Heartstopper star Kit Connor, 18, revealed on Twitter that he is bisexual as a result of supposed fans of the show speculating and badgering him on social media about his sexuality
Connor posted on Twitter: “I’m bi. Congrats for “forcing” an 18-year-old to out himself. I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye.”
The hit Netflix show Heartstopper has been embraced by the queer community for depicting a wholesome love story which is rarely shown on a global platform.
Connor plays the self assured rugby player Nick who discovers and learns to accept his sexuality as he falls in love with Charlie, played by Joe Locke.
The show shot to overnight fame and so did the cast, gaining thousand of new followers which unfortunately opened themselves up to a lot of public scrutiny.
Due to the success of the show and how beloved these characters have become, fans felt like they had ownership over them and in turn the actors which is not uncommon now in the world of social media.
Kit Connor was hounded by fans demanding to know about his private life as they put his characters sexuality on to Connor himself. As he had chosen not to disclose this information, fans became outraged demanding to know Connor sexuality. Some fans became obsessed – following him home, analysing every picture he posted, even going as far to sexualise the young actor and insinuate that he was having a relationship with his co-star, Joe Locke.
Some people accused the actor of queer baiting in the attempt to keep a queer fanbase.
In an interview released after the tweet, Connor said: “I’ve always been comfortable in my sexuality, however I think people forget that me and the cast are still young and shouldn’t be forced into revealing any information about ourselves that we aren’t comfortable with”
Connor states he’s not a massive fan of labels as they’re restrictive and believes people in this age should be allowed to be who they are – which is a common and accepted identity within the community. However, why is this not extended to people within the public eye?
Kit Connor did not owe the public anything. It’s not written in a contract if you play a queer character that your sexuality is now part of the show’s publicity.
Sexuality is a powerful but ultimately personal identity and it should be your own decision when and how you come out.
Unfortunately, Connor’s situation is not uncommon, we have seen it frequently where actors whose sexuality has never been a topic of interest but as soon as they play queer roles it is their number one question of their google search.
Yes, queer representation of people in the public is lacking. However, forcing people to out themselves and opposing our own thoughts on to them is not how we solve this problem.
Luckily, Connor has been supported by the majority of fans and his co-stars. Hopefully, this serves as a warning to all fans and highlights where the line is between supporting and creating a welcomed space in the queer community and forcing someone to come out when they’re not ready.
Featured Image Credit: The Advocate