A British backpacker has shared the bizarre story of being catfished on Grindr while working in the middle of the Australian outback.
The 26-year-old gay man, Olly (above), came to Australia from the UK on a working holiday. He took a job at a remote outback resort in the Northern Territory, six hours out of Alice Springs.
The saga, which Olly shared in a five-part series of TikToks, began when he hopped on Grindr and started chatting to a ~blank profile~.
Olly said there were “about four” people on the app, which he admitted was more than expected given the size of the community.
“So this one person messages me and they’ve got a blank profile, which typically means they’re kind of on the DL. They don’t want to share the place. Probs in the closet,” he explained.
After they start talking, the man eventually sent a photo of himself. Olly recognised the man in the photo as a “handsome” and “well-built” guy he often saw at the gym. Recounting the story, Olly calls the man “Handsome Discrete Gym Boy” (HDGB).
The pair keep on talking. Some plans to meet don’t end up happening. But Olly recalled things started to get “a little bit unhinged”.
Olly said he had little entertainment in the outback, so he kept talking to HDGB. He brushed off some of the more bizarre messages as miscommunication.
“There was one time where he started talking about ‘sizing up my ring’ and I thought he was being sexual but no, he was actually talking about a wedding ring,” Olly said.
Shortly after, Olly found himself out with friends at the local pub. There, he saw HDGB. But the man didn’t even look at him, leaving Olly baffled.
The same thing happened again at a party, hosted by a mutual friend.
“On reflection, he was looking a bit uncomfortable,” Olly said, but believed “he was giving me eyes”.
‘He slams the door in my face’
At the end of the party, as everyone was leaving, Olly got up the courage to talk to HDGB.
“I’m like, ‘Hey, do you want to hang out for a bit?’” Olly said.
“And he looks me dead in the eyes, says no, and slams the door in my face.”
Back on Grindr, Olly confronted the man. He apologised and blamed the fact he was “working late”. Huh?
Olly again rationalised it as just shyness, but days later he found out the truth.
While out for lunch in a cafe with friends, Olly saw HDGB sit down three tables behind them.
Olly then got a message notification. But the man in the room with him was nowhere to be seen as he ate his lunch.
Olly also realised the man’s location on Grindr was really 1km away, not a few tables behind him.
Realising the truth, Olly confronted the Grindr man who came clean and admitted it wasn’t him in the photo. But who was he?
The mystery man sent a real photo of himself, and it was a colleague of Olly’s at the resort.
“It was one of the most chaotic things to ever happen to me,” he said.
“I discovered it had happened before, I wasn’t the only victim.
“I work with him. But I never confronted him properly. I felt like it would be too awkward.
Olly said he didn’t think catfishing could happen to him. He explained he felt like he fell for it “because it’s such a small community, I never thought someone would impersonate another person.”
Watch his series of TikToks below:
@ollytedlewis I got catfished and its been a wild ride. #catfished #quarterlifecrisis #sos ♬ original sound – olly
@ollytedlewis Replying to @Olly Lewis ♬ original sound – olly
@ollytedlewis Replying to @Indigo Dai ♬ original sound – olly
@ollytedlewis Replying to @John Randoe thanks for hanging around haha heres part 4 🐈 🐠 #catfished ♬ original sound – olly
@ollytedlewis Replying to @S. here’s part 5 of my catfishing journey. its been emotional 🐈⬛ 🐡 #catfish ♬ original sound – olly
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.