ZM Drive host Bree Tomasel has open up on the hurt she experienced having to hide her sexuality while working on Australian radio.
The Celebrity Treasure Island host talked about her experiences with RuPaul's Drag Race stars Kita Mean and Anita Wigl'it on their podcast, Kita and Anita's Happy Hour.
Tomasel came out on her afternoon radio show, which she co-hosts with Clint Roberts, casually and with little fanfare several years ago, mentioning to the audience that she was going on a date with a woman.
However, talking to Happy Hour about being a LGBT+ role model, she said that was a marked difference to her experiences in her native Australia.
"My radio job before this job, I remember having a conversation with essentially my boss telling him this is my life, blah blah blah, and him saying 'I don't want you share that part of you on the air'.
"This was before the gay marriage bill passed in 2016. I kept that secret on air. I had never spoken about it previously, but I was at that part of my life where I really wanted to."
Tomasel recalled feeling hurt having to keep that part of herself hidden from audiences, and that it took its toll on her personally.
"I see everyone else around me able to share and experience all these different things of their life but I've got to keep this one part a secret, and it really sucked."
When she moved to New Zealand, Tomasel said she never had a conversation with her new bosses at ZM about it initially, and that they just found out on their own accord.
"I remember having a conversation with my boss, and he said 'Whatever you want to do, whatever you feel comfortable to do, that's what I want you to do on the air'."
She said she didn't want to do a big announcement about it, and hopes that it can become more of a casual thing for other radio personalities in the future.
"I look at other people in the industry, even here in New Zealand, and it's a big song and dance and all this is made about it, and great if that's what you want to do, but I feel it shouldn't be like that."
Tomasel said that she feels a lot of her success in New Zealand has come since she was able to live her "whole truth and be exactly who I am".
That success includes co-hosting the reality TV hit, Celebrity Treasure Island, which attracted huge audiences when it aired during last year's lockdown.
Tomasel said that while she has huge fun on the show, it can be a tough experience hosting as she has known many of the contestants on the two seasons she's fronted with Matt Chisholm.
"You see them and you just want to give them a hug or talk to them and give them an ear as a lot of people are going through it. There would be a few times where I'd give out a few hugs to people and you'd get in trouble with the producers."