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The ‘Heartstopper’ Cast Is Standing By Kit Connor After He Was Forced To Come Out

Kit Connor, one of the stars of the hit Netflix show, Heartstopper, came out as bisexual on Twitter on Oct. 31 after being forced by fans to acknowledge his sexuality. 

Since gracing our screens as Nick Nelson, rugby player and love interest of recently outed Charlie Spring, Connor has been the victim of accusations of “queerbaiting.” The controversy began after a video of him holding hands with his A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow co-star Maia Reficco made the rounds. Queerbaiting, which can roughly be defined as a portrayal of being queer to pull in an LGBTQ+ audience without actually being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community (though it has varied definitions and was originally applied mostly to fictional relationships in media), has become the subject of online discussion among celebrities like Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and more.

Connor has previously stated he wants to keep his sexuality private and free from online speculation, but some fans had been badgering him for a label, because they wanted to know that Nick, who is bisexual, was being played by an LGBTQ+ actor. After deleting Twitter due to constant harassment, he popped back on the app on Monday night to make the announcement. 

“back for a minute. i’m bi. congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself,” Connor said. “i think some of you missed the point of the show. bye.”

The show, which was celebrated for its inclusive and uplifting portrayal of young, queer love, has made people around the world feel safe and accepted for their own sexualities. Since his announcement, Connor has received an outpouring of support from his fans and members of the show, including a tweet from creator and writer of the original graphic novels, Alice Oseman.

“I truly don’t understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes,” Oseman wrote in her tweet. “I hope all those people are embarrassed as FUCK. Kit you are amazing 💖.”

Apart from Oseman, cast members of Heartstopper have also spoken out in support of Connor. Joe Locke, who plays protagonist Charlie, replied to his tweet on Tuesday morning. 

“You owe nothing to anyone,” Locke said. “I’m so proud of you my friend 💕”

Locke and Connor have previously spoken about the pressure they’ve faced to speak out about their sexuality publicly. In a tweet he wrote on May 2, Connor said, “twitter is so funny man. apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do…” 

While the speculations and accusations led to the 18-year-old’s coming out, fans have rallied and have spoken out extensively in support of the actor. Kizzy Edgell, a fellow co-star who plays Darcy Olsson on the show, replied to the tweet saying, “i love u kit im sorry this has been so disgustingly rough on you. been treated so unfairly.”

Co-stars Sebastian Croft, who plays Ben Hope, and Rhea Norwood, who plays Imogen Heaney, also responded to the tweet. The former shared the message, “Kit Connor, the world doesn’t deserve you. Love you my friend ❤️,” while the latter shared a heart emoji in response. 

Heartstopper, which debuted on Netflix in April 2022 to immense popularity, has been renewed for Seasons 2 and 3, with production on Season 2 having started in September.

Sindu Karunakaran is a national writer at Her Campus where she covers topics ranging from book lists to entertainment and cultural news. She graduated from NC State in 2021 with degrees in English and Communication. She is an avid reader and has an Instagram account and blog dedicated to her love of books. When she's not reading or writing, you can usually find her binge-watching the latest show, or trying out a new recipe.