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Megan Barton-Hanson: 'We Really Need An LGBTQ+ Version Of Love Island'

Megan Barton-Hanson: 'We Really Need An LGBTQ+ Version Of Love Island'

Megan opens up on Love Island, social media trolling and her mission to de-stigmatise sex work.

Love Island Season 4 alumni Megan Barton-Hanson is calling for the show to create an LGBTQ+ version.

Megan, 28, who identifies as bisexual and has had a number of high profile relationships with men and women, says that although she doesn't think it will happen, she would love to see ITV create a more diverse version of the show.

"Every year it's out I'm like, we need an LGBTQ+ version," Megan tells Tyla.

"Strictly bi people. It would be so good and so refreshing, but I don't think it's ever going to happen. The absolute drama of it, can you imagine? Everyone would be nicking each other's boyfriends and girlfriends."

Megan Barton-Hanson is calling for Love Island to create an LGBTQ+ version.
Instagram/@meganbartonhanson_

Discussing the need for television shows to be more sexually diverse, Megan adds: "There aren't really many bisexual men [in television], there are bisexual women I feel, that's kind of getting more accepted.

"I have a lot of messages on OnlyFans from men saying they want to experiment and that they don't know how they feel about their sexuality, but they're scared to come out as bi.

"If we saw more of that on our screens it would be so healthy for young boys."

While Season 8 of Love Island is now in full swing, Megan remembers what it was like to first step into the villa only four years ago.

Crashing into the villa as one of the show's 'bombshells', Megan admits she was 'petrified' when she first stepped inside.

While she now runs her own successful OnlyFans page, Megan previously claimed she was asked to delete her account before joining the cast, due to Love Island being a 'family show'.

Megan and Wes during Season 4 of Love Island.
ITV

Explaining how she feels she has had to suppress her work in the past, Megan tells us: "When I went on Love Island I was petrified. I'd never been on TV before, so in the early stages I didn’t identify as a sex worker. There’s such a stigma with even saying 'sex worker' and now I use it more.

"... I've never watched my series back but I remember one of the first conversations I had was with Dr Alex. He told me he was a doctor and asked me what I did, and in my head I thought 'right, I've got two choices, I can either play it down or tell him I'm a stripper'.

"There's a part of my personality where I love to shock, so I told him I was a stripper."

As her journey in the villa progressed, Megan certainly didn't have an easy time, and explains that when she left, the negativity about her sex work and cosmetic surgery 'snowballed'.

From fans accusing her of 'stealing' Wes Nelson from Laura Anderson, to throwback 'pre-cosmetic surgery' images infiltrating social media, Megan says she was 'the most hated islander' on her series.

Megan appeared on the fourth season of Love Island.
ITV

"When I started dancing and became a stripper, I got a lot of hate in my local area, so I thought I'd experienced trolling on a smaller scale anyway and I would be fine going into Love Island," says Megan.

"But I was not prepared for the following I got. People would say ‘you’re not a good role model’ but when you sign up to Love Island, you’re doing it for yourself.

"For me it was a personal growth thing. I'm such an introvert so to be on that show amongst really loud people, I knew it was going to progress me and make me develop as a person.

"There's so much pressure to have this squeaky clean, perfect image, but I've never said that I am perfect. I feel like I was the most hated and the most talked about contestant on my series - sometimes I wish I had had it easy and had come from a background of office work, I feel like my mental health could have coped with that better.

"But, having said that, just having one message from someone saying 'oh you’ve really helped me how honest you've been,' it makes all those struggles worth it. "

Megan is doing her best to try and de-stigmatise sex work.
Instagram/@meganbartonhanson_

Four years on, Megan is doing her bit to try and de-stigmatise sex work and flip old-school attitudes about sexuality and feminism.

As well as selling her content on the platform, the OnlyFans star is also a columnist for Vice and runs her own podcast, You Come First.

"A lot of the older generation hear 'sex worker' and think of escort or prostitute and that’s not that," says Megan.

"Only Fans could be sex work, or stripping, web cam or glamour work. I'm just trying to use my platform to de-stigmatise it. Why are we so quick to judge women?

"It's always directed at the women who are the sex workers, but never at the men who watch porn most evenings. If we broke down the taboo around sex work - and sex in general - we'd all be so much happier."

Tyla has reached out to ITV for comment.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Celebrity, Love Island, LGBTQ+