Sue Perkins has opened up about being told she is unable to have children and she further described how the diagnosis felt like a “bereavement”. The 45-year-old Great British Bake Off presenter opened up about her infertility diagnosis, including the diagnosing consultant’s homophobic remarks, in her memoir Spectacles.

Sue PerkinsSue Perkins at the Women in Film and Television Awards in London, December 2014.

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Earlier this month, Perkins revealed she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour eight years ago. Speaking in a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Perkins explained how the tumour was in her pituitary gland and, as it affects her reproductive hormones, has caused infertility. 

An extract from Perkins’ memoir was published by the Sunday Times on 20th September and she gave an accompanying email. In the extract, Perkins described her reaction to the diagnosis. 

“I cried myself hoarse till my eyes ran on empty,” Perkins said.

“It really did hit me, as it hits a lot of people, I’m sure, when it’s too late, this is not going to happen. I can’t now have it as an out-of-sight, out-of-mind possibility, lurking,” Perkins continued.

“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 a bereavement. It really did”.

Perkins, after revealing she had had a tumour for more than eight years, received a wave of sympathy and good wishes from fans on social media. Unfortunately, at the time of her diagnosis, Perkins did not receive much sympathy from the consultant who was tasked with telling her she was unable to have children.

The consultant asked Perkins about her family life, including if she was married or had a boyfriend. Perkins explained she is gay and the consultant’s response is certainly surprising.

“Oh, OK. Well, that makes it easier. You’re infertile. You can’t have kids,” the consultant told Perkins, as she relayed in the interview with The Times.

“Does not a lesbian have a fallopian tube?” Perkins said, rhetorically asking the consultant in hindsight during the Sunday Times interview. “Am I not human, and [am] I not somebody who could be a lovely, wonderful mother?”

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