• Hamish Macdonald hit his first red carpet with partner Jacob Fitzroy last week. (Instagram)
It was a simple acknowledgement of new love, and those who were really happy to hear about it.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

12 Jun 2019 - 9:34 AM  UPDATED 12 Jun 2019 - 10:04 AM

When The Project co-host Hamish Macdonald made his first red carpet appearance with boyfriend Jacob Fitzroy last week, the reaction from social media users couldn't have been more positive. Lovely comments and well wishes flooded in from TV viewers and media personalities around the country, thanking him for his visibility, wishing the couple well.

However, while news of the relationship certainly got a lot of attention, it was also a complete and refreshing non-event. There was no 'coming out' exclusive interview, there was no long-winded caption about internalised fear and shame (not that long-winded captions about internalised fear and shame are a bad thing).

There was just a simple acknowledgement of new love, and those who were really happy to hear about it.

This, I believe, is a sign that we're heading in the right direction.

Macdonald would have been well aware that taking Fitzroy as his date to the GQ Gentlemen's Ball in Melbourne last Thursday was going to spark some public interest. Not only are they an inhumanly attractive couple (which is always of public interest, don't fight me), most everyday Australians simply didn't know that Macdonald was a member of the LGBTIQ+ community.

"I'm always proud to stand beside by best friend and favourite human," he captioned a picture of himself and Fitzroy kissing in a photo booth. 

"And while I hope that one day soon it won't be newsworthy to hold the hand of the person you love, for now, we'd both like to say thank you for the overwhelming messages of love and support."

The comments came thick and fast - a natural response, I suspect, to being caught in an overwhelmingly negative 24/7 news cycle and thirsting after some good old-fashioned positive news.

"Thank you for showing how normal and natural your love for one another is," one follower wrote. "Simple displays like this help others to feel accepted and part of general society."

"One of the few occasions you are not the best looking person in the photo," colleague Natasha Exelby joked.

Still, when it came time for Macdonald to resume his place at the news desk for Sunday's episode of The Project, it was, quite rightly, business as usual - with no mention of the journalist's personal news from earlier in the week.

It was almost as if... it wasn't a 'coming out'?

It's hard to imagine, say, ten years ago, that a prominent media personality holding a prime time TV gig could have so smoothly shared such a private part of their life without it pulling attention from their work.

Yet, that's exactly what Macdonald did. He didn't 'come out' in the way we've come to expect it; in a way that implies years of inner turmoil, personal conflict and self loathing. We don't know if he identifies as gay or bi or pan - and, quite frankly, it doesn't really matter.

Why? Because Macdonald is absolutely right, coming out should be a thing of the past.

However, there is one thing I disagree with him on.

In a media landscape so fuelled by hate and bad news, holding hands should always be newsworthy.

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