Stranger Things has returned to Netflix for Season 3. Set in Hawkins, Indiana, in the summer of 1985, this season takes place during the Fourth of July celebration.
Fans are excited about the return of The Stranger Things kids — Eleven (Milly Bobby Brown) and the gang — who have grown since last season and acquired new interests, including dating.
One of the characters that has been the focus of fan speculation and theories after Stranger Things 3 dropped on Netflix on Thursday, July 4, has been Will Byers, played by actor Noah Schnapp.
Much of that speculation has been about his sexuality, with many suggesting that the series appears to have confirmed that he is gay. But other fans disagree.
In Stranger Things 3, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven are in love and want to spend time on their own together, rather than hang out with the rest of the gang, and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) are also together.
When Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) returns home from camp, he also announces that he now has a girlfriend who he met there. No one could tell at first whether Dustin’s girlfriend Suzie, who is supposedly “hotter than Phoebe Cates,” was real or imaginary.
Regardless, Dustin quickly becomes engrossed with attempting to communicate with Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) using the radio he built.
The sudden preoccupation with girls leaves Will the odd one out.
Is Will Byers gay?
The scene that sparked speculation about Will’s sexuality comes in Episode 3 after Lucas and Mike fall out with Max and Eleven. Will struggles to get them interested in a game of Dungeons and Dragons and his vision of a future and a “new day free of girls”.
Mike and Lucas don’t seem interested in the game, as they are preoccupied with broken relationships.
When the phone rings and both Max and Lucas rush to it, hoping it’s the girls calling to make up, Will reveals he’s finally had enough of their obsession for swapping “spit with stupid girls”.
He storms out. Mike and Lucas realize too late they rubbed their friend the wrong way with their new-found girlfriend obsession. Mike tries to apologize but insists that Eleven isn’t stupid. He then says it isn’t his fault Will “doesn’t like girls”.
There is an awkward pause after that statement as if the two silently acknowledged something about Will we haven’t been told.
“I’m not trying to be a jerk, OK? But we’re not kids anymore,” Mike says. “What did you think… that we were never gonna get girlfriends? That we’re just gonna sit in my basement playing games for the rest of our lives?”
“Yeah, I guess I did,” Will answers with a sniffle. “I really did.”
Will then mounts his bicycle and rides off into the heavy downpour, ignoring Mike’s pleading call.
After seeing the scene in Episode 3, titled The Case of the Missing Lifeguard, many fans took to Twitter to speculate the show might have confirmed Will is gay.
— old pine (@_hallowheart_) July 4, 2019
how i sleep knowing will byers is gay pic.twitter.com/4QjYscR08D
— 𝓅ℯ𝓇𝓁𝒶 🕊 (@girlscnfiIm) July 2, 2019
— ˗ˏˋ betty ˊˎ˗ is staying at home (@thekittenb) July 4, 2019
will byers really captures the gay teen experience, I was exactly as shut off and dejected in school when my friends started talking incessantly about boys and I didn’t even have the added trauma of having been taken to the brink of death by monsters
— rosie 🖖🏻 (@rosiealaska) July 4, 2019
However, some fans aren’t so sure that the scene confirmed that Will is gay. According to some viewers the scene only confirmed that, unlike his friends, he wasn’t yet ready to give up the interests and pleasures of his childhood.
//// ST SPOILERS
can someone confirm or deny if will byers is gay? and i don't mean the "it's not my fault you don't like girls" scene
— diana (@adoraIovesgirls) July 4, 2019
Noah Schnapp, who plays Will, addressed the debate about whether Will is gay in the past, saying it didn’t matter whether he was gay or not. According to Schnapp, good stories don’t answer all the questions for the audience.
He said he hoped Stranger Things would leave the question of Will’s sexuality unanswered.
“I think everyone here is missing the point,” he wrote. “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… make you gay?” he continued. “… you can ask all these questions. I hope the real answer never comes out!”
Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix.