‘Paddington’ Star Ben Whishaw Had Therapy To Deal With His Sexuality

Therapy helped Wishaw come out to his family and improve his self-esteem.

Ben Whishaw attends the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Therapy helped Wishaw come out to his family and improve his self-esteem.

Ben Whishaw, who has starred in the Paddington movies and Marry Poppins Returns, announced this week that he attended therapy to understand his sexuality. Whishaw says therapy also helped him to open up to his family about the emotional struggle he experienced prior to coming out, according to Contact Music.

Ben Whishaw has a civil partnership with composer Mark Bradshaw, and the two have been official partners since 2012. Prior to coming out as gay to the public, Whishaw admitted he struggled with the fact he was gay and also could not figure out how to tell his family. Whishaw publicly admitted that he battled with his sexuality to the point of hating himself when he was in his 20s. Initially, he did not want to admit that he was gay, nor did he want to tell his family. However, keeping such a large secret from his family made him feel terrible and brought him to the point where he could hardly stand himself. That’s why he went to therapy. Whishaw was seeking help coming to terms with his sexuality as well as trying to obtain the courage to explain his situation to his family.

“I’ve gone through a few difficult things. There was a moment in my early twenties when I did not feel very good about myself. It was to do with my sexuality and not knowing how to be myself and hating myself. I did know [my sexuality], I just couldn’t tell anyone. [Therapy] really did help,” Whishaw said, according to Contact Music.

For years, Whishaw said he refused to discuss his personal life with the media, keeping all of his relationships and thoughts as private as possible. Whishaw thought talking about his sexuality might make the media and public view him negatively, and he worried about how that might affect his career. Whishaw did not want to get “pigeonholed” if he came out. However, since admitting his sexuality to the world, he feels that it has not affected his career at all. However, it has offered Whishaw plenty of relief, since he no longer feels the need to hide everything about his life.

”People assume there’s some juicy secret. But I don’t agree any more with that statement [about being pigeonholed]. I don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all, and since revealing my sexuality I haven’t had any negative effects,” Whishaw said, according to Contact Music.

Not only did therapy help Whishaw understand that he could come out freely, but he also received help with approaching his family. Whishaw had a difficult time admitting his sexuality to his family and struggled to figure out how he could approach them with the news. However, therapy helped give Whishaw the courage to tell his family, and it also taught him how to word what he needed to share.