The Amazing Race Australia’s Kathy & Chace On Confidence, Culture & Coming Out

They may have only just begun their journey on The Amazing Race Australia, but contestants Kathy and Chace have already proven several things in the first week of the reality TV show.
After placing second in the first challenge in Marrakech, the cousins have not only shown they are frontrunners in the competition, but that they're much more than just Asian lawyers from greater western Sydney.
From working out with a PT, to learning new languages, studying geography, doing puzzle nights and going to escape rooms, Kathy and Chace tried to leave no stone unturned in their pre-show preparation as they vowed to challenge perceptions about themselves that exist within and outside of their culture.
Image courtesy of Channel 10
The Amazing Race Australia contestants Kathy and Chace
As the children of Vietnamese refugees who came to Australia between the late 1980s and early 1990s, it's taken a while for them to develop the confidence to express their truest selves as young Asian Australians.
"I didn't always have that inner confidence," Kathy tells Refinery29 Australia, reflecting on her self-assured nature on the show and her openness on Instagram.
"I think everybody has their own insecurities. Deeply rooted in me to this day, no matter how successful others others might think that I am or my family is, there's always those insecurities. I post them [photos] because I wanted to go onto the show with a very strong message of 'be bold, be brave and be vulnerable'."
The 28-year-old looks to the ways in which some Asian cultures approach mental health and self-expression as potential sources of her insecurities in the past.
"Fundamentally rooted in the Asian culture is a suppression of emotions and a lack of affection. Love and affection is shown through sternness and discipline, and those aren't ideals that I agree with," she explains.
"So walking into this [The Amazing Race], I wanted to be the change that I want to see. If I could be bold, brave and vulnerable, perhaps that would lead others similar to ourselves to feel more comfortable in their own skin and in communicating and behaving in a way that is acceptable to who they are, and not to familial and societal standards."

"Fundamentally rooted in the Asian culture is a suppression of emotions and a lack of affection. Love and affection is shown through sternness and discipline, and those aren't ideals that I agree with."

Chace feels another layer of vulnerability going onto the show. The 28-year-old has come out as gay to his family and friends, but has never had a direct conversation about his sexuality with his father.
"I am out, more or less, but I've never actually spoken about it with my dad to this day," says Chace. "So when he watches me on TV and he sees me be who I am and my flamboyant self, I think the message is going to hit home.
"He is a supportive father in absolutely all ways, but I haven't had a chance to speak to him about it."
Chace says his father has a "passive understanding" that he's gay, but going onto the TV show will allow him to hopefully start an actual conversation about it.
"Obviously he knows, but now, the whole world knows. That was something that I really wanted to do, and I think if there's one way to come out to your dad, why not on national television?"
Image courtesy of Channel 10
Agreeing with his cousin Kathy, Chace believes their appearance on the show is about reaching more than just their families, but also other people who haven't felt seen on Australian TV in the past.
"This is for anyone, any minority who experience any differences in life. I wanted us to go on TV and have other people look at us and go, 'They look like me. That's cool that they're doing something so different, and they're lawyers and they can have fun and be on TV too."
Hosted by Beau Ryan, season six of The Amazing Race Australia kicked off earlier this week with two separate groups of 10 starting the race of a lifetime in Morocco.
Teams will travel across Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and North America in the hope of winning the $250,000 prize money and a brand new car.
The Amazing Race Australia: Around The World airs Sunday to Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.
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