Words: Will Stroude
Love Island bosses might insist that including LGBTQ people on the hit ITV2 dating show presents "logistical difficulties", but in life, LGBTQ people really are part of the picture regardless of whether people choose to acknowledge or accept it.
As pressure continues to build on Love Island to start reflecting the diversity of modern relationships, former Islander Sharon Gaffka has revealed that she came out to one of her castmates in a scene that never made it to television.
Gaffka, who departed series seven of the sun-soaked reality gameshow last month, told Metro that she had opened up to castmate Faye Winter about her attraction to women in front of the cameras.
"I had a conversation with Faye about it and she asked, 'Are you bisexual?' revealed Gaffka.
"And I said, 'It’s something I’ve explored but I’ve never been in a relationship with a woman'."
The civil servant continued: "A lot of the conversations I had were about modern dating on the show were never aired, but I was very open about sexuality and being a mixed-race woman in modern dating."
Back in June, Love Island commissioner Amanda Stavri pured cold water on the idea of inviting gay people onto the show, telling Metro: “In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island.
"There’s a sort of logistical difficulty because although Islanders don’t have to be 100 percent straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up."
Stavri insisted that ITV was mindful to include more diversity on other shows on the network, adding: “With our dating shows, such as The Cabins, there is much more sexual diversity. The formats don’t have as much restrictions as Love Island.
"So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series. But that’s the difficulty with Love Island."
Love Island continues weekdays at 9pm on ITV2.