The Bachelor franchise finally gets same-sex romance after 17 years
The Bachelor franchise is finally featuring a same-sex romance after 17 years on air.
Demi Burnett, who identifies as sexually fluid, is dating a woman on the show Bachelor in Paradise.
Burnett, an interior designer, was initially attracted to co-star Derek Peth, but she began to fall for a woman unrelated to the show, Kristian Hagerty.
Unusually, the show’s producers decided to bring Hagerty into the series.
In the spin-off series, singles eliminated on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette attempt to find love at a beach resort.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bachelor in Paradise host Chris Harrison said: “We could have easily said that because Demi is in somewhat of a relationship back home that she won’t find love here and we should send her home and go on our way.
“Instead, we all made the decision to break or bend the rules a little bit.”
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This is the first time a same-sex storyline has appeared on the show, which first launched as The Bachelor in 2002.
In 2017, bisexual contestant Jaimi King appeared on the programme and pursued a relationship with co-star Nick Viall.
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In a statement, GLAAD’s head of talent Anthony Ramos said: “Bachelor in Paradise’s inclusion of Demi Burnett’s coming out story and her journey to accepting her queer identity is groundbreaking for the series.
“Tens of millions of people around the world watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises and this move to include a same-sex relationship in an honest fashion has the power to upend preconceived notions of LGBTQ people like Demi who are attracted to more than one gender.”
Earlier this year, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown attracted criticism by questioning whether The Bachelor star Colton Underwood might be gay.
The Queer Eye star tweeted: “I just watched the last couple of episodes of the bachelor… Are we sure he isn’t gay?
“Lol. My gaydar is going crazy,” he added about Underwood.
Some have criticised Brown for seemingly endorsing the idea that people have a gaydar.
One person wrote: “Are we sure we want to perpetuate the gaydar myth in the year 2019? Nobody except LGBT themselves gets to say they are gay. The gaydar means nothing.”