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New Netflix Show Heartstopper Brings an Uplifting Story to the LGBTQ+ Community

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The new hit Netflix show Heartstopper follows the story of two high school boys who fall in love. Charlie Spring, a scrawny nerd who is openly gay, meets Nick Nelson, a seemingly straight rugby jock, while attending an all-boys school in their hometown of Kent, England. The two boys start off as friends, but soon learn that they are much more than that.

The show focuses on Nick’s journey discovering his sexuality and figuring out why he has romantic feelings for Charlie. The show features the topic of overcoming bullying as well. The audiences’ reaction to the show has been overwhelmingly positive thus far; it currently has a “Rotten Tomato” rating of 100% (as of April 30th, 2022). It was released on Netflix on April 22nd, 2022, and it has already proven to have an incredibly positive impact on its viewers, and the actors are very grateful.

In an interview with Metro, Kit Connor (playing the role of Nick) discusses how important he believes the show is for bisexual representation. He says, “I think male bisexuality is even less represented and I think that’s really special, going into great detail about his journey as a character and his mental struggle.” In the show, there’s a scene after Nick and Charlie watch a movie together where Nick Googles “Am I gay.” This mental confusion is relatable for many teens who are struggling with their identity. Personally, I have seen a friend of mine go through something similar.

After watching the show, my friend started to come out to their close friends and family. They said they felt seen, and the show gave them the confidence they needed to begin telling their loved ones about their sexuality. They say, “I think Heartstopper is very important for people in the closet or people who are confused with themselves. As someone who was so unsure for so long, seeing this representation is important to know that you’re not alone.” 

Many people feel similarly after watching the show. During an interview on This Morning, Connor talks about a Heartstopper fan using his character’s coming out scene to come out to their parents. He says it’s by far the most gratifying moment in his career.

Kit Connor replies to a tweet made by a fan:

In the same interview with This Morning, Joe Locke (playing the role of Charlie) discusses the significance of queer individuals having media portrayals of both negative and positive LGBTQ+ storylines. “We have shows that are showing the more gritty part and the history of queer representation which is incredibly important, but it’s equally important to teach younger LGBT children and teenagers who are growing up and figuring themselves out that they deserve this love and happiness and positive stories are just as important…” He says he read a review about someone loving the show so much, but the person was saddened because they didn’t have anything like it when they were growing up. Connor says that’s exactly what they hoped the show would do; show the LGBTQ+ youth of today that they deserve happiness. One of the main goals of the show is to bring awareness to the positivity of LGBTQ+ relationships, and it does just that. 

Connor discusses the same issue: “There’s so much queer representation that we have in the media at the moment… it’s very dark and gritty, and at times very negative and I think that it’s extremely important to just show queer people being happy.” Locke describes the show as beautiful when he discusses its uniqueness to the media today.

Amanda Craig

Stonehill '24

Amanda is currently a sophomore psychology major at Stonehill College. She enjoys spending time with friends, listening to music (currently One Direction) and going to the Cape. She is a huge animal lover with a soft spot for cats. Fun fact: she is the only flute player in Stonehill’s concert ensemble!
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