Fans Are Praising “Riverdale” For The Way Cheryl Came Out To Toni Topaz
8 March 2018, 13:17 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 14:22
"When Cheryl said she used to be happy until she basically had to hide her sexuality... I felt THAT"
Cheryl Blossom finally opened up about her past on the latest episode of Riverdale and it was heartbreaking.
It was clear from the very first episode of the show that Cheryl was not the one-dimensional, stone-cold, heartless teenager she appeared to be. Over time, we've seen the emotional abuse that she's suffered at the hands of her own mother, she's dealt with the crushing loss of her beloved brother and later finding out that it was her own dad who killed him.
Cheryl has notoriously kept her guard up around school friends and new people, but in the latest episode of the show, she finally opened up to Toni Topaz about her past in an emotional heart-to-heart and it explained so much about why she is the way she is.
In the episode, everyone who hasn't been invited to Bughead and Varchie's sad couples weekend getaway at the Lodge lodge goes to see Love, Simon (nice bit of cross promo there Greg Berlanti, we see you). Kevin ends up going with Josie and Cheryl unexpectedly finds herself going with Toni.
The film ends up being a catalyst for Cheryl, who we see crying during a scene where Simon's mother reassures him that she accepts him for who he is. Toni later approaches her in Pop's and asks why she was crying during the film. Cheryl then hints that she's been hiding a "secret", just like Simon in the film.
"Everyone thinks I'm this love-less monster but it isn't true," she says to Toni. "I loved someone, who loved me. But my mother destroyed it." Toni then asks whether she was talking about her brother Jason and when Cheryl says no, she finally opens up about her past and the one thing that's caused her to keep a guard up all these years.
It turns out, the reason why Cheryl is so emotionally cut off is because her mother once caught her with a girl and later made her feel like was the scum of the earth.
"Her name was Heather. She was my best friend in junior high. She used to sleep over every weekend until one night my mother caught us in the same bed. She said I was deviant." Toni, finally giving Cheryl the acceptance she's craved and needed for so long, then replies: "You're not loveless, you're not deviant... you're sensational."
Many fans are praising the show for how it handled Cheryl's emotional and brave coming out, some even finding parallels in Cheryl's struggle with their own lives.
when cheryl said she used to be happy until she basically had to hide her sexuality...i felt THAT— silver (@hoIIyjsincIair) March 8, 2018
cheryl’s heart is breaking watching love simon because she’s seeing beautiful friendships, a beautiful family, a beautiful love story, a beautiful coming out story- all the things she thinks she’ll never have— love, ginny (@lgbtwlw) March 8, 2018
CHERYL COMING OUT AND TONI TELLING HER THAT HER BEING BISEXUAL ISN’T A TERRIBLE THING AND THAT IT MAKES HER SENSATIONAL I’M IN LOVE pic.twitter.com/BBZYkmOivk— ً (@veronldges) March 8, 2018
“you’ve never known love cheryl” to “you’re not loveless” pic.twitter.com/QoZ7fJGFKg— liv is in the icu (@cheryIstopaz) March 8, 2018
When Cheryl started crying cause she stopped being a happy kid to hide her secrets. I bawled. That pain is so real and true. pic.twitter.com/gZo4mez0re— Choni 🍒 Bitch (@ToniBloss) March 8, 2018
CHERYL WAS FINALLY ABLE TO COME OUT TO SOMEONE AND YOU COULD SEE HER LET OUT A BREATH OF RELIEF AND YOU COULD SEE HOW SOFT SHE WAS AND TONI WAS SO SUPPORTIVE AND UNDERSTANDING AND KNEW HOW TO HELP CHERYL THEY REALLY ARE THAT COUPLE— kane (@katedisons) March 8, 2018
Cheryl coming out is so relatable, she had to hide her feelings for a girl cause of her homophobic parent that's me right there— dahyun as a variety show mc (@dahyunsjongin) March 8, 2018
While Cheryl didn't specify what sexuality she identifies with, Madelaine Petsch has recently confirmed that Cheryl is bisexual. In a YouTube Q&A, she explained that "Cheryl is definitely interested in both women and men. So, I would say she's bisexual. I think you're gonna see a lot more of her figuring out who she is."
With Cheryl now trusting Toni enough as someone she can confide in, fans are also starting to ship the pair together. But instead of throwing them into a romance straight away, Riverdale have a real chance to create a layered and realistic portrayal of a young teenage girl in a small town overcoming the trauma from her past, figuring out what her sexuality actually is and finally accepting herself - and they need to take it for the sake of their audience.