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Noah Schnapp Confirms: Stranger Things' Will Byers Is Gay

Noah Schnapp Confirms: Stranger Things' Will Byers Is Gay

Noah Schnapp Confirms: Stranger Things' Will Byers Is Gay

Impatient fans have wondered for years.

rachelkiley

After four seasons of speculation, actor Noah Schnapp is confirming what many Stranger Things fans have long suspected — Will Byers is gay.

The character was in middle school when the show began and is still barely a high schooler as the show hangs in limbo between seasons. But even at a young age, fans were reading queer coding into Will from the jump.

Because of that, and the show’s decision to not immediately confirm his sexuality (despite a pitch doc suggesting that Will being gay was always the plan), Stranger Things has faced backlash and a few accusations of queerbaiting from some impatient fans.

The season four finale telegraphed pretty strongly that the young teen was coming to terms with both his identity and his crush on BFF Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and Schnapp went ahead and confirmed as much in a recent interview with Variety.

“Obviously, it was hinted at in season one: It was always kind of there, but you never really know, ‘Is it just him growing up slower than his friends?’” he said. “Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing. Now it’s 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike.”

Considering Will’s young age, the trauma he has been through, and the era in which the show is set, it makes sense that this journey — which has taken longer for viewers than it has for him, as the show moves forward more slowly than real life — has taken some time. And as frustrated and dismissive as some have been, others have appreciated the thoughtful arc.

Schnapp seems to feel the same way, recalling:

“People have come up to me — I was just in Paris and this, like, 40-year-old man came up to me and he was like, ‘Wow, this Will character made me feel so good. And I related to it so much. That is exactly who I was when I was a kid.’ That just made me so happy to hear. They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle and they're doing it so well.”

The great thing about increased queer representation on screen, compared to even 10 years ago, is that we end up with a greater variety of stories, relationships, and characters. For fans who relate more to Will’s internal struggle than the equally important, easily out-and-proud characters that pop up on some other shows, it’s a nice change of pace.

Now, we can’t wait to see where season five of Stranger Things takes him.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.