Kit Connor, who stars in Netflix’s the gay teen gay love story, Heartstopper, has been accused of “queerbaiting.”
The term is relatively new and was originally assigned to corporations rolling out the Pride flag every June – when LGBTQ allyship is in their financial interest. But now, “queerbaiting” is also used to describe people who fake or hint at being gay to satisfy LGBTQ fans’ desire to see themselves in the celebrities they love.
Kit Connor, just 18, is the latest victim of the label.
Recently, Connor was photographed on the set of his new film, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, based on the best-selling novel by Laura Taylor Namey. He was seen holding hands with costar Maia Reficco.
Shouts of “queerbaiting” echoed around the internet.
The implication was that Connor has been faking a gay identity to lure fans to the show while secretly being straight. Connor has not publicly announced a sexual identity. The actor, a frequent tweeter, had enough of the online accusations and declared this week: “this is a silly silly app. bit bored of it now, deleting twitter :)”
While his sexual orientation is unknown, Connor has used his Twitter to express support for the LGBTQ community.
“This. This is why we did it,” Connor wrote in April, along with a retweet of a post from a teen who used Heartstopper to come out to their parents.
In July, Connor also retweeted a scene of the cast dancing in front of homophobic protestors at London Pride this year and praised his co-stars, humbly moving the spotlight in their direction: “uhhh I was videoing and screaming at them but please don’t be mistaken, it wasn’t ’Kit Connor and the rest of the cast’, it was @joelocke03 and @SebastianCroft front and centre. Please give them the credit for doing something so powerful.”
uhhh I was videoing and screaming at them but please don’t be mistaken, it wasn’t ’Kit Connor and the rest of the cast’, it was @joelocke03 and @SebastianCroft front and centre. Please give them the credit for doing something so powerful. https://t.co/SjvJFCHwKD
— Kit Connor (@kit_connor) July 2, 2022