CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA— In America, millions of cis-hets tune in to watch The Bachelor each week. According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen, it turns out that one trans person does as well. Nielsen has identified this trans person to be Logan Handler, a trans masculine 26 year old who has been tuning into the franchise since the Spring of 2017.
Nielsen contacted Handler to find out why he watches the show, hoping to garner information that could help them increase trans viewership for the program, but probably will not. Handler told a Nielsen representative that, although the show is ferociously heterosexual, it has shocking parallels to the queer and trans experience.
“It was full of people getting singled out, pulled aside, and asked the same questions over and over again. Lots of crying. Lots of self-doubt in terms of people’s manliness. I was hooked,” he said.
Handler does not own a television, so he started to watch The Bachelor at his cousin Rachel’s apartment with her 3 other cis-het roommates. After watching with Rachel, Handler decided that he had to tune into The Bachelor each week to see what these queers were up to.
While the the show is clearly by cis-hets, for cis-hets, Handler thinks that’s sort of beautiful and queer in its own special way. “The show celebrates love and straight marriage so intensely that you would think it just got legalized,” Handler explained. “They’re all also in a sort of poly relationship with one another until the last episode.”
Handler admits that it’s actually quite hellish spending over 2 hours with cis-hets, especially because they only really ever talk about wine, Patagonia-vest-wearing men, and who from their hometown is pregnant. However, he muscles through it to support the “straight gays” on the show and “his boy Chris Harrison”.
Nielsen reached out to host Chris Harrison for a comment on this special viewer, but he refused to comment because he “doesn’t believe in trans” and Handler thinks that’s okay. “He doesn’t have to believe in me, he just has to keep on hosting his beautiful show,” said Handler.
Handler told Nielsen that he likes how the show is getting more and more diverse with each new season. “There have been black Bachelors and Bachelorettes, there were briefly lesbians on Bachelor In Paradise, and I know that one day, there will never be a trans person on this show,” Handler said.