Public self-disclosure of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, known as coming out, is a significant moment in any queer person’s life. In recent years, such ‘coming out’ moments of celebrities have often been publicly celebrated. However, this was not the case with actor Kit Connor who has revealed that he is bisexual.
On Tuesday, the teen star who plays Nick Nelson, a bisexual character in the popular Netflix show Heartstopper, tweeted, “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”.
While the exact reason for Connor’s curt tweet is unclear, it is being speculated that his tweet was in response to various allegations of queerbaiting. According to Urban Dictionary, queer baiting is a “marketing technique used to attract queer viewers that involves creating romantic or sexual tension between two same-sex characters but never making it canon or evolving on it”.
The allegations surfaced in September after Connor was spotted holding hands with his female co-star Maia Reficco while shooting for the upcoming film ‘A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow’.
Replying to Connor’s coming out tweet, Alice Oseman, the creator and writer of Heartstopper, said, “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 FUCK. Kit you are amazing 💖”.
Matt Bernstein, a social media personality andLGBTQ+ activist also responded to Connor’s tweet and wrote, “death to “queerbaiting” discourse forever. sending you love”.
In response to Connor’s tweet, many argued that allegations of queerbaiting should only be applied to the creators of shows and not individuals.