“I grew up having crushes on girls"
Former Miss Universe Maria Thattil has come out as bisexual while appearing on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity.
Maria opened up about her sexuality during a candid chat with fellow campmate David Subritzky.
Although she initially found the experience “nerve-wracking”, Maria decided to confide in David as she had never told anyone about her sexuality before.
Maria Thattil shared: “Growing up, I always thought maybe I was a little bit bi-curious.
“I only ever dated straight people, but growing up I did have crushes on girls that I went to school with.
“Even as I got older, I thought, ‘I can appreciate an attractive woman’.
“I’ve always been curious about that. I’m like, ‘Is it? No, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not’.”
Maria went on to say that she had “buried” a part of herself by not addressing her sexuality.
She added: “I just felt like it’s just easier to be like, ‘You know, I date men,’ and I do.”
“It is easier for people to understand me.”
Later, Maria said that it felt “bloody good” to talk about her bisexuality openly.
After pursuing a degree in psychology and management, the 28-year-old worked as an HR advisor in Melbourne.
Later, Indian-origin Maria participated in Miss Universe 2020, representing her country, Australia.
She has since been using social platforms to advocate for women’s rights and representation in fashion and the media.
Opening up about why she kept her sexuality hidden, she said:
“It is something I have felt for a very long time.”
“You don’t have a lot of bisexual visibility in popular culture, and so you don’t understand what it is.
“I grew up having crushes on girls in school and just completely invalidated it because of religion and also because there were many homophobic sentiments in my school around being a lesbian, around anything other than heteronormativity.”
Since coming out, the beauty queen has hinted that she is yet to pursue a romantic relationship with another woman.
Maria revealed: “I haven’t had the same sexual and emotional relationships with men and women, but it’s something you inherently know in yourself.”
The news comes after Maria has been enjoying a blossoming romance with British reality star Joey Essex on I’m a Celebrity.
Speaking about their bond, Maria said: “I think we’ve hit it off really, really well, we’re having great conversation.
“It’s really lovely. He is very charming.”