“I broke my tooth and the best Bachelorette is queer!” I typed into Xtra’s Slack channel yesterday afternoon. (We’re a Very Professional bunch.) While the two are unrelated, it was an eventful lunch-hour in my home.
Gabby Windey, who famously starred in last year’s two-Bachelorette season with Rachel Recchia came out on Instagram and The View Wednesday. “Told you I’m a girl’s girl!” she posted alongside a series of photos of her and TV writer and comedian Robby Hoffman. In a video on her Instagram story, she said she wanted to wait to reveal who she was dating until she was ready, “because it is part of a larger conversation.” On The View, she said she wants to live her “full truth,” and thought that disclosing it now was best for her and her girlfriend.
Windey, 32, is a former Denver Broncos cheerleader turned ICU nurse, whose wry sense of humour made her a fan favourite on Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor in 2022. After appearing on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Windey went on to compete on Dancing with the Stars last year, finishing second with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
While Windey is not the first Bachelor contestant to come out as queer, she is the first former Bachelorette to. Other queer contestants of the franchise include Becca Tilley, Demi Burnett and contentious season 23 Bachelor Colton Underwood. (The latter got an entire Netflix series devoted to his coming out, but he also allegedly stalked his ex, so we celebrate that one least.)
Windey said on The View that there was a “whisper in [her] that got louder and louder,” describing coming into her sexual identity. She also discussed navigating shame and how right her current relationship feels.
Windey has received support from former co-star Recchia, and Tilley, who commented “We love a girl’s girl.” She’s also received supportive comments from franchise alum Ben Higgins and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Though Windey left her season of The Bachelorette engaged to Erich Schwer, the couple’s off-camera relationship was short-lived. Fans on social media were quick with quips about how Schwer’s “win” should have been a sign.
When asked if she thought she’d only continue to date girls, Windey said yes, then clarified “my girl,” going on to say she envisions the long-term with Hoffman. Hoffman has worked on shows such as Odd Squad, Workin’ Moms and The Baroness Von Sketch Show and has also done stand-up and talk shows. She currently has a TV series in development with Showtime and A24.
Michelle Young may actually be the Best Bachelorette, in my books, but Gabby and her epic realness and weirdness have a special place in my heart. Whether it’s her being honest about her difficult childhood, making a raunchy joke, introducing viewers to her adorable Grandpa John or Being An Out Queer with an Awkward Girlfriend, I’m here for her. And I’m ready for more queer/Bachelor crossover content in the world anytime!