Is Will Byers gay? Stranger Things fans are questioning his sexuality after season 3

9 July 2019, 13:39 | Updated: 9 July 2019, 13:41

Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Fans are speculating about Will Byers sexuality after this scene in Stranger Things 3

Stranger Things 3 returned to Netflix today (July 4) and there's A LOT of questions that need answering. What the hell was that monster in the trailer and is it going to kill everyone? Will Jopper finally get it on? And who the hell is Suzie and is she real?

While there are many, many things that will get fans talking in Stranger Things 3, one scene has got everybody talking about Will Byers' sexuality and whether or not he is gay.

MORE: Stranger Things season 4: News, spoilers, release date, cast and everything we know


Is Will Byers gay? Noah Schnapp Stranger Things
Is Will Byers gay? Noah Schnapp Stranger Things. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things 3 begins with Mike and Eleven kissing at Police Chief Hopper's place, where Eleven now lives. It's clear that Mike and Eleven are infatuated with each other and have spent all summer making out - and driving their friends crazy in the process.

Will, played by Noah Schnapp, is particularly affected by this, as Lucas and Max are also in a relationship (but nowhere near as loved up as Mike and El), so he feels like a fifth wheel. Matters are made worse because Mike and Lucas don't seem to be interested in playing games together like they used to, preferring to be with their girlfriends.

MORE: Stranger Things 3 soundtrack: Every song featured on the show

MORE: Stranger Things 3 ending is 'very sad', warns Noah Schnapp

When Dustin returns from Science Camp, Will is hoping that the old order will be restored but is left disappointed when Mike and Eleven, and eventually Lucas and Max, leave to be with each other. Dustin is also hurt by this, but he seems more interested in trying to contact his new girlfriend Suzie using his new homemade radio tower, than hanging out like they used to.

Fast-forward to episode 3, Mike and Lucas are sulking in Mike's basement after falling out with Eleven and Max. Will is enthusiastically trying to play Dungeon and Dragons with them, but they seem totally disinterested. Eventually, Will snaps and leaves. When Mike chases after him, they have an argument in the garage.

"You're destroying everything, and for what?", Will screams. "So you can swap spit with some stupid girl?

"El's not stupid. It's not my fault you don't like girls," Mike responds. He pauses before following up with: "I'm not trying to be a jerk, ok? But we're not kids anymore. I mean, what did you think, really? That we were never going to get girlfriends? That we're just going to sit in my basement playing games for the rest of our lives?"

Mike's comment has sparked a flurry of tweets speculating that Will is gay.

Mike's comment might seem random but the rumours about Will's sexuality actually started in season one.

In the first episode after Will disappears (abducted into the Upside Down), Will's mum Joyce reports he is missing to Police Chief Hopper and she mentions that Will has been bullied at school. Then she adds:

"He's a sensitive kid...Lonnie [Will's father] used to say he was queer, called him a fag." As far as we're aware, this is the only time Will's sexuality is discussed on the show.

Is Will Byers gay?

Will never explicitly states his sexual preference, and the homophobic bullying he receives for being 'sensitive' or 'different' is not treated with much scrutiny in season one. It is assumed that it's just kids, and his father, being mean.

Mike's comment, however, is little more ambiguous. It's not entirely clear from his use of language whether Mike is just trying to scold Will for calling Eleven "a stupid girl", or if he is merely stating a fact. Mike clearly regrets saying it but doesn't take it back either, which seems odd.

Noah Schnapp, who plays Will, has commented on Will's sexuality before.

Writing on Instagram in response to a fan after season one dropped, he wrote: "So I thought it would be time to jump into the conversation. I've been reading stuff for a while. I think everyone here is missing the point. An author called Gary Schmidt came to speak at our school this week and he said that good stories aren't supposed to leave you with answers because then you never question yourself and you forget about it. A good book, or a good show leaves a lot of unanswered questions but makes you think. Which is what you are all doing."

"For me, Will being gay or not is besides the point," he wrote. "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."

He continued: "Does being sensitive, or a loner, or a teenager who likes photography, or a girl with red hair and big glasses, make you gay? I'm only 12 but I do know we all relate to being different. And that's why I think the Duffers wrote the show the way they did. So you can ask all these questions. I hope the real answer never comes out!"


So, the TL;DR is that we don't know if Will is gay. So far in the show, there is no clear evidence to suggest that Will is gay, having never expressed an interest in guys or girls.

Noah Schnapp seems sceptical too, and his thoughts on the show being about "outsiders" who find each other makes total sense to us.

Our guess is that Will is still young (14-years-old in season 3) and hasn't yet explored that side of himself. Perhaps in season 4, when Will will be another year older, they might touch on Will sexuality in more detail.