Shannon Purser, A.K.A. Barb From “Stranger Things,” Just Came Out As Bisexual

"I don't normally do this, but I figure now is as good a time as any to get personal."

Last week Shannon Purser, who played fan-favorite Barb from Stranger Things, opened up about coming to terms with her sexuality. Last night, the actor officially came out as bisexual on Twitter.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29:  Actor Shannon Purser attends The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for People Magazine)
John Shearer/Getty Images for People Magazine

“I don’t normally do this,” wrote the 19-year-old Purser, “but I figure now is as good a time as any to get personal. I’ve only just come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It’s something I’m still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much.”

Purser, who also appears on Riverdale, said she felt the need to come out publicly to respond to accusations of queerbaiting on the CW drama.
 

 
Some viewers were upset that the same-sex kiss between Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) didn’t lead anywhere, but Purser defended her costars against “angry Beronica stans” in a tweet that has since been deleted.

“I’m very, very new to the LGBT community,” she wrote. “I have never heard the term ’queerbaiting’ in my life until today. That being said, I have never ever wanted to alienate anyone and my tweet was thoughtless.”

She explained she wasn’t criticizing everyone who ships Betty and Veronica, “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.”

Shannon-Purser-as-Barb-in-Stranger-Things
Stranger Things/Netflix

Purser has been open about how difficult it’s been coming to terms with her orientation as a Christian. Last week she tweeted, “I know what it’s like to have anxiety about [your sexuality.] Especially trying to come to terms with it and my faith. It can be really scary.”

Her decision to come out very publicly—in the middle of a Twitter row, no less—is a brave one, especially for someone so young. It’s also in keeping with Purser’s determination to be a positive role model. She regularly tweets messages of support for followers who may be struggling with anxiety, PTSD, and other issues.

Welcome to the family, Barb. We’re glad to have you.

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