Demi Burnett is making Bachelor history. On this week's episode of Bachelor in Paradise, the fan favorite decided not to continue dating Derek Peth, and instead reunited with Kristian Haggerty, a woman she was dating prior to going to Paradise, who she just couldn't stop thinking about while on the show. Their reunion was emotional, and solidified the two as the show's first same-sex couple, but not everyone was crying happy tears. It turns out, after Demi came out on Bachelor in Paradise, she received some hurtful reactions, but, as she revealed in a new interview, she's trying to focus on the positive.
Demi went on Good Morning America on Thursday, Aug. 22, to give her first television interview since her burgeoning romance with Haggerty was revealed on Paradise. Although the reactions from Bachelor Nation and viewers has largely been supportive, especially from her former love connection Derek, her decision to be with Haggerty has lead to online trolls spewing hate, which Demi admitted that she was hurt by.
“This was a super-tough time for me that being criticized does hurt,” she confessed. “But I know there’s nothing I can do to change how people are perceiving it or how they feel about it.”
However, the hurtful comments have been overshadowed by the great support from fans, especially from those who related to Demi's struggles. “There are so many messages on my [direct messages] on Twitter, Instagram, of people who are thanking me because they have been struggling with the same thing that I went through,” she said. “Knowing that I helped somebody just by being who I was, that’s amazing for me. And it feels really good.”
Needless to say, coming out on the show has been completely worth it for Demi. "It means a lot to me," she said. "I was just being myself and living my life and loving who I loved. I just wanted to be honest with who I was and follow wherever my heart led me."
Despite not being able to get Haggerty off her mind, Demi explained that it took her visiting Paradise for her to understand just how much she fell for her. "We were just enjoying each other's time, and I didn't realize how serious she felt about it until she came on the show and expressed that to me. And that's whenever I also realized how serious it was for me and how much I really cared about her too."
The adorable couple are together today, and now that the news is out, the two are already openly sharing their love across social media. “It’s fun being able to show her off and tell the world about this person that nobody has ever heard about because she isn’t a part of Bachelor Nation, so it’s fun being able to show off our relationship now because it does mean so much to both of us,” Demi said.
Their romance has been made much easier by the fact that Demi's parents are so supportive of their sexuality, despite her saying on Paradise that coming out to them was difficult for her. “My parents love me very much and the way that they handled it was so beautiful, them just saying, ‘You are always going to be our Dems and we’re going to love you and support you no matter what,’ ” she told GMA. “It was very special.”
Going by their loving reunion on Paradise, it seems that Demi's burgeoning romance is just as special, and it's a total joy to watch.