David Graham believes he has walked away with the biggest prize from this year’s Big Brother .

He didn’t make it to the final eviction and he may not have won $500,000 but, for him, the prize was seeing his lover Sherif again -“ in front of 1.5 million television viewers. For him, it was the final part of a three-month coming-out process, experienced on national television.

It was as much for the nation’s psyche as for myself, he says. I wanted to show the broader community that anyone can be gay and also for those gays that don’t fit into the mould, that you do have something that you can identify with.

Easy-going, blokey, and a terrible dancer, Graham knows he’s not what the typical Australian television watcher thinks a gay man is like. That’s part of the reason he lasted so long, he believes.

People came on a journey with me because I didn’t confront them straight away, he says.

You know, like saying I’m gay and being all flamboyant and stereotypical. It wasn’t like I walked into the house and said, look at me, I’ve got a feather boa around my head.

And it wasn’t an act. Finally freed from the clutches of Big Brother and with his hunky lover Sherif by his side, David is heading back to his 5,000 acres in southern Queensland.

When we hugged it was an overwhelming clarification that this is the man that I want to be with, he said.

He’s also talking about increasing his involvement with the National Party, hoping to reform the organisation from within.

One of the biggest reasons I’m involved is if you want to change family policy you don’t start on the left, you start on the right and then by shifting the right to the left you shift the entire group of parties, he says.

It kind of makes sense that you push rather than pull because there’s no way you can pull staunchly conservative people, you’ve got to push them.

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