Former Miss Universe Australia and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia star Maria Thattil has revealed that she is bisexual.
The former beauty queen is currently roughing it in the jungle and while there is a romance blossoming between herself and UK “naughty boy” Joey Essex, Maria opened up to campmate David Subritzky about her sexuality.
“Growing up I always thought, like, maybe I was a little bicurious,” she said, adding that she has “only ever dated straight people” but had crushes on women and was able to “appreciate an attractive woman”.
“I just felt like it’s just easier to just be like, you know, I date men… it is easier for people to understand me.”
“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 said.
Why Hasn’t Maria Thattil Opened Up About Her Sexuality In The Past?
Talking to the Daily Telegraph, Maria said she wanted to be transparent about who she was.
“I gained clarity and decided that my sexuality wasn’t going to be this secret to protect, but a part of me to embrace because the very reason I was private about it is exactly why I need to be open,” she said.
Adding that “visibility matters”, the 28-year-old hopes to represent that “sexuality doesn’t fit one mould”.
However, she claims the reason she hid her sexuality in her formative years due to “homophobic sentiments in her school around being a lesbian”.
“it is something I have felt for a very long time,” the I’m A Celebrity hopeful confessed. “I grew up having crushes on girls in school and just completely invalidated it because of religion and also because there were many homophobic sentiments in my school around being a lesbian, around anything other than heteronormativity. You don’t have a lot of bisexual visibility in popular culture and so you don’t understand what it is.”
Maria Thattil On What It Means To Be Proud Of Who You Are
Taking to Instagram on Wednesday night, Maria discussed her fear of “falling in between the cracks” as a bisexual woman.
“Before the show, I had only come out to a handful of people,” she said, adding that her brother, Dom, reminded her what it meant to be proud of who you are. “A lack of bisexual visibility for most of my life has meant that the experience was confusing.”
Maria continued: “Fear of falling in between the cracks, never fully finding a place in myself. But when I spoke to [Dom] he reminded me about why we call it #PRIDE.
“No longer a secret to protect but a part of me to celebrate.”
What Charity Is Maria Thattil Supporting On I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia?
Maria is hoping to become the Queen of the I’m A Celebrity jungle this year and take home $100,000 for her charity, Minus 18.
Minus 18 Charity aims to provide the young LGBTQIA+ community with spaces where they are celebrated. By tackling social isolation, Minus 18 works to help those in the community build friendships and confidence in themselves.
Like herself, Maria’s younger brother also identifies as being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, which was the driving force behind her foray into the jungle.
Posting a photo of the pair, Miss Universe Australia 2020 introduced Dom to her Instagram followers.
“This is my brother [Dom]… a gay, Indian man who grew up in a religious household with a former Catholic priest for a father, 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.”
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia 2022 is currently airing on Channel Ten and 10Play.
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