Joe Locke slams ‘crass’ interest in his love life
New netflix series Heart stroke received critical and public acclaim upon its release in April this year. This praise was for its LGBT+ representation in a coming-of-age genre. The show is adapted from the Alice Oseman webcomics of the same name and stars Joe Locke and Kit Connor as two gay boys who develop a relationship.
Although queer audiences openly praise and defend the show, lines have been inappropriately crossed when it comes to the personal lives of the two young stars. Locke, who plays gay teenager Charlie, expressed disgust at “the idea of a tabloid looking into a teenager’s love life”.
This response follows how her co-star Connor, who plays Nick, who comes out as bisexual on the show, was forced to come out as bisexual herself. This follows scathing accusations of queer-baiting – a marketing technique for fiction and entertainment that the creators allude to, but do not describe, same-sex romance or other LGBTQ+ portrayal.
These accusations came after he was photographed holding hands with Maia Reficco in Paris, which some have called odd since Connor is playing someone in an MLM relationship for his job. As a result, Connor took to public social media app Twitter to “get out.”
“Come back a minute. I am bisexual. Congrats on forcing an 18 year old to come clean,” the actor tweeted. “Think some of you missed the point of the show. Goodbye.”
As he explained to British GQ in an interview with the two actors, Locke also grew frustrated with speculation about his love life and that of his co-stars. The teenage actor shared how “the idea of a tabloid looking into a teenager’s love life is truly disgusting. Someone who makes money with rumors that I – an 18 year old boy – might like or talk about is really rude and evil. I’m 18, I don’t know who I am yet.
Connor had also previously shared his views on the Reign with Josh Smith podcast in May, saying he didn’t need to explain his sexuality and that it’s “dangerous” to speculate on social media.
“In the cast, I’m 18 and we have a few people in our early twenties, and even with those older cast members, we’re all so young, and to start speculating about our sexualities and maybe we pushing to come when we might not be ready,” the actor says.
He continued with the statement, “I mean, for me, I just feel perfectly confident and comfortable in my sexuality, but I’m not too big on labels and things like that. I’m not massive about it. And I don’t feel like I need to label myself, especially not publicly.
Connor has, thankfully, received support and appreciation from fans of the show since coming out as bisexual. However, this can only make up for much of the unnecessary criticism and inappropriate obsessive behavior of others.
Heart stroke is available to stream on Netflix. The second and third seasons have been confirmed.
The most popular