Big Brother

How Farmer Dave's coming out moment on Big Brother in 2006 changed the game for LGBTQIA+ Australians

''I’m the token farmer, and the token gay guy.''

By Faye Couros
When Dave Graham first entered the Big Brother house in 2006, the country didn't realise it would lead to a monumental moment.
It was a different time back then for the LGBTQIA+ community. There was a lot of discrimination, homophobia, and marriage equality was yet to enter the zeitgeist.
Dave came out to his housemates after a week of challenges, and it changed Aussie television for the better.
When speaking with The Latch, he explained why he felt it was the right time to share with his housemates.
Dave as a young man on Big Brother. (Image: Ten)
"Obviously, a lot of us got to know each other fairly well, and I think that everyone's realised when they're getting to know me that there's things that they don't know about me, and that's true — there are things about me that you don't know."
"I kind of came into the house thinking that this bit you don't know about me is quite small, but being in here has made me realise that it permeates every part of myself," he continued.
He also found it "really, really hard" because he wasn't "able to be honest" with his co-stars before he told them about his sexuality.
He initially hid his truth so he could be taken "at face value" before becoming "the token farmer, and the token gay guy."
He is returning for Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders. (Image: Seven)
He told The Latch that the experience was worth it.
"I went on to create conversations and change in Australia about gay people being treated equally and without judgment," he said.
"Back then, we were heavily discriminated against. It was normal to be in the closet for fear of violence and exclusion."
While talking with Who Magazine, Dave highlighted just how different the nation was back then.
"The Australia we live in today is like a foreign country compared to the one of the early 2000s," he said. "The acceptance of gay people, both legally and socially, is profound."
Dave's journey ended when he placed third, but his career on TV and radio kicked off, which saw him perform on Dancing With the Stars, and he was on the pilot episode of an Oprah Winfrey show.
The 42-year-old is also a successful dog trainer, and he has welcomed four children after donating his sperm to a lesbian couple and a single female friend.
"The Australia we live in today is like a foreign country compared to the one of the early 2000s." (Image: Instagram)
His parenthood journey has affirmed his decision to come out during the 2000s.
He told Mamamia, "I don't remember any words that were used, I don't remember any reactions.
"To be able to watch it – and I think maybe this is being a dad now, or maybe this is working with young people – but I was just so proud. I just thought, 'What an articulate young feller.'"
Over a decade later, Dave is returning for Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders in a new world, and fans can't wait to reconnect with the beloved contestant.
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