We caught up with the queer couples in the cast to hear all about the show 

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

Last night was a turning point for reality television as MTV’s latest dating show, True Love Or True Lies, aired its first episode. The show features couples from all walks of life, including queer, non-binary and trans folk, all fighting to be deemed the perfect couple. 

There’s just one small twist, though. Not all of the couples are actually together. Some are just faking their relationship in order to win the cash prize, which only builds when the players spot the fakes. 

Sound like enough drama for you? Well, it’s on every night for the next two weeks so you’d better not miss an episode! 

We chatted to some of our favourite couples from the show, who are representing the LGBTQI community to mainstream audiences on MTV. Here’s what they had to say! 🏳️‍🌈

Poppy and Parisa

DIVA: Why is it so important to see queer representation on mainstream dating shows? 

Parisa: We never went in there to make a statement about being a gay couple. The fact that we got to go in there and be normal and just show that queer relationships can be normal, I think is the best representation this show could possibly have. 

DIVA: Did you gravitate towards the other queer couples on the show?

Poppy: I think we just tend to gravitate towards people who are similar to us. We just gravitate towards people who we get along with regardless of if they’re a part of the queer community. 

Parisa: For us as a gay couple, we’ve never gone out there as really serious advocates for the community. That would be naive of me, because I don’t have all the knowledge. Obviously we support LGBTQI rights whenever we can, but we’re not really active in the community. There were some queer couples we didn’t get on with, purely because we wouldn’t hang out with them in the real world.

DIVA: How did your friends and family react when you two first became a couple?

Parisa: This is the first time we’re really out as a couple. A couple of our friends back home knew, but publicly I certainly wasn’t out until I met Poppy. I’m half Persian, so my family did take it quite hard. I’ve never really had the conversation with my dad, but the other day we all had breakfast together. That’s what’s more important to me. Just living our life together. I didn’t want it to be dramatic. 

Poppy: I never really came out to my parents. I just brought Parisa back and said, “This is my girlfriend”.

Timothie and Mahatma

DIVA: Did you have to set up any boundaries about what you would reveal on the show?

Mahatma: We had a code word for when we needed each other to stop talking. The word was “cray”. The problem is the show isn’t just about your relationship, it’s about everybody’s relationship. You can think somebody is fake, because somebody is doing something and you don’t do that. 

DIVA: Why is it so important for you to see queer representation on mainstream dating shows? 

Timothie: As someone who is trans, non-binary, I think it was so important for me to do this show. If I had someone like me on TV when I was a teenager, I would have got it a bit more. 

DIVA: Do you think it’s harder dating as a queer person? 

Timothie: I’m really grateful we didn’t meet through a dating app. If you send me a text, you won’t get a response. We live in such a digital age and dating apps are revolutionary for queer dating. There’s a place for everyone online – even people like me who are femme presenting, plus-sized and not the stereotypical person you would see on a dating app. 

Charlie and Chloe

DIVA: Why is it so important for you to see queer representation on mainstream dating shows? 

Charlie: The only trans people in the media are shown after their transition. You never see a person on TV in a binder, or taping their chest. You never see anybody going through it – it’s always the finished product and everyone is so desperate to get to that, they forget to enjoy their life as they’re going through it. To have somebody like Chloe, who loves me even as I’m going through all of this, is a really big thing. 

DIVA: Did you always have a crush on Chloe?

Charlie: I tried to kiss her the first night I met her and she said, “Get away from me. I’m not gay.” I was a bird at the time and she was straight.

Chloe: Charlie came out to me one weekend and we really kissed for the first time. When we were driving to work the next week, we acted like nothing had happened. We didn’t tell anybody for so long. When he transitioned, I basically told him what to wear and made my perfect boyfriend.

Charlie: Our friends always thought we were together before we actually did get together, because we were so close. It was strange, because we had been friends for ages, but it just felt right when we finally let it happen.

Think you have an idea of who’s faking love and who’s making love? You can play along every night on MTV and find out if they’re liars or lovers.

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.

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