I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here star Maria Thattil has came out as bisexual on the show, and revealed why she’s playing for LGBTIQ youth charity Minus18.
Thattil, who was Miss Universe Australia in 2020, is currently appearing as a contestant on wild Ten reality series.
On Wednesday night, the 28-year-old opened up about her sexuality during a quiet moment with gay co-star David Subritzky.
As David questioned her about her feelings for fellow contestant Joey Essex, Thattil discussed her sexuality with him.
“I haven’t told anyone, but I’ll tell you,” she said.
“It’s actually nerve-wracking to talk about.
“Growing up I always thought maybe I was a little bi-curious. I only ever dated straight people but growing up I did have crushes on girls.”
But Maria explained she grew up in a conservative religious south Asian household and saw homophobia at school.
“I’ve always buried that side of myself,” she said.
She said while she always felt her attraction to women, it felt “easier” to just date men.
But after a relationship with a man ended, she said that changed and she began casually dating female partners.
“Before I came here I was out at a party and I met a girl, and we ended up hooking up and it just felt natural,” Maria told David.
Maria admitted that she struggled with her own sense of shame and stigma while talking about her own sexual identity.
“It just feels bloody good to say it,” she said.
“I don’t want to carry any shame or stigma about it and I just want to break out of that and be like, it’s okay.
“It is so nice to say it and be like, there’s absolutely nothing wrong.”
Writing on Instagram after the episode aired, Maria said before the show, she had only come out to a handful of people.
“My brother took my call at midnight last night and talked it over with me,” she said.
“And I realised the reason I’ve been so f__king scared to do this is exactly why I need to.”
Maria said growing up she’d only seen heterosexual people and relationships in the media.
“A lack of bisexual visibility for most of my life has meant that the experience was confusing and there were parallels to other experiences I had with social identity,” she explained.
“Fear of falling in between the cracks, never fully finding a place in myself. But when I spoke to @domthattil, he reminded me about why we call it #PRIDE.”
She said her sexuality is “no longer a secret to protect but a part of me to celebrate”.
Maria Thattil opens up about gay brother’s struggle
On the show, Maria Thattil has chosen to support LGBTIQ youth charity, Minus18. She said she chose it in honour of her brother Dom, who is gay.
She explained on Instagram that Dom grew up in a religious household “where diversity was not celebrated”.
“This is my brother @domthattil – a gay, Indian man who grew up in a religious household with a former Catholic priest for a father,” she wrote.
“In a time where diversity was not talked about, worked toward or celebrated in the Aussie landscape.
“Having overcome both racism AND homophobia, transcending religious, cultural, sexuality and gendered expectations to have the courage to be himself – he’s MY hero. And a guiding light.
“This is not always the reality for other LGBTQIA+ youth, who are still actively oppressed for who they are.
“Get around @minus18youth. I am. For Dom and LBGTQIA+ youth.
“If we stopped boxing ourselves in to old ideas about gender and sex, we would stop beating others down when they climb out of that box.”
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