In a statement celebrating former Bachelorette Gabby Windey coming out Wednesday on “The View,” GLAAD also called for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the “mainstream” space of reality TV dating.
“This should also be an important reminder to the industry that LGBTQ people have a place in mainstream dating and relationship shows and that we must be included,” the statement from communications and talent VP Anthony Allen Ramos said.
GLAAD also emphasized that Windey’s journey is one that shows that “there are no rules for coming out.”
“As one of today’s most visible reality stars from ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette,’ Gabby Windey’s decision to continue to share her private life with the public as a queer woman is a key reminder to people, including the many millions who watch the franchise, that there are no rules for coming out and that everyone’s journey is different,” GLAAD said.
Windey, who first appeared on Clayton Echard’s season of the “The Bachelor” and later shared the title of “The Bachelorette” with fellow leading lady Rachel Recchia, revealed while on the talk show that she is in a happily committed relationship with a woman.
“I always just want to live my truth, and my story,” Windey said while on the show. “And I have been seeing someone for a couple months, and I’ve been keeping it a little more private because it is a bigger story and a bigger conversation, because I’m dating a girl!”
Season 19 of “The Bachelorette” concluded with Windey becoming engaged to Erich Schwer. The pair split in November 2022 after Windey revealed that the couple was focusing on their individual goals as Windey made her “Dancing with the Stars” debut during season 31.
Former Bachelor Colton Underwood came out as gay following his season, and is now married to Jordan C. Brown. Becca Tilley, who appeared in Chris Soules’ season of “The Bachelor,” as well as Ben Higgins’ season, revealed in May 2022 that she was in a relationship with singer Hayley Kiyoko.