The first season of Stranger Things left many questions unanswered, and child actor Noah Schnapp has come forward to discuss one of those mysteries.
Schnapp plays Will Byers, the young boy who goes missing in the first episode. Portrayed as a sensitive outsider, many fans believe that Will is meant to be gay—especially since the show includes scenes where kids bully each other with homophobic slurs. While none of the main characters are explicitly characterized as queer, there’s been a lot of discussion about queer (or potentially homophobic) subtext throughout the series.
Speaking out in an Instagram post, Schnapp shared a thoughtful statement about Will Byers’ sexuality and the show’s attitude to unsolved mysteries.
“I think everyone here is missing the point,” he wrote, explaining that “a good show leaves a lot of unanswered questions but makes you think.”
“For me, 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, 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!”
This may not be the answer a lot of viewers were hoping for, since Stranger Things never bothered to portray heterosexual relationships or sexuality as mysterious “unanswered questions.” However, this post does illustrate an admirably thoughtful attitude from Schnapp, who tackled a complex question with more sensitivity than many adult actors would have managed.