October 13, 2022
Season one of Netflix’s Heartstopper, which premiered in April 2022, earned lots of love for fictional couple Charlie and Nick. Based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novels of the same name, the show features Charlie and Nick as well as teen characters like Tara, Darcy, Elle and Tao. The majority of the main characters are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual.
It has been so amazing to see this positive representation! Having a show where most of the cast is LGBTQ+ is so important. In honor of October being LGBTQ+ History Month, a time intended to focus on the history of LGBTQ+ people as well as increase awareness and visibility, I wanted to give Heartstopper a shout-out!
A Holistic View
While a lot of shows now have LGBTQ+ characters, they are typically not the focus. We see some homophobia in Heartstopper, but we also see how positivity outweighs negativity. The show gives us a holistic view of what it is like to be LGBTQ+ as the characters, unfortunately, deal with homophobia and/or transphobia, but are also engaged in happy relationships and friendships just like anyone who is heterosexual and/or cisgender might be.
It’s OK to Question
Something else that Heartstopper does a good job of portraying is when someone is confused about their sexual orientation. For instance, we see Nick, who thinks he is heterosexual, develop feelings for Charlie. He begins to do research about bisexuality and eventually identifies as bi. But Charlie never insists Nick come out until he is ready to do so on his own terms.
Seeing a character question their sexual orientation makes the show all the more relatable for people who haven’t figured out how they identify. Nick shows us that it is OK not to know and to explore your sexual identity.
This show will always have a special place in my heart as there is a character who identifies the same way as I do. But more importantly, it shines because it’s a positive love story between two teen guys. The first time I watched, I cried during almost every episode, not because it was sad, but because I was and am so happy that the show highlights all the positivity in LGBTQ+ relationships.
Season two is now in production and I’m excited for it to come out! If you haven’t seen Heartstopper yet, I apologize for any spoilers and strongly urge you to watch it, during LGBTQ+ History Month and any month!