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Identity

‘Heartstopper’ star’s response to fans accusing him of ‘queerbaiting’ is heartbreaking

The show’s creator, co-stars and fans are also coming to his defense.

Kit Connor; queerbaiting; LGBTQ; Heartstopper

"Heartstopper" star's response to fans accusing him of "queerbaiting."

Sometimes it's fun to speculate about your favorite celebrities, guessing things like who they might be dating or if their recent hair change has something to do with a new role. But sometimes speculation goes too far and can become vicious for the celebrity target.

Kit Connor, the star of the Netflix show "Heartstopper," became the focus of intense speculation about his sexuality because he was seen holding hands with Maia Reficco, his co-star from “A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow.” The accusation of the star "queerbaiting" is curious because bisexual people exist and shouldn't have to confirm or deny their queerness based on who they date in order to be valid.

But the intense scrutiny made the young star feel forced to out himself, which is ironic as the series he stars in is all about teens discovering their sexuality and keeping relationships secret until they're comfortable coming out. Connor, who is just 18 years old, popped onto Twitter to address the hurtful speculations.


The teen wrote a short but heartbreaking tweet that encompassed the pressure he felt, his hurt and his disappointment. He tweeted, "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." There wasn't much else that he needed to say to get the point across.

This situation sparks a larger conversation around speculating on someone's sexuality, even if people think it's harmless. Anyone part of the Taylor Swift fandom will have noticed increased speculation around Swift's sexuality and fans saying they had the right to speculate because it's not the same as outing the pop star. Others argued that it could make the singer feel pressured to confirm or deny something that she may not be ready to do publicly.

Swift addressed these theories on her being bisexual or a lesbian in a 2019 Vogue interview, but the #Gaylors, as they call themselves, continue to push the narrative. The difference between Connor and Swift is that the country singer turned pop star is 32 years old and has been in the spotlight since she was 14. It's safe to say she has learned a thing or two about dealing with this sort of pressure, even if it may still be hurtful to her.

Connor, on the other hand, is still a teen and this feels like a different level of harmful. Thankfully he's not facing it without support. Several of his co-stars and the creator of the show "Heartstopper" spoke out in support of the actor and so did several fans. One fan wrote, "im sorry kit i love you with all my heart, you are a wonderful person, you don’t deserve this, love you."

It's easy to forget that celebrities can read your tweets, watch your videos and even read the comments on things you post publicly. But speculating on anyone's sexuality, celebrity or not, should be off the table as it puts your curiosity above the person's feelings and privacy.

No one has the right to force someone out of the closet before they're ready. The bisexual identity is valid and just because someone is seen dating someone of the opposite sex doesn't mean they're any less queer or that they're "queerbaiting."

Teacher starts period in front of class, turns into a lesson

Teachers are almost always teaching even when it's not in their lesson plan.

Those that were born to be teachers find teachable moments everywhere and one woman found herself in one of those moments. Though this one was likely just a bit more personal than she probably would've liked.

Emily Elizabeth posted a TikTok video about how she found herself in a predicament in front of her classroom full of 10 and 11-year-old kids. The teacher explained that she was noticing a lot of commotion and whispering among the little girls in her class while she was wearing white pants. After reminding the girls to stay on task, the whispering continued, prompting Emily to be more direct.

That's when one of the girls asked to speak with her privately dropping the bomb that no one that gets periods wants to hear in public.

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Marc Martel sings with the audience in Santiago, Chile, in May of 2022.

Freddie Mercury was known for many things—his dramatic showmanship, his larger-than-life personality, and his untimely death during the peak of the AIDS epidemic—but he is most remembered for his clear, powerful voice, ranging from rich bass notes to impressive soprano coloratura.

It's hard to do Freddie's voice justice, but Marc Martel has managed to wow millions with his impersonations of the Queen lead singer. If you close your eyes and listen, there are seconds when you might swear you were hearing Freddie himself singing again.

