‘I’VE ALWAYS BEEN PANSEXUAL’
Alex Nation, 26, won Richie Strahan’s heart on The Bachelor. While the couple later split, Alex has since found love with her fiancée Maegan Luxa, 31
When did you know you had met someone special? Alex: I knew there was something special about Maegs the moment I met her. But it was a confusing time for me. I thought, She’s my friend, but why do I care about and think of her so often? Maegs accepts me for who I am. I’m just totally in love with her! Maegan: I knew straight away. It was instant and felt like an electric shock.
Alex, how did you cope with coming out in a same-sex relationship so publicly? I’ve always believed in being true to yourself. It was nowhere near as challenging as coming out and being honest with myself. But I care more about myself than I do strangers who think they know me by what they’ve seen in the media. People ask, ‘Are you gay now?’ And I say, ‘No, I’m just Alex!’ I think I’ve always been pansexual; all my relationships have been about the connection.
What about your very public break-up? Break-ups are hard to go through privately, let alone in front of the whole country. My time with Richie will always be special. It taught me a lot; I’ll cherish the memories.
What’s the worst thing someone has said about your relationship?
The worst is: ‘It’s fake, it’s for publicity.’ That grinds my gears. Why would I put myself through that? My life can be complicated enough as it is!
How do you deal with haters? I just feel so bloody sorry for them. I’m not hurting anybody; all I’ve ever done is spread positivity and love. Those people really need a hug.
How did you guys feel to find out Australia said ‘yes’? We were over the moon, for everyone, for Australia as a whole. It’s a huge milestone for this country.
What would you say to any young woman currently exploring her sexuality? Do just that – explore it. Get to know yourself emotionally and sexually; it’s empowering.
What are your hopes and dreams for the LGTBQI community in Australia? It’s taken me a while to really celebrate my own sexual identity. I’ve now taken it upon myself to become the best damn gay I can be. My hopes for the community in Australia are similar; I hope we can continue to grow and support each other outside the bounds of labels; to be proud of our community, but also as individuals.
How does it feel to be called a role model?
It’s humbling. Hearing from our LGBTQI family is a privilege. Whether people are asking me for advice or seeking support, I am always happy to listen. I learn something from every member of our community and it’s an honour to be able to share their experiences.
Do you have a message for any young LGTBQI person reading this? Your sexual identity doesn’t have to define who you are or what you say; your sexuality is simply one part of the giant, beautiful, complex puzzle that makes up your whole self. You should celebrate everything about you, and also know that there is a community of weirdos out there who love all of you for you!
What is the best inspirational message you’ve ever been given and who was it from?
‘Shoot for the moon; if you miss, you’ll die in outer space, which is cool.’ My favourite person in the whole world, Katya Petrovna Zamolodchikova (from RuPaul’s Drag Race) told me that.