The series includes the storyline of people in the LGBTQIA+ community. However, the world would not be complete without our allies. Heartstopper, being a critically acclaimed Netflix series has done its part on how one could embody a progressive ally in the 21st century.
WARNING! Spoilers Ahead. If you have not watched Heartstopper yet, I suggest you do it now before you continue reading this.
#1 Learn to LISTEN without judgment.
Even being not in the original graphic novel of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper, Imogen has become one of the crowd’s favorites. In the series, Imogen is a heterosexual cisgender female, with an ENFP personality type, and has a one-sided crush on Nick Nelson.
Instead of going out with her, Nick chose to attend Charlie’s Birthday celebration.
He decided to confront Imogen. The confrontation has also become a confession of Nicks’s true feelings about not being his true self around their friend group.
Even with a broken heart, Imogen simply tried to listen and still tried to understand what he meant with no full context.
A progressive ally offers an open ear, an open heart, and an open mind.
#2 Know that it is NOT your secret to reveal.
When Nick and Charlie got together they were aware of the possible reactions of the people around them. Hence both of them agreed to hide it both from their friends and from the public’s eye.
Charlie, who has been forced to come out and has become a target of bullying in their school was endowed with an understanding of Nick’s situation.
And before even Nick came out to her mother, Charlie supported him by making sure that it’s okay to not come out if he’s not ready for it.
When your friend, lover, family member, or even a stranger is not ready to come out, one should not decide for them. Even if you are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, coming out is someone’s personal choice. And as a progressive ally, all you can do is wait and support their decision.
#3 It is much better to ASK than to assume.
When Elle saw Tara and Darcy alone in their classroom, she decided to address the question she had for forever, “…are you two, like…dating?”
And it seems to be that Elle has befriended the “school lesbians”.
At that time the lovers were still secretly dating and were not yet ready to come out as well. Since Elle has been part of their group they decided to let her know.
As a progressive ally, it is important to ask the right questions and know when to ask them.
#4 ERASE entrenched stereotypes.
Without realizing that Nick has been questioning his sexuality, Tao, on the other hand, Charlie’s Bestfriend was convinced that the 5’11, Rugby Lad, and a human version of a golden retriever is a heterosexual cisgender male.
And as a progressive ally, one should not conform to the stereotypes or better not assume their sexuality. This could cause harm to the person who is in the stage of exploring and questioning.
It’s the 21st century. Not the archaic times. Let us make sure that the next generation would not feel bad about being themselves. Being a progressive ally could be a trial and error thing but kudos to those who are trying.
Genesis is a sensitive soul although thick-skinned. She is hungry for knowledge and change. Her goal is to amplify the voice of many through her writing.