The latest season of Netflix’s Stranger Things was a real breakthrough for LGBTQ representation in the show. Robin — played by Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman’s daughter, Maya Hawke — became the first openly gay character in the series. However, it’s another character’s sexuality that’s been the subject of debate among fans.
In the third episode of season 3, “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” Mike (Finn Wolfhard) accuses his friend Will (Noah Schnapp) of not liking girls. This has led to speculation among fans that the character might be gay.
During a recent conversation with The Wrap, Schnapp shared his thoughts on the matter, revealing that Will might just be a few steps behind his friends in his stage of development.
“All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends. You see in episode three, he just wants to play [Dungeons and Dragons] in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating.”
That said, Schnapp hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Will being gay. In the interview, he says his character’s sexuality is “open to interpretation.” However, he went on to discuss that he thinks Will just isn’t ready to stop being a kid yet, even if his friends are starting to mature.
“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.”
Schnapp’s interpretation of the character makes sense. Will spent the majority of the first two seasons either kidnapped or possessed by the forces of the Upside Down. As a result, he missed out on a regular childhood during that time. Now that he’s regained some semblance of a normal life, he might just want to catch up on all the fun he missed out on while he was being tormented by evil forces.
How Will’s sexuality is portrayed in the show moving forward remains to be seen. That said, rumors of him being gay can be traced back to early episodes in season 1 — his own father even implied that he’s gay — so perhaps the creators will give viewers a clear answer in the upcoming fourth series of the sci-fi horror saga.
Until then, fans will have to settle for debating the topic.