Joe Locke, Kit Connor, Yasmin Finney, Will Gao, Corinna Brown and Kizzy Edgell are the recipients of the GAY TIMES Honour for On Screen Trailblazer, sponsored by CUPRA.  

The stars memorably skyrocketed to fame earlier this year on the first season of Heartstopper.

Based on Alice Oseman’s webcomic and graphic novel of the same name, Netflix’s coming-of-age series following the blossoming romance between high schoolers Charlie Spring (Locke) and Nick Nelson (Connor). 

Upon release, Heartstopper received overwhelming acclaim – boasting a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes – with praise aimed at the vibrant and positive depiction of young queer love and its normalisation of the trans experience with Finney’s trailblazing character Elle Argent. 

Locke told GAY TIMES earlier this year that it’s “important to show younger, especially queer kids, that your life isn’t going to be just bullying,” adding: “You can have a happier life. You deserve a happier life.”

With viewers watching almost 24 million hours of Netflix during its first week, Netflix subsequently renewed Heartstopper for two more seasons. 

The cast has since dominated the awards circuit with nominations at the National Television Awards, Dorian Awards, TV Choice Awards and the Children’s and Family Emmy Awards. 

There’s more: the stars have also been confirmed to star in some of 2023’s most highly-anticipated projects.

Locke has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the upcoming WandaVision spin-off, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, where he will star alongside Kathryn Hahn and Aubrey Plaze, while Connor will lead the live-action adaptation of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow.

Finney will continue to break boundaries for trans representation on the small screen as the companion of the titular character in Doctor Who, who will be played by Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa. On Screen Trailblazer feels correct. 

GAY TIMES Honours sponsored by Meta Quest celebrates the individuals and organisations who have had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ+ people over the past 12 months.

This year’s star-studded line-up of performers included Tove Lo, Cat Burns, Grag Queen, Kai-Isaiah Jamal and Keanan, as well as a DJ set from Princess Julia.

The new digital edition of GAY TIMES magazine spotlights this year’s winners and is available to read now on the GAY TIMES app, Apple News +, Readly and Flipster.

To follow all of the action from GAY TIMES Honours sponsored by Meta Quest, check out our Instagram @GAYTIMES. For the latest winners, performances and special moments from the night click here.