2018 has been a stellar year for queers on Big Brother.
RuPaul’s Drag Race veteran Courtney Act won the 21st UK season of Celebrity Big Brother early in the year, teaching the country about gender in the process. Ross Mathews earned a strong second place on the first U.S. season of Celebrity Big Brother, and became America’s Favorite Houseguest in the process. Johnny Mulder and Erica Hill both performed well on the sixth season of Big Brother Canada. And of course, just a little over a week ago, Kaycee Clark became the second LGBTQ and first lesbian winner of Big Brother here in the U.S.
The 19th and final season of Big Brother in the UK already had its share of LGBTQ representation, between gender-fluid contestant Tomasz Wania, lesbian Buddhist Brooke Berry, and out-and-proud gay farmer Cian Carrigan. But on Friday night’s episode, they gained a fourth in their number, as 18-year-old houseguest Cameron Cole came out on national television.
In a previous moment of drunkenness, Carrigan confessed having a crush on Cole, which made the younger player uncomfortable. But in a conversation with fellow houseguest Lewis Flanagan, Cole hinted that his discomfort came from a place of personal uncertainty, not mere awkwardness about Carrigan’s crush. He knew he’d have to come out, but couldn’t bring himself to actually do it.
“I just want to fucking say it — or not say it, but I just want it done,” Cole said. “It’s one of those things that you’re never ready for. Because the last four years, I’ve been waiting to be ready. And I’ve never felt ready.”
Cole came up with a unique way around the problem of not being able to verbalize coming out himself: He asked Flanagan to ask him the question. “Are you gay?” Flanagan asked. Cole said yes. Flanagan immediately leapt out of his chair to hug the younger houseguest. “So proud of you!” he exclaimed.
Days later, Cole came out to the rest of his fellow housemates. They positively exploded with excitement for him, with Wania, Berry, and Carrigan getting particularly emotional. “Join us in the rainbow!” Wania said while holding Cole.
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) October 8, 2018
All four LGBTQ houseguests, plus ally Flanagan, made it through last week’s eviction. They remain in the top 11 for the season, and in the battle for £100,000.
This post has been updated.