Heartstopper‘s Joe Locke has shared that he went “back in the closet for three years” after he first came out as gay.
The actor, 19, plays Charlie Spring in Heartstopper, which returns to our screens for a second season on Thursday (3 August)
The season will see Charlie and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) navigate their relationship following the end of season one, as well as Nick’s process of coming out and Charlie’s mental health.
In an interview with the New York Times ahead of season two’s release Locke and Connor chatted about coming out, a phenomenon Locke called “stupid.”
Locke shared that he first came out to his mum aged 12 which left him feeling “on top of the world.”
He then shared the news on Instagram before realising he wasn’t ready to share the news publicly.
“So I quickly deleted it and said my Instagram had been hacked. I went back in the closet for three years. I retold all my friends and they’re like, ‘Yeah, you told us two years ago.’”
Locke also shared that his 12-year-old self would be proud of him playing an openly gay teen on TV.
Getting emotional Locke also said: “I’ve never thought about it in that sense before which is weird because I’ve thought about the show a lot.”
He also said: “At the end of the day, I don’t regret it. In many ways, it was really empowering.”
Heartstopper season two debuts on Netflix on Thursday 3 August.