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Netflix Star Francesca Farago on How Dating Shows Like ‘Perfect Match’ Are Changing the Game for LGBTQ Representation on Reality TV

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from episodes 1-8 of Netflix’s “Perfect Match.”

If you’ve tuned into Netflix’s newest dating show, “Perfect Match,” you’ve seen singles frolicking around and romancing each other, in hopes of finding their so-called perfect match. And as part of this quest to find love, the reality TV contestants do not discriminate when it comes to jumping into the dating pool.

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The cast flip-flops dating each other and each other’s exes, as they test the waters to see who they might discover to be the best companion.

On the show’s latest episodes, star Francesca Farago dates a woman who is new to the house, Abbey Humphreys (an alum of Netflix’s “Twentysomethings: Austin”). In earlier episodes this season, Farago dated Dom Gabriel from “The Mole” and Damian Powers from “Love Is Blind.”

Perfect Match. (L to R) Dom Gabriel, Francesca Farago in episode 02 of Perfect Match. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix / © 2023 Netflix, Inc.
Francesca Farago with Dom Gabriel in “Perfect Match.”

The reality dating genre has always been notoriously straight. But in recent years, as Netflix aired fresh dating competitions, casts have diversified to bring much more sexual inclusivity to television.

Still, Farago says that when she signed onto “Perfect Match,” producers did not inform her that she would have the opportunity to date both men and women. “I think that was something that I kind of guided towards during filming,” Farago tells Variety.

“I reached a point where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to remain in the house anymore because I just I didn’t know if there was someone for me there,” Farago continues. “I knew who was there, men-wise, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can waste anyone’s time by continuing to match with these men that I know I’m not going to get along with.’ Then, I found out there was a possibility of me being matched with a female, and I was like, ‘In that case, I will stay for that.’ I wasn’t even sure if it was going to happen because it was a heterosexual show. But I’m glad that it happened, and I’m glad that that relationship happened as well. I kind of just switched up the game.”

Perfect Match. (L to R) Francesca Farago, Damian Powers in episode 05 of Perfect Match. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix / © 2023 Netflix, Inc.
Francesca Farago goes on a date with Damian Powers “Perfect Match”

If you follow Farago on social media (she has nearly six million followers on Instagram), you probably know that after she wrapped filming “Perfect Match,” she met someone else. Farago is now in a committed relationship with trans TikTok star Jesse Sullivan, and the two constantly share updates on their life together.

Farago says that Sullivan receives death threats because he is proudly trans and open on his social media. Because of this, Farago recognizes the significance of being queer on a global streaming platform.

“Especially the way the world is right now, I feel like there is so much going on. It’s crazy, the hate towards our community. The hate is a lot louder than anything else,” she says. “People are still getting death threats and people are still getting like attacked in public and it’s very dangerous for people in our community, especially certain members.”

She continues, “I feel like representation is so important because it’ll show audiences that we’re normal people. Just because we identify in a certain way doesn’t mean that we deserve this huge amount of hate.

“My boyfriend is trans, and he gets death threats on his posts,” Farago adds. “And he’s just a nice normal dad. He’s so sweet. To have these aspects of public hate from that just proves that the more representation we have, the more positive it will be because people will see that we’re just normal people.”

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