An individual’s sexuality need not be something we routinely focus on. But when it comes to a reality TV show that’s dedicated eight weeks to finding out who is romantically interested in who, sexuality is inevitably called into question.
And that is what has happened repeatedly on this season of Love Island for one contestant: Curtis Pritchard.
Of course, none of it should matter in the show’s grand pursuits – to find love – but after ITV ruled out same-sex ‘coupling ups’ on the show, none of the contestants has addressed their sexuality this series. Well, apart from Maura Higgins once admitting she had “been with a girl”.
But that has not deterred fans from questioning the sexuality of those they see on their screens, and many have repeatedly questioned Curtis, in particular.
Curtis turns down Maura’s advances
In episode 53 (Thursday, July 25th) things were getting a little bit hot and heavy for most of the Islanders. But after Curtis turned down Maura’s advances, viewers couldn’t understand why.
He repeatedly gave the reason “tonight is not the night” to Maura as they lay in bed together, which didn’t make her too happy.
In the morning he clarified that he was “knackered,” but that didn’t seem to be a good enough reason for some viewers. Twitter users jumped to homophobic slurs after the scene aired and would not drop the fact he did not want to ‘go all the way’ with Maura.
There are plenty of reasons Curtis Pritchard did not want to, the obvious – apart from that he was too tired – that he did not want to have sex in a room full of other people… a completely reasonable request!
The ‘manly man’ issue
Curtis’ refusal to get up to funny business with Maura in episode 53 is not the first time his sexuality has been called into question.
Many viewers have taken the fact that Curtis is a dancer and not as stereotypically ‘macho’ as the other male Islanders to homophobically question his sexual orientation and campness.
i’ll say it once and i’ll say it again camp does not = gay and it’s so damaging to non “macho” straight men to think that way.
the comments that r being made about him are vile
— Alex lawless (@alawless74) June 27, 2019
And these speculations seeped into the villa during the ‘side bar of shame’ challenge in episode 50 (Monday, July 22nd).
After the challenge, Curtis acknowledges that as a dancer, he has dealt with people thinking he is unmanly or camp his entire life.
I’m not bothered if people think I’m manly or unmanly. I’ve danced all my life, people have said it to me. I am who I am and I know who I am.
Tommy and Curtis’ bromance
Since Tommy and Curtis kissed in episode 21 (Tuesday, June 25th), viewers have thought that Tommy and Curtis were more than just friends.
But considering that there have been no speculations that Tommy Fury is gay, even though he has been as complicit in the bromance as Curtis, that leads us to think the speculations are more to do with Curtis’ camp nature.
Tommy the macho boxer has not been considered as gay, yet Curtis the dancer has.
Oh, the things this show reveals about society…
After the challenge, Curtis’ mum Debi spoke to OK! Magazine and said: “Curtis is comfortable enough in his sexuality to be confident in expressing himself. It doesn’t matter how other people perceive it”.
His brother AJ also chipped in that “It’s 2019. He can kiss Tommy on the lips”.
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