The Latch

Dipper’s Heartfelt Talk With Jack Vidgen on ‘I’m a Celeb’ Helped Other Parents Talk About Sexuality With Their Kids

AFL legend Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico was ejected out of the “jungle” and into the swamp during January 28’s episode of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! after an impressive stint on the reality series that saw him become a father figure of sorts to his fellow castmates. 

In particular, his heartfelt conversation with Jack Vidgen about the singer’s coming out story not only struck a chord with fans of the show, but parents struggling with how to broach the topic of sexuality with their own kids.

“I was so happy and honoured that we had that discussion, and to tell the truth, it happened naturally,” Dipper told The Latch. “And so many people have commented on it and said ‘Look, my son is gay, he’s 12 years of age, I know he’s gay, but I didn’t know how to bring it up. You’ve given me the balls to do it now.’ That was from a mother. So more people are having that conversation, and it’s really lovely.”

While his conversation with Vidgen may have touched many people, his tense encounter with Abbie Chatfield about her choice of swimwear had many others divided. 

Speaking with nothing but fondness, Dipper praised Chatfield for her courage. 

“What a powerhouse Abbie is,” the AFL legend said.  “What I love about her is that she stands up for herself. People hide sometimes and are too afraid to talk, but not Abbie.”

Elaborating on the miscommunication the two shared Dipper said, “It was a throwaway line: ‘You’re not going out like that,’  but after watching it, I understood exactly the way it came across. It certainly wasn’t the way I meant it, but they showed a conversation that I was a part of, and I learned from it, and we twerked it off!” 

When asked what he learned about the younger generation that perhaps surprised or impressed him, Dipper mused, “The only thing maybe is that sometimes they might bite if they don’t know where a comment comes from, and they tell me ‘You can’t say that anymore’. Well, that’s fine, but sometimes that gap is not approached in a good way.” 

One millennial activity that Dipper is now well versed in, is the art of DM’ing, having learned all about it from his younger castmates including social media star Alli Simpson

“People are DM’ing me and I’m DM’ing back!,” Dipper said excitedly. “I’m just 997,000 followers behind Alli, but I’m getting there! I’m even verified now!”

As for what the Brownlow medalist learned about himself during his time in the jungle, Dipper revealed that he is still very competitive. “If there’s a challenge, I’ve got to win it,” he told The Latch

So, just who does Dipper think will be crowned King or Queen of the Jungle in the finale of I’m a Celeb? 

Jess [Eva] – she’s such a beautiful bogan,” Dipper offered. “But Grant [Denyer] also really opened up, he’s been through a lot that young man. I reckon it’s between those two.”

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