Heartstopper’s Joe Locke joins chorus of support for Kit Connor after ‘forced outing’

A composite image showing actors Kit Connor and Joe Locke from Netflix's Heartstopper superimposed against rainbow pride colours.

Heartstopper actor Joe Locke has sent a message of support to Kit Connor after he was “forced” to come out as bisexual.

Kit Connor, who plays Nick in Heartstopper, came out as bi after pictures of him holding hands with a woman sparked allegations of queerbaiting.

Congrats for forcing an 18-year-old to out himself,” he tweeted. “Think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye.”

Fans and colleagues have been quick to pour support toward Connor, condemning the toxic discourse that led to him coming out, including Joe Locke (who plays Charlie).

The 19-year-old replied to Connor’s post saying: “You owe nothing to anyone. I’m so proud of you my friend.”

Locke’s words were echoed by fans.

“I love you both and I think it’s so sad what happened,” one wrote. “Nobody has to tell anything about their private life if they don’t want to.”

Another wrote: “Thank God he has friends like you. I know your love and support can’t reverse what [Kit Connor] was forced to do, but I know from first [hand] experience it makes the pain more tolerable.”

Others asked Locke to “tell him we love him and that he deserves all the love and happiness in the world”.

Joe Locke wasn’t the only one to share their support.

The LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall tweeted: “Sending all our love and solidarity Kit. Nobody should ever be forced to come out before they are ready. This is your own journey and no one else’s!”

Professional swimmer Michael Gunning said: “Reading tweets like this [are] heartbreaking… especially when Heartstopper taught so many people around the world the true value of someone’s personal coming out story.

“I’m so sorry you had this moment taken away from you Kit, but let’s hope people will learn from it!”

Kit Connor announced his hiatus from Twitter in September

Connor initially announced he was taking a hiatus from Twitter on 12 September after a video of him holding hands with Maia Reficco caused so-called fans to accuse him of queerbaiting.

This came despite the star having previously explained why he didn’t label his sexuality.

“I’m not massive about that, and I don’t feel like I need to label myself, especially publicly,” he said in a May 2022 interview on the Reign with Josh Smith podcast.

“I feel like I’m perfectly confident and comfortable with my sexuality.”