Bachelor in Paradise Features First LGBT Couple


By Laura Lassen, Staff Writer

ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise featured its first same-sex couple, Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty, in its most recent season that ended on September 17.

Based on ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise is a reality dating show that follows a group of young people looking to form new relationships and find love. 

“Demi and Kristian’s relationship kind of opens the Bachelor world to the LGBTQ+ community,” said senior Stella Park. “They are trying to be more inclusive and will try to make their casts more diverse in race and sexuality.”

Burnett, originally appearing on Colton’s season of The Bachelor, had been in a casual relationship with Haggerty before filming began, but she pursued a relationship with Derek Peth, another contestant, during the first few episodes of the show. After Bachelor in Paradise host Chris Harrison welcomed Haggerty onto the show mid-season, the two women reunited and stayed together until their engagement in the season finale.

ABC’s decision to keep the couple on the show despite Haggerty having no association with the Bachelor franchise created controversy, as many argued that there was no reason for the couple to be there when their relationship was already concrete.

“The bachelor producers probably found it a great opportunity to widen their audience and include the LGBTQ+ community,” Park added. “Demi and Kristian also probably took advantage of the fact that they can have a fun and romantic vacation together in paradise. Who wouldn’t want to stay on a private beach for free?”

Despite people’s mixed opinions of Burnett’s actions on the show and her relationship with Haggerty, the LGBTQ+ representation on Bachelor in Paradise has been groundbreaking. 

The Bachelor franchise will continue in January of next year with Season 24 of The Bachelor.