Coming Out

Miss Universe Australia’s Maria Thattil comes out as bisexual after being ‘outed’ by dating app

Nola Ojomu January 13, 2022
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Former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil

Former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil (Getty/Rodrigo Varela)

Former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil has publicly come out as bisexual after revealing she had been “outed” through a dating app when a friend noticed her preference settings.

The 28-year-old model explained she had previously chosen to keep her sexuality private because there were “many homophobic sentiments” around being a lesbian when she was growing up.

The I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Australia contestant opened up about hiding her childhood crushes and her struggle towards acceptance in a candid new interview.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the reality star stated: “It is something I have felt for a very long time.”

Maria Thattil added: “I grew up having crushes on girls in school and just completely invalidated it because of religion and also because there were many homophobic sentiments in my school around being a lesbian, around anything other than heteronormativity.

“You don’t have a lot of bisexual visibility in popular culture and so you don’t understand what it is.”

In another chat with Who magazine, the model recalled a stressful moment when a friend noticed she had set dating profile preferences as open to dating both men and women on an app.

She explained: “I have dating apps and when I set my preferences to be both male and female, I got a message from a friend saying, ‘Someone just sent me a screenshot from your account and we think there is someone out there pretending to be you and catfishing people.’ Then I freaked out and changed it back to just being to men.”

Taking to Instagram after coming out, the equality activist told fans: “Before the show, I had only come out to a handful of people.

 

“My brother took my call at midnight last night and talked it over with me – and I realised the reason I’ve been so f**king scared to do this is exactly why I need to. A lack of bisexual visibility for most of my life has meant that the experience was confusing and there were parallels to other experiences I had with social identity.”

She continued: “Fear of falling in between the cracks, never fully finding a place in myself. But when I spoke to Dom Thattil, he reminded me about why we call it PRIDE. No longer a secret to protect but a part of me to celebrate.”

After the episode in which she came out to her I’m a Celebrity… campmates aired on 12 January, the model wrote: “Conquering water pythons and coming out on national television? All in a days work. Humour aside, I definitely felt a dissonance in the jungle talking about @minus18youth but not being honest about my own sexuality.

“I’m grateful to David Subritzky and the show for becoming a safe space for me. I’m grateful that I could model how to have a feared, big conversation in a gentle, simple way with no shame or stigma.”

She continued: “I’m grateful for everyone who shared their own stories with me after last night and bloody proud of some who came out – on the spot – to family members after witnessing the convo. What a humbling privilege it was to share and normalise what is such a personal and human experience. More of this.”

Maria Thattil, who has a degree in psychology and management, was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2020.

More: Australia, bisexual, coming out, I'm a Celebrity, miss universe

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