Former rugby player Sam Stanley was called a “gold digger” when he publicly came out with his older boyfriend Laurence Hicks.
The couple have been together for eight years and got engaged last year but both faced criticism from the gay community when Sam revealed he was in a relationship with the travel expert during an interview with the Sunday Times three years ago.
When asked about what negative reactions they received, Laurence told Gay Star News: “There are two different levels which we could narrow down to two perspectives.
“One was his. They were accusing him of being a gold digger and seeking financial gain from our relationship.
“And I was being a perv because I liked a younger guy.”
But despite the backlash, they decided they wouldn’t respond to the hate and instead found there was a “negative reaction to the negative reaction”.
Laurence continued: “We decided we wouldn’t respond to [the hate].
“But the interesting thing was other people were saying what we really wanted to say for us! There was a negative reaction to the negative reaction to the gay community.”
When Sam came out he was the first English rugby union player to come out as gay.