The Big Brother house is queerer than ever in 2023

With a quarter of the housemates already coming out as queer, Big Brother 2023 looks set to become the most LGBTQ+ inclusive edition yet.

Three side-by-side photographs of Big Brother 2023 contestants Hallie, Jordan, and Matty posing in front of colourful background.
Image: X @itsbbplus

Representation comes in all shapes and sizes, and the 2023 edition of Big Brother is doing its very best to shine a light on as many colours of the Pride rainbow as it can.

We’re not even a full week into the 20th series of the beloved reality TV show, and already, the contestants are coming out fast and furious. The first to pave the way was Welsh bartender Jenkin, who identified himself as gay in his introductory video.

By day one, 18-year-old youth worker, Hallie, came out as trans to the housemates, saying she felt she hadn’t been completely “authentic” when first entering.

While the 16 contestants were discussing rules at the breakfast table, Hallie announced, “Guys, I just have something to say. Yesterday, I feel like I wasn’t being 100% authentic in myself.” 

She continued, “I thought I’d let everyone know I’m trans, if you didn’t know already. I just thought I’d make that loud and clear. I’m a trans woman, if you didn’t know.”

To her relief, the housemates quickly rallied in support and began sharing their pronouns.

Since then, Hallie has been experiencing an emotional rollercoaster, breaking down to housemate Zak while she was in a “negative mindset”.

While Hallie may be the only trans contestant on the 2023 Big Brother show, she and Jenkins are not the only LGBTQ+ competitors.

On Tuesday, October 10, geriatrics doctor Matty shared his experience of feeling isolated growing up as gay.

The 24-year-old, who hails from the Isle of Man, revealed to housemates Paul, Dylan and Zak that he had come out at the age of 13 but that he found it difficult.

“It was hard growing up on the Isle of Man, not seeing anyone else who looked like me,” he confided. “It is beautiful, but it’s not very progressive. When I came out, I was the only person I knew who was gay. So, I had to deal with that all by myself.”

Later on Tuesday, there was a second coming out when Scunthorpe-born lawyer, Jordan, revealed he is attracted to both genders.

After he made a comment about drag queens, dental therapist Chanelle quickly quizzed, “You’re straight though, are you? What’s your preference?”, to which he glibly remarked, “Best of both.”


So far, season 20 of the fly-on-the-wall reality show has given us the G, B and T of the queer spectrum, but let’s not forget that way back when the show started in 2000, it was our very own Anna Nolan who paved the way for ‘out’ visibility, when she became the runner-up of the then groundbreaking inaugural series.

Since then, Big Brother has continued to be a bastion of visibility, with queer contestants stealing more than their fair share of the publicly awarded crowns.

In season 2, Brian Dowling took the first spot, and in Big Brother 17, Hughie Monaugh not only did the Irish queer community proud, coming in the runner-up position, but he also brought positive visibility to the Traveller community. In 2019, Cian Carrigan also came in as runner-up, showing the world that Irish farmers are not as repressed as they’d like to think.

2004 saw the show make history when Nadia Almada was crowned the winner, becoming the first trans woman to win the coveted prize. And in 2012, Luke Anderson triumphed to become Big Brother’s first trans man to be awarded first place.

With all these incredibly brave trailblazers showing the world how awesome the LGBTQ+ community really is, let’s hope Big Brother 2023 sees another queer housemate coming out on top.

Until then, we’ll leave you with a little bit of Irish queer history with Anna Nolan’s ‘Best Bits’ from Big Brother 1.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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