Gay Big Brother Australia stars Dave Graham and Tim Dormer have met up on the new series of the show and bonded over their coming out experiences.
The new series of the Channel Seven show kicked off on Monday night. This season, Dave and Tim are two of the franchises’ previous contestants to return.
Dave, known across Australia as ‘Farmer Dave,’ came third in season six in 2006 and famously came out as gay in a live episode of the show.
He explained on Monday night’s episode that his appearance show changed his life and is “a huge part of who he is”.
“I think everyone would remember me by the fact that I came out and created a conversation in Australia,” Dave said.
At the time, Dave told his housemates, “I’m a token farmer and a token gay guy,” as they cheered and hugged him in the emotional moment.
Meanwhile, Tim Dormer won Big Brother’s season 10 in 2013, and came out as gay himself many years after Dave Graham.
After entering the Big Brother house, the group of returning housemates were forced to stay hidden from a second group of newcomers.
Dave and Tim snuck into a pantry in the kitchen and laughed that “never thought [they’d] both be getting back in the closet”.
As they waited, Tim went on to explain to Dave that when he came out, “people were just like… whatever.”
A smiling Dave replied, “Isn’t that beautiful?”
“Yes! Yes exactly,” Tim said.
Dave explained to Tim that that is “how it should be”.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted, is a country where someone comes out and it’s just like, ‘oh cool’. That’s all I wanted,” he said.
Tim again joked, “Look at us, having this conversation in a closet.”
Farmer Dave Graham still works in the bush
Sixteen years on, Dave Graham still works on a farm, and is now a donor dad of four children.
“Big Brother is completely responsible for the life I have now,” he told Who.
“I couldn’t see any other way I could come out. [I grew] up gay in the bush within an extremely conservative and homophobic family and community.
“I had one goal, which was to show everyone that being gay meant I wasn’t there to hurt or harm anyone. We just want to live normal lives.”
Dave added, “The acceptance of gay people [since 2006], both legally and socially, is profound.”
Today, Dave Graham is a youth worker in regional New South Wales. He works with young people “falling through the cracks” with his RuffTrack program on his farm north-west of Sydney.
The disenfranchised teens work alongside him getting skills like dog training, horticulture and carpentry.
“It’s about giving the teenagers a chance so they can break the cycle and avoid spending a lifetime behind bars,” he said.
Farmer Dave sees his new stint on Big Brother as an exciting holiday, but stresses he’s also there to win.
He wants the show’s $250,000 prize money to buy a “forever farm” for his RuffTrack program.
“I’ve spent almost 20 years building a life I love and it’s a modern-day fairytale – almost,” he said.
“I’m ready to settle down and find that forever bloke.”
Big Brother Australia is on Monday to Thursday on Seven.
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