Nearly 18 years after The Bachelor premiered on ABC, the reality dating franchise is finally broadening its horizons with a same-sex romance.
Tuesday’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise — a spinoff in which former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants are given another shot at love — featured the arrival of Kristian Haggerty, who happens to have a romantic history with BiP contestant Demi Burnett.
Demi first discussed her sexuality during BiP‘s Season 6 premiere, explaining, “I have kind of been seeing someone. Of course, plot twist, it happens to be a woman. It’s not something I need to label, so I feel like I don’t have to proclaim that I’m gay, I’m straight, I’m bisexual, I’m this. I just like who I like. It doesn’t matter who or what you are. It’s the person.” Now, fans will get to watch as Demi and Kristian figure out where they fit into each other’s lives.
“The second that I saw you, I knew exactly, it’s you,” Demi told Kristian when the pair reunited on Tuesday. “It’s always been you. And I want to be with you.”
“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,” Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s Head of Talent, said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”
Are you invested in Demi’s journey on Bachelor in Paradise? Hit PLAY on the video above to watch Demi introduce Kristian to the group, then drop a comment with your thoughts on the franchise’s first same-sex romance.