Hearstopper’s Yasmin Finney graces cover of Vogue and opens up about leaving school bullies ‘gagged’

Side by side images of Yasmin Finney from her cover on British Vogue's December issue and a picture of Finney wearing a white outfit

Heartstopper actor Yasmin Finney opened up about being “empowered” from being bullied at school and those that doubted her as she graces the cover of Vogue

Finney, who is best known for playing trans teen Elle Argent in Heartstopper, was unveiled as one of the cover stars for British Vogue’s December issue. In her accompanying interview, the actor spoke about discovering her trans identity and being bullied at school. 

“I would search up ‘femininity’ and ‘Why do I feel like a girl?’” she recalled. “I remember searching, ‘Why do I have a penis?’” 

She said she would change alone in the disabled toilets when at school until the girls snuck her into the changing room one day for gym class. Finney remembered how they “loved it” and said she was a “gay accessory” to the group. 

“They loved me because I was overcompensating,” she said. “I was overly feminine. I was making them laugh.” 

But she said it “all went tits up” when the headteacher was informed. She was on the verge of being expelled when her family stepped in and asked where she could get changed. 

Finney said unisex toilets were eventually installed in the school, and she began to use what she described as the “girl’s side”. Finney was able to experiment with make-up by year 11 and even walked into her GCSEs wearing a skirt. 

She said football players would trip and shove her in the hallways at school. Finney added they would call her names and do impressions that were “gooped, gagged and everything in-between”. 

“From that moment, I felt so empowered,” she said. “I never looked back.”

Yasmin Finney said “all the people that doubted” her now have “nothing on [her] anymore”, adding she didn’t do it “for them”.  

“But it’s like the cherry on top,” she says. “I just like to know that people are realising that everything I did from a young age, I wasn’t in the wrong. Everything I did was perfectly fine.”

Yasmin Finney celebrated her Vogue cover by posting a heartfelt message to her younger self on Instagram. 

She shared an image of her magazine photoshoot and wrote in the caption that she wished she could “go back in time to tell 16-year-old Yaz that it will all be okay”. 

“You are worth it,” she wrote. “Your trans identity won’t hold you back… You will set your own destiny.”

 

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A post shared by Yasmin Finney (@yazdemand)

The Netflix star is set to join Doctor Who as the Doctor’s new trans assistant Rose, and she’s inspired a whole new generation of trans youth to live their truth.

Finney hinted her appearance on Doctor Who “will change the world”, but she refused to go into any further detail as she jokingly said “it’s over” if she talks about the Whoniverse. 

“All I can say is, I feel so honoured to be seen by [Russell T Davies]… I remember growing up idolising it,” she said. “I’m happy to be the representation on a show that means a lot to so many.”

 

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