"Heartstopper" star Kit Connor came out as bisexual Monday, saying he felt forced to share his sexual orientation after he was accused of queerbaiting by viewers of the popular Netflix show.
In a rare Twitter post, the British actor 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.”
While Connor did not say exactly why he felt forced to come out, he posted the message weeks after he said he was "deleting Twitter" amid accusations of queerbaiting, or benefiting from appearing as queer without claiming the community explicitly. That followed the emergence of photos showing him holding hands with Maia Reficco, his co-star in “A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow.”
“this is a silly silly app. bit bored of it now, deleting twitter :),” Connor said in the September post.
Alice Oseman, the creator of "Heartstopper," which she launched as a webcomic and later as a graphic novels series, shared her support Monday, writing in response to his tweet: “I truly don’t understand how people can watch ‘Heartstopper’ and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes.
“I hope all those people are embarrassed as F***. Kit you are amazing,” Oseman wrote.
Kizzy Edgell, who plays Darcy Olsson on “Heartstopper,” tweeted late Monday: “I love u kit im sorry this has been so disgustingly rough on you. [You’ve] been treated so unfairly."
Fans also rushed to support Connor, with a Twitter user writing: "HOW can one watch a show like Heartstopper and the take away being that you as a viewer/fan/whatever have the right to know the most private aspects of the actors life? Especially when it comes to this. All love in the world to you Kit."
Another wrote: "So sorry that you’ve literally been forced out before you were ready. Not that you should have ever had to out yourself. People really miss the entire point of this show and the web comics. We love you Kit, sorry you had to do this."
Connor plays Nick Nelson, a high school student who starts to develop feelings for classmate Charlie Spring, played by Joe Locke, as he tries to navigate and understand his sexual identity.
In May, Connor had also appeared to comment on Twitter about questions and comments around his sexual orientation, writing: “Twitter is so funny man. apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do…”
In an interview in May, Connor, who was joined by Locke, spoke about the positive impact he hoped "Heartstopper" would have on fans, saying that "to have a show where it’s just very positive, [with] a generally positive outlook on life and being a queer teen, I think that’s an extremely important thing."
"It’s a show that younger audiences can watch with their family and their parents and that can lead to very important conversations between parents and their children," he said. "I think that it just basically brings societies steps closer to normalizing being queer."
He said he had also received positive feedback from fans, particularly over one scene in which Nick comes out to his mother, played by Emmy and Academy Award winner Olivia Colman.
“There was a tweet from a ‘Heartstopper’ fan, and they essentially tweeted out that they used that [scene] to come out to their parents,” Connor said. “That one scene was able to give this person the comfort and the confidence to be truthful to themselves, be honest with their parents and just be unapologetically themselves, and I think that’s a beautiful thing and a real honor, especially for someone who is 18 years old like me.”