Sue Perkins: Doctor 'said it would be easier for GBBO host to be infertile because she is a lesbian' during brain tumour diagnosis

'Am I not a human, and somebody who could be a lovely, wonderful mother?'

Sue Perkins attends the Women In Film And TV Awards 2011 annual ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of women working in the film and television industries at the Hilton Park Lane on December 2, 2011 in London, England.
Sue Perkins attends the Women In Film And TV Awards 2011 annual ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of women working in the film and television industries at the Hilton Park Lane on December 2, 2011 in London, England.

Sue Perkins has described the moment a doctor delivering the news that she was infertile said it was “easier” because she was a lesbian.

Perkins was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour which prevents her from having children during a check-up for the BBC programme Supersizers.

The Great British Bake Off presenter spoke for the first time about the growth on her pituitary gland earlier this month, eight years after receiving her diagnosis.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, Perkins, who is now in a relationship with the journalist Anna Richardson, recalled an incident where the consultant who was explaining the effect her brain tumour would have asked if she was married. When she replied that she was a lesbian, he reportedly responded: “Oh, OK. Well, that makes it easier. You’re infertile. You can’t have kids.”

Perkins was left devastated by the diagnosis and taken back by the doctor's attitude.

“Does not a lesbian have a fallopian tube?,” she asked. “Am I not human, and [am] I not somebody who could be a lovely, wonderful mother?

“I can’t now have it as an out-of-sight, out-of-mind possibility, lurking. It’s just not going to happen, it’s not going to ever be part of my life. And although I never yearned to physically have my own child, it felt like bereavement. It really did.”

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