If we’re being honest, reality TV shows are fake as fuck because of how very staged they are. Every exaggerated sob, fight, and tantrum meticulously thought out and choreographed. However, that means when an *actual* plot twist occurs, we start paying attention. Want an example? Take the stunning revelation that two of the The Bachelor Vietnam’s female contestants fell in love; a genuine surprise that set the internet ablaze.
For those of you who missed it, during the rose ceremony (in which cast members are typically eliminated), contestant Minh Thu told Bachelor Quoc Trung Nguyen that she was in love with Truc Nhu, a fellow female contestant (got all that??). With tears falling down her face, she proceeded to beg Truc Nhu to come home with her. In response, Truc Nhu forfeited her rose and left the ceremony with Minh Thu after reassuring Quoc Trung Nguyen that he would find someone who loves him.
We. Were. Shook.
Although Truc Nhu initially handed back her rose to leave with Minh Thu, she eventually chose to remain on the show after having an emotional talk with the bachelor himself. However, this twist of love still made waves, not only in Vietnam, but across the world. With thousands of people reacting on a variety of social media platforms, Minh Thu’s confession became viral.
This whirlwind romance was also particularly shocking considering the traditional, and extremely heterosexual setup that the Bachelor typically follows. Audiences come to see straight cisgender people interact, to wait for the guy to fall for the girl, to take shots every time someone says they’re “here for the right reasons,” and to go about the rest of their day in peace. The most drama that ever occurs usually involves a full glass on champagne thrown in someone’s face, not a daring display of homosexuality. But could this serve as a reminder that the strict binaries that govern shows like The Bachelor need to evolve?
You would think that with such a positive response to this love affair, America would be pushing for an LGBTQ+ Bachelor or Bachelorette. Unfortunately, so far it seems like we’re stuck dealing with the same old status quo. In fact, the only previous forms of queer representation on The Bachelor have involved comical homoerotic storylines, which never lasted very long and were often overlooked by heterosexual romances. The only reason these storylines and contestants were even incorporated was to extinguish the negative comments regarding the lack of LGBTQ+ representation. Are you seeing the tokenism yet?
What the show actually needs are real conversations about gender identity and homosexuality—things that would make the show more accessible to the gay community. We realize that may be a lot to ask from a reality TV show, but LGBTQ+ people need to start being portrayed accurately… not just used to boost ratings.
To put it simply, every single person has the right to be represented. Representation is a legitimate issue that matters, and people of all sexual orientations deserve to see themselves and their relationships portrayed accurately and honorably on screen. Roughly nine million people in America identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, so why aren’t they being represented? It’s 2018, and gender binaries and orientations are no longer as black and white as we once thought. It’s time for America to wake up and start realizing that members of the LGBTQ+ community aren’t going anywhere. They’re tired of having their voices suppressed and are ready to make The Bachelor’s “radical” twist of love a part of the social norm. Are you?