Heartstopper’s Kit Connor came out as bi, but not because he wanted to

Image for article titled Heartstoppers Kit Connor came out as bi, but not because he wanted to

photo: Vianney Le Caer (AP)

After a Twitter break heart stopper Actor Kit Connor logged back into the site briefly yesterday to come out as bisexual. The announcement didn’t come naturally, however, but was a product of bullying and allegations of queer hate speech. Connor has been offline since September (and then announced that he might Clear the app overall) because of the onslaught of online hate he received about his sexuality after he was sighted hold hands with me A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Morning Costar Maia Reffico in Paris.

“Back a moment. I’m bi. Congratulations on forcing an 18-year-old to come out himself,” he said wrote. “I think some of you missed the point of the show. goodbye”

Connor rose to fame last spring playing Nick Nelson the queer teenybopper netflix series hearing stopper. In it, he starred alongside Charlie Spring (played by Joe Locke), with whom his character developed a budding romance complicated by Nick’s struggles with his sexuality. At the end of the season, Nick comes out as bisexual (and as Charlie’s boyfriend) to his family and friends. Ahead of the show, Locke has spoken publicly about his experiences as a young gay man, while Connor has stated in interviews that he doesn’t feel the need to label his sexuality.

“I mean, for me I feel totally confident and comfortable with my sexuality,” Connor said Pink News last May. “I don’t think much of labels and things like that. I’m not massive there, and I don’t feel like I need to label myself, especially in public.”

Following yesterday’s frustrated tweet, fans immediately came to Connor’s defense, furious that false allegations had brought him to the point where he was forced to speak out against his will. Many wrote about what heart stopper means for them to describe what happens to Connor as a “stomach strain”.

“That’s the one thing Nick Nelson was afraid of and you did it to the person who did it [embodied] him,” wrote one fan.

Even Alice Oseman, the author of the graphic novel the show is based on, spoke out in favor of Connor. “I really don’t understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then happily spend their time speculating about sexuality and judging based on stereotypes,” she wrote. “I hope all these people are fucking embarrassed. Kit, you are amazing 💖”

Others were also quick to point out that queerbaiting is a literary device and not something people can actually implement in real life. While musicians like Harry Styles and Bad Bunny have been the target of similar accusations lately, and social media has blurred the lines between what’s real and what’s perceived, she Writer James Factora cleared that “Real-life people are not fictional characters and cannot be neatly defined by given narratives.”

Our society’s preoccupation with coming out—something portrayed in the media as bold and meaningful—has meant that the lack of acknowledgment is an invitation to speculate (to the point of recklessness) about a person’s sexuality. And while coming out may be empowering for some, in Connor’s case, it made matters worse that he was comfortable not being constrained by labels, and those who claim to love him actually pushed him to do that to do what he wasn’t ready to do. Without the outside pressure, who knows if Connor would ever have felt the need to come out as anything?

It’s probably the worst case scenario of life imitating art, to date.

https://jezebel.com/heartstopper-s-kit-connor-came-out-as-bi-but-not-becau-1849727692 Heartstopper’s Kit Connor came out as bi, but not because he wanted to

Adam Bradshaw

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