Here are some of the many reasons why Netflix’s new queer show has been vital for LGBTQI viewers
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY NETFLIX
It’s almost been two weeks since the highly anticipated Netflix adaptation of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper graphic novels came to our screens. Since then there has been an outpouring of love and support from viewers of all walks of life online. But for queer audiences, Heartstopper has never been more needed. In its short time on our screens, it’s already held the record for the amount of times I’ve rewatched a show from start to end. Feeling sad? Watch Heartstopper. Feeling stressed? Watch Heartstopper. Feeling happy? Watch Heartstopper. You get the gist.
But why has the show been such a success? I could write an endless list. If you’ve somehow made it this far without joining in the fun, I hope this will convince you to stream Heartstopper, like, right now! Warning: mild spoilers ahead.
The cast, creator and fanbase
The show is based on the graphic novel series created by Alice Oseman. Over the years Alice has nurtured a devoted and loyal fanbase. For our May issue, Alice opened up about how readers would sometimes get in touch to let her know that the novels had helped them to come out – and that parents of LGBTQI children had also opened up about how the books had helped them to connect with their kids.
Whilst we’ve seen some pretty awful book to screen adaptations, fans felt relieved and excited once the cast was announced. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, whoever was in charge of casting for this show deserves all the awards. On top of this, Alice wrote the script herself, so the magic of the story was clearly in the safest of hands.
Reactions to the recent finale of Killing Eve showed how done many LGBTQI viewers are with our stories perpetually ending in tragedy. If you’re wanting to digest more hopeful shows, you definitely need to watch Heartstopper. It’s serves up bucket loads of queer joy. In a time where homophobia, transphobia and anti-LGBTQI legislation is on the rise, this celebration of queerness is ESSENTIAL.
One of the most impressive things about Heartstopper is that it manages to exude optimism whilst also not sugarcoating the struggles all the characters face. Each character is experiencing their own troubles: figuring out their sexuality, being outed, homophobia, transphobia, coming out, mental health and more. The show treats each issue with respect and gives each character the space to process this.
Types of coming out
There are a range of LGBTQI characters that make up the cast. Through handling each story with care, the show is able to show that there is no one way to come out, no one way to be queer and that every experience is different. I also appreciated how it reflected that people don’t just have to come out once – as is so often portrayed in shows – but you have to come out again, and again, and again.
The portrayal of love
Not only does Heartstopper serve up a MLM teen romance for the ages, but it gives equal respect and care to different types of relationships. It celebrates the importance of love between parents and children, siblings, friends and self. None are conveyed as less important than the other. More please! Like seriously. A second season is yet to be announced, and I don’t know what I’ll do if we don’t get more episodes.
The soundtrack for the show is jam-packed full of queer music. Like the show, the mixtape is full of hope, celebration and love as well as songs that explore harder topics. Whilst anxiously refreshing my newsfeed, hoping for a renewal announcement, listening to this mixtape on repeat is keeping me somewhat calm and carrying on. With artists like Baby Queen, Orla Gartland, girl in red, Rina Sawayama and many more, how could you not have these songs on constant rotation?
Hungry for more Heartstopper content? We got the chance to interview Alice Oseman, Yasmin Finney, Corinna Brown and Kizzy Edgell about bringing the magic of the books to the screen in our May issue. You can order your copy via the link below.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.
✨ linktr.ee/divamagazine ✨