Sun. Jan 29th, 2023
Jade Thirlwall and Luke Evans rally around Heartstopper’s Kit Connor as he was ‘forced’ to come out

Jade Thirlwall and Luke Evans were among the stars to rally around Heartstopper’s Kit Connor after he was ‘forced’ to come out amid ‘queer-baiting’ accusations.

The Little Mix singer, 29, and the actor, 43, took to social media to show their support for Kit, 18, and branded online trolling about his sexuality ‘shameful’.

Kit, who stars as Nick Nelson in Netflix’s LGBTQI+ series, took to Twitter on Monday to publicly reveal he is bisexual, saying he was ‘forced’ to do so after fan speculation about his sexuality.

Support: Jade Thirlwall and Luke Evans were among the stars to rally around Heartstopper’s Kit Connor after he was ‘forced’ to come out amid ‘queer-baiting’ accusations

He has previously spoken about not wanting to label his sexuality publicly and why he felt uncomfortable with the speculation, before quitting Twitter and branding it a ‘silly app’.

Kit was hit by accusations of ‘queer-baiting’ after a video showed him holding hands with his female co-star Maia Reficco. Queer-baiting refers to someone insinuating they are part of the LGBTQI+ community for their own gain.

In his brief tweet, 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.’

Following his announcement, an array of celebrities and his Heartstopper co-stars were quick to take to social media and share their support for the Rocketman actor.

Hitting back: The Little Mix singer, 29, and the actor, 43, took to social media to show their support for Kit, 18, and branded online trolling about his sexuality as ‘shameful’

‘Some people need to learn to mind their own business’: Jade took to Instagram on Tuesday to speak in solidarity with Kit, branding the accusations of ‘queer-baiting’ as ‘sad and shameful’

Jade took to her Instagram Stories on Tuesday to speak in solidarity with Kit, branding the accusations of ‘queer-baiting’ as ‘sad and shameful’.

She penned: ‘This is sad and shameful. Some people need to learn to mind their own business and wait until someone allows you into theirs. Love to Kit.’

Meanwhile, Luke Evans took to Twitter to hit back at online trolls, describing them as ’empty and useless’ as he reached out to Kit.

‘Seems like things don’t change. I’m sorry to hear what your dealing with Kit,’ the Dracula actor said.

‘Seems like things don’t change’: Meanwhile, Luke Evans took to Twitter to hit back at online trolls, branding them as ’empty and useless’ as he reached out to Kit

‘Never be forced to speak for yourself and your identity until you are absolutely ready.

‘You owe no explanation to anyone. The trolls of social media are empty and useless. Power to you! Invincible!’

Scott Bryan also tweeted that Kit feeling ‘forced’ to come out as bisexual was ‘unforgivable’ as he addressed the pressure on people in the public eye.

The broadcaster wrote: ‘What happened to Kit Connor is unforgivable. The pressure on people to publicly label who they are when it is their personal life. The absolute worst.’

Solidarity: Scott Bryan also tweeted that Kit feeling ‘forced’ to come out as bisexual was ‘unforgivable’ as he addressed the pressure on people in the public eye

Trolling: Kit was hit by accusations of ‘queer-baiting’ last month after a short video showed him holding hands with his female co-star Maia Reficco

Scott also penned an impassioned essay in Vogue where he said it was ‘problematic’ to accuse someone of ‘queer-baiting’ as it implies they have to speak publicly about their sexuality.

He said: ‘Kit Connor did not and does not owe us anything. And what feels contradictory about the whole situation was that pressuring someone to tell you about their sexuality was a key message of Heartstopper.’

Scott went on to say it was a ‘shame’ that Kit didn’t have the chance to decide when he wanted to speak publicly about his sexuality independently of online speculation.

‘It is an utter shame that on the public stage Kit was not given the same opportunity [to come out when he was ready],’ he added.

Statement: Kit, who stars as Nick Nelson in Netflix’s LGBTQI+ series, took to Twitter on Monday to publicly reveal he is bisexual, saying he was ‘forced’ to do so after fan speculation

Elsewhere, Heartstopper writer Alice Oseman was quick to flock to Kit’s support, criticising people for judging ‘based on stereotypes’.

She penned: ‘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.’

Heartstopper lead Joe Locke, who plays Charlie Spring, tweeted: ‘You owe nothing to anyone. I’m so proud of you my friend.’

Kit’s co-star Kizzy Edgell, who stars as Darcy Olsson on Heartstopper, said: ‘I love u kit I’m sorry this has been so disgustingly rough on you. been treated so unfairly.’

