When Season 1 of “Heartstopper” came out in April 2022, I was a senior in high school. I was coming out of yet another situationship with a straight guy. My story was classic: grow close to him, develop feelings, question whether or not he’s straight, confess.
To be frank, conservatives across the country are going hysterical. Far-right Republicans have co-opted the term “family-friendly” into a sensationalized rallying cry for concerned conservative parents. The purported link between pedophilia and queerness has created an uptick of anti-gay and anti-trans legislation that one NPR article even referred to as a “cascade.”
In the fall, I discussed how internalized homophobia produced complicated feelings about my old middle school’s increasingly progressive attitudes towards queer identities and rising numbers of “out” queer students. I unpacked my slight resentment toward those queer students, who seem to have an easier time exploring their queer identities out in the open since they exist in a less oppressive environment.