People Magazine
August 22, 2019 9:13 am
@demi_not_lovato, Instagram

Demi Burnett is pushing back at critics who had negative things to say about her same-sex relationship. The Bachelor in Paradise star, 24 years old, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday, opening up in her first television interview about her surprise romance with Kristian Haggerty.

This week, Burnett—who came out as queer last month—decided not to continue dating Derek Peth, instead reuniting with Haggerty, a non-Bachelor franchise alum she’d been dating in Los Angeles before going on the show. It was a history-making moment that sent Bachelor Nation into a frenzy, leading some trolls to send Burnett hate online.

One way Burnett has been pushing through the hate has been by focusing on the positive messages from fans.

“There [are] so many messages on my [direct messages] on Twitter, Instagram, of people who are thanking me because they have been struggling with the same thing that I went through,” she said. “Knowing that I helped somebody just by being who I was, that’s amazing for me. And it feels really good.”

It also helps that her parents have been supportive. On BIP, Burnett said that coming out to them was difficult. But as hard as that was for Burnett, the response she received from her mom and dad made it all that much easier.

Burnett and Haggerty are still together and have been displaying their romance on social media since Monday’s episode aired.

“It’s fun being able to show her off and tell the world about this person that nobody has ever heard about because she isn’t a part of Bachelor Nation, so it’s fun being able to show off our relationship now because it does mean so much to both of us,” Burnett said on GMA.

On BIP, she told Haggerty, “The second that I saw you, I knew—it’s you. It’s always been you. I want to be with you.”

We’re so happy Burnett is able to be vocal about her love now. BIP airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.