Former Love Island star Katie Salmon revealed that she received heavy criticism from some people in the LGBT+ community following her relationship with fellow contestant Sophie Gradon on the show.

In 2016 the pair became the first – and only – same-sex couple to appear on the programme.

Salmon had worried about how her family and friends would react to her being bisexual. However, upon leaving the villa and returning to her home city of Liverpool, negative reaction from her community was a shock to her system.

According to Salmon, people doubted the authenticity of her sexuality, and accused her of pursuing a relationship with a woman for media attention.

She tells BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme:

Why can’t I be who I want to be? There’s nothing to be ashamed of, there’s nothing to feel bad about.

I felt like they all doubted [that I was bi], were criticising me.

I was really upset to be honest that they’d not supported me – my own community who had probably felt those [same] nervous feelings of coming out.

Since the show, she admits some men she meets view her sexuality as a fetish.

‘They see it as a sexual thing,' she says.

They think it’s entertainment for them. They’ll be like “Oh, you like women as well, you like threesomes.”

A recent study by Dr Brian Bodge, finds that the ‘vast majority’ of biphobia he has faced comes from gay and lesbian people, and other studies suggest this discrimination contributes to people staying quiet about their sexuality.

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