Heartstopper’s Kit Connor and Joe Locke send queer Twitter into a tailspin with Washington DC Pride appearance

Kit Connor Joe Locke Heartstopper

Heartstopper heart throbs Kit Connor and Joe Locke attended Washington DC Pride on Saturday (10 June) and delivered a timely message for the LGBTQ+ community.

The annual Capital Pride Parade returned to DC at a time when LGBTQ+ rights in the US are increasingly under attack across the country. 

From drag bans and book bans to attacks on life-saving gender-affirming care for trans youth and oppressive laws preventing schools from even mentioning LGBTQ+ issues, the US has seen a devastating wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults with trans people at the sharp end of it. 

Pride Month in June has already been a target of fragile right-wing anger due to brands celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and schools honouring the month dedicated to LGBTQ+ rights and culture. 

However, the stars of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed coming-of-age hit Heartstopper proudly rode an adorably British-themed float as part of Washington DC’s pride celebrations, and the internet was awash with praise for Locke, who plays gay teen Charlie Spring, and his trans rights t-shirt.

Wearing a blue shirt that read ‘trans rights are human rights’ in white lettering edged with pink – the colours of the trans Pride flag – Locke told the gathered crowd that he and Connor were “honoured to share our pride with the world”. 

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“We’re so, so excited to be here,” Locke said. “And thank you to the ambassador for inviting us to be here today. We’re so honoured to share our pride with the world and show that we are full of love and full of pride.”

Locke, who is set to appear in Disney+’s Marvel WandaVision spin-off series Agatha: Coven of Chaos, did not shy away from addressing the tide of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment affecting queer folks around the world. He continued: “And even though it’s a dark cloud in the world at the moment, Pride is a protest, and we can party all we want.

“Change only happens if people talk.”

Connor, who plays Charlie’s boyfriend Nick Nelson, sported a male stripper shirt and described attending the event as “really, really powerful”. 

Twitter users praised Locke for being “always current” and for his beautiful message of hope, with one user posting that the Heartstopper star “never wastes and opportunity to spotlight the big issues”.

Heartstopper returns for a second season on 3 August, only on Netflix.

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