I’m a Celebrity’s Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico may have drawn criticism for his dated conversation with Abbie Chatfield about the way women dress, but his heartfelt conversation with fellow contestant Jack Vidgen has won the AFL star some points.
During Sunday’s (January 11) episode of the hit reality competition series, Vidgen — who openly identifies as gay — answered Dipper’s questions about his experience of coming out. While telling his story, Vidgen also told the former footy player that he knows several footballers who are closeted.
“I probably know about 10 or 12 footy players, I’d never say their name, that are gay but they wouldn’t come out,” Vidgen told Dipper and fellow former AFL player, Travis Varcoe. “It would be a really hard thing to go through in that industry.”
Retired AFL player Varcoe acknowledged how sad it is that no one from his game has felt comfortable coming out saying, “We have so much acceptance in our game for everything.”
During the episode Vidgen also got candid about his own coming out, telling Dipper that he had dated a female for two years even though deep down he knew that he was gay.
“I kinda always knew that I was attracted to guys,” the singer said. “I feel like I probably would have been ready to come out a bit earlier, but probably cause just everything that happened and being known in the public… it wasn’t going to be like ‘tell a few friends’ coming out.”
Vidgen won Australia’s Got Talent when he was just 14-years-old and started dating a man at 19, which enabled both of them to come out, a feeling that he described as the most incredible of his life.
“I think that gave me the courage because we both came out together to our families and friends,” the now 23-year-old said. “I think that helps having someone else to do it with.”
Vidgen explained to Dipper some of the internal struggles and dialogue he experienced while grappling with his sexuality saying, “It becomes something in your head that’s dirty and disturbed. You think something’s perverted when it really isn’t; it’s the absolute opposite.”
The conversation, which bridged the gap between the “Boomer” and Gen Z sensibilities has been widely praised by I’m A Celeb viewers for its genuity and sensitivity. One fan even described the moment as “healing” in an enthusiastic post on the show’s Facebook page.
Vidgen himself expressed his thoughts about his heartfelt chat with the Brownlow medalist, calling it a “beautiful moment” in a piece to camera.