Bachelor Winter Games Could Give Us The Franchise’s First Same-Sex Couple

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
You may have missed the introduction of Tiffany Scanlon on last night's Bachelor Winter Games. She was one of 26 contestants who packed themselves into that cozy Vermont house, and while her fellow participants came from all across the globe, this particular Australian might just have the most interesting backstory.
In 2016, Scanlon took part in The Bachelor Australia to compete for the heart of Richie Strahan, but instead wound up dating one of her fellow contestants. That's right — the 31-year-old was sent home on week three, but the friendship she formed with Megan Marx on the show grew into something bigger offscreen, sparking a whole bunch of speculation before Marx cleared everything up on Instagram in a sweet post.
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"I met Tiffany in a very strange situation. Well... we were kind of dating the same guy. And it was filmed and put on TV," Marx wrote back in October of 2016. "From that first cocktail party, it was like this instant calibration between souls, as if we had known each other once before. Friendship ripened into something bolder, trust in a very strange situation was formed, and now every adventure we have rivals the other- and continues to make plans for itself."

I met Tiffany in a very strange situation. Well... we were kind of dating the same guy. And it was filmed and put on TV 😂. From that first cocktail party, it was like this instant calibration between souls, as if we had known each other once before. Friendship ripened into something bolder, trust in a very strange situation was formed, and now every adventure we have rivals the other- and continues to make plans for itself. Yesterday I flew this beautiful woman to The Abrolhos islands for her 30th birthday! I have to admit that I felt so so proud to be with her, my favourite person, celebrating such a momentous occasion on the water- a mutual love of ours. She is so confident in the ocean and in every adventure, as if every new experience is a winning of the lottery somehow; a chance to grow and learn and develop. To Tiffany, experience wins over the worldly acquisition of 'things' every time- and I think this is why she is so open-minded, so accepting of others, so fun and so at ease with letting winds blow her towards a variety of opportunities. She's helped me to disintegrate many of the ideals I've had that were harmful (about relationships, about career and 'stability') and for that I feel set free. Thank you for always asking questions (detective Tiff), for being curious about people, ideologies and the universe; for loving people with such a wholesome love that I don't know if I would ever be able to emulate. It inspires me. Happy Birthday Tiffany. I love you.

A post shared by Megan Marx 🌜🌞🌛 (@megan.leto.marx) on

The two ended up breaking things off in 2017, and Scanlon opened up about the breakup on her blog The Tiffany Times.
"I couldn’t say exactly when things started to unravel, maybe around Christmas/New Year," she wrote. "We were going to a tonne of events and I was finding it more and more difficult to enjoy myself now that we were more recognisable to the public. Strangers grabbing at us for pictures, not even introducing themselves or talking to us, men asking for threesomes, people accusing us of faking our relationship."
This is why the two women handled their eventual break up privately, which begs the question of how Scanlon's sexuality will be approached on the show. In general, the Bachelor franchise is extremely heteronormative, and the premise of last night's rose ceremony solidified the men versus women mindset. Is there even a system set up for Scanlon, or any of the other contestants, to pursue a relationship with another contestant of the same gender?
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The last time we got close to this was the most recent season of Bachelor In Paradise when Jaimi King came into the picture. During Nick Viall's season she revealed that she had previously dated women, and was immediately defined by fans and the show as bisexual, although that's not the label she prefers.
"I realized that I think I am a homo-romantic, because I feel like I could fall in love with anyone, and I have. And sexually, I go homosexual as well. I guess it basically is bisexual," she told Refinery29 back in September. "But I don't want to narrow myself down to two sexes or genders. 'Fluid' would be more open to everything — not just male or female."
While she was loudly branded as bisexual, her fluid sexuality never came into play on the show. Her romance was solely with Diggy Moreland — which is obviously her right. Neither King nor Scanlon should be forced to have a same-sex relationship for the sake of diversity. But do they even have the opportunity? We'll have to tune in to find out.
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