Courtney Act explains why an LGBTQ+ version of Love Island could do "damage" to the community
Courtney Act has explained why she “would and wouldn’t” like to see an LGBTQ+ version of Love Island.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race star is set to host the UK’s first bisexual dating show, The Bi Life.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, she said: “Queer people are still on the fringe and I think if you show a bunch of straight people behaving badly on television, nobody thinks all straight people are like that. They go, ‘Oh just those people are like that’.
“If you show a whole bunch of queer people, maybe behaving badly was a bit harsh, but if you show LGBT people who are competing for a prize and inclined to be sensational for reality television, sometimes it can do a bit of damage to the identity that isn’t fully formed yet to the public’s perception.
“I do love that this show has a lot of integrity, there’s almost like a social documentary to it even.”
However, the 36-year-old does hope that The Bi Life could trigger LGBTQ+ versions of popular dating shows such as Celebs Go Dating and First Dates.
“I hope so,” she said. “The thing that I love with this show is that there’s no competition element, no-one is competing for money. You’re not there to convince people of anything other than the truth.
“On Love Island you’re trying to win the prize money and stay together; on The Bi Life, the winner is the one that finds love. A few of them are still together, there’s a few success stories in the show, which is exciting.
“I think queer dating shows, we see some queer themes on First Dates and shows like that but I think this is so cool that it’s not a show that’s about people reacting to straight people or gay people. It’s a little hermetically-sealed microcosm of bisexual people on a dating adventure through Barcelona.”
Courtney, real name Shane Jenek, also explained why it’s taken so long for a bisexual dating show to happen.
“People needed a bit of proof that the world was ready and social media is really cool because it’s this levelling platform where we have metrics that show us how many people are into different things and we can see that queer culture is on the rise,” she said.
“I think we’ve got the balance right. It’s easy to make a reality show that’s sensational but it’s more challenging to make a reality show that’s got a lot of heart and integrity and still keeps you enthralled and makes you want to keep watching.”
The Bi Life premieres on October 25 at 9pm on E! UK – available on Sky 151, Virgin Media 156, BT TV and TalkTalk.
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