Representation matters. Although the world of reality dating shows focuses overwhelmingly on heterosexual couples, there are some series that have challenged that norm.Season 8 of MTV’s Are You The One?
featured an entirely LGBTQ+ cast, including trans-masculine nonbinary contestant Kai Wes. The show’s executive producer Sitarah Pendelton spoke to Entertainment Weekly in 2019 about how the AYTO production team knew it was time for a change.“When you’ve produced a show that has multiple seasons, and in this day and age everything changes every day, we really wanted to make sure that we were continuing to be reflective of our viewers and true to how people were dating,” she told the outlet.The reality television producer continued, “We’re like, ‘Wow, this younger generation looks at love and dating and their relationships with a completely different prism than maybe generations of the past.’ And again, with MTV always wanting to be reflective of our viewers and understand where those stories lie, it just was an organic path to follow.
Like, of course we would do this — if not us, then who?”By contrast, the Bachelor franchise has stuck to heterosexual relationships since it premiered in 2002.
Before longtime host Chris Harrison left Bachelor Nation in 2021, he made comments about why there would probably never be a gay bachelor.“The question is: Is it a good business decision? ” Harrison told The New York Times in 2014. “I just spoke at U.S.C.