Jack Vidgen on how Mardi Gras helped him to come out

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here star Jack Vidgen will perform at the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the first time on March 6 at Sydney Cricket Ground atop a show-stopping float for Koala, the official sponsor of the parade.

This year's theme is "comfortable in your own skin", something Jack told Yahoo Lifestyle he had previously struggled with.

Jack Vidgen will perform at the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the first time on March 6 at Sydney Cricket Ground atop a show-stopping float for Koala. Photo: Getty
Jack Vidgen will perform at the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the first time on March 6 at Sydney Cricket Ground atop a show-stopping float for Koala. Photo: Getty

"It’s definitely been a journey for me," Jack told Yahoo Lifestyle. I think people can see that now as well, with recently doing I’m A Celeb. It’s been really nice [with it] being 10 years since I kind of first came onto people’s TVs, it’s been a nice full-circle moment to have people getting to know me and getting to know the me that is a lot more comfortable in my own skin now.

"It’s definitely a journey and I think it’s one that we’re all on our whole lives, being comfortable in our own skin.”

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Speaking of I'm A Celeb, the 24-year-old shared how the most "nerve-wracking" part about it was that there was nowhere to hide thanks to the cameras that were around 24/7.

“I didn’t really know how people were going to view me, I just went on there just to be myself and it’s been really amazing that everyone’s been really warm and supportive," he explained. 

"I think that the most nerve-wracking thing is that there’s no option but to be yourself in there because you’re filmed 24/7. So, it was really nice that they liked me.

Jack wore this cute pink ensemble to the 2020 Mardi Gras in Sydney. Photo: Instagram/Jack Vidgen
Jack wore this cute pink ensemble to the 2020 Mardi Gras in Sydney. Photo: Instagram/Jack Vidgen

“It was cool because I think I’ve done all different shows in the past and they only show the very small part of who you are and your personality, so it was nice that people got to see me for me.”

Now that he's out of the jungle, Jack is getting excited about his Mardi Gras performance. He shared how important Mardi Gras can be for young queer people and the impact it had on him when it came to coming out.

“My first Mardi Gras experience – my mum and I used to live on the corner of Oxford St and Hyde Park and our balcony would look over the whole of Oxford St. So kind of 14, 15 years old, I was watching the parade with mum just in my mind going, ‘Am I gay?' This was way before I came out. But that was my first experience at seeing Mardi Gras," he said.

“I always said, because I had that question of whether I was attracted to guys or what does that mean. And I think living on Oxford Street with mum and getting to watch the parade, there’s all these little things that kind of build you up and lead you to the point to feel comfortable to come out.”

He shared what it was like the first time he actually attended the parade. “Going to Mardi Gras [for the first time], I was probably 20 and getting all dressed up and putting lots of glitter on and getting to watch the parade, it was definitely a very liberating experience.”

Jack revealed the first time he questioned whether he might be gay was while watching the Mardi Gras parade when he was around 14. Photo: Instagram/Jack Vidgen
Jack revealed the first time he questioned whether he might be gay was while watching the Mardi Gras parade when he was around 14. Photo: Instagram/Jack Vidgen

Speaking of his experience coming out, Jack shared that he feels "blessed" that it was a "beautiful moment".

“I had a really beautiful experience coming out, everyone in my life was so chill about it," he said. "It wasn’t a big deal, it was so chill. So many people have not a good experience and that’s super sad to me. But I’ve had a really blessed time with coming out and I think it I got to a point in my life and my sexuality where I was excited to come out.

“I mean, I had a girlfriend until I was 19 and then at the end of being 19, I had a boyfriend, which was kind of a quick transition! But it was a really beautiful moment for me.”

One thing Jack wouldn't share, however, was what he'd be wearing during the performance. Though, he did describe it as "next level".

“Oh my God, it’s next level, that’s all I can say," he said. "I had to go somewhere from the pink [outfit last year], so definitely trying to level up this year.”

He added that he's "really excited" for the performance and working with Koala, "The creative ideas they have are just so insane so I’m just so excited to see everything come together, so I think it’s going to be a very beautiful moment.”

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