Vanessa Morgan bashes bisexual taboos in season two of Riverdale

Today is finally the day: Riverdale is BACK. We’re kind of Riverdale freaks here at Galore, so it’s been a long awaited return of the second season. We talked to Vanessa Morgan, a.k.a. Toni Topaz, about the South Side Serpents gang and what to expect this season.

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Without any spoilers, what are we gonna see in the rest of Season 2?

Well it’s Riverdale so you can never know what to expect, anything can happen really. But I can say it will keep you on the edge of your seat. As for Toni, you will see more of the South Side Serpents since South Side High shut down and the students need a new school.

Tell us about your character Toni.

Toni is a gang member of the South Side Serpents. She’s a strong, independent girl, kind of follows her own rules, has a sarcastic spunky sense of humor and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

How are you similar and different to her?

I would say we are both independent, but she’s a little more tough than I am. Also I LOVE her style, we definitely have the same taste in clothes. Actually I like her style more.

Tube top, stylist’s own. Track pants, Vintage Karl Kani. Sneakers, Nike. Body Chain/Belt, Dylan Kain. Choker, The M Jewelers. Jesus medal necklace, The M Jewelers.

Last year we talked to Madelaine Petsch about how “Riverdale” is amazing for putting strong females in lead and multidimensional roles. Do you see this in your role?

I definitely see that. My character is very strong and you’re starting to see more dimensions and colors to her as the season goes on.

Why is it important that your character is openly bisexual? Do you think that will positively impact youth today to see bisexuality represented in the media?

YES YES YES. Love is love. And I am so happy to portray a bisexual character on prime time TV. Gender shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to love and sexuality can be seen as a spectrum. I’m very happy to show and represent that and help further the normalization of bisexuality for our younger generation.

Have you received any hate online regarding playing a character who is bisexual, or has your character received hate online?

I mean, I’ve had a few comments from awful people who clearly live under a rock. Telling me that I won’t get into heaven now, which is ridiculous. I never understand how someone’s sexual preference can bother someone, especially when you don’t even know them. But that’s internet trolls for you. Clearly they are uneducated. For the most part it has been lots of love. Especially from the LGBT community. Love, love, love, love them!

What do you think we could do to normalize bisexuality?

Show it more on TV and in movies, normalize it and not show it in a promiscuous way. Because it is not. It’s a beautiful thing being able to fall in love both genders and it’s very, very common. 2018, guys! 50 percent of my friends are bi.

Are there other topics you hope to normalize? 

I’m biracial and I would love to see more biracial families in the media; white mom, black dad or vice versa, and mixed kids.

Denim bikini, I Am Gia. Bubble puffer, Karl Kani. Pants, Boohoo. Shoes, vintage. Lock Chain necklace, Dior. Sunglasses, CRAP. Rings, Vanessa’s own. Yoshi is wearing a chain link choker by Luv AJ.

What’s something you wish you knew when you were younger?

Fully trust yourself and be confident with your choices, and don’t give a f what other people think.

What’ something about yourself people don’t necessarily realize at first?

That I’m really just a nerd /weirdo who plays dress up for a living!

For our shoot, we went for a super 90s vibe. Did it bring out an alter-ego in you at all?

I LOVE the 90s vibes! I felt bossy! I’m super into that look right now… very trendy. It reminds me of TLC or Aliyah and I love that.

Which 90s musical artist do you identify with the most?


You’re also a singer. Are you hoping to further pursue music in the future? 

Yes! I’m hoping to get my 3 song demo done this year. It will definitely be about stuff I’m going through in my life and love, the good and the bad.

Faux fur coat, Club Exx. Faux fur boots, AMI Clubwear. Cross earring, Vanessa Mooney. Choker, The M Jewelers. Rings, Vanessa’s own.


Don’t forget to catch the premiere of Riverdale Season 2 tonight at 8/7c on The CW!


Photography: Maddie Cordoba

Styling: Kendy

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