Dear Gentle Readers: ‘Bridgerton’ author backs LGBTQ+ trajectory of Francesca’s season

Julia Quinn shares the tea about ‘Bridgerton’s’ decision to flip the central character’s gender to pave the way for the show’s first same-sex couple.

“Bridgerton” author Julia Quinn recently opened up about her initial reservations when Netflix’s showrunners proposed a major gender bend: turning Micheal Stirling into a female character.

This bold move sparked heated debates among die-hard fans, as Michael, now Michaela Stirling, is set to become Francesca’s love interest in her own season of the hit series.

In the original books, John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin, and Francesca’s husband, dies at the end of Season 3. This leaves Francesca and Michael, John’s cousin, grappling with their feelings and guilt as they mourn their lost loved one.

But in a jaw-dropping twist, Season 3 of the show ends with Michael becoming Michaela Stirling, hinting at Francesca’s future as part of the series’ first same-sex main couple.

According to Quinn, the show needed to stay true to the heart of her beloved book series, even as it takes creative liberties. This was why she had numerous talks with showrunner Jess Brownell to ensure Francesca’s season remains authentic.

“I’m confident now that when Francesca has her Bridgerton season, it will be the most emotional and heart-wrenching story of the show, just like ‘When He Was Wicked’ has always been the true tear-jerker of the Bridgerton book series,” said Quinn.

“Honestly, it may pack even more of a punch, since John is getting a lot more time on the screen than he ever did on the page, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve all fallen a little bit in love with him,” she added.

She also thanked book fans for fiercely defending her characters through this exciting evolution.