“There’s No Right Way to Be Gay”: The Bachelorette’s Jess Debono on LGBTQI+ Representation
On last night’s (November 4th) episode of The Bachelorette, we saw two people leave the mansion. One was an intruder who just entered the residence last week, and another was embroiled in a major scandal involving contestant Jamie-Lee Dayz.
But today we’re speaking to the former. Jess, an intruder who is also an LGBTQI+ activist. POPSUGAR Australia caught up with the reality TV star and chatted about life after The Bachelorette and the importance of representation.
POPSUGAR Australia: Tell us, what made you apply for The Bachelorette?
Jess Debono: As a lesbian, the visual representation that is shown in movies and television is usually hypersexualised or kind of with a negative stereotype. I loved being able to do the show and to show Australia that lesbians come in all different forms. I think there’s no right way to be gay more importantly. Having those lesbian and bisexual women in mainstream media, I guess really helps the validity of queer love.
PS: Do you have any regrets about your time on the show? Would you do anything differently?
JD: No, I definitely don’t. I wouldn’t do anything differently, at the end of the day we all went on the show for the possibility of finding love and the visual representation of queer women. But Brooke and I didn’t connect anything further outside of our initial meeting, and she wanted other relationships to flourish and that’s completely fine.
PS: As an LGBTQI+ activist, how did you feel when you found out The Bachelorette Australia would be featuring its very first queer Bachelorette?
JD: That’s a really good question. Whilst I work at a corporate job, one of my passions is LGBTQI+ advocacy and activism. I think it’s really important that we see visual representation on screen. I thought it was really important and I’m really looking forward to future seasons and for there to be more diversity of the LGBTQI+ community moving forward. I’m really hoping to see my non-binary darlings on there.
PS: You entered the mansion just last week as an intruder. Did you expect to go home so soon?
JD: I really didn’t have any expectations going in. I’m very much laid-back in my life anyway. So when I was going in, it was just for the chance to meet her and to see if we actually connected. After our first meeting, we were both on the same page where we didn’t really connect and that’s completely fine. There were no expectations on my end whatsoever.
PS: Who do you think will be the last person standing?
JD: Ooh I think there’s a difference between who I think and who I want there to be. I’m really hoping that there is one of the queer girls on screen who takes Brooke’s heart, but I think it might be one of the guys.
PS: Finally, what’s up next for you?
JD: I’m continuing to do my LGBTQI+ activism and working at my corporate job. I really loved being on the show and being completely taken outside of my comfort zone. I think one thing I learnt from the show was if you want to find the perfect person, you really need to go and get them. I’m really happy in a relationship at the moment, and life is good.