Star: Kit, who stars as Nick Nelson in the LGBTQI+ series, has previously spoken about not wanting to label his sexuality publicly and quit Twitter after branding it a ‘silly app’

Sebastian Croft, who plays Ben Hope on Heartstopper, added: ‘Kit Connor, the world doesn’t deserve you. Love you my friend.’

Nottingham East Labour MP Nadia Whittome also flocked to his side, writing: ‘Being forced to come out is being outed and it’s disgusting. I’m so sorry you’ve been put through that. Sending you so much love and solidarity, Kit.’

Many fans also took to social media with kind words for Kit as they sent him their ‘love’ in an array of supportive tweets.

‘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,’ one penned.

Another wrote, ‘feel for you Kit, sending all the love i have your way,’ while a third said: ‘I’m sorry kit i love you with all my heart, you are a wonderful person, you don’t deserve this, love you.’

Another penned, ‘You know you didn’t have to do that right? we love you so much.’

Support: Heartstopper writer Alice Oseman was quick to flock to the actor’s support, criticising people for judging ‘based on stereotypes’, along with Kit’s co-stars

Someone else added: ‘I’m so disappointed in this fandom. In three days we bullied one of the shows stars off twitter for absolutely no reason, and now we’ve forced the other star to out himself. HS is the most warm and loving show, but this fandom is extremely toxic. I’m so sad and disappointed.’

It comes after Kit was accused of ‘queer-baiting’ after he was pictured holding hands with bisexual actress Maia Reficco, who he stars in A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow with.

Queer-baiting is a term referring to a PR stunt in which celebrities simply imply that they are a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Kit also quit Twitter in September, before returning with his latest tweet, amid online speculation about his sexuality.

He tweeted at the time: ‘This is a silly silly app. bit bored of it now, deleting twitter :)’

Flocking around him: Many fans also flocked to Kit’s side as they sent him their ‘love’ in an array of supportive tweets

Sexuality: Kit has previously opened up about why he was uncomfortable about speculation around his sexuality and why he didn’t want to label himself publicly

Back in May, he had also addressed speculation around his sexuality, tweeting: ‘twitter is so funny man. apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do…’

Kit has also opened up about why he was uncomfortable about speculation around his sexuality and why he didn’t want to label himself publicly.

‘We’re still all so young,’ he told the Reign With Josh Smith podcast back in May.

‘To start sort of speculating about our sexualities and maybe pressuring us to come out when maybe we’re not ready. For me, I just feel perfectly confident and comfortable with my sexuality.

‘But I don’t feel the need to really, you know – I’m not too big on labels and things like that. I’m not massive about that.

Speculation: In September, Connor left Twitter for a time amid speculation about his sexuality; he had tweeted, ‘This is a silly silly app. bit bored of it now, deleting twitter :)’

Co-stars: Kit is pictured with his co-stars Kizzy Edgell, Corinna Brown, Kit Connor, Joe Locke, Tobie Donovan and Sebastian Croft at Pride in London

He added: ‘I don’t feel like I need to label myself, especially not publicly. 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 sort of assumption to make.’

Meanwhile, Heartstopper writer Alice previously spoke with Variety about the impression she hopes the show makes on viewers.

‘If Heartstopper helps a young queer person in their coming out journey, or if it helps a parent understand their child a little bit better,’ Alice said, ‘it is the most lovely and heartwarming thing you could hear and makes it feel like it’s all worth it.’

On Heartstopper, Kit portrays rugby player Nick Nelson, who engages in a romantic relationship with Charlie Spring (played by Joe Locke).

Hit series: Meanwhile, Heartstopper writer Alice previously spoke with Variety about the impression she hopes the show makes on viewers

The LGBTQI+ coming of age series ended with Charlie and Nick becoming boyfriends and Nick coming out as bisexual to his mother, played by Olivia Coleman.

The show has already been a huge hit for Netflix in over 50 countries, and the streaming giant has already ordered series two and three.

TikTok star Yasmin Finney, who was cast as Elle Argent in the show, has already bagged a role on the 80th anniversary episode of BBC’s Doctor Who as Rose.

Since the Netflix adaptation, Alice’s books have already broken all records for the sales of a graphic novel in the UK.

There are currently four books in the series, with a fifth set to be released in February 2023. Alice is also releasing The Heartstopper Yearbook in October.

Coming of age drama: On Heartstopper, Kit portrays rugby player Nick Nelson, who engages in a romantic relationship with Charlie Spring (played by Joe Locke)

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