There has been speculation for years that the character of Will Byers on “Stranger Things” is coming to terms with being gay. The show has certainly been playing it that way, but has yet to articulate it, and queer fans of media are all too used to gay-baiting where characters are strongly implied to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community only to never have it become canon. But actor Noah Schnapp cut through the Will-Byers-gay-or-nay ambiguity in a recent interview with Variety.
“It’s pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike,” the 17-year-old actor explained about the relationship between Will and his best friend played by Finn Wolfhard. “I think for season four, it was just me playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with knowing if he’ll be accepted or not, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn’t belong. Will has always felt like that … I think that’s why so many people come up to me and tell me that they love Will and they resonate with him so much, because it’s such a real character.”
Will has certainly had a lot on (and in) his mind over the years. In season one he was kidnapped and trapped in the alternate dimension called the Upside Down. Then in he was possessed by a demonic force known to the characters as the Mind Flayer. But things have gotten more personal for Will since then: “This season was a new thing for me. I had to explore him navigating his personal identity issues and struggling with growing up and assimilating into high school. It was new for me.”
Of course, Will still hasn’t come out to anyone on the show yet, though his big brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) essentially invited him to in the fourth season finale. The show will be back for a fifth and final season, so we may yet get the on-screen confirmation we’ve been waiting for. Read the rest of Schnapp’s interview here.
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