There's An LGBTQ Contestant On 'The Bachelor,' & That's A Huge Step Forward For The Show

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On Sunday night, ABC premiered a Bachelor countdown special that ended with a preview of Nick's Bachelor season. A lot of it was business as usual: Crying women, crying Nick, fancy dates in Finland. But, one major thing stood out. Jaimi, one of the season's contestants, had a soundbite where she revealed she'd told Nick about a previous relationship she'd had with a woman. Yes, it seems there's an LGBTQ contestant on The Bachelor, which is a big first for the show.

Jaimi didn't label herself as bisexual or otherwise, and I certainly am not going to put a label on her life for her, but I am excited that she was open about her relationship history with Nick — and that he was kind about it. In her own words, Jaimi said, "Nick was really receptive to my past relationship with my ex-girlfriend  ... It felt good to kind of set the stage for the rest of my time here."

Obviously Jaimi's past comes up at some point, whether she volunteers the information about her ex or Nick asks about her previous relationships, and I'm really excited to see that conversation in full. In the history of the show there hasn't been a contestant who's talked openly about having been in a relationship with someone of the same sex. I'm not saying there hasn't ever been an LGBTQ contestant before who just chose to keep that part of their lives private, but it is new for it to be talked about. (See the clip below at about 55 seconds in.)

Nick is proving himself to be a whole new kind of Bachelor with his responses to situations like this one. I'm glad that it seems like he responded well to what Jaimi had to say, because it will help cement in viewer's eyes that it's not a big deal that she's dated a woman before. That doesn't mean she's not invested in Nick now.

I define myself as bisexual, so I'm excited for the opportunity to see something close to my own life reflected on a show I love so much. I'd always thought that should I ever go on the show (a pipe dream), a big tick against me would have been my past relationships with women. I'd always assumed that someone like me wouldn't be accepted by casting producers or by the leading man. Jaimi and Nick are showing me that's not true, bringing The Bachelor one more step further in the representation category. So far this season, I couldn't be prouder of the show I've been watching since before I even came out. Times are changing, and seeing different sexualities represented in mainstream television is so important.

Nick's season isn't the first dating show in recent history to feature LGBTQ cast members. In 2016, Logo premiered the gay dating show Finding Prince Charming, and that was really cool and exciting. But, it's also really nice to see myself reflected in a more mainstream reality show like The Bachelor. Who knows? Maybe some day we'll even get an official Bachelor season with an LGBT lead. These days it's not looking as far off as I used to think.