Martel's cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been viewed 56 million times on YouTube. And another of his videos showcases Martel's ability to captivate an audience with his—or Freddie's—voice.

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Family

Woman who was pressured to quit her job to raise stepdaughter's baby makes a bold decision

This sparked an important conversation about family responsibility.

via Pixabay

A middle-aged woman holding a baby.

A story that recently went viral on Reddit’s AITA forum asks an important question: What is a parent’s role in taking care of their grandchildren? The story is even further complicated because the woman at the center of the controversy is a stepparent.

The woman, 38, met her husband Sam, 47, ten years ago, when his daughter, Leah, 25, was 15. Five years ago, the couple got married after Leah had moved out to go to college.

Leah’s mom passed away when she was 10.

Last year, Leah became pregnant, and she wanted to keep the baby, but her boyfriend didn’t. After the disagreement, the boyfriend broke up with her. This forced Leah to move back home because she couldn’t afford to be a single parent and live alone on a teacher’s salary.

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Mario Mirante criticizes a mom he saw at the park.

TikTokker Mario Mirante is going viral for his video that brings up two significant issues: smartphone addiction and whether people without children have the right to criticize parents.

It all started when Mirante saw a young boy playing alone in the park.

“The kid is just playing quietly, not being annoying. I don’t hear a peep from him; he's just doing his thing on the playground,” Mirante said in a video that has nearly 6000,000 views. “The mom the entire time is on her phone, staring right down at her screen. Doesn’t look up one time.”

The boy climbed up to the top of the slide and called down to his mother, who didn’t even look up from her phone. “I hear, ‘Hey mom, watch. Watch, Mom,’” Mirante recalled. “And at the top of her lungs, shrieking like a Velociraptor, this mother screams, ‘One second!”

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Identity

Watch this 104-yr-old woman break the world tandem skydiving record

Dorothy Hoffner tried skydiving for the first time on her 100th birthday and loved it.

Dorothy Hoffner is pure #agingoals.

If you're looking for some aging inspiration, look no further, because Dorothy Hoffner is about to blow your mind.

At 104, Hoffner just became the oldest person to parachute out of an airplane in a tandem skydive. That's right, skydive. At 104 years old—or to be exact, 104 years and 289 days old—beating the previous world record set by a 103-year-old in Sweden in May of 2022.

But it's actually even more impressive than that. It's not like Hoffner is someone who's been skydiving since she was young and just happened to keep on doing it as she got older. She actually didn't go on her first skydiving adventure until her 100th birthday.

On Oct 1, 2023, she joined the team at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, for the world-breaking tandem skydive. Though she uses a walker to get around, she manages the physical toll of plummeting through the air at 10,000+ feet before parachuting to a skidding stop strapped to a certified U.S. Parachute Association (USPA) tandem instructor with impressive ease.

“Let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo!” Hoffner said after she boarded the plane, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Watch her do what many of us would be too terrified to attempt:

The way she rolls right out of that plane cool as a cucumber! Hoffner told the Tribune that on her first skydive, at age 100, she had to be pushed out of the plane. But this time, knowing what she was in for, she took charge with calm confidence.

“Skydiving is a wonderful experience, and it’s nothing to be afraid of," Hoffner shares. "Just do it!”

That's some seriously sage advice from someone who knows firsthand that age really is just a number. Learn more about skydiving with Skydive Chicago here.

Education

Unearthed BBC interview features two Victorian-era women discussing being teens in the 1800s

Frances 'Effy' Jones, one of the first women to be trained to use a typewriter and to take up cycling as a hobby, recalls life as a young working woman in London.

Two Victorian women discuss being teens in the 1800s.

There remains some mystery around what life was like in the 1800s, especially for teens. Most people alive today were not around in the Victorian era when the technologies now deemed old-fashioned were a novelty. In this rediscovered 1970s clip from the BBC, two elderly women reminisce about what it was like being teenagers during a time when the horse and buggy was still the fastest way to get around.

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