Yasmin Finney has opened up about her experience with “really scary” online abuse.
Back in 2022, the young talent made her incredible acting debut as trans teen Elle Argent in the universally acclaimed Netflix series, Heartstopper.
While the success of the LGBTQ+ romantic dramedy has helped Finney’s star skyrocket within the entertainment industry, her increased fame has also resulted in more anti-trans encounters.
During her recent interview with Teen Vogue, the 19-year-old superstar reflected on the importance of her character Elle and the series’ LGBTQ+ representation as a whole.
“Heartstopper is escapism. It’s something that is there for people to watch and escape into a world of fantasy and comfort. We all watch and think, ‘I wish I had this,'” she explained.
“It took me a while to find representation that was real, that represented me, who I was as Yasmin. After a while, I would just reach that point of like, ‘Oh, no one’s like me on TV. I’m never going to be able to do what I want… I’m never going to be able to live a life of safety because of who I am.'”
Finney went on to say that the newfound fame has resulted in her being more vigilant due to the increased number of people sending her death threats.
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“Every day is a risk, every day is a life or death situation. Even now, the popularity that’s come with the show also comes with a lot of danger, because people see Heartstopper, and they’re like,’ Oh, I didn’t like that,'” she explained.
“I’ve got to be even more safe now, because not only do I have the pressure of the community, but I’ve also got people following me on private accounts sending me death threats. It’s really scary. But it’s also life, and it’s what comes with the role.”
Lastly, the emerging star admitted that more trans representation and shows like Heartstopper is needed to combat the increased anti-LGBTQ+ hate in real life.
“This is just one show. We need so many more. If we look at the world itself, how we keep going backwards and forwards, how trans people are always used as a political football in everybody’s debate, when in reality there are so [many] other things that the government needs to be focusing on,” she explained to the publication.
“But instead, they’re focusing on our genitals… It’s all well and [good for] having Heartstopper, but what good is it if we don’t have this in reality.”
Over the last few years, the rights of trans individuals have been targeted and restricted by bigoted lawmakers.
Since the start of 2023, over 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the US.
According to a February report from Human Rights Watch, 150 of those bills have solely targeted the trans community.