Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil made waves on Wednesday night when she came out as bisexual on national TV.
The 28-year-old opened up about her sexuality during an emotional moment with co-star David Subritzky on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
As David questioned Maria about her blossoming romance with fellow contestant Joey Essex, the model revealed that she had a confession to share.
"I haven't told anyone, but I'll tell you," she began. "It's actually nerve-wracking to talk about.
"Growing up I always thought maybe I was a little bi-curious. I only ever dated straight people but growing up I did have crushes on girls."
Maria admitted that she "buried" the part of herself that felt attraction to women, adding that it felt "easier" to just date men.
But just before filming began for the show, the 28-year-old met a woman at a party who inspired her to embrace her bisexuality.
"We ended up hooking up and it just felt natural. It just feels bloody good to say it," Maria continued.
"I don't want to carry any shame or stigma about it and … I just want to break out of that."
Speaking to WHO Magazine, Maria expanded on the moment she came out to David – and the rest of Australia.
"I was on this show, talking about this charity [LGBTQ+ charity Minus18] and it didn't feel right because I knew I wasn't being honest with myself," she told the outlet.
"If I'm going to put myself out there to talk about inclusion and having the courage to be yourself, then I better start walking the walk."
She went on to say that she spent the last two years single, grappling with her identity as she approached dating men and women.
Friends thought someone was impersonating her when they found Maria's dating app profile set to both genders, furthering her fears of coming out.
Maria also grew up in a "very Christian household – my dad is a former Catholic priest" and she worried how her family would react to her sexuality.
Taking to Instagram after the episode aired, Maria revealed that her younger brother Dom, who is gay, helped her on her journey of self-acceptance.
"Before the show, I had only come out to a handful of people," she penned alongside a photo of herself in rainbow makeup.
"My brother took my call at midnight last night and talked it over with me - and I realised the reason I've been so f--king scared to do this is exactly why I need to."
Maria confessed that only seeing heterosexual people and relationships in the media and society around her had caused feelings of confusion and shame.
"A lack of bisexual visibility for most of my life has meant that the experience was confusing and there were parallels to other experiences I had with social identity," she explained.
"Fear of falling in between the cracks, never fully finding a place in myself. But when I spoke to @domthattil, he reminded me about why we call it #PRIDE."
She concluded her message by reminding the world that her sexuality is "no longer a secret to protect but a part of me to celebrate".
The I'm A Celeb… fan favourite was flooded with supportive messages from her fellow contestants, as well as other Australian stars.
Dannii Minogue also commented, writing: "🌈 loving these words and pictures. You will fly the flag for so many people now."
Australia's first bisexual Bachelorette Brooke Blurton left a string of pride flag emojis in the comments section, to which Maria replied: "I love you. You have helped me more than you know."
Maria's on-screen admission follows a recent trend of LGBTQ+ representation in Australian reality TV, with networks slowly improving the diversity in casting.
This year marked the first time a Bachelorette dated contestants of multiple genders, and Married At First Sight has cast multiple queer contestants.