The titular star of “I Am Shauna Rae,” 23, met the Welshman on-line and claims the 2 kissed — however they’ve but to place “label” on their connection.
All through the second season of “I Am Shauna Rae” — the TLC actuality present following the lifetime of a 23-year-old lady whose development was stunted after a childhood battle with mind most cancers — viewers noticed Rae’s “flirtationship” develop with a person she met over the web.
And now, he is talking out about among the backlash and criticism he is acquired since showing on the present.
Dan Swygart, 27, appeared in quite a few episodes of the present’s second season, which wrapped up on TLC earlier this month. On the present, the 2 stated they met on social media, with Dan truly messaging each Shauna and considered one of her sisters from her, earlier than sending Shauna flowers and retaining their conversations going. As he saved coming from the UK to go to her in Lengthy Island, the 2 acquired nearer — and whereas she stated the pair kissed, they by no means put a label on issues.
Per TLC, the truth sequence follows Shauna as she “strives to have the independence of an grownup whereas trapped within the physique of an 8-year-old.” Within the feedback of his posts about him all through the season, some viewers had questioned Dan’s motives about him when it got here to Rae.
On Sunday, Swygart posted a Reel to Instagram by which he defended their relationship — additionally calling it each a “friendship” and “connection.”
“Me and Shauna are nonetheless simply good mates attending to know one another. However I feel it is completely disgusting the perspective of some individuals. She’s been by way of a lot in life. She survived most cancers as a toddler, she’s all the time felt completely different and been handled completely different by society However how dare you’re taking away her proper, her human proper, to have a connection, a friendship, a relationship with another person? I started.
“Who’re you to say that she will’t have that? I’m completely disgusted by some individuals’s attitudes in the direction of her and my friendship along with her,” he continued. “I can not consider some individuals who deny her the proper to have a friendship or reference to another person. She is a human being, she is a most cancers survivor, she’s acquired incapacity, she had dwarfism. Who’re you to remove her proper to Have a friendship and reference to somebody? How dare you? How dare you?”
He added that he did obtain optimistic messages as nicely, from those that thanked him for “showcasing that it is okay to construct a connection or friendship with somebody who’s completely different by society requirements.”
When his first appearances on the present began to air in November and December of 2022, Swygart shared one other Reel by which he defined that he first reached out to Rae as a result of he was “actually impressed by her emotional energy.”
“She’s this unimaginable, inspiring 23 12 months outdated lady who simply occurs to be slightly bit quick,” he stated on Instagram on the time. “As quickly as you say she will’t have an actual world reference to another person, you dehumanize her, which is totally disgusting.”
“She is a human being, she deserves to have relationships and connections with whoever she desires,” he added. “I feel some individuals aren’t emotionally mature sufficient to grasp you can have a deep connection based mostly on persona fairly than simply on appears.”
Shauna’s mom Patty Schrankel commented on the publish, writing, “Effectively stated Dan. I recognize your coming into our lives.”
On the present, Shauna stated she felt there was a “chance” for love after assembly in particular person for the primary time. “Issues are very open, we’re not labeling something, we’re nonetheless mates, we’re retaining it nonchalant,” she defined, earlier than he came around from Wales and made sushi for her total household.
In the course of the dinner, her mother requested if they’d a “friendship” or one thing extra, prompting Shauna to reply, “Why do we’ve got to label something? It’s no matter occurs, occurs.”
She went on to name their scenario a “bizarre flirtation,” earlier than they met up for one more date and went paddle-boarding. Forward of the date, he stated that the pair have been persevering with to construct “a connection, attending to know one another and seeing the place issues go.”
After that date, considered one of Shauna’s sisters boldly requested him, “Who’re you to my sister? Do you have got a label? Are you mates?” His response from her: “We’re good mates, attending to know one another with out having to label it for individuals.”
In a confessional, Shauna spilled slightly extra on the specifics of their scenario — admitting, “Dan and I’ve kissed, I will simply put that on the market. We have kissed.”
The pair later talked about probably touring someplace collectively, which might be an enormous step for the duo. Rae, nonetheless, was hesitant and stated it was slightly too quickly for that.
“On the subject of particularly a future that entails Dan, I’d like to journey with him, I’d like to see the world the best way he sees it in a way,” she stated in the course of the season finale. “I do assume Dan and I’ve a ton of potential, it is only a matter of if we’re moving into the identical path on the similar time. As a result of he’s touring and I’m not at present. That would change every part.”
“I Am Shauna Rae” is streaming now on Discovery+.