ABC's "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," and "Bachelor in Paradise" are perhaps the most heteronormative shows on television. Each week, men and women pick members of the opposite sex who they can envision a future with, leaving no room for LGBTQ+ representation.
But this season of "Bachelor in Paradise" was here to change the script. Viewers met Demi Burnett in Colton's season of "The Bachelor," and she came back for a summer in Paradise. After forming a strong connection with Derek on the beach, Demi revealed she was still thinking about a girl with whom she had a relationship at home.
Evidently, this was difficult for Derek to hear, since it meant Demi wasn't as invested in their relationship as he had initially thought, but he made it clear he supported Demi and appreciated her honesty.
Demi proceeded to come out to some of the other cast members, and they all showed her love and support.
However, in an unexpected turn of events, Demi didn't leave Paradise — instead, the girl she was thinking about, Kristian, came to her.
This raised a lot of questions for Bachelor Nation. How would the rose ceremony be handled? Usually, the men and women alternate weeks, giving the roses to each other.
"Bachelor in Paradise" ended up revising the rose ceremony to be more inclusive — an important step toward proper LGBTQ+ representation on the program.
The couple had not been granted much screen time since their initial encounters, so fans aren't fully aware of what Demi and Kristian have been up to. However, it's important to acknowledge the women's bravery in facing the beach, hand in hand. At the time that Kristian walked down the stairs, Demi had not come out to everyone. Nonetheless, she fearlessly embraced Kristian upon her arrival — a radical act.
Demi was unapologetically herself and proudly shared her relationship with her cast members and the entirety of Bachelor Nation.
She is an excellent role model for members of the LGBTQ+ community, as she brought representation to such a heteronormative show, modernizing the program's definition of love.
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