Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil has just come out as a proud bisexual.
Thattil, who is currently featured on season 8 of the Australian hit reality show, “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!,” opened up about her sexuality in a recent episode.
“Growing up, I always thought, like, maybe I was a little bi-curious, and only ever dated straight people,” Thathil admitted in the episode. “But growing up, I did have crushes on girls that I went to school with. Even as I got, like, older, I thought, I can appreciate an attractive woman.”
However, Thattil added, “I always buried that side of myself,” since it was easier for others to understand her as someone who dated men. However, after hooking up with another woman at a party – “it just felt natural” – she finally found the confidence to open up about who she is.
“It just feels bloody good to say it,” she said.
She elaborated on her feelings in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, explaining that while she recognized her attraction to girls when she was in school, she “completely invalidated” them “because of religion and also because there were many homophobic sentiments in my school around being a lesbian, around being anything other than heteronormativity.”
She added, “You don’t have a lot of bisexual visibility in popular culture and so you don’t understand what it is.”
Thattil, 28, is a model and the current Miss Universe Australia. She is currently involved in a blossoming on-air relationship with fellow contestant and British reality show star Joey Essex.
In an Instagram post shared after the episode, Thattil wrote that she was “grateful that I could model how to have a feared, big conversation in a gentle, simple way with no shame or stigma. I’m grateful for everyone who shared their own stories with me after last night and bloody proud of some who came out — on the spot — to family members after witnessing the convo.”