Heartstopper heroes Joe Locke and Kit Connor share sage advice for young LGBTQ+ fans
Heartstopper stars Joe Locke and Kit Connor have stressed how important it is for young LGBTQ+ people to ‘celebrate their differences’ and practice self-acceptance.
Locke and Connor shot to fame for their heartwarming portrayal of queer teens Charlie and Nick in the hit Netflix teen drama, based on the popular graphic novels by Alice Oseman.
The pair have quickly become idols to young queer viewers, and now, Locke and Connor have doled out some advice for their fans.
Locke told Digital Spy that LGBTQ+ people should remember that “it’s just about being you”.
“I think Heartstopper really celebrates people’s differences,” he said. “And in general society, especially in high school and that sort of age bracket of people, it shows your differences and your flaws.”
He continued: “When actually your differences are what make you you and so you should celebrate these and be really proud of them.
“I think Heartstopper really does that and that’s a really lovely thing that we’re able to show that in this series.”
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Connor added that self-acceptance is key, but there are “two sides to it” as queer youth shouldn’t also feel pressured to label themselves.
“It’s very much about self-love and self-acceptance – that’s one of the main things that we’re preaching,” he said. “You know, there are kind of two sides of it.”
He continued: “It’s very much trying to tell to queer teens that you should absolutely aim to express yourself completely and be authentically yourself.
“But, at the same time, it’s not also pressuring you to put a label on yourself immediately and immediately work out [who you are]. It’s fine to not know.
“We try to show that there are two sides to it, that it’s okay to be unsure.”
Connor recently explained that he doesn’t feel the need to label his sexuality, and even called out people on Twitter for presuming they knew more about his sexuality than he did.
“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 publicly,” he told the Reign with Josh Smith
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He added that it was a “bit strange” for people to “make assumptions about a person’s sexuality” based on their appearance or just hearing their voice.
“I feel like that’s a very interesting, slightly problematic sort of assumption to make,” he said.
Heartstopper has been hailed as one of the most vital LGBTQ+ shows in a generation, and the stars of the Netflix series have continued to stress how important LGBTQ+ representation can be for queer kids.
It was confirmed in May that the show will be returning for a second and third season – much to the excitement of fans around the world.