The internet is obsessing over Bridgerton characters Benedict and Francesca’s sexualities 

By Abby Amoakuh

Published May 20, 2024 at 12:59 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

My dearest readers. The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. On Thursday 16 May 2024, Bridgerton made a triumphant return to Netflix with the first half of its highly-anticipated third season. And, while we all sit around anxiously waiting for the second drop of the show’s third instalment, fans are spending their time analysing all of the show’s new romances and characters. So, over the weekend, X, formerly Twitter, was abuzz with two questions: is Benedict Bridgerton gay? And: is Francesca asexual? Here, my dearest ton, is the gossip dissected:

Is Benedict Bridgerton gay?

According to X, Benedict is giving chaotic, bisexual second-born energy. And I couldn’t agree more, to be honest. Clues of his potential queerness have been sprinkled into both previous seasons of the hit show. In series one, Benedict befriends artist Henry and starts participating in orgies, only to discover that a large portion of the participants aren’t strictly straight. Henry, in particular, reveals to the second-oldest Bridgerton boy that his marriage is only a cover so he can be with his lover in secret.

In season two, we see Benedict attend art school and although he begins a flirtatious romance with a female model and painter, he seems to form stronger bonds with his fellow male students.

Couple this with fluidity, non-adherence to social norms, and a subtle penchant for the theatrical and fans were convinced that we were looking at a bona fide queer icon.

“I’ve seen a lot of discussion about Benedict’s sexuality in season one. But the storyline [of him befriending] Henry was really about tolerance in a really intolerant time,” showrunner Chris Van Dusen explained to TV Line.

Nevertheless, Van Dusen went on to say: “Benedict has such a lovely openness and fluidity about him generally, and that’s really, really fun to play because it could go anywhere,” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Are we leaving the possibility for a queer awaking open?

So far, the show has steered clear from featuring a lead LGBTQIA+ character to the dismay of many fans. Yet, the possibility that we might just be leading up to a queer Benedict season is getting a lot of these fans back onto the Bridgerton train.

Is Francesca Bridgerton asexual?

Next up is Francesca Bridgerton. Her societal debut is one of this season’s main storylines and with it came a lot of speculation about her sexuality too.

Let’s take a critical look at the evidence for potential queerness: Francesca is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of finding a husband. The family’s sixth child even plays the funeral march on the pianoforte mere hours before she is supposed to be presented to the queen as a debutante—kind of an iconic move by the way. Unlike her sister Daphne, Francesca doesn’t wish to be the diamond, dislikes flirtation and the attention of many suitors, and only really seems happy practising her musical skills.

Indeed, when one potential suitor, Lord Samadani, presents her with the idea of birthing eight children, our girl taps out and leaves the room.

Many fans took this to mean that Francesca might be asexual or demisexual.

Is Francesca Bridgerton autistic?

Others, however, took Francesca’s introversion and reserved attitude to mean something completely different. Is it possible that the Bridgerton girl is autistic?

Many fans, specifically neurodivergent ones, read her introspection, hyper-fixation on her hobbies, and sensory sensitivities as clear signs of autism.

They even went as far as to presume that the suitor Francesca feels most drawn to, Lord John Stirling, might be neurodivergent as well.

Joyous over this potential disability representation, X celebrated the new people’s princess Francesca Bridgerton.

While we should probably still be careful to label and diagnose fictional characters, it seems like fans are definitely overjoyed to be seeing a bit more of themselves represented in the most recent iteration of the Bridgerton world.

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