Groundbreaking TV is happening over in Australia after I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’s Maria Thattil came out on the programme this week.
In scenes that aired on Wednesday night Down Under, the former Miss Universe Australia opened up about her bisexuality for the first time publicly, during a chat with fellow campmate David Subritzky.
Maria – who is competing for the charity, Minus18, which champions LGBT+ youth – explained she had grown up ‘bi-curious’ but had decided to ‘bury that side’ of herself because she felt it was ‘easier for people to understand’ her.
While hanging out on a jungle bed, Maria began: ‘I do have something that — I haven’t told anyone this but I’ll tell you.
‘It’s actually nerve-wracking to talk about. So growing up I always thought I was maybe a little bit bi-curious.
‘Only ever dated straight people but growing up I did have crushes on girls I was going to school with. Even as I got older I thought “I can appreciate an attractive woman” and I’ve always been curious about that. I’m like “Is it? No, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not” and just buried that side of myself.
‘I just felt like, it’s just easier to be like “you know, I date men”. But before I came here, I was out at a party and I met a girl and we ended up hooking up, and it just felt natural.’
Afterward she said in the Bush Telegraph: ‘It just feels so bloody good to say it.’
Opening up about the beautiful moment on her Instagram (with I’m A Celeb filming last year), Maria – who has been stirring up a romance with campmate Joey Essex in the jungle – praised the series for being a ‘safe space’ for her, despite, you know, the grisly Bushtucker Trials and all that.
She said: ‘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 @davidsubritzky 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. 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 explained she had only come out to a ‘handful of people’, and before the episode aired, her brother Dom ‘talked it over’ with her, as the star noted: ‘I realised the reason I’ve been so f***ing scared to do this is exactly why I need to.’
The beauty queen, who is of Indian heritage, said: ‘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. Fear of falling in between the cracks, never fully finding a place in myself. But when I spoke to @domthattil, he reminded me about why we call it #PRIDE. No longer a secret to protect but a part of me to celebrate. 🏳️🌈’
Speaking to Studio 10 this morning, Maria went further to share she’s since learned her coming out on national TV helped others feel comfortable in opening up about their own sexuality.
She said: ‘I’m feeling really good…when you’re in that environment because you’ve got everything stripped away, you’re just left with people and all of a sudden you’re comfortable to bare these things that maybe you feel you need to protect these secrets but they become stories and parts of you to celebrate.
‘I think that’s really beautiful.’
Asked how the reaction had been, Maria said: ‘It’s been absolutely beautiful and I think it’s because I consider myself a pretty eloquent person, but it was nice to look back and see that that was not perfectly articulated. It was raw, it was unplanned. and not having that kind of bisexual visibility, let alone form a cultural minority, to see that conversation had in such a way without any shame or stigma, I know it’s made an impression on a lot of Australians.
‘I’ve had people tell me they came out to their parents then and there on the couch watching that scene, because it was so easy.
‘That’s how it should be, isn’t it?’
Credit: Original article published here.