Heartstopper star Kit Connor came out as bisexual after feeling forced to address his sexuality to the public.
The actor previously took a break from social media as speculations on his sexuality and accusations of queerbaiting made the rounds online when he was spotted holding hands with actress Maia Reficco.
Queerbaiting happens when shows, films, and even celebrities imply a queer identity or relationship but is never actualized.
In Heartstopper, Connor plays Nick Nelson, a teen who comes into his sexuality, learning he's bisexual when he fell in love with his best friend Charlie (Joe Locke). The show has been lauded for its authentic queer representation, with most of its cast and crew members of the LGBTQ+ community.
"Back for a minute. I'm bi. Congrats for forcing an 18-year-old to out himself. I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye," he tweeted on Nov. 1.
The show's creator and writer Alice Oseman rushed to the actor's corner, defending him.
"I truly don't understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes," she said. "I hope all those people are embarrassed as F**K. Kit you are amazing."
Some fans have also shared support for Connor and raised the harm queerbaiting can cause celebrities.
"The natural conclusion of the 'queerbaiting' discourse is mobs of people harassing and intimidating a celebrity into publicly declaring their sexuality before they're ready, and somehow thinking it's a righteous act," one use wrote.
"No one should be forced to come out and declare their identity out loud for the others to feel validated," another tweeted.
Connor previously refused to label his sexuality, saying, "I feel like I'm perfectly confident and comfortable with my sexuality. I'm not too big on labels and things like that. I'm not massive about that, and I don't feel like I need to label myself, especially publicly."