Could the original Bachelor finally be getting their first gay lead? It appears so.

The beloved show made its on screen debut in 2002 and have since featured LGBTQIA+ contestants in the spinoff Bachelor in Paradise, yet there still hasn’t been an all-queer series in the US.

“We hope to get the opportunity to do that,” Jason Ehrlich, executive producer, told Variety. “The most wonderful thing is that love is universal and so is the frustration of not finding love. We’d love the opportunity to tell all kinds of people’s stories.”

Fellow executive producer Bennett Graebner added, “during my tenure on the show, the two spinoffs that have been pitched to be the most frequently are a Bachelor for older people and a gay Bachelor. We checked one of those boxes. We’re talking about checking out the other box.”

The executive producers were discussing the future of the programme whilst season 28 is in post-production. Casting for season 21 of The Bachelorette is underway and the first season of The Golden Bachelorette is slated for autumn.

The show has had notable LGBTQIA+ alumni including Colton Underwood, who made his debut as a contestant in 2018’s The Bachelorette, before appearing on Bachelor in Paradise on the fifth season. He later led the regular Bachelor series in 2018 for its 23rd season.

In 2021, after his appearances on the show, the former football player came out as gay during an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America.

He explained: “For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time and I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay. I came to terms with that that earlier this year and have been processing it. The next step in all of this is sort of letting people know.”

In 2019, Demi Burnett made history in the sixth season of Bachelor in Paradise after she popped the question to Kristian Haggerty, making it the first time a same-sex couple has done so in the franchise’s run.

If the show were to cast a gay bachelor, this would not be the first lead who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The Bachelorette Australia led the way casting Brooke Blurton as the first openly bisexual lead in 2021. The series followed Blurton going on a series of dates with both male and female contestants.

Blurton ultimately found love with Darvid Garayeli, however she received backlash for choosing a male partner. The star then called out the biphobic response on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Man oh man, twitter expressing this level of biphobia is hugely disappointing. No words.”

She explained to The Guardian the impact this could have on queer youth: “I was thinking about the young people that are going to see this and think ‘Oh well, she just ends up with a man so there’s no hope’, or ‘She’s just straight’ … People are just not getting it.

“I really opened myself up this season and showed so much vulnerability in doing it, and I did it bloody proudly. I loved it. And I’m still friggin’ bisexual! Just because I’m with Darvid doesn’t mean my attraction to women just stops.”