The Australian version of The Bachelorette has announced that Brooke Blurton will be the lead of the hit show. Blurton is the first “out” bisexual and Indigenous woman in the franchise. Her season will air in 2021.
For the first time in the Bachelor franchise, both men and women will compete for Blurton’s heart. Hopefully, this means it will be the most inclusive cast yet.
Blurton posted the news to Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
In People Magazine, Blurton said she was committed to finding her own “perfect person,” despite gender.
Brooke also told the Daily Telegraph, “I am not too sure if Australia is ready for it. I certainly am. If it makes people feel uncomfortable in any way, I really challenge them to think about why it does.”
Host Osher Günsberg provided a statement about Brooke’s upcoming season:
“We are a nation of people from so many different backgrounds, so many different cultures and so many different experiences, yet we all have one thing in common—we all want to be loved in a way that is meaningful to us. I can’t wait to get started on helping our Bachelorette Brooke find that kind of love.”
Who is Brooke Blurton?
This isn’t Blurton’s first reality TV stint. The 26-year-old youth worker and Noongar-Yamatji woman was a contestant on the 2018 season of Australia’s Bachelor. She appeared during the Nick’ The Honey Badger’ Cummins’ season. Even though she was a clear frontrunner, she left the mansion on her own terms right before the finale.
She was also featured on Australia’s Bachelor in Paradise, everyone’s favorite juicy summer-themed installment of the dating show. During her time on BIP, she opened up to her co-stars about leaving the show:
“I thought there was definitely chemistry there and we’d developed something good,” she said at the time. “I thought maybe I would be the girl there at the end. But then he stopped the cameras and like smothered his mic to tell me that he wasn’t going to pick anyone in the end.”
Proud and Indigenous
As previously mentioned, Brooke Blurton is a Noongar-Yamatji woman. During a 2019 TedX talk about identity, she talked about her experience growing up “different.” She also said that she was bullied due to the color of her skin.
Here’s what she had to say:
“I was fairer than some of the Aboriginal kids and they would call me a ‘half-caste’,” she said, “meaning I simply wasn’t Aboriginal enough for them.”
Open About Her Traumatic Childhood
During her appearances on the Bachelor franchises, Blurton has spoken out about her difficult childhood. At age 11, her mother killed herself. She then ended up in foster care with her brothers.
In conversation with host Neil Coyne on SBS’ Noongar Dandjoo community TV program, Brooke shared more about her upbringing and her work within the Aboriginal community. She is a mental health advocate and passionate about spreading awareness.
She said the following:
“I grew up in a country town in Carnarvon. I spent my childhood there up until I was about 11, when my mum, unfortunately, passed away—she committed suicide.
My nan actually passed away a month later so us kids had to separate. All my brothers and [me], we didn’t really have a lot of strong role models so creating that myself was my inspiration,” she continued. “My biggest passion in life is mental health, from working and growing up with a lot of drug and alcohol violence in my childhood really.”
Have There Been Other LGBTQ+ Contestants on Reality Dating Shows?
There have been other reality TV dating shows that feature LGBTQ+ relationships. In 2019, Love Island: Australia garnered attention for casting its first same-sex couple. The couple was Phoebe Thompson and Cassie Lansdell.
According to a recent casting call, Love Island’s original British series is casting queer couples for the first time ever.
Usually, shows with smaller audiences on cable TV and streaming networks will be more inclusive. The MTV show Are You the One did a “no labels” season. Also, HBO Max’s 12 Dates of Christmas and Netflix’s Dating featured more LGBTQ+ friendly casting.
Is There Hope for More LGBTQ+ Representation in the Future?
Many people can agree that LGBTQ+ representation in dating shows is long overdue. Former Bachelorette contestant and Bachelor lead Colton Underwood came out as gay. He shared about how being closeted was detrimental to his mental health. In essence, dating shows that only display heteronormative versions of love is harmful to viewers. Especially since 15% of youth identify as queer. There are more love stories to be told than solely opposite-sex courtships.
The upcoming season of the Bachelorette: Australia is a step in the right direction for LGBTQ+ representation on dating shows. It will hopefully address any myths about bisexuality and be a positive representation of queer dating.
However, there is still a long way to go. Hopefully, next, we can see further representation regarding gender non-conforming folks, like trans or non-binary contestants or leads.
Congratulations to Brooke Blurton
At LGBTQ and ALL, we want to say a big congrats to Brooke! Hopefully, we will get to see more LGBTQ+ representation on dating shows, especially in the US.