Not even two weeks after they proudly aired Australia’s first legal same-sex wedding on Neighbours, Network 10 shamed the entire LGBT+ community in Wednesday night’s episode of The Bachelor Australia.
A promo leading up to the show promised that Brooke would make an “an urgent revelation” to bachelor Nick that would “put everything on the line.”
That revelation turned out to be that her dating history includes two relationships with women.
Rather than coming out as a proud queer woman, Brooke was clearly uncomfortable with her sexuality, making excuses for her decision to date women and declaring that she’s not “bisexual or a lesbian or anything like that.” The clearly vulnerable 23 year old is the show's first indigenous contestant who has been open about her tragic childhood and mental health struggles.
The whole unfortunate encounter went like this:
After telling Nick that she dated a man for three years, Brooke said “This is really uncomfortable for me to tell you but I've also had two relationships with women.”
“But um... I'm a big person of who you are inside. Obviously not face value and what you look like or what you are.”
“So, for me, when I was in those relationships, I looked beyond what they were as female and I really loved them for who they were as people.”
“I'm not a bisexual or a lesbian or anything like that, I'm a big lover of people and who they are and yeah, I just really don’t want to be judged on that.”
Brooke then explained her reasons for wanting to be with a man:
“I want to be with a male. I wanna have children and, you know... that for me is a powerful thing.”
”And it's not the only thing. I feel more sexually attracted to men. Like, I can’t, I'm just being completely honest.”
Nick was very understanding, saying “We are just souls inhabiting a body, trying to find our way, and we work out the direction we actually want to take in the end.”
“And if you’ve worked out what direction that is, then it has no effect on me moving forward.”
Viewer backlash on Twitter was swift, with people voicing their disgust at Brooke’s sexuality being treated like a dirty secret that could ruin her chances of finding true love. Others pointed out that reinforcing stereotypes of bisexual woman as temporary lesbians is unacceptable.
Aussie AFLW star Moana Hope chimed in by using her Instagram story to explain the facts of life to Brooke.
“FYI three letters... IVF” she wrote, before fake breaking up with her girlfriend Isabella Carlstrom.
“I have to get all the men... to have babies. I need a boyfriend," she explained.
Network 10 responded to the controversy by issuing a statement to news.com.au.
“Brooke felt this was a secret she was keeping from Nick, so after her discussion with the human lie detector, Steve Van Aperen, she believed it was important to tell Nick to ensure he knew she was being honest and upfront about her past relationships.”
Earlier this year, The Bachelor In paradise was criticised for queer baiting when they aired promo footage which looked like ‘bisexual’ contestant Megan Marx kissed a woman when she had actually kissed a man.