The Lens

Bestill Our Pop Culture Pulse: New LGBTQ Show ‘Heartstopper’ Hits Netflix in April

If “gay” is synonymous with happiness, then why are so many of our tales mired in depressing dreck? From bullying to hate crimes to marginalization, we just can’t catch a break.

And that’s just the news!

But Netflix is about to prescribe an antidote to our collective queer conundrum. Heartstopper debuts in April and it promises to bring forth a springtime of blossoming emotions and (pause for effect) actual optimism!

Based on the graphic novel series by Alice Oseman, the narrative follows the flirtation and actualization of Nick and Charlie, two students at an all-boys school who stumble into a relationship as naturally as normally as straight people wear khakis.

“Anyone could read and enjoy Heartstopper,” Oseman told The Reading Realm in a 2019 interview. “It’s first and foremost for LGBT+ teens, as it very much focuses on their experiences, but I think anyone outside that could read and enjoy the book, and maybe learn a little more about the lives of LGBT+ people.”

Since then, the YA phenomenon has garnered legions of fans from across the rainbow spectrum.

“I’ve heard from some readers that Heartstopper has helped them along their journey of discovering and owning their identity,” beams Oseman. “I am forever honoured if Heartstopper has helped anyone in any way in doing that.”

Netflix took note of the feel-good zeitgeist and greenlit a show that will honor the leading lads verily.

To herald the release of the series, a special edition of the first graphic novel will grace bookshelves soon after its premiere date.

We are in love, love, love with the fact that Heartstopper arrives on our digital doorstep when we need it most. Right-wing politicians strive to erase us, bill by toxic bill, and pretend that if we simply don’t say gay that we’ll go away.

Not so fast, argues Oseman.

“As long as there are gay and transgender people, we well always need books that star gay and transgender characters.”

Yaas indeed! So, get ready for your spotlight, Charlie and Nick; we’re sure it will shed a warming, welcoming glow.

Photo: Instagram @aliceoseman

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Published by
Kevin Perry

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