Was Kit Connor queerbaiting? The star of Netflix’s gay teen gay love story, Heartstopper, has deleted his Twitter after being accused of queerbaiting. The term describes people who fake or hint at being gay to satisfy LGBTQ fans’ desire to see themselves in the celebrities they love. How did it happen? Keep reading.
What Exactly Happened?
While Connor has not publicly announced a sexual identity, fans speculate that Connor kept his identity a secret, leaning more towards a "fake gay identity" to get new viewers.
Although he is active on Twitter, he tweeted last week without addressing the accusations and tweeted: “this is a silly silly app. bit bored of it now, deleting twitter :),”
Why The Accusations?
As per PinkNews, Connor had been accused of “queerbating” after being spotted holding hands with his A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow co-star, Maia Reficco. PinkNews reported that a Twitter user wrote: “Someone released a video of Kit and Maia walking in the street holding hands, and now people think they’re dating and are accusing him of queerbaiting (for like the third time) and are starting to attack Maia as well because of it."
The Speculation Has Existed
In May, Connor wrote: “Twitter is so funny, man. Apparently, some people on here know my sexuality better than I do.” He also addressed the speculation during an appearance on the Reign with Josh Smith podcast. On the podcast, he said he finds it strange when social media makes assumptions about someone’s sexuality based on their appearance. He said it is "a very interesting, slightly problematic sort of assumption to make."
What It Means
According to Them, “queerbaiting” originally had a completely different meaning. The term was borne out of fan cultures of the 2010s to refer to a phenomenon wherein cishet creators allude to the possibility of queer relationships in fictional texts without ever actualizing those relationships. It was used first used to criticize shows like the BBC’s Sherlock. When people now use the term, it is used to criticize celebrities who seem to adopt queer aesthetics without actually identifying as queer. While the 18-year-old plays a queer teenager, he has yet to speak publicly about his sexuality.
What do you think about it? Should it be an ongoing issue or question that sparks debate, or should the question be left alone?