Stop complaining about Heartstopper and just let queer people have nice things for once

Not every LGBTQ+ show has to be full of trauma

The newest Netflix series Heartstopper is the show I and many other queer people have been waiting our entire lives for. It represents so many different identities and experiences, and it’s genuinely groundbreaking to see on TV. But almost as soon as the Netflix show came out, so did the people who said it wasn’t sad enough, or “realistic” enough, or basically saying it was too optimistic and happy.

Heartstopper has been called a “joyful queer love story”, and it is – why can’t we just let queer people have one wholesome, nice, lovely TV show for once? Why does everything queer on TV have to be filled with trauma, gloom and death all the time?

“Bury your gays” is a nickname given to the trope that kills off queer characters in TV and film, seen in loads of shows from Buffy to Killing Eve to Corrie. All too often LGBTQ+ characters are just killed off to add to the drama, or else we’re shown to be victims of homophobia and bullying.

Finally seeing characters who are just queer, living their life and navigating things that everyone goes through in school – doing homework, deciding who to sit with at lunch, buying milkshakes with your mates, and trying to figure out if your crush fancies you or not – is incredibly gratifying, and at long last Heartstopper has given us that.

Plus, Heartstopper actually does have quite difficult parts that are hard and emotional to watch. Charlie is bullied; Ben is completely toxic; multiple characters mention the bullying and transphobia Elle encountered; Nick struggles with his sexuality. Yes, the series overall shows things through an optimistic and positive lens, but who doesn’t want to see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel for all of these hard issues? The show is aimed at queer young people, so why are people wanting it to be full of trauma?

As one Twitter user put it: “I find it so weird that some of you are basically complaining that Heartstopper didn’t have enough trauma for your liking. It’s aimed at and based on young people, what did you expect them to show and why are you so against queer kids having positive representation for once?”

Positive representation is so important – everyone, especially young people, deserves to feel seen. Just let us have something nice for once, please.

Heartstopper is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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