‘Heartstopper’ actor Kit Connor forced to come out as bisexual

Kit Connor, the actor who plays Nick Nelson on Netflix’s hit TV show Heartstopper, has shared that he is bisexual. The 18-year-old actor says he felt forced to reveal his sexuality after pressure from fans.

A few months ago Connor announced he was taking a break from social media after fans accused him of ‘queer-baiting’. The actor was pictured holding hands with actor Maia Reficco in Paris, leading to fans arguing that gay and bisexual characters should be portrayed by actors with similar real-life experiences.

Connor returned briefly to Twitter yesterday and posted that he is bisexual.

“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.” his brief message read.

The popular TV series tells the story of two teenage boys falling in love and going through the process of coming out to friends and family. It is based on the best-selling graphic novel by author Alice Osman.

A second series of the show has just been filmed, and a third season has already been commissioned based on the popularity of the first season.

Osman was one of the first to comment on Connor’s coming out statement.

“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 FUCK. Kit you are amazing.” Osman posted on Twitter.

Co-star Joe Locke, who plays boyfriend Charlie Spring on the show, also voiced his support saying “You owe nothing to anyone. I’m so proud of you my friend.” along with some love heart emojis.

Connor recently spoke about the pressure to declare his sexuality on a the Reign with Josh Smith podcast.

“In the cast, we’re all 18 and we have a few people in their early 20s, and even with those older members of the cast, we’re all so young, and to start speculating about our sexualities and maybe pressuring us to come out when maybe we’re not ready…”

“I feel like I’m perfectly confident and comfortable in my sexuality, but I don’t feel the need to… I’m not too big on labels and things like that. I’m not massive about that and I don’t feel like I need to label myself, especially not publicly.”

He added: “That tweet was slightly calling them out, but I honestly found it a little bit funny how they just make assumptions.

“It’s 2022. It feels a bit strange to make assumptions about a person’s sexuality just based on hearing their voice or seeing their appearance. I feel like that’s a very interesting, slightly problematic, assumption to make.”

Connor’s statement has generated a discussion about coming out, and the ongoing discussions around ‘queer-baiting’.

The term originally described a marketing technique used by television programs to draw in LGBTIQA+ viewers, where it would be implied a character was gay, or there was an attraction between two characters. The phrase has also been applied to real life situations such as actor’s personal lives.

Tony Morrison, the Senior Director of Communications at GLAAD commented on Connor’s coming out message saying nobody should be pushed to come out before they are ready.

“Coming out is deeply personal and should be done on your own terms. While  Kit Connor has received global support for speaking his truth and creating an important moment of visibility for bisexual men, no one should be forced to share their identity before they are ready to.”

Western Australian author Holden Sheppard also shared his thoughts on Connor’s statement.

“So fkn angry on this young lad’s behalf. Nobody should be forced to come out for the sake of proving they can be cast in a role. Wtf. Stop the authenticity policing pls. Gay people being allowed to come out on their own terms is what we fought for, not this.” Sheppard posted to social media.

Connor’s statement that he felt forced to publicly declare his sexuality follows actor Rebel Wilson announcing via Instagram that she is in a same-sex relationship.

Wilson later spoke about how pressure from the Sydney Morning Herald led to her making the declaration. The Australian Press Council recently found that the newspaper had failed to meet journalistic standards when they gave Wilson just 48 hours to respond to their inquiries about her love life.

OIP Staff

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