By Ryan Perdio
So, Big Brother, that quintessential of all reality shows, is once again back on Australian TV screens.
I would be the last person in this country to ever admit to being a fan of the questionable series but no one can deny that the much-maligned program has stirred plenty of controversies and generated public debate over its 10-year run. What’s more, it has influenced public thinking and exposed many issues that may not have normally been featured on television – all courtesy of its assortment of housemates.
For me, 2006 contestant, David Graham, was one of the standouts.
An international model-turned-farmer, David publicly struggled with his sexuality and eventually came out on the show. It was an act that not only made headlines nationwide but one that was also well-received by fellow housemates and the viewing public at large. But what I found most fascinating was David’s ensuing revelations when doubts about his homosexuality began to surface; questions that arose as a result of his close relationship with a female housemate.
David confessed that he had found it insulting when others questioned his sexuality, particularly since his coming out experience had been especially hard and even traumatic at times. And despite occasionally making comments about being attracted to women, in particular towards Claire – his fellow housemate whom he found stunning and beautiful – he stressed that his revelation about being gay was indeed genuine.
David admitted that his attraction towards Claire stemmed from his need to please his family. He explained that she was someone who they would find suitable for him; an ideal partner with whom he can start a family. But David also admitted that this was something he knew he would – and could – no longer pursue being true to his real feelings.
In very much the same way, David’s sentiments are exactly that of my own. I, too, have a “Claire”; a close female friend who, if things were different, could potentially be someone more. And like David, this stems from my wanting to make my own family happy. She is someone that they would adore as my wife and the mother of my children.
Although it would be an enormous thing for my parents’ unspoken wish to be fulfilled, this is something that I know will never happen.
My parents have been very supportive of my coming out and while they will be pleased to see me finally settled down, the question of whether or not my parents will be as equally happy for this to happen with a husband rather than a wife is still something I’m not entirely sure about. Regardless, I don’t want to live my life for them just as much as I don’t want to have someone else live theirs for mine.
Years have been devoted to finding out who I really am, and although this is still an ongoing process, I am absolutely certain about one thing: what my heart knows to be true. It’s just that, like David’s, ours beat slightly different to most.
Hopefully in some way, this is something that Big Brother has helped made everyone else understand.
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