Shannon Purser of Stranger Things comes out as bisexual

From what little I know of Shannon Purser, Barb from Stranger Things, I like her. Purser has made headlines for being open on social media about her mental health issues, including anxiety and self harming. She’s currently starring on CW’s Riverdale, a series based on the Archie comics. Last week Purser, 19, posted a series of tweets revealing that she was feeling anxiety over her sexuality, which was at odds with her Christian upbringing, apparently.

US Weekly posted this story and they included a link to their interview with Purser from February where she got quite candid about battling depression, anxiety and isolation as a younger teen. She sought professional help and encourages others dealing with depression to get help. She came across as very open and raw about what she went through, and it was refreshing to read.

Anyway apparently Purser tweeted something she regrets in regard to fans of Riverdale who are shipping a same-sex relationship on the show between characters Veronica and Betty. She deleted that tweet and I’m not technically savvy enough to find it again, but in response she apologized, said she wasn’t “queer-baiting,” and came out as bisexual. Here’s what she wrote, via US Weekly:

I don’t know exactly what she’s apologizing for but as far as those things go that was a nice explanation and apology in that she’s taking responsibility and admitting she needs to learn more. It’s also brave to come out as bisexual and I like that more celebrities are feeling comfortable enough to come out. It’s primarily been women who have come out as bisexual so far, but it’s progress and visibility helps. I look forward to seeing more from Purser, she’s vulnerable and open and that’s got to be difficult as a public person, especially with all the crap they’re subjected to online.

photos credit: Getty Images

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11 Responses to “Shannon Purser of Stranger Things comes out as bisexual”

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  1. slowsnow says:

    It seems that men don’t come out as bisexual so easily right?! Or am I hallucinating?

    • Dolkite says:

      There’s more of a social cost to coming out as a guy. Unless they come from a religious background (like this actress has), women are usually lauded for being bisexual and it’s no big deal. A guy admitting he likes the idea of kissing and having sex with another guy is a big leap for most men.

      • slowsnow says:

        Yes, that’s what I was implying/thinking. Let’s face it: it’s hot for a woman to be bisexual whereas for a man it means giving away his masculinity card I guess.
        Therefore, sometimes, cynical me tends to think some female celebs fabricate a bisexual persona in order to been seen as sexy and edgy. But not in this case as it looks like a major journey for her.
        Also, I wonder – genuine question – why come out? I mean, you are with who you are and no one has anything to do with it. A friend of mine is gay as it comes – and identified always as gay – and fell hard for a woman. They’re still together after 10 years or so. He says she’s the only one he ever fell atracted to.
        Life happens if you’re open to it.
        As for myself, I always thought of myself as straight until I felt attracted to women. But I would not think of coming out – especially because: who cares? I’m married with to a guy and have 4 children with him and have no plans to change that. But I did answer, when asked, to my older kids that I did not consider myself straight.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        There have been a couple of studies over the years showing that men are more likely to be (some of the studies phrased it as ‘be 100% convinced of being’) just straight or just gay, although there’s been an increase in guys coming out as bisexual, and that women are more likely to be bisexual.
        @SlowSnow: While it’s not true that a person pretending to be gay or bisexual has never ever happened before, internalized misogyny plus unequal and inaccurate expectations about how bi/pan/lesbian women are supposed to be and represent play a huge role in why it’s the women and girls who aren’t believed when they come out . Women in general just aren’t trusted when it comes to sexuality- whether it’s coming out, whether it’s speaking on what is or isn’t empowering to them individually, being trusted to make decisions for themselves, or anything else. There was even a study done a few years ago in 2013 or 2014 about how people are more likely to rate women they consider ‘trashy’ (as in slutty) as dishonest. Liberals also seem desperate to expect people who aren’t heterosexual to automatically present as more woke, intelligent, innocent, and overall less flawed and exposed than the straights, so when a celebrity who’s a woman doesn’t live up to those lofty ideals comes out as bisexual, it’s ‘she’s lying’ or something. When this gets called out, people will shift the blame for their ignorance and bigotry by saying ‘well maybe if she lived/acted/presented herself differently, I wouldn’t have said that.’

      • slowsnow says:

        @Otaku Fairy. I am very well aware of the ingrained mysoginy that aims to take away any voice and self-affirmation from women (particulalry when it comes to sex).
        To be clear: I am talking about women celebs and not women in general. Knowing that men have a lot more to loose by saying they are bi than women, for whom it’s a hot subject (this site being a good example of this but not only).
        I have a very low belief threshold for celebs with their PR’s and fabricated stories.

  2. Dizzy says:

    That’s nice and I don’t really care. I guess she feels better after sharing that with a bunch of judgemental strangers.

  3. Esmom says:

    First of all, wow, does she look different from her character Barb! I’ve never seen her out of costume/makeup from Stranger Things. The contrast is as dramatic as some of the Downtown Abbey characters in and out of character, lol.

    She is brave for coming out and for sharing her struggles, I give her mad props for that and hope to see her continue to succeed.

  4. NotSoSocialButterfy says:

    Sounds like the constraints placed on her by the faith with which she was raised caused her a lot of pain in relation to how she identified sexually. That can be so damaging to adolescents.

    Why, in this day and age, should anyone have to worry about what anyone else thinks of them, and feel lesser for being who they are. So hurtful and sad.

  5. Turtle says:

    It’s important for public figures to come out as LGBT because a level playing field for straight or cisgender people and LGBT people does not yet exist. You can still be fired for being gay in dozens of states; you can still be denied housing for being gay in dozens of states. Hate crime laws against LGBT people are continually blocked or struck down in dozens and dozens of cities and states. And with Emperor Bigly and his cronies in office, changing things is triply difficult. The more LGBT people (not just famous ones) come out and identify themselves and speak about their own stories, the less isolated and alienated and “othered” closeted people feel. Eventually it will become impossible to drown out all of the voices, but we aren’t there yet. Not by a long shot.

    • KC says:

      Interesting. I saw your post after mine up thread. I guess I just see equality in sexuality being those on the “fringes” being treated the same as those who are considered the “norm”. Straight people don’t ever have to declare or explain their sexual preference. I would think a level playing field would mean no one ever having to declare or explain their sexual preferences.

  6. raincoaster says:

    Ethel is wayyy cuter than she is in the comics.