It may feel like we’re reliving the ’90s — Beauty and the Beast, Pennywise, Republicans tearing each other out of the frame about gay marriage — but it is actually two entire decades later and a person no longer has to come out on the cover of Time magazine talking about I’M GAY if they’re not straight. Perhaps you’re, say, a beloved young actress and are thinking that you’re maybe one of the 20 percent of Millennials who identify as LGBTQ. If you find yourself in that situation, you might approach the subject of queerness by nudging up against it on social media. No labels. No declarations. Leaning gently. Just enough.
It looks like that’s what Stranger Things‘ Shannon Purser did yesterday.
She’s not saying she’s queer, but she’s saying her sexuality doesn’t exactly fit in with the teachings of her faith, which seems queer, and is something so many of us (myself included!) have spent a long time working through in our gay ol’ lives. I wrote about 650,000 words of fan fiction where I made every character into a Christian with very religious parents when I was coming out, for example. Shannon Purser seems to be just going about her cool chill life hanging out in the original TV Batmobile (!!!) and occasionally thinking it through out loud on Twitter.
It looks like she’s doing the same thing we all did when we were figuring out what the heck with our own queerness: she’s studying the classics. Earlier this year she watched “San Junipero” and had a feeling about Yorkie, the shy burgeoning queer gal with a pal whose hyper-religious parents ruled her thought processes about life and love, and that feeling was: I feel ya, Yorkie.
Also, obviously: Rent.
Also also, obviously: Female Villains.
Also also also, obviously: Shipping Harry and Draco.
Every mainstream magazine and entertainment website and gossip blog ran with this story today, but if we’re being very honest with ourselves we know it’s Autostraddle where Shannon Purser is probably going to end up. (Hi, Mara Wilson!) So, Shannon, listen: Are you queer? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s not the ’90s, like I said. Take your time figuring it out. We’ll be here when you do.
P.S. Watch Carol.