stranger things will sexuality

Stranger Things is no stranger to fan theories, but the latest one that has the internet all abuzz doesn’t have to do with plot twists or cliffhangers, but one character’s sexuality. Stranger Things 3 showed that it wasn’t afraid to touch on LGBTQ representation — an issue that isn’t commonly tackled in ’80s-related, nostalgic properties. But now Noah Schnapp, who has played Will Byers since Stranger Things season 1, is addressing whether his character’s sexuality was revealed in the latest season.

Mild spoilers for Stranger Things 3 below.

In episode three of the Netflix series, “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” a frustrated Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) yells at Will when he insists on playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons instead of talking about their love lives. “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls,” Mike blurts out before apologizing to a distraught Will. The ambiguous line has led to much online speculation over whether Stranger Things has confirmed that Will is gay.

“It’s really up to interpretation,” Schnapp told The Wrap, elaborating:

“All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends. You see in episode three, he just wants to play D&D in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating. And it’s kind of, when you hear Mike say that line, it’s really up to the audience to interpret it. I kind of just interpret it like he’s not ready to grow up and he doesn’t really want to move on to dating and relationships yet. He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”

After being kidnapped in season 1 and possessed in season 2, Will Byers had a relatively smoother storyline in Stranger Things 3, except for his turmoil over his friends growing up and leaving him behind. Desperate to hang onto their childhood, he tries to recapture the fun that they used to have together, but finds them all too irrevocably changed. It’s a moving and realistic storyline, and one that doesn’t have to be tied to his sexuality. But after the introduction of Robin (Maya Hawke) as Stranger Things‘ first openly gay character, fans are hungry for more LGBTQ representation. And it’s a question that has arisen around Will’s character before, back in season 1 when local townspeople and his own father negatively implied that he was gay.

Schnapp previously brought up Will’s sexuality on Instagram, where he wrote in a now-deleted post, “For me, Will being gay or not is besides the point. Stranger Things is a show about a bunch of kids who are outsiders and find each other because they have bullied in some way or are different. Does being sensitive, or a loner, or a teenager who likes photography, or a girl with red hair and big glasses, make you gay? I’m only 12, but I do know we all relate to being different.”

Whether Will is gay, straight, or perhaps even asexual, we can all agree on one thing: He needs a vacation.

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