Even in the pilot of Stranger Things, many viewers realized that the show was hinting that Will Byers was gay.
At the time, his character was mysteriously missing, and the discussion surrounding him dropped some clues. Plus, his mom is played by gay icon Winona Ryder.
In recent seasons, the hints have become more obvious. Actor Noah Schnapp, who portrays Will, expressed his hopes that his character can come out on the show.
He doesn’t need to wait for writers or Netflix to make his own announcement, however. Congratulations are in order!
On Thursday, January 5, Noah Schnapp took to TikTok to come out as gay.
The 18-year-old Stranger Things star has been in the public eye since his Netflix debut in 2016.
Given his age, his fan base, and the sometimes-somewhat-okay state of the world, it makes sense that his public coming out was very casual.
As is the nature of the algorithmic nightmare app, the TikTok video in which Noah came out has preexisting audio.
He lip syncs to “You know what it never was? That serious. It was never that serious. Quiet frankly, it will never be that serious.”
That doesn’t sound like much … until you check out the caption to his video, which appears on screen.
“When I finally told my friends and family I was gay,” Noah wrote.
He noted that he did so “after being scared in the closet for 18 years.”
“And,” Noah remarked, “all they said was ‘we know.'”
Noah then went on to quip: “I guess I’m more like Will than I thought.”
Incidentally, he is not the first actor to portray a character who is part of the LGBTQ+ community before realizing that they, too, are part of that community.
And, of course, many actors who know exactly who they are do not choose to come out publicly. Yes, even in 2023, it can cost them key roles and harm their careers.
As for the “we know” response that Noah received from friends and family … that is a polarizing line.
For some people, it is reassuring to know that their family knew who they were all along and that nothing has changed.
But for others, particularly those who only recently figured things out for themselves, it can feel a little belittling.
Meanwhile, social media users have used this happy news to celebrate his portrayal of Will Byers on Stranger Things.
Last season, his character expressed heartbreak over what was clearly (to all but the most clueless viewers) Mike, played by Finn Wolfhard.
His silent, pining tears became a meme — because they were so evocative and, for many, relatable. We’d chalk that up to stellar acting rather than to Noah’s own sexuality, however.