If you notice people in your life seem a little more chipper today, if they’re walking around with a little more pep in their step, that’s because it’s Heartstopper Season 2 premiere day—and it’s simply impossible to be in a bad mood after you’ve watched Heartstopper!
It’s been just over 15 months since the teen rom-com premiered on Netflix (though it’s felt like eons!) and became a global sensation. Created by Alice Oseman—adapted from her web comics of the same name—the love story of Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) and Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) continues to unfold in the newest batch of episodes, which, judging from early reactions, have been well worth the wait.
But apparently not everyone loves Heartstopper. (We know, we’re shocked, too!)
The same week we’re all abuzz over season two, word’s gotten out that an Iowa school district has included the Heartstopper books series on a list of nearly 400 works of literature it believes could violate so-called “education reform bills” that were passed in the state earlier this year under Republican Governor Kim Reynolds.
According to the Des Moines Register, the Urbandale Community School District is set to ban titles from the list, which also includes literary classics like Ulysses, The Catcher In The Rye, and The Color Purple, and hundreds of other books considered to feature sex acts, or any mention of gender identity or sexual orientation—which they deem inappropriate for students before seventh grade.
Teachers have been asked to remove all titles from the list, in accordance with Iowa’s Senate File 496, signed by Governor Reynolds back in May. Many of the bill’s particulars echo Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” laws, in what is another instance of conservative law-makers trying to define what is “age appropriate” in schools (while drawing an even harder line when it comes to LGBTQ+ stories).
That’s especially laughable when it comes to Heartstopper, a beautifully uplifting and affirming universal story of love and acceptance aimed at young adult audiences (though no doubt enjoyed by people of all ages). How can anyone read or watch the adventures Nick and Charlie—or their friends Elle, Tao, Isaac, Tara, and Darcy—and think this sweet and sensitive tale is “inappropriate”?
And let’s be real: Heartstopper isn’t “turning” anyone gay. If anything, it’s showing so many scared or uncertain queer kids that it’s okay to be themselves, that they, too, deserve love, comfort, safety, and happiness, just like everyone else.
According to Book Riot, school officials in Iowa have been confused over how to follow the stipulations of the Senate File 496, as it’s “not entirely apparent” which books qualified to be removed under it. According to democratic Iowa House Majority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, the vagueness was part of the point, saying the bill “was passed for political headlines instead of students’ best interest.”
Book ban or not, we have faith Heartstopper will continue to find readers—young and old—who need it most. And the good news is that folks are certainly finding and loving season two of the TV adaptation.
Within hours the new episodes dropping on Netflix, “Heartstopper” started trending on
If you need proof that Heartstopper can have a positive impact on people’s lives, look no further than some of these ecstatic and emotional reactions to the new season:
*potential spoilers ahead*