Courtney Act says gay contestants on 'Love Island' would be 'detrimental' for LGBTQ representation

Tom Beasley
Courtney Act celebrates Pride and the announcement of LGBTQ+ Virgin Voyages Charter with Atlantis Events on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Virgin Voyages)

Drag queen Courtney Act has said that introducing LGBTQ contestants to Love Island could be “detrimental to the gay narrative”.

The former RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist and Celebrity Big Brother winner said that any romantic interaction between two men on the show would be “scandalous” and show how far society still has to go in terms of tolerance.

Love Island has been criticised for its lack of diversity in terms of sexuality and race, as well as for only casting contestants with very specific body types.

The 37-year-old Australian drag performer, though, told Metro that simply introducing gay representation is not the answer.

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She said: “I have thought about it and I can’t work out the model to be all inclusive.

“Imagine, in a completely hypothetical world, Curtis Pritchard and Tommy Fury have a pash on the day bed.

The bromance between Curtis Pritchard and Tommy Fury has been the most consistent relationship on 'Love Island' in 2019. (Credit: ITV)

“I think the world would explode and the fact that it would be such a big deal is testament to the fact of how far we’ve got to go.”

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Act, who now lives in the UK, explained that the reaction would likely not be a positive one.

She said: “If two lads had some sort of sexual interaction with each other that would be so scandalous and that tells us that although queer culture is popular and visible, I don’t think society – the UK is a lot further along than Australia or the US – but society is still not at a healthy place when it comes to sexuality and masculinity.

“If you could cast a few bi guys and girls it would spice it up a little, but I think gay Love Island would be detrimental to the gay narrative.”

Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano and Courtney Act attend RuPaul's Drag Race Reunion/Finale, Courtesy Logo / WOW, at Orpheum Theatre on May 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Logo TV)

Act, whose real name is Shane Jenek, rose to fame when she was a runner-up on the sixth season of American talent show RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014.

She won the 2018 series of Celebrity Big Brother and has subsequently hosted bisexual dating show The Bi Life, as well as her own Christmas special on Channel 4.

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Earlier this year, Act was paired with professional dancer Joshua Keefe as the first ever same sex couple on the Australian version of Dancing With the Stars.