Surprise surprise, bigots are mad at Francesca Bridgerton’s queer awakening in Bridgerton

Some viewers aren't happy to see LGBTQ+ representation unfold on-screen. (Netflix)

In a less-than-surprising move, bigots have made their thoughts known about Francesca Bridgerton’s queer awakening in season three of Bridgerton. Hint: They’re not happy about it.

Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton season three, part two ahead.

At the end of season three, part two, fans of the saucy period drama saw the newest Bridgerton sister (played by Hannah Dodd) debut in society and finally tie the knot with John Stirling (Victor Alli). 

Their relationship followed “the slow approach”, as Violet Bridgerton put it, with some viewers even convinced that she was asexual due to her perceived apprehensions when it came to physical contact. 

But there was a twist. Francesca gets introduced to her new husband John’s cousin, Michaela Stirling (Masali Baduza). Immediately, the newlywed appears flustered and starstruck by Michaela, causing her to stumble over her words and struggle to maintain eye contact with the new character. 

One thing is for sure, Francesca Bridgerton has finally had her queer sexual awakening. 

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Viewers are introduced to John Stirling’s cousin, Michaela Stirling. (Netflix)

But those who have read the books by Julia Quinn will know that the character falls in love with John’s male cousin after her husband’s untimely death. But showrunner Jess Brownell seems to have incorporated the ultimate gender swap into the series, causing bigots to reject Francesca’s upcoming queer storyline.

Let’s just remember that Francesca’s future love interest being gender-swapped is no different to the way the Netflix series blurred the lines of race, portraying 19th-century Britain with Black royalty and the elite. However, the introduction of the LGBTQ+ storyline had some viewers reeling.

In a 16 June Instagram post – three days after the release of Bridgerton season three part two – Dodd thanked her team for their support during the series’ press run. 

“Honestly takes about 20 people to get me to leave the house these days … beyond grateful to my team for getting me through the past few months,” she captioned a picture with co-star Alli.

But the comments section soon became a culture war of those for and against the queer representation on-screen which unfolded in season three of the Regency era series. 

“I’m really not a fan of what happened to your character,” one person wrote, as if LGBTQ+ representation on-screen is not a positive milestone. 

“Ridiculous how Shonda [Rhimes, the executive producer] ruined the [Bridgerton] series with Michael in a skirt for 4 bisexual geese. Bridgerton will lose a lot,” another threatened. 

Another wrote: “Justice for Michael Stirling!!!!”, while a fourth added: “Oh Hannah, fight for your character. The best book ever!”

However, sapphic stans took to Dodd and the series creators’ defence, with one writing: “So excited to see your story play out! Queer stories are so important.”

Another affirmed: “Hi Hannah, just wanted to say sorry people are being so terrible about Francesca and Michaela. Just know many sapphics are excited to see a sapphic endgame in the show and to ignore the homophobia.”

A third added: “As a bisexual girlie, you don’t know what it means to watch my favourite Bridgerton fall in love twice without boundaries of gender.”

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