The 18-year-old lead actor from Netflix’s recent hit series Heartstopper has hit out at critics while coming out as bisexual in a pointed tweet.
British up-and-comer Kit Connor, who portrays Nick Nelson in Heartstopper, returned to social media after a break from the platform to share a message to those who have “forced” him to come out following accusations of “queerbaiting” and rampant speculation about his sexuality off-screen.
“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,” the actor tweeted on Monday, nearly two months after announcing his social media sabbatical.
Connor, who also featured in Elton John biopic Rocketman, rose to fame this year for his role in the groundbreaking Netflix series Heartstopper, which follows high school student Charlie exploring his sexuality after developing a crush on his new friend Nick. An instant hit with viewers, the heartwarming drama was renewed for a second and third season.
The actor’s post prompted an outpouring of support from the Heartstopper cast and crew, with the author of the graphic novel series behind the show, Alice Oseman, responding, “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***K. Kit you are amazing.”
Kizzy Edgell, who plays Darcy Olsson in the series, wrote, “I love u kit im sorry this has been so disgustingly rough on you. been treated so unfairly.”
Fans of the series chimed in to slammed trolls who put pressure on the star to open up about his personal life.
“I hope those people will feel embarrassed for the rest of their lives because they so deserve it. kit is one of the sweetest people to ever exist and deserves the whole World and most certainly not this,” one said.
“nick nelson is the character who made me feel so safe in my bisexuality. he showed me that no appearance, mannerism, or way of being is a “qualifier” of being gay. it’s who you love. kit connor, we are endlessly proud and heartbroken for you,” another tweeted.
Another commented on the accusations of “queerbaiting” that Connor allegedly faced following the show.
“Queerbaiting is a media term. Real people cannot queerbait. Harassing an 18yo kid until you force him to come out is ABHORRENT. Heartstopper is a cute queer show. Kit Connor is a PERSON who should NEVER have had to defend himself against queerbaiting accusations in this way.”
“Queerbaiting” is a term referring to when a heterosexual public figure hints at queerness for publicity.
Notably, this year has seen pop star-turned actor Harry Styles pressured to label his sexuality after years of avoiding identifying as a member of the queer community, while seemingly dropping clues that he is not straight.
Some say he is “appropriating” queer culture by wearing skirts and dresses to events and hinting at bi-curiosity in his lyrics and film clips.
Accusations of queerbaiting have plagued at the ex-One Direction member for years, but a recent Rolling Stone interview, and his role in upcoming film My Policeman as a queer man in 1957 Brighton when homosexuality was illegal, have reignited the debate.
Speaking to Rolling Stone in August, Styles, who is currently dating Don’t Worry Darling director Olivia Wilde, disputed the claims.
“Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone,” he said. “If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something.”
Originally published at www.news.com.au