Tayshia Adams told ET that she went on a “beautiful journey” as the first Black and Latina Bachelorette — and now viewers are seeing it firsthand. Tuesday’s episode of the ABC dating series saw Tayshia connect with contestant Ivan Hall about their biracial backgrounds and thoughts on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ivan — who is Black and Filipino — won a date with Tayshia after competing with a handful of other men in an impromptu singing competition. After a fun-filled night of playing games and ordering room service, Ivan and Tayshia sat down for a serious conversation, and he opened up about his younger brother, who was just released from prison after a 4-year sentence. As Ivan explained to Tayshia — who is Black and Mexican — the stories he heard from his brother about his treatment in jail made George Floyd’s death impact him in a different way.
“Especially with George Floyd and police brutality, that’s something that really hit home for me. You can only imagine how much wilder it could be in prison,” Ivan told Tayshia. “My brother used to tell me stories about how these COs, correctional officers, like, beat him up. And I felt so bad because my first question was like, ‘Well, Gabe, what did you do?’ It doesn’t matter. No matter what George Floyd did either way, or what my brother did, these people have a job to do and they need to do it right. They can’t just be hurting people for no reason.”
“So it made me check myself, especially this year, 2020,” he continued. “It’s been crazy stuff that’s happened this year.”
See Ivan and Tayshia’s full conversation below.
Ivan: With COVID and George Floyd, it’s just like, changed me as a man, honestly.
Tayshia: Has it?
Ivan: Yeah. How has the events of the world affected you today?
Tayshia: I don’t know, just like, the way the world is right now, it’s a lot. And It’s just overwhelming and sometimes I feel like it affects me more than —
Ivan: You even know, sometimes.
Tayshia: Yeah. I’m sorry [starts crying].
Ivan: It’s tough to talk about, for sure.
Tayshia: But I don’t know why it’s tough.
Ivan: It’s emotional. It’s super emotional, Tayshia.
Tayshia: I know.
Ivan: You’re human. It’s so tough, I get it.
Tayshia: But it just like, affects me, really — I don’t know why it does so much, but it hurts a lot.
Ivan to Camera: Being Black, especially in this climate, there were things she’s struggling with internally, that I can tell she’s struggling to say, and I want Tayshia to trust and feel comfortable to share whatever she’s gone through in her life.
Ivan: It’s tough to talk about, for sure. It’s so tough, I get it. But you make me feel comfortable, and I trust you. So I want you to feel that way with me as well and know that you can open up to me, and I support you no matter what. What’s on your mind?
Tayshia: Lately it’s just been like, I think being in Orange County, surrounded by a lot of people who don’t look like me, being the only person that looks like me, I’m realizing that I’ve been trying so hard my whole life to blend in, because I knew I was different. And then I just remember hearing people yelling Black Lives Matter. I mean, I don’t know why it made me cry. It’s a lot. This conversation is hitting me more than I ever thought. But I didn’t really want to cry about it or open up about it, but hearing people yell Black Lives Matter, it hit me more than I realized, just because those are people in my backyard who I’ve been trying to prove for so long that I’m the same as them.
Ivan: I 100% can relate. I went to a school where there weren’t many Black people there.
Tayshia: Literally same.
Ivan: This caused me to remember those things… randomly walking down next to my campus and being called the N-word randomly by some people.
Ivan: Happens all the time. Happened all the time to me in college. I remember that, and that’s just not right.
Tayshia: How has it impacted you?
Ivan: Honestly, it just inspired me more than anything. I never thought — in my lifetime, our lifetime, that so many people would come together for one common cause. I really never thought that.
Tayshia: Absolutely not.
Ivan: In the U.S., the way that things happened, it was like, so beautiful.
Tayshia: I feel like, I’ve had to put a lot into perspective. Like, what’s really important.
Ivan: It’s so crazy that I really like you so much, and I feel confident in saying that, we’re both biracial, have Black dads, and we have this beautiful love story developing. This is just so big. This is crazy, this is beautiful.
Tayshia: I think so too!
Ivan: It’s giving me chills, honestly. I literally have the chills.
Tayshia: It’s funny because like, I’ve never had this before. Someone who’s mixed like me…
Ivan: OK, Orange County.
Tayshia: I… 2020 made that happen, I feel like. In the sense that it’s just opened my eyes to seeing, “What the hell are you doing? Like, wake up!”
Tayshia: Why are you laughing? I’m dead serious!
Ivan: I’m laughing, but that’s just so real.
Tayshia: Like, having different, beautiful relationships with people I probably wouldn’t have had the fortune to meet is amazing to me. I would never think that this is what I’d be doing in my summer of 2020 right now. With you! You know what I mean?
Ivan: It’s such a beautiful thing.
Tayshia: I appreciate you opening up to me about your family and just how this entire year has impacted you, because I haven’t really been able to just talk to someone that really understands me.
Ivan to Camera: I really wanted to put myself out there first to show her that she can open up to me, and she did that. I saw the happy side, I saw the fun side. I also saw the real side and like, it’s just crazy the path we’ve both taken to get here. It’s almost like it’s fate that we’re both here right now and it’s going to be a beautiful love story, for sure.
With that, Tayshia gave Ivan the rose. “I love that we have something that’s something I’ve never experienced before and is so special, so I’d love to be able to continue to explore that with you,” she said.