Scott Bryan The U.K.’s first gay dating show is about to air on BBC Three. “I Kissed A Boy,” fronted by Dannii Minogue, features 10 single men hoping to find love in a sunny villa in Italy.
Wait. Hang on. It’s 2023. How is this the U.K.’s first ever gay dating show? LGBTQ+ representation on television has changed immeasurably in the past decade — just look at E!’s “The Bi Life” and Netflix’s “Heartstopper.” It used to be that gay relationships were only explored after the watershed or in soap storylines, but these stories are now more mainstream than ever.
Why has it taken this long for the U.K. to produce its first gay dating series? Of course, British dating shows do feature LGBTQ+ contestants.
Channel 4’s “First Dates,” MTV’s “Ex on the Beach” and E4’s “Married at First Sight” have all featured LGBTQ+ participants. Breakups have been explored as well, thanks to BBC Three’s “Eating with My Ex.” Yet, as reflective as these shows might be, LGBTQ+ contestants usually feature on these shows alongside straight participants.