Kit Connor, the actor who plays Nick, the protagonist of the Netflix youth series Heartstopper, has been forced to tell on social media his sexual orientation against his will.
Heartstopper tells the story of how teenage boys, Nick (rugby player) and Charlie discover that they are attracted to men. At the beginning of the series both become friends and while they get to know themselves, they live with problems such as mental illness and the clarification of their feelings, they fall in love. Heartstopper wants to achieve with its plot that people stop caring about the sexuality of others and letting everyone be free to love whoever they want.
Connor has always shown his commitment to LGBIQ+ rights, he even, together with his friends, stopped last summer a homophobic demonstration that tried to ruin the Pride parties in London. Despite this, the actor this week has been accused on social networks of not belonging to the LGTBIQ+ community and queerbating. The latter means that they say that he is in real life straight but that for a marketing campaign, since his character in the series is gay, he is pretending to be gay also behind the scenes. These rumors come after the publication of some images in which Kit was seen holding hands with a colleague of his, the actress Maia Reficco.
Although the actor had already been inactive on social networks due to the beginning of the filming of the second season of Heartstopper, seeing this he wanted to end the rumors. Connor decided to post a tweet to be left alone in which he wrote: “back for a minute. 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”. This surprised his followers as the actor in some interviews had previously commented that he would not say his sexuality because he did not want to label himself publicly but that he was comfortable with it.
After this forced exit from the closet some of his fellows from the Netflix series came out in his defense. Joe Locke, the actor who plays Charlie in Heartstopper wrote on social media that he is very proud of his friend and that he owes nothing to anyone.
The creator of the series also used Twitter to write a message of support for Connor. “I don’t understand how people can watch ‘Heartstopper’ and then happily speculate about other people’s sexualities, judging based on stereotypes. I hope these people feel ashamed now. Kit, you’re amazing” you could read in Alice Oseman’s tweet.