for Rana to die because it was the only fitting end to the character,” she said. “Kate and Rana had fought so hard to be together and they had been through thick and thin together. I felt that if they were to be separated, they had to be torn apart and it couldn’t have been their decision.”
“The only way to go was if Rana were to die,” she added. “Rana would never leave Kate, ever.”
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