Kit Connor, Heartstopper, and the Right to Opacity

Cam Wade
3 min readDec 21, 2022
Nick and Charlie from Heartstoppers smiling at one another
Nick(Kit Connor) and Charlie(Joe Locke)

Gonna be honest,

Like how my good sis Latto says

“First to watch my story but don’t like me, bitches weird”

Rapper Latto starting into the camera with a pink-lightish tint
Big Latto serving as usual

And to be honest, some of y’all are fucking weird.

Like forcing our poor stank, Kit Connor, to come out.

Since the release of Heartsoppers, Kit Connor, Joe Locke, and so many others working on the show have been meet with critical acclaim, especially for its fairly positive representations of queer social life.

Personally, just like a lot of other Gen-Z gays, I felt like the show ate down.

The camp aesthetic

The bombastic visuals

And the enduring power of queer spirit

Nick and Charlie stare at each other longingly
Nick and Charlie having a “camp” moment together

What else is there not to love with a show like this? When I was coming of age in the 20teens, we had motherfuckers like this as the representation.

Winston being grabbed by Monte(13 Reasons Why)
infamous 13 Reasons Why couple

Case in point, we have definitely made some strives with representation. The concept itself isn’t a bad thing either. Many media scholars even agree that positive representation is an overall net benefit.

However, it seems like we have gone a little overboard with this issue of “queerbaiting.”

“Queerbating” was originally an analytic used to describe the ways that structural forces capture elements of queer culture in order to sanitize their revolutionary potential.

Stank, again read that closely.

Structural Forces

Not individuals. This is why some of y’all sound like clowns talking about Kit Connor “queerbaiting.”

Queerbaiting is something that only makes sense in relation to thinking about how corporations–which are not people, despite what the U.S. legal system thinks– weaponizing queer aesthetics to grab the attention of its viewers. Money is power within the violence of late-stage capitalism.

I hate to inform y’all, but these corporations don’t give a fuck us about, including Netflix. They’ll do anything they can to stay in their bags.

Nick and Charlie playing in the snow
Our favs enjoying a snow day themselves

Hold on to everything for this next part, because I know some of you are gonna be mad about this.

Even if Kit wasn’t queer, it doesn’t matter because queerness is about a specific orientation towards the world. The word itself literally evokes an affect of strangeness, an oddity.

Queerness is about what Black Studies scholar Katherine McKitrrick calls “opacity” and “relation.”

She ate with this particular passage

“Put succinctly, opacity is structured through and brings all kinds of knowledge; it is a method and reading practice that enables lessons, clues, and prompts, about how we might collectively live through and resist white supremacy.”

Opacity is the capacity to move in and out of clarity.

The ability to be unknowable.

Unless you choose to make yourself knowable.

The ability to live as an enigma.

But coming into clarity for the capacity to be in communion with other queer folks.

This is the right to opacity.

I’ve even written about this before. Using a different language than what McKittrick has given us. But similar in concept all the same.

Connor deserves the right to opacity.

Just like anyone of us.

Kit and his co-stars staring at the camera with tinted red-sunglasses
screenshot pulled from Kit’s own instagram

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