Bridgerton’s Gay Creator: “[Story is] Very Closely Related to What s Happening at Home for Me”

TL;DR – Creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen talked to Out Magazine about his personal life as a gay parent and how it effected his hit Netflix show Bridgerton.

Chris Van Dusen calls his husband an important “sounding board” for story ideas for his show Bridgerton – particularly during lockdown. Their relationship is “within the DNA, definitely of Bridgerton,” he tells Out Magazine in a new interview.

The two met at what was Here Lounge (now Chapel) in West Hollywood. They met in 2005, married in 2017 and now have three girls (a four-year-old and twins born last year) through surrogacy. 

“My family is not perfect by any stretch of imagination,” Chris tells the magazine. “But I like to think, in a way, that we’re living our own happily ever after.” 

“I think, as a gay parent, I used to feel pressure to be the best and excel at everything that everyone once said was impossible,” he says. “There was a little bit of a sense that I had to prove all the naysayers wrong in a way. Since then, I’ve really had to look at what parenting means for me, and for my family…and what I’ve found is that parenting, it looks different for everyone, no matter who you are.”

Chris Van Dusen recognizes the importance of his own visibility as a gay showrunner behind one of the world’s most-watched shows. “It really is about showing the world who we are, and I think that’s especially important now more than ever…. We as [LGBTQ+] people are just as interesting and complicated and flawed and, above all, human as everyone else,” he says. 

Van Dusen came out as gay and find himself in 2001 after moving to Los Angeles, a journey seen in his Bridgerton characters, who in addition to searching for love are on quests of self-discovery. “Prior to coming here, I had never been around people who were so unapologetically living their lives as their true authentic selves,” he says. 

Now with a successful show under his wings and a full house, it’s all about work-life balance. “I feel less concerned with the word balance and more concerned with whether I’m as present as I possibly can be during the times I’m with my husband and with my children,” he says. “I think that that’s definitely been an evolution for me.”