Is Will Byers gay?

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In this brief guide we are going to answer the question ‘’Is Will Byers gay?’’ if you’ve seen the acclaimed series Stranger Things, you’re probably wondering the same thing. Here we answer this theory.

Is Will Byers gay?

Yes, Will Byers in Stranger Things is gay. During an interview with Variety, Schnapp confirmed that Will Byers is gay and he does love Mike. 

Noah Schnapp cleared up one of the most frequent speculations surrounding the characters in Stranger Things. While discussions around the series generally involve supernatural theories linked to the nature and history of The Upside Down as well as the true intentions of some characters, for some time now a debate has been raging about Will Byers’ sexuality.

During an interview with Variety, Schnapp was asked about Will’s feelings for Mike. “It was hinted at in Season 1. It was always kind of there, but you never really knew, is it just him growing up slower than his friends?” he said.

 “Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing. Now it’s 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike. But before, it was a slow arc. I think it is done so beautifully because it’s so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay.”

While Will Byers’ sexual orientation was discussed almost from the beginning of Stranger Things, it wasn’t until this fourth season that the debate became more apparent. It makes sense because the character, progressively, has been growing within the story. His development, seen from a narrative perspective, looks coherent and natural.

“I think for season four, it was just playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with whether or not he will be accepted,” said the actor, who revealed that one of the key scenes regarding his sexuality was written on the spur of the moment.

Although so far in the context of Stranger Things it has not been openly stated that Will is gay because the character would still be processing his feelings, the subtext is there and is quite evident in the scene in the eighth episode of the fourth season when, pretending to be speaking for Eleven, Byers expresses his feelings for Mike before showing her the drawing he made of the two of them and the rest of their friends.

The clues, to some, were very obvious: Eleven talks about him as if he’s in love, looks away from a girl who flirts with him, and does a class essay about Alan Turing. The series has already been very committed to LGBT representation after introducing Robin, an openly lesbian girl, so it would not be unreasonable to think about Will’s case. In fact, his mother -Winona Ryder- already said in the first installments that his father used to call him “queer”.

However, in Will’s case he has followed a more complex arc: it all starts at the same time as his characters are getting older, when his friends start having partners. He seems more focused on continuing to play Dungeons and Dragons, something Mike doesn’t take too kindly to. But what if his lack of maturity is just because he doesn’t understand what’s happening to him?

As Season 4 progresses, you can see that Will is becoming more and more aware of that difference. And in chapter 8, he has a conversation with Mike -Finn Wolfhard- in which everything seems to be more revealing than it sounds a priori. It all starts when the subject of getting rich to only worry about “playing Nintendo and Dungeons and Dragons” comes up, going back to the subject of doing a season that distanced him from his friends. 

That’s when Wolfhard’s character brings up the topic of feeling undervalued by Eleven, his girlfriend, and that maybe she realizes she doesn’t need him because she’s so powerful.

“You’re afraid of losing her,” Will guesses, making it clear that perhaps he shares more with his friend than at first appears. Noah Schnapp – the actor who brings the younger Byers to life – isn’t worried about losing Eleven, but his best friend. 

They already started to drift apart in Hawkins, but since he moved away from there with his family he has barely kept in touch with Mike and the rest. The reason, hearing his words, seems more than obvious: he is deeply in love with him.

A heartbreaking speech with LGBT parallels.

As they begin to talk about loss, Will plucks up his courage and shows his friend the painting he’s been carrying since they fled home because of the threat of the military. Seeing the illusion with which he explains the painting, which depicts his friends fighting a dragon, Jonathan -Charlie Heaton, his brother in fiction- looks in the rearview mirror while behind the wheel and realizes that his brother is talking about something very different from what his friend is getting.

”She’s very different from the others. When you are different, sometimes you feel like a mistake.”

He talks about Mike being the heart of the group, and he is the one who guides everyone. In this way, he confesses to her that he is the one who guides Eleven, who has been lost since she has been separated from him. “These months without you she’s been very lost. She’s very different from the others. When you’re different, sometimes you feel like a mistake,” Will began, with tears in his eyes that made it clear that it was a subject that touched him very closely.

“But with you it doesn’t feel like a mistake. Being different makes her better and encourages her to keep fighting. If she behaved badly with you or was distant, it’s because she’s afraid of losing you, just like you. And, if she’s going to lose you, I think she’d rather it be quick like ripping off a band-aid. Anyway, yes, Eleven needs you Mike, and she will always need you,” she concluded. His brother was already paying absolute attention, and even though he’s still driving, he’s doing it in the most worrying way.

Although Mike appreciates her words, he doesn’t quite realize what’s going on. Noah Schnapp had already advanced that no clues would be given about his character’s sexual orientation, although the show’s team did say that more evidence of it would be seen in this second volume.

And the key is that, just as she finishes speaking, she bursts into tears looking away from her partner. From there, it is evident that her speech was not only about Eleven and her relationship with her best friend; but about the fear she has to show herself as she really is and the feelings she has towards her best friend.

“Don’t forget that I’m here for you”

If there were still any doubts, episode eight clears them up completely. In a moment when the Byers are left alone, Jonathan takes the opportunity to pull out anecdotes and lament because he has moved away from his little brother. 

“I miss talking to you. I miss talking to you a lot, I really do. And I think right now we need to talk more than ever. Because there are very complicated things,” he comments before her attentive gaze.

They don’t explicitly talk about what, although there are times when clarifications are unnecessary. The elder Byers makes it clear: “Don’t forget that I’m here for you. I’ll always be here, no matter what. Because you’re my brother, and I love you. And there is nothing in this world, absolutely nothing, that can change that. Do you understand?”.

It all ends in a brotherly embrace in which Will breaks down in tears: he finally feels understood, and his smile of complete relief lets it show. “Everything is going to be all right”, as the last words of dialogue that in part concludes one of the most representative arcs of the entire series.

Conclusion

Obviously, at this point, Will’s future is a mystery as is what will happen to the rest of the inhabitants of Hawkins in the fifth and final season of Stranger Things. However, Schnapp assured that no matter what his character faces, at least he won’t be alone.

Stranger Things 5 still does not have a premiere date and its scripts will only begin to be written in August, although the Duffer Brothers already know what the conclusion of the series will be like.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Will Byers gay?

Is Will Byers gay in Stranger Things?

Yes, Will Byers is gay in Stranger Things.

Is Will in love with Mike?

Yes, Will has been in love with Mike all along.

References

Mohammed, L. (2022, July 15). “Stranger Things” Star Noah Schnapp Confirmed That His Character Will Byers “Is Gay And He Does Love Mike” Just Weeks After Praising The “Beauty” Of His Sexuality Not Being Addressed. Retrieved from BuzzFeed News website: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/leylamohammed/noah-schnapp-confirms-will-byers-gay-mike-stranger-things

Vary, A. B. (2022, July 15). Stranger Things: Noah Schnapp on Will’s Sexuality, Doja Cat, Season 5. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from Variety website: https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/stranger-things-noah-schnapp-will-byers-gay-doja-cat-1235317378/

Puckett-Pope, L. (2022, July 15). Noah Schnapp Confirms What Was Already ’100 Percent Clear’: Will Byers Is Gay. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from ELLE website: https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/a40625713/is-will-byers-gay-noah-schnapp-confirms-stranger-things-sexuality/

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