Tonight's explosive episode of The Block saw Mitch and Mark draw a line under their fall-out with host Scott Cam after he appeared to make what the team considered to be a homophobic remark.
As he delivered the critique for Mitch and Mark's "party room" he referred to "people like you" – a term Mitch and Mark deemed to be offensive. Scott later clarified that he meant "cashed-up empty nesters".
While the pair have since "made peace" with Scott over the miscommunication, Mitch explains to TV WEEK the heartbreaking reason behind his initial reaction.
"I just wanted to hide," he says. "I was dressed flamboyantly [at the time] and I felt I looked like a gay person. I just wanted to disappear. I didn't want to be there. I just thought, 'Get me out of here'. I'm 56 and still going through this. When will it end?"
Mitch says that in that moment, he was reminded of the struggle he'd face growing up as a gay man. He didn't come out as gay until his mid-thirties, by which point he'd married and had three children.
"For me, the idea of being gay was absolutely out of the question," he explains.
Now Mitch says he and Mark are "better friends" with Scott as a result of the blow up.
"Scott Cam is not a homophobe," Mitch says. "He's not judgemental. When Scott walked off [following his apology] we felt awful. We both said, 'We owe that man an apology'. He was raised as we were raised – that there was a certain type of 'normal' that was acceptable. He's become very open to accepting everybody. I know friends of Scott's who are gay or different and he doesn't discriminate towards them or anyone, and I should've seen that."
The Block airs Monday to Wednesday, 7.30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, Nine Network.