After watching Netflix’s radically ’80s-style hit series Stranger Things, us viewers were left with a ton of questions surrounding the character Will Byers. How the heck did he live through that harrowing experience in the Upside Down? What exactly did he witness while there? Will the Upside Down start to bleed into his everyday life now that he’s back with his mom and brother? And what in God’s holy name was that bug-like thing that he hocked up in the sink at the end of the season finale?
Though the above questions have haunted me since finishing Season 1, I was surprised to learn of another question many viewers were left with — and it has to do with Will Byers’ sexuality. It never occurred to me that Will might be gay — or straight, for that matter — because, frankly, there was so much other crazy shit going on that the possibility of Will being gay just didn’t really cross my mind.
That hasn’t stopped other people from speculating about Will’s sexuality, and rumors that he’s gay have polarized fans. Some maintain that it’s inappropriate to sexualize Will by making him a gay character, while others have argued that it’s homophobic to deny that Will is homosexual.
But Noah Schnapp — the actor who portrays Will — says that both sides are doing it wrong, and he posted his two cents on Instagram.
“So I thought it would be time to jump into the conversation. I’ve been reading stuff for a while. I think everyone here is missing the point,” Schnapp wrote in an Oct. 16 post. “An author called Gary Schmidt came to speak at our school this week and he said that good stories aren’t supposed to leave you with answers because then you never question yourself and you forget about it. A good book, or a good show leaves a lot of unanswered questions but makes you think. Which is what you are all doing. 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 been 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. And that’s why I think the Duffers wrote the show the way they did. So you can ask all these questions. I hope the real answer never comes out!”
This kid, like his fellow castmates, is clearly wise beyond his years.
What do you think about the speculation that Will Byers is gay?
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