‘Stranger Things’: Is Will Byers Gay?

Romance is in the air in Stranger Things Season 3

The season focuses on a bevy of relationships, including the blossoming romance between Mike and Eleven. But it’s not all roses for everyone — like Will Byers. He’s one of the only people without a girlfriend, and it seems like he doesn’t intend on getting one soon.

So, what’s the deal with Will Byers? Is he gay? Let’s talk more about it, and what Noah Schnapp had to say about his character.

Noah Schnapp
Noah Schnapp | Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

(Warning: Spoilers are ahead.)

This episode of Stranger Things has raised questions 

In Episode 3, “The Case of the Missing Life Guard,” Will — who spent the first season trapped in a shadow realm called the Upside Down and season 2 being possessed by the Mind Flayer — begs his friends to stop obsessing over girls so they can go back to playing Dungeons & Dragons.

The tribe isn’t interested, though, so Will storms out. When Mike chases after him, the two begin arguing. Will is super upset and yells at his friend because Mike would rather “swap spit with some stupid girl.”

“El’s not stupid. It’s not my fault you don’t like girls,” Mike shoots back. Of course, Mike could have just made this comment in the heat of the moment, but Will’s facial expression suggests that his friend knows more about his sexual orientation than viewers do.  

He continues: “I’m not trying to be a jerk, ok? But we’re not kids anymore. I mean, what did you think, really? That we were never going to get girlfriends? That we’re just going to sit in my basement playing games for the rest of our lives?”

What Noah Schnapp said about his character

In a July 9 interview with The Wrap, Schnapp commented on whether his character is gay, telling the outlet it’s “up to interpretation.”

“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,” Schnapp explained. “He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”

He added that Will’s trauma from the Upside Down contributes to his lack of interest in girls.

“Will was in the Upside Down and he was alone there, not interacting with or connected to his friends or the rest of the world. And when he got back, he expected everything to just go back to how it was before, how it was when he was normal and when he was a kid and he wanted to go back to the basement and play D&D,” Schnapp explained.

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Schnapp also addressed Will’s sexual orientation years ago

According to Vulture, Schnapp commented on Will’s preference back in Season 1, declaring that his character being “gay or not is [beside] the point.” 

Stranger Things is about a bunch of kids who are outsiders and find each other because they have been bullied in some way or are different,” he wrote in a now-deleted social media post. “Does being sensitive, or a loner, or a teenager who likes photography, or a girl with red hair and big glasses, make you gay?”

Well, he has a point there.

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Fans might be able to get more answers when Stranger Things Season 4 premieres. Keep your fingers crossed.