One of Stranger Things’ young stars has come out as bisexual.
Shannon Purser plays Barb in Netflix’ sci fi-horror hit and Ethel Muggs in CW’s teen drama Riverdale.
On Wednesday (19 April), the 19-year-old came out on Twitter, after being involved in a row with Riverdale fans.
Some fans accused the drama of queerbaiting their audience by teasing a kiss between best friends Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes).
The CW never followed through with a romance, which is why people started complaining to the stars, including Purser.
In a now deleted tweet the actor questioned why fans who ‘ship’ Betty and Veronica (‘Beronica’) – ie see or want them to be in a romantic relationship – before fans called her out.
— jamie not spears (@jmiemarie) April 18, 2017
‘Riverdale had the chance to open doors and do something groundbreaking, something that would mean so much to so many young girls,’ one user wrote.
‘And I get that, representation is so powerful and important,’ Purser replied in an also deleted tweet.
‘But we didn’t write the show? We have literally no say in what happens.’
A few hours later, she followed up with a thoughtful note stating she’d never intentionally dismiss fans of LGBTI characters.
And in the same breath, she also came out as bisexual.
‘I don’t normally do this, but I figure now is just as good a time as any to get personal,’ she said.
‘I’ve only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much.’
— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) April 19, 2017
Purser said she was ‘very very new’ to the community and had never heard the term queerbaiting before.
‘That being said, I have never ever wanted to alienate anyone and my tweet was thoughtless,’ she said.
‘I wasn’t referring to all the Beronica shippers, just the ones who had been particularly cruel to me personally.
‘Either way, it wasn’t a wise or kind thing to say and I’m disappointed in myself, especially as a Christian who has always been taught to speak love to others.
‘Thank you to all the people who kindly reached out to me and educated me about the reality [of] your feelings about queer-baiting and I apologize to those who were hurt. Much love.’