So, I don’t know how many people out there keep up with the UK telly, but something amazing was just going down on what is normally a generic and trashy reality show.
The 21st season of Big Brother in the UK just concluded and that shit was bloody brilliant! As an American, I didn’t know much about the show except that Courtney Act was going to be on the show. Now, I’ll say, if I were 15 years old, I would have watched that show every night of the damn week.
You see, as a teenager, I used to love Big Brother….And you know what, I should probably have a Big Brother breakdown here for everyone, because Big Brother is completely different in every country around the world.
Here in the US, Big Brother used to be like a fucking marathon event. The show was on, for no joke, almost 3 months. That means that everyone who made it into the top 7 got to stay for the entire 3 month period, whether it’s in the house, or the sequester house. I know that in other countries, the show is only on for about a month. And then sometimes those Celebrity Big Brother seasons are only like 3 or 4 weeks.
Anyways, so as the gay kid in Ohio who was beat up and made fun of constantly, Big Brother seemed like a dream come true. It was this house filled with all these hot fun people, AND THEY WERE LOCKED IN WITH YOU….FOR 3 FUCKING MONTHS!
It just seemed like the ultimate way to make friends. You could be close to all these people, and you were never alone. The hot jock would have to get to know you because you were sharing a room. The pretty cheerleading type would become your friend because an alliance needed to be formed. The wise old woman who’s been through shit could give you advice all damn day because you’re sharing a house together. It all just seemed so perfect! I was sure that the reason I was alone all the time was because nobody ever took the time to get to know me. But, if they were locked in a house with me for three months they’d have to! It would be like one big family at summer camp!
So anyhoo, I used to watch the show religiously. All the episodes. They’d have the Sunday, and Tuesday, shows and the Thursday live eviction show. I used to fantasize about being the house with them. Watching all these people share a bedroom, share a shower, share the hot tub, share everything. For someone who was alone all the time, Big Brother was fuckin wet dream for me. I loved the idea of having people in my life…even if they did potentially want to vote me out of the house. I used to stay up in bed at night, fantasizing that I was a member in the house too; making friends, and living life to the fullest. I used to love the hope and excitement I felt watching that show, feeling that some exciting adventure was just around the corner!
But as I got older, the show lost it’s luster. I stopped thinking that every new person was a potential friend. My heart hardened. Walls were built to protect myself. I stopped watching the show.
But, something with this new season began to attract my attention. I started seeing news articles creep up about something incredible happening in the Big Brother House. This season of UKCBB (United Kingdom Celebrity Big Brother) was titled “Year of the women” because this year marks 100 years of women having the right to vote in the UK. The show was already leaning towards a discussion of gender, and threw in 2 extra dimensions into the storyline.
The first was India, The UK’s first trans woman to be a part of a news team.
And the second was Shane J / Courtney Act, a drag artist who was previously famous from Australian Idol back in the mid-2000’s (which Shane did in drag as Courtney and pioneered the way for others) and then more famously, Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
And then to counteract all of this, they also brought in ultra-conservative politician and super crotchety old woman, Ann Widdecombe.
So, sparks started to fly because India was just god-awful, and Ann was just an old dusty bitch. But the entire house, and all of the UK began to fall in love with Courtney. She had multiple conversations with everyone in the house about gender, sexuality, and performance. She was willing to talk to anyone about the differences between drag, and trans. The difference between gay and pansexual, and the difference between gender and biological sex.
She even took to debating Ann about some of the more conservative and Anti-gay policies she helped enact back during her time in parliament. But what made Courtney so amazing was her ability to always remain calm, collected, and willing to engage in any conversation that may have come up.
And everyone loved it. She was the house favorite, and the entire nation fell in love with her for knowledge, self confidence, and beauty. The UK as a whole even started a national conversation on gender because of what was going down on the show. She wasn’t just teaching the other housemates, but she was teaching an entire country, and thanks to the internet, the entire world!
So this is first part of where I started feeling myself wake up inside. There’s just something about Courtney Act that I need to be more like. I need to carry myself with her confidence. I need to walk into a room and actually feel like I belong. Somehow, even though Courtney Act tends to look like a slutty drag queen Barbie, she ends up being the shining light in every situation she’s in. I need to have the self love and respect that she has.
Furthermore, during the season, Courtney Act managed to school everyone on gender and sexuality. She not only carries herself well, but she is phenomenal in conversations. She took what could have been some very difficult and controversial moments, and spoke to housemates about them as if it were just the most natural thing to her. I need to be better at communicating with others.
Check out Courtney given’ the boys a lesson on Drag and Trans:
So yeah, I’m a guy, and I have never done drag, but damn, there’s so much to learn from Courtney Act.
Secondly, there was a bit of a show romance happing in the show as well! There’s an insanely cute guy on the show named Andrew Brady (He was on the UK Apprentice or whatever…)
So get this…. from the very first second Courtney Act walks into the Big Brother house, he’s in love with her.
And from there… a Bromance/Romance began!
They started getting really close, and Andrew was constantly flirting with Courtney Act.
Throughout the show the “friendship” grew and grew…..
And then, as time went on, Andrew started like Shane, even out of drag… for a gay boy like me, it was like magic was happening. A hot straight guy was getting along with a man who, out of drag, was an effeminate guy, and in drag was….well, a drag queen. It was so amazing to see Andrew form this friendship and not care about labels or what other people may think. He was just himself, and Courtney was just herself…and they connected. It was amazing and heartwarming to watch.
Oh my God…. they even had tub time one night! It was fuckin’ amazing! So yeah…that fifteen year old inside me who used to watch Big Brother hoping to find an amazingly close friendship… well, he felt super pleased watching this season. I get those butterflies in my stomach again watching this season, just like I used to when I was a teenager. I find myself laying up in bed at night again, imaging myself in the house….Imagining some handsome straight guy was becoming my friend, and was having tub time with me too! I get this rush watching this season… a rush I haven’t felt in such a long time. The rush of youthful excitement and passion and hope for some great adventure. And ya know, I’ve missed that feeling…and I’m glad it’s back!
And You know what, everyone noticed that she was a shining light as well… because she won!
Watch the win here:
But look, I think we can all be winners here. I think we can all learn a lot about being your true self and letting yourself shine, even if your true self is something that the common man might find odd or different. Courtney went into that house and literally changed people’s minds about the LGBTQ community and that is fucking amazing! Let’s all try to be beautiful, engaging, and inspiring people!
~ The Dark Horse