Who Else Expected Benedict Bridgerton To Be Gay?

Who Else Expected Benedict Bridgerton To Be Gay?

Netflix premiered what has quickly become a smash-hit TV series, Bridgerton, which is a steamy period romance set in Regency-era England and based on Julia Quinn’s eponymous novel series. The show, a delightful escapist indulgence, revolves around the titular Bridgerton family, a prolific aristocratic clan with eight alphabetically named siblings. This season focuses on the oldest daughter and fourth child, Daphne and her quest for a husband, which ends up becoming a passionate, whirlwind romance with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. And among those supporting this storyline is one character, Daphne’s older brother named Benedict Bridgerton.

The Bridgerton boys (l-r): Benedict, Gregory and Colin

Benedict Bridgerton is the second oldest Bridgerton sibling (after Anthony and before Colin) and Anthony’s heir presumptive to the Viscountcy of Bridgerton. He is portrayed as a sweet, sensitive, and charming young man who is close to his siblings in general but opens up mostly to Eloise, the second oldest girl after Daphne. Benedict, being a second son, isn’t expected to shoulder any major responsibilities and should instead live a life of leisure. But he yearns for something more than this life of idle frivolity. He likes to paint and has a deep interest in the arts. He draws recreationally and takes pleasure in critiquing the works of other artists. In one memorable foot-in-the-mouth scene, Benedict is telling Lady Danbury at an art gallery how one of the paintings does not convey enough depth, with the painter, Sir Henry Granville, standing right there next to him.

This is how he meets Henry Granville, who becomes his friend and eventually invites Benedict to his home where he hosts a more intimate art club. Benedict goes to Henry’s and starts drawing nude portraits from life, which Henry thinks are really good.

Even before it is later revealed in the show that Henry Granville is gay, the connection between him and Benedict as they bond over their disparagement of art felt like a lead-up to something more intimate between the two men. When Henry extends the invitation, I thought: Surely, this is only going to end up in a smooch, a kiss between them. I mean, both of them are quickly revealed to be second-born sons, for chrissakes!

Sir Henry Granville chuckling at Benedict Bridgerton’s witty disparagement of art

That, of course, doesn’t happen. But that is only the first visit.

Benedict comes back to see Granville, this time, at his more adventurous soiree, which is basically an artsy orgy. It is there that Benedict meets Madame Genevieve Delacroix, a modiste who fakes a French accent for clients, and they end up having a threesome with another woman.

It is also there that Benedict, in searching for more privacy from the orgiastic crowd, opens a door to a room where he sees Henry making love to a man. He lingers at the door only long enough to exchange a look with Henry – a moment which I breathlessly anticipated he’d enter the room, walk over to the bed and join the two men.

Henry in the arms of his male lover

But again, I was disappointed. He instead shuts the door and returns to Genevieve and the second woman, who, it turns out, is Henry Granville’s wife.

The next time Benedict meets Henry at a London soiree, and is properly introduced to his wife, Lucy, he gets so embarrassed and quickly hustles himself out of the situation. Poor man! Not only does he now know that his new friend is a homosexual, but he had slept with his wife too?!

Finally, when he attends yet another party – this time with not only Henry and Lucy in attendance, but Henry’s lover, Lord Wetherby – he decides to talk to Henry, wanting to “understand your…situation. I would just like to understand.” He seems genuinely curious and maybe a little judgmental.

“You’re married,” he says in incredulity when Granville admits that he is in love with Lord Wetherby, to which Henry replies, “And our marriage affords my wife her freedoms and protections. It is a happier union than most of the people in this room have, I assure you.”

But Benedict isn’t finished. He presses on, “And what is the advantage for the young ladies Lord Wetherby is courting? Do they also share this understanding? What about honor? Romance?”

It was at this point that my last hopes of this man possibly being gay were crushed. He is not. He couldn’t be.

But before I could wallow in my grief, I watched Henry deliver a rebuttal that was simply riveting. Reacting to the censure in Benedict’s words, he says, “We live under constant threat of danger. I risk my life every day for love. You have no idea what it is like to be in a room with someone you cannot live without, and yet still feel as though you are oceans apart. Stealing your glances, disguising your touches. We cannot so much as smile at each other without first ensuring no one else is watching.”

There is something so saddening about noting that the realities of gay people in Regency-era England are the reality of gay people in modern Nigeria.

Anyway, back to Benedict, nothing else happens in this season to suggest that he could be gay. In fact, he continues his relationship with Genevieve and even tells Eloise and Anthony about her. So it can be assumed, for now, that Benedict is not gay. As each of the show’s seasons is going to be based upon one Bridgerton sibling’s love story (as in the books), we can assume that Season 2 will focus on Anthony’s quest for true love and Benedict will get his turn in Season 3 (if the series continues for that long). Benedict Bridgerton is the protagonist in Julia Quinn’s third Bridgerton novel, An Offer From a Gentleman. The synopsis suggests that a Cinderella-like fairytale romance is in store for the second Bridgerton boy if the show’s creators decide to follow the source material.

Or maybe they don’t follow the source material and throw in a latent discovery of his homosexuality and a gay lover. I mean, Lady Whistledown would get a kick out of exposing that scandal.

Written by Pink Panther


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  1. Alabi
    January 03, 07:31 Reply

    I really want to believe there’d be more to him in next season. He’s too perfect to be straight and who knows he might figure out his other side with the help of Henry. Also I really hope Eloise would be a queer woman, I really want that, she got that feminist aura and I love that energy. Let’s hope season 2 would be better

  2. Mandy
    January 03, 07:44 Reply

    They queer-baited us in the trailer, which is just unnecessary because, seeing as it’s a Shondaland production, I would have watched the show without the expectation of a queer storyline. Expectations that were shattered when the scene they showed in the trailer turned out to be the only gay scene in the entire series .

    • Mitch
      January 03, 09:11 Reply

      Thank you!!
      The queer-baiting was so very unnecessary.

  3. Rio
    January 03, 13:19 Reply

    It was a cruel bait to say the least, unless he’s bi and we’re yet to see that side. It was such a disappointment when he fell into the laps of the madame.
    That said, Anthony has already set a preamble, that the Bridgerton men are unstable. I wouldn’t be surprised if Benedict is bi, maybe he just hasn’t met the guy

  4. Noldor Prince
    January 03, 14:11 Reply

    I still imagine Benedict hasn’t fully discovered himself. He might not be gay but there’s nothing suggesting that he wouldn’t turn out to be bi or pan. That aside, Shondaland and Netflix queer baiting us was just very low of them considering there was actually no queer storyline in the series. I would have watched it without the baiting.

  5. Realme
    January 03, 22:53 Reply

    Benedict is GAY

    That all I’ve to say!!!

    We need Dem gayness all over that beautiful man
    Shondaland owe us that!!!!

  6. Tristan
    January 04, 00:40 Reply

    Okay, I just started watching the show and I didn’t know there would be any queer-related issues accosted to it. I just gonna pay more attention to it RN for being on KD.

  7. […] While the romance between Charlotte and George obviously takes center stage as the two deal with the political pressures usually put on a royal marriage and the slowly emerging issue of George’s illness, it’s not the only love story we were treated to. This spinoff also brought us the very first queer romance in the Bridgerverse (I am still side-eyeing the missed opportunity with Benedict Bridgerton). […]

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