Credit: Netflix screenshot

As if we needed another reminder that the Internet is a horrible place.

A certain segment of Heartstopper viewers has apparently never heard the words “It’s none of your damn business.” Or, if they did, they predictably told themselves, “That can’t possibly apply to us.” So they took up residence on social media and hounded series lead Kit Connor about his sexual orientation, they speculated, they demanded answers that they were most certainly not owed, and finally, they broke him.

On Halloween, the actor, who plays bisexual high-schooler and goodhearted golden retriever Nick Nelson in Netflix’s inspirational romance, took to Twitter to say, “I’m bi. Congrats for forcing an 18-year-old to out himself.

“I think some of you missed the point of the show,” he added. “Bye.”

If you ask us, Connor’s tormentors didn’t just miss the point of the rightly adored coming-of-age love story, they took pains to altogether ignore it. Alice Oseman, on whose graphic novels the series is based, marveled, “I truly don’t understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes.

“I hope all those people are embarrassed as [bleep],” she continued. “Kit, you are amazing.”

Heartstopper has been renewed for two (!) more seasons.

Credit: Netflix

Connor’s leading man Joe Locke, Charlie Spring to his Nick, immediately leapt to his defense. “You owe nothing to anyone,” he tweeted Connor. “I’m so proud of you, my friend.”

Sebastian Croft, who plays closeted bully Ben Hope, wrote, “Kit Connor, the world doesn’t deserve you. Love you, my friend.”

Kizzy Edgell, aka Darcy, sent Connor her love. “I’m sorry this has been so disgustingly rough on you,” she said. You have “been treated so unfairly.”

Baby Queen, whose earworms provide the Heartstopper soundtrack with some of its greatest hits, reminded everyone that “you should never have to explain or define yourself for anybody else’s sake. We love you, Kit.”

heartstopper LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: The cast of Heartstopper (L-R) Kizzy Edgell, Corinna Brown, Kit Connor, Joe Locke, Tobie Donovan and Sebastian Croft attend Pride in London 2022: The 50th Anniversary - Parade on July 02, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Connor and his Heartstopper castmates took London Pride by storm.

Credit: Chris J. Ratcliff/Getty Images

So do we. And while grotesque behavior on social media is hardly a revelation, it feels somehow extra [bleeped]-up in this case. On one hand, you have a guy who has given a beautiful performance that has meant so much to so many — a lot of them young people figuring themselves out and figuring out how to communicate what they are figuring out. Instead of only being celebrated for his achievement, he’s been harassed for what he wasn’t prepared to say to the world.

On the other hand, you have a kid — he’s just 18 [bleeping] years old. He’s already dealing with the bizarreness of overnight being dropped into the spotlight and being an admirable spokesperson for bi visibility in entertainment. And that’s not enough for the jackasses of the Internet. They had to turn up the pressure on him. What did they get out of it? They stressed out a young man who was busy leading his own life and doing work that wasn’t just excellent, it was helping others.

Our hope is that Connor can take comfort in knowing that more of the world has his back than doesn’t, and that his satisfaction at making a difference in kids’ lives isn’t outweighed by this ugliness.