Alice Oseman Perfectly Encapsulates British School Experience in Heartstopper, “Even the uniforms are similar to my school’s,” Says Joe Locke

Published 04/27/2022, 4:30 AM EDT

Alice Oseman, the author of the webcomic, Heartstopper is based on, wasn’t ready to hand over her brainchild to anybody. And for good reasons. She was involved in everything from casting to uniform. That resulted in countless happy fans and the Netflix adaptation staying true to the comic.

From casting to the gay quiz, everything was accurate in Heartstopper

For a 27-year-old to perfectly capture the British school experience along with young queer love is a great achievement. Oseman wanted the casting department to cast actors with exact sexual identity and ethnicity as her comic book’s characters. Thus Joe Locke was cast for Charlie Spring. 

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And according to Joe, Oseman was pretty accurate with her depictions.

Even the uniforms are similar to my school’s and the form groups and every math class look the same,” shared Joe. Apart from the perfect British school setting, Oseman was bang on the queer experience. Young adults actually take such gay quizzes to determine their sexual identity.

The classic Buzzfeed ‘Are you gay?’ quiz was genuinely a popular trend at my school,” he shared. 

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Are schools still not accepting of queer people?

While Heartstopper gives you hope, the reality is a little different. 18-year-old, Joe, explained that other students are still hard on queer people. Gay is often used as an insulting remark. 

Difference is seen as a bad thing in a lot of schools and to other teenagers because you don’t fit in with a certain norm that’s seen to be acceptable. There were definitely people who said things to people in my year who were different. And part of that is because, when you’re a teenager, you don’t know yourself, and a way of covering that is to attack other people.”

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A lot has changed in recent years but there’s still a long way to go. But we can learn ways of trying to make it better,” he concludes.

School can be a wonderful place but it can also be a not-so-wonderful place if you don’t happen to fit in properly.”

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Just like Charlie, Joe’s teenage years weren’t smooth sailing either. Although he wasn’t bullied, he confessed to keeping to himself and going through a “quiet” phase. 

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Srabani Biswas

1116 articles

Srabani Biswas is a writer at Netflix Junkie. She is a sociology graduate from Lady Brabourne College. Previously, she has contributed to Sports India Show and The Sports Room as a sports writer, and interned at Ripples Learning.

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