Fans have long speculated that Will is gay, even from the first season, but while the show has strongly hinted at it, it has never been explicitly said outright. However, in an interview with Variety, Schnapp revealed that his character is definitely gay.
“Obviously, 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?’” Schnapp 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.”
Season 4 of the hit Netflix drama featured two significant scenes where Will opened up about his feelings, seemingly hinting at his sexuality without outright saying it. One of those scenes saw Will talking with Mike about the struggles of feeling “different,” and the other saw Will’s older brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) offering his support to his younger sibling.
“Jonathan is talking to him in code,” Schnapp explained. “It’s just the perfect way to tell someone like Will that he cares about him and he accepts him no matter what. I think it was really wholesome.”
Even though the show has faced some criticism over its handling of Will’s sexuality and seeming reluctance to address it directly, Schnapp has found that people have reacted positively.
“People have come up to me — I was just in Paris, and this, like, 40-year-old man came up to me and he was like, ‘Wow, this Will character made me feel so good. And I related to it so much. That is exactly who I was when I was a kid,’” he recalled. “That just made me so happy to hear. They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle and they’re doing it so well.”
Stranger Things, Season 4, Streaming, Netflix