Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney slams transphobic remarks after encounter at restaurant

Yasmin Finney plays young teen Elle in Heartstopper. In this picture, the character is wearing a British school uniform with a dark jacket, white shirt and red striped tie

Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney has called out the transphobic comments made by strangers after a vile encounter at a restaurant. 

Fans quickly came to adore Finney for her portrayal of trans teen Elle Argent and the character’s beautiful storyline in Heartstopper, which has been heralded as one of the most important LGBTQ+ TV shows in a generation.

Elle is friends with Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor), and she watches as the two teens navigate their friendship blossoming into a romantic relationship. She also realises that she may be in love with her best friend Tao Xu (William Gao) after she moves to an all girls’ school. 

Finney revealed on Twitter that she had experienced vile transphobia during a recent encounter at a restaurant. The actor posted a picture of herself posing in a mirror while wearing a drop-dead gorgeous black cut-out, glamorous makeup and a chic bob hairstyle. 

She described she was “about to leave a restaurant” when a random woman “shouted” at her “in front of her peers” and questioned if she is “a boy or a girl”.

“Erm Idk what do I look like to you?” she responded, referring to her beautiful selfie. 

Finney added in a later tweet she was stunned by the woman’s comments, and she said the stranger quickly tried to dismiss the transphobic nature of her ignorant remarks. 

“I was clearly in shock when she said this and she then said ‘I’m not transphobic I have trans friends’,” Finney recalled. “At this point I’ve given up hope lol.”

Fans quickly rushed to Finney’s defence, describing the Heartstopper star as a “goddess”, and denounced the stranger for trying to cover up her “disgusting” comments by using the ‘I have trans friends card’.

Yasmin Finney told PinkNews during a roundtable discussion that she was “blessed” to have been chosen to play Elle and bring life to a “rare” storyline about a trans character. 

“It really, really, really is such a rare story that we get a trans character that doesn’t delve into gender dysphoria, or depression, or bullying, but just the positive – the friendship, the chosen family, the moving from an all boys’ school to an all girls’ school,” Finney explained. 

“Just everything that is natural about being trans is highlighted, and I’m just so happy to be that positive representation that we’ve needed for so many years.”

Yasmin described how Elle is “allowed to love herself” in Heartstopper without society “telling her what to do and how to act and how to look and who to love and how to be”. She thought Elle’s “beautiful” story will provide representation, which sadly remains lacking in mainstream media.

“I definitely didn’t have an Elle growing up, and I think millions of trans children around the world didn’t have an Elle growing up,” Yasmin says. 

“I think it’ll be good to have that representation, seeing yourself represented in the media from a young age can really help you in the future.”

Heartstopper is available to watch now on Netflix.