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‘Stranger Things’: Noah Schnapp Officially Confirms Will Byers Is Gay and Loves Mike

Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in Stranger Things

Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has officially confirmed that Will Byers is gay and is in love with his friend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), as season 4 strongly indicated. Will’s sexuality has been a topic of discussion among Stranger Things fans since season 3. In the season, viewers noticed that Will became increasingly frustrated with his friends’ girl problems. While the other boys were preoccupied with their relationships, Will simply wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons with Mike in his family’s basement. At one point, he even confronted Mike about destroying the good thing they had going on for the sake of a girl. In response, Mike shot back, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.”

At the time, Schnapp indicated Will’s sexuality could be interpreted however the audience wanted to. Some interpreted it as him being gay, while others interpreted it more as him not wanting to grow up so fast. However, when Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 premiered on May 27, 2022, the topic was brought up once more, as the season’s first volume dropped numerous hints. In one scene, Will physically recoils when a girl tries to play footsie with him. Meanwhile, he becomes increasingly irritated when Mike comes to visit but spends all his time with his girlfriend, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and hardly acknowledges Will.

In Stranger Things volume 2, which premiered July 1, 2022, Will all but formally comes out as gay. He shows Mike his painting, which features their friend group as real D&D warriors, with Mike being the leader and heart of the group. He explains to Mike how much Eleven loves Mike and needs him, because of his heart, spirit, and leadership. However, it is quite obvious Will is actually expressing own feelings, but attributing them to Eleven instead of himself.

Noah Schnapp confirms Will is gay

If viewers still had any doubts after Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 concluded, Schnapp is putting them to rest. In an interview with Variety, Schnapp officially confirmed that Will is gay and is in love with Mike. Check out his statement below:

Yeah, I think it is. Obviously, it was hinted at in Season 1: It was always kind of there, but you never really knew, is it just him growing up slower than his friends? 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. But before, it was a slow arc. I think it is done so beautifully, because it’s so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay. 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.

Not only did Schnapp confirm Will’s sexuality, but also explained the importance of his journey. Will’s coming out is something that the series has been building up to since season 1. There were always small hints early on that could’ve been interpreted as one thing or another, but now that he’s older and these attributes linger, the whole picture starts coming together. The subtle way Stranger Things tackled Will’s sexuality resulted in a very touching and realistic portrayal of a young boy slowly discovering who he is. Now that Schnapp has officially confirmed Will is gay, though, hopefully this signifies a turn from subtlety to Stranger Things being a bit louder and prouder of their LBGTQ+ characters.

(via Variety, featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.