EASTENDERS viewers all have the same question about Ben Mitchell after he suddenly decided to hide being gay.
The mechanic – who is played by actor Max Bowden in the BBC soap – admitted he was struggling to cope after the homophobic attack earlier this month.
Ben has been struggling since Callum was attackedCredit: BBC
The pair were going on a night out when they were subjected to homophobic abuseCredit: BBC
In tonight’s episode Ben revealed he was constantly terrified of homophobic abuse – and had had enough.
“It’s not about Paul and it’s not about me not being able to protect Cal,” he said.
“If Cal goes to the shop to buy milk why should he have to listen to Suki Panesar say how unnatural we are?
“At least Suki has the courage to say what everyone is thinking. I can’t go out without someone saying something or looking at me some way or spoiling for a fight.
“Callum, your brother literally beat me to a pulp on the first day of pride. This is normal.
“Why is it that every time I call my husband and don’t get an answer my first thought is ‘has he been killed’?
“What happened to Paul wasn’t just a tragic one off. I’m tired of being scared.
“Imagine what it’s like walking down the street holding hands with the person you love and knowing that puts you in immediate danger. I can’t do it.”
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Later he broke down to Pam about the homophobia he’s faced and she admitted she wishes she had stopped Paul’s murder by stopping him from coming out.
It led to Ben making a devastating decision – to go back into the closet and hide his marriage to Callum.
“No more prancing around with rainbow badges, no more kissing in public, no more holding hands,” he said.
Viewers all share confusion about Ben’s decision.
One wrote: “Is Ben gonna date a girl now #EastEnders?”
A second said: “Ben has decided to go straight from now on….oh…and to stop doing crime #EastEnders.”
Another added: “I thought Ben was about to go straight. #EastEnders.”