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Who is Joe Locke? Everything to know about the gay ‘Heartstopper’ hottie

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Joe Locke has skyrocketed to fame since portraying high school student Charlie Spring in the British Netflix coming-of-age series, Heartstopper, an adaptation of Alice Oseman’s webcomic and graphic novel of the same name. Since his breakout role, he’s been cast in Marvel Studios’ TV show, Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, and nabbed the role of Tobias in Broadway’s Sweeney Todd

Fun fact: Locke was cast out of 10,000 actors who auditioned for Heartstopper in an open casting call. Unfortunately, due to the subject matter of the Netflix series (Locke plays a gay high school student who develops a relationship with bisexual jock, Nick Nelson, portrayed by Kit Connor), Locke and Connor were targets of endless speculation about their sexualities. Read on to learn more about Joe Locke both on and off the big screen.

Who is Joe Locke?

Born on September 24, 2003, Joe Locke grew up in Douglas, Isle of Man. He is 5-feet, 9-inches tall

Locke has said that he’s had a passion for drama and acting since he was six years old, but always considered it more of a hobby than something to seriously pursue because being from a place like Isle of Man meant that it would be difficult for him to break into the industry. Speaking to Behind The Blinds he explained, “I know lots of extremely talented people who have ended up going back [to the island] and working office jobs because they haven’t been able to get that chance. So I think it just comes down to a lot of luck.”

Luck was certainly on Locke’s side when he went to an open audition for the lead role of Charlie in Heartstopper. Locke said he read the comics and really identified with Charlie’s character and high school experience, which made him super invested in getting the role. “I really wanted to be a part of the project because I felt like there are not many shows out there that depict the positives of growing up as a queer person – I just thought it was so great that there’s a story in which we can show younger queer kids that they deserve happiness,” he said to Behind The Blinds. “I was really lucky to be what the author and producers had in mind and I don’t ever want to take that for granted.”

While Heartstopper keeps things rather PG-13, fans can catch more revealing glimpses of Locke on his shirtless red carpet appearances. 

Joe Locke’s Personal Life

Is Joe Locke Gay?

Locke is gay. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Locke shared that he’s known he was gay since age nine, and has been openly gay since age 12, but never disclosed his sexuality to any media outlet. “People have assumed and written it,” he said in the interview, “And I haven’t ever corrected anyone because I haven’t felt the need to. But I’ve never specifically stated my sexuality.”  

Locke shared his coming out journey in a New York Times interview with co-star Kit Connor. “I think coming out is stupid, that it’s still a thing that people have to do,” he said. Then, after sharing how he came out on Instagram at age 12, he explained, “I had just told my mum, and I was on top of the world. I quickly realized I was ready to tell my mum but I was not ready to tell the world. 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.’”

Is Joe Locke Dating Anyone?

There has been much speculation regarding Locke’s relationship status. Specifically if he’s dating co-star Sebastian Croft. But for anyone shipping the two actors, they will be sorely disappointed as they are allegedly just very good friends and neither have confirmed any romantic relationship.

Fans have also speculated as to whether Locke and Connor—whose Heartstopper characters date—are dating in real life. Unfortunately, that’s also a no. In an interview with Digital Spy, Connor said, “We’re very good friends, me and Joe. We’re very close.”

So until Locke and Croft or Locke and Connor date each other (or anyone else, for that matter) their relationship statuses remain single. 

More from So.Gay:

Who is Kit Connor?

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