Missing the message

‘Heartstopper’ actor Kit Connor is bullied into coming out to the media


screengrab of Kit Connor from official show trailer

‘Heartstopper,’ originally a comic series by Alice Oseman, is a Netflix series that follows the love story of Nick, played by Kit Connor, and Charlie, played by Joe Locke.

On April 22, Twitter and Instagram were being flooded with ‘Heartstopper’ screenshots and posts of everyone’s favorite scenes and characters. But, there was one thing that stood out from the rest of the explore page. Connor had been accused of queerbaiting which eventually led to him having to come out on social media after being on hiatus throughout September. 

“Back for a minute. I’m bi. Congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself,” Connor said on Twitter.

Queerbaiting is when a character is written to seem like they identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is purely only for marketing purposes. Queerbaiting does not pertain to real life actors and their personal lives.

In the show, Nick is going through the motions of discovering his sexuality and identity. Connor himself has stated on Twitter that those who have accused him of queerbaiting missed the entire message of the show. 

“I just think that’s horrible,” math teacher Timothy Case said. “But sometimes situations come upon you where you have no choice. That would be terrifying, I think, for someone in the LGBTQ+ community.”

Things like this that come up can be hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community, no matter who they are or what they identify as. 

“Heartstopper was the first thing to make me feel safe and accepted as a bisexual person and seeing that hstwt (Heartstopper Twitter) bullied Kit Connor into coming out is absolutely gut wrenching,” Bee stated on Twitter. 

 English teacher and founder of the pride club Sara Kohne, and Case, have been working hard to create a space where people who are navigating their sexuality and identity can go so they can feel welcome at SHS. But, it can still be difficult for some students.

Although coming out can be scary, students at SHS have found a way to support each other just like Connor’s fans and cast members have supported him despite the negativity that seems to surround this situation.