It may have taken some time for Bachelor star Demi Burnett to be comfortable with living her life as an out "queer queen," but Kristian Haggerty couldn't be more supportive of her brave journey. Kristian's tribute to Demi on Instagram shows how proud she is of her girlfriend after their difficult conversations on Bachelor in Paradise aired on Sep. 10.
During the most recent episode, Demi confessed that she isn't as comfortable with PDA as Kristian is, which allowed her to open up about the difficulties of navigating her first serious gay relationship on national TV. "It has everything to do with me being comfortable being gay around people. I don’t know, I wish that I could tell myself that it doesn’t matter what they think, but I’m still holding back because I’m still scared," the former beauty queen confessed. "I’m not just like, 'Oh yeah, I’m with her!' and every wall is broken down and every fear is banished." While that struggle led to some tension between her and Kristian, it seems that the latter understands where Demi is coming from, as Kristian praised her girlfriend on social media after the episode aired.
"I am so grateful for our story being shared," Kristian wrote, alongside a photo of herself and Demi, cuddling and kissing during their time in Paradise. "Learning to be comfortable with who we are is a major part of most of our journeys. Thankful for these vulnerable moments. So proud of you, Dem."
Kristian isn't the only person in Paradise who has praised Demi for being brave enough to talk about her coming out journey so publicly; Derek Peth tweeted about what an "amazing and strong person" his friend (and BiP ex) is for having that conversation in front of the world. "Being a straight white man in America, this scene w/Demi and Kristian is the first time I've considered the shame same-sex relationships can feel just being together in front of others," he wrote on Twitter during the episode.
"Every time I turn there's a new layer of privilege I never realized I have. Love you two." Derek continued, "Listening to Demi processing what it means to be out has me all in the feels. She's such an amazing and strong person."
Demi has talked about her difficult journey towards living openly multiple times, and her worries about the way she would be perceived by others. "This was a super-tough time for me that being criticized does hurt," Burnett told Good Morning America about being criticized by some Bachelor fans for her decision to come out on Twitter ahead of the BiP premiere. "But I know there’s nothing I can do to change how people are perceiving it or how they feel about it."
And while it has been difficult at times to adjust to living as an openly bisexual woman, Demi doesn't regret coming out on national TV, and sharing her love with Kristian with the world. "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."
Demi's relationship with Kristian on Bachelor in Paradise may have earned headlines for being the franchise's first same-sex romance, but it's her willingness to share every part of her journey towards love and acceptance that has really made Demi such a fan favorite.