Riverdale fans have had a lot to grapple with this season, between Betty spending her free time hiding dead bodies and the Lodges further cementing their status as the Worst Parents of All Time with each new episode — but the news that the cherry-lipped, brazen Cheryl Blossom is, in fact, bisexual is bringing some much-needed joy to the dedicated fandom.
Actress Madelaine Petsch confirmed Cheryl’s sexuality on her recurring Youtube series, #AskMads last week, when she was asked by fans about her character’s sexuality (twice).
When prompted to talk about the episode where Cheryl stalks her crush Josie, Madelaine didn’t attempt to defend her character’s actions: but she did have an explanation.
“Cheryl just wants to have friends, and wants to be loved and wants to be surrounded by people,” she explained. “Josie is the only person who has ever shown any interest in her, as a friend even. She doesn’t understand feelings very well, and I think she’s mucking up a friendship with romantic feelings, because she’s never really felt love before…Josie has extended a hand to Cheryl of friendship and Cheryl is either misreading it or she doesn’t know how to communicate those feelings back. It was her way of not really knowing how to communicate friends and still figuring out her sexuality.”
Then, Petsch addressed Cheryl’s sexuality again when a fan straight-up asked her if she is bisexual.
“She is still figuring out what her sexuality is,” she said. “Cheryl is definitely interested in both women and men, so I would say she is bisexual. I think you’re gonna see a lot more of her figuring out who she is.”
Riverdale already has one confirmed bisexual character, Toni Topaz, which is applaudable given how common bi erasure is on mainstream network television. LGBTQ+ and heterosexual fans alike are taking to Twitter to virtually cheer on the much-buzzed-about character development.
Petsch shared an Instagram this week teasing Cheryl and Toni talking over milkshakes in next week’s episode, and to say that fans are shipping the characters is a sweeping understatement.
“I’M READY FOR CHONI,” one user wrote.
“I ship,” another added.
We’ll be watching.