“Going into the show, last season we had Khanh Ong and Brendan Pang, Reece Hignell and Courtney Roulston, and there was a lot of positive discourse around representation around queer people, and queer people of colour and people of colour,” Trent tells WHO. “That really reassured me going into the show.”
“[Then,] Melissa Leong’s there, she’s a gay icon. I felt a lot more comfortable in applying for the show and navigating all of that… Half of the contestants are people of colour and looking around and seeing such diversity, I said this on Instagram but basically, it’s really multidimensional stories.”
The 23-year-old former marketing employer adds that unlike some shows or past examples of Asian representation, he never felt that he or his fellow contestants of colour were treated like the butt of the joke.
Instead, it was just “stories that are based in realism and us being real and telling our stories.” All sides of his identity were embraced, celebrated and shared.
“It’s such a great thing for the show to be celebrating that, and I’m really glad that that happened because I kinda gave them everything,” he joked.
“‘I’ll give you the gay card, I’ll give you migrant child card, I’ll give you unemployed because of COVID card,’ even with all that, I’m really glad that they led with me being a gay Asian man.”
“I was really happy that that happened, and hopefully we’ll see a lot more of that this season because we have such strong cooks that are from such diverse backgrounds. Kishwar’s got her Bangladeshi followers, Minoli’s got her Sri Lankans, people are loving Tommy’s story, it’s really, really, great to see and I’m so lucky to be a part of that.”
MasterChef Australia 2021 continues on Sunday night at 7:30pm on Channel Ten.