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Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney talks being a ‘self-made trans queer’

yasmin finney
Yasmin Finney on being a ‘self-made trans queer'Pierre Mouton - Getty Images

Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney has opened up about being "self-made" and encountering homelessness before starring in the Netflix hit show.

In an interview with Elle UK, she described her journey from poverty to stardom. "We came from poverty, lived on a council estate," she said. "I remember me and my mum were actually homeless for two weeks, living from hotel to hotel. But I was still going to school every morning – barely able to afford school meals."

She was in the casting process for Pose star Billy Porter’s latest film when auditions for Heartstopper were announced. She describes playing her character Elle was her "first legit job", adding "it was a job that highlighted who I was as a trans person – what’s not to love about it?"

yasmin finney heartstopper netflix
Netflix

Now, Yasmin is revelling in being independent, renting her own flat in London. "It’s me and my dog. I pay my own bills," she said. "I take out my own trash, and do my own dishes. At this age! It’s unheard of that somebody from Manchester, a self-made trans queer, has their own very nice three-bedroom place in London."

The star had some wisdom to share about singledom and finding your own "validation".

"When you have to rely on other people’s validation you’re not going to survive in this world," she said, "This world wasn’t built on your boyfriend buying you everything. Be your own sugar daddy!"

Yasmin also opened up about her experience of transitioning, both socially and medically, and the difficulties she's "struggled" getting anywhere with parts of the process.

"The NHS is a completely broken system," she said. "I've been on a waiting list for eight years now. So even me, almighty trans beam of light, struggles with the system. You can’t escape it no matter who you are."

The second season of Heartstopper is coming soon, and Yasmin seems excited for the direction that her character Elle will be taking.

In a teaser for the new season, she said: "There are so many things that happen with Elle this season that you’re not ready for.

"I would say Elle is different in that she’s more confident. She surrounds herself with people that elevate her."

Heartstopper's second season airs on Netflix on 3 August


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