When Demi Burnett began exploring her sexual identity on this season of “Bachelor in Paradise,” no one was sure what it would lead to. We knew that it would give us a queer relationship of some kind — as teased by the network before the season began — but we didn’t know it would dlead to a lesbian proposal! Fast forward a few episodes in, and Demi admitted to having feelings for a friend back home: Kristian Haggerty. Although it broke “Bachelor” rules, the producers decided to bring Kristian onto the show, just to make things a bit more interesting. And get more interesting they did!
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The show took its time with the pair’s relationship, but it became clear very quickly just how infatuated with each other the couple was. The love and tension culminated in the season’s three-hour-long finale, which saw everything from bad communication to dramatic dates. But the real stars of the final episode were Demi and Kristian, who were able to pave their own queer path in an otherwise super straight reality show.
Over the course of three hours, viewers got a chance to see Demi speak candidly about the pressures of being on “Bachelor in Paradise,” especially after her stint on Colton’s season of “The Bachelor.” We also get to see the adorable couple snuggling and kissing, with Demi telling Kristian “No matter what happens, I know that it’s gonna be a good day, and I’m just excited to be with you.” “Forever?” Kristian asks. It’s a sweet, intimate moment that shows us what it’s like for the two to just be together. Then, we see them getting ready and stepping out onto the set.
Then, it was the moment we were eagerly anticipating. “Demi, you’ve changed my life forever,” Kristian began, continuing to talk about how risky it was to watch Demi go on the show, because there was a chance she could lose her. It’s a beautiful scene, full of attempts to hold back tears. “I came here to find myself, but I found myself in you,” Demi tells Kristian. Then, before I could even think about how beautiful that sentiment was, Demi grabs a ring box and proposes to Kristian! On national television! A lesbian proposal!
But wait! Just when you reached for the tissues to dry your tears, another lesbian proposal! Seriously! After watching Demi ask Kristian to marry her, we learn that Kristian needs to get something off of her chest. And surprise — it’s a ring! “When I met you, I was instantly captivated by you,” she tells Demi. “I love your laugh. I love when you wake up throughout the night and whisper, ‘I love you.’ You say ‘forever’ and I’m so grateful that you went to Paradise and it gave us the opportunity to grow our love for each other. That last day in Paradise was the best day of my life, and I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else but you.”
It’s insane, it’s gorgeous, and it’s wonderful. To see a lesbian proposal on television is nothing new, but every bit of representation counts. And to see it on “Bachelor in Paradise,” a majorly straight show? That’s progress.
Congrats to the happy couple, and we hope to see more lesbian proposals in “The Bachelor” franchise and beyond!