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Noah Schnapp Covers ‘Variety’ Talks Coming Out & Who’s Sliding Into His DMs

Noah Schnapp Cover’s ‘Variety’ Talks Coming Out & Who's DMing Him Now

Noah Schnapp Cover’s ‘Variety’ Talks Coming Out & Who's DMing Him Now

Plus, how playing Will Byers’ helped him discover his own identity.

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We already felt the power of Noah Schapp, but now he has the cover story to prove it. TheStranger Things star is being featured on Variety's first-ever “Power of Young Hollywood” and that feels very correct.

In the interview the newly out actor opened up about an, ahem, variety of things including about coming out, how his Stranger Things role impacted that, and his dating life since sharing his truth with the world.

Before surprising fans by coming out on TikTok, the 18-year-old opened up to his family, and their reaction he said caught him by surprise. “When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was ‘we know,’” he told Variety.

Playing Will Byers, a queer and questioning young man helped him with his journey of self-acceptance. “Once I fully embraced that Will was gay, it was just an exponential speed towards accepting it for myself. I would be in a completely different place if I didn’t have Will to portray, and to embrace and help me accept myself. I think if I never played that character, I probably would still be closeted,” he confessed.

It was in part the positive reaction that fans had to Will’s sexuality that helped him become comfortable sharing his identity. “It kind of blew up in the press, and everyone was like, ‘Oh, Will’s gay! Hooray!’ I saw all these comments on Instagram and TikTok. There was not one bad thing about him being gay. I was like, if he has all this support, then why should I worry about anything?”

Which led him to share his identity on TikTok. While the actor appeared incredibly relaxed in his understated coming out video, the truth was he was nervous to see the reaction after it dropped so he chose not to check his phone for a while afterwards. “I didn’t want to sit there waiting nervously to see what people were going to say. I just wanted to put it away and be confident in who I am, and know that I don’t have to care what people think anymore.”

@noahschnapp

I guess I’m more similar to will than I thought

But of course he couldn't stay away forever. “When I opened my phone… it was, like, a thousand texts of hearts and congratulations and rainbow flags. I was crying. I was like, ‘I made it. I’m done. I don’t have to worry,’” he recalled

This year he celebrated his first Pride as an out-gay young man, the experience was powerful for the young actor. “It was truly such a liberating feeling, just seeing my parents cheer me on. “I’ve never felt so supported and loved.”

As for his dating life since coming out, well he shared some eyebrow-raising tea about his attitude toward dating and who’s been sliding into his DMs “I’m just enjoying life, and if someone comes by, then sure — but I’m not actively trying to find a match. …all of a sudden, there was this influx of all these people in my DMs. And definitely some, like, big names that I didn’t know about. I just take it as a compliment and move on.”

Read the full interview here on Variety.com.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.