Stranger Things 3 introduced the show’s first gay character, but it wasn’t actually the Hawkins resident that fans expected to come out. Maya Hawke’s Robin seemed to be lined up as a new love interest for Steve before she revealed that she was a lesbian in a late-in-the-day episode. Meanwhile, Will Byers’ sexuality has still yet to be clarified.
Will has been the victim of homophobic bullying in the past, with his own father derogatorily insinuating that he was gay in season 1. This was brought to the fore in season 3, as Will began to run frustrated with how much time his friends were spending with their girlfriends. In a heated argument, Mike blurted out “it’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” He soon apologized for the comment though and Will’s true feelings weren’t addressed again for the rest of the season.
While speaking to The Wrap, actor Noah Schnapp talked about his thoughts on Will’s orientation, explaining that he doesn’t necessarily believe that the character’s frustration is over his sexuality but more with the struggles of growing up. He does comment, however, that it’s up to each viewer to interpret it for themselves.
“All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends,” Schnapp explained.
“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.”
You can understand Schnapp’s view of his character. Will has been practically suffering non-stop for the past two years thanks to his abduction by a Demogorgon and then possession by the Mind Flayer and now that he’s got his life back his friends have moved on and grown up. As such, it’s fair enough if he wants to hold onto childhood a little bit longer.
Still, we’ll have to wait and see how Will’s character will evolve, now that he’s moved out of Hawkins, whenever Stranger Things 4 arrives on Netflix.