will byers
photo: Netflix

After two seasons of juggling life in the Upside Down, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) from Stranger Things finally was safely back with his friends at the top of season three. Unfortunately, while the preteen was getting possessed by Mind Flayers and Demogorgons, his friends were growing up. Twitter related hard to Will's desire to stay young and play with his friends, but one particular scene has people thinking there's an entirely different reason why Will isn't interested in talking about girls. 

Noah Schnapp talked to The Wrap about the rumors surrounding his character's sexuality, and said he thinks that for now it's up to audience interpretation. Viewers aren't holding back on their theories, though, and have taken to social media to flesh them out. 

The line that sparked the theories in particular was this season three moment. 

Will Byers stormed out of Mike Wheeler's (Finn Wolfhard) basement angrily after his buddies wouldn't engage in a game of Dungeons & Dragons because they just wanted to talk about girl problems. The kid-at-heart is stuck in a place where he's not yet ready to grow up, but some fans think a line from that scene confirmed a theory that Will is actually part of the queer community. 

Mike angrily lashes out at Will after his friend calls his girlfriend Eleven stupid: "It's not my fault you don't like girls." A pregnant pause and a shocked expression on Will's face was all it took for fans to embrace the theory. 

One fan excitedly tweeted, "CALLED IT!!!! WILL BYERS MY BABY GAY!!" in response to the scene.

But one fan noted that there has been evidence of this throughout the entire series. 

A fan on Twitter compiled moments throughout the series' three-season run in which Will Byers exhibited gay qualities and experiences on par with those in the queer community. 

"Will Byers is coded gay: a handy dandy evidence thread," the tweet reads. In the thread, the user points out Will's bullies in season one, his fear at the school's dance when a girl asks him to dance, plus lines from the original script that seem to prove the theory. 

Another fan appreciated the authentic portrayal of the closeted gay experience. 

Some people embraced the idea of a young closeted gay character because it was relatable to their own experiences. Even now that the show has an openly queer character in Robin, there's no reason why they couldn't also have another. 

One fan tweeted, "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." 

When fans caught wind of this theory, the memes flooded in. 

Will dressed up as a wizard attempting to enact a no-girls zone while playing Dungeons & Dragons has gay energy, one person pointed out in a tweet. They wrote, "will byers said gay rights." 

Other moments throughout the series have surfaced, furthering the fan theories about the character's identity. 

Noah Schnapp seems to think that the line referred to his character's immaturity, but some fans think the facts are too obvious to deny. 

Even Schnapp thinks it's too soon to tell whether or not his character is gay. Some fans have dismissed the queer theory, because they think his character just wants to stay a kid and play with his friends. One meme proves that both of these things can be true, someone tweeted: "me @ everyone saying that will byers is mourning the loss of his childhood, and that he isn’t gay, just pining for a simpler time." 

In his interview with The Wrap, Schnapp said, "it’s really up to the audience to interpret it."

Schnapp shared an image from his shoot with the outlet. The actor shared his thoughts about his character's identity, and said he placed emphasis on the loss of innocence and not wanting to grow up. 

"While all the characters were out developing and growing up, Will was in the Upside Down and he was alone there, not interacting with or connected to his friends or the rest of the world. And when he got back, he expected everything to just go back to how it was before, how it was when he was normal and when he was a kid and he wanted to go back to the basement and play D&D," he said. 

He continued, "All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends... You see in Episode 3, he just wants to play D&D in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating. And it’s kind of, when you hear Mike say that line, it’s really up to the audience to interpret it. 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."

Either way, Will's journey at the end of season three opens up a world of possibilities as he moves to a new town with a new identity. 

What follows the scene in which Mike potentially recognizes his friend's sexual identity is an outburst of emotion that Schnapp said was fun and emotional to play. Will destroys his childhood fort Castle Byers in an enraged fit as he realizes it's time to grow up. 

"With that scene, it was all fake rain, we did it in the middle of the night... And I’ve always wanted to shoot a scene in the middle of fake rain and it was my chance! I had a lot of fun doing it. It was freezing and we did so many takes, but it was really exciting. It was a lot of fun. I literally got to destroy something with a bat as many times as a I wanted and just go all out and it was so cool. It was very emotional and I was crying a lot that night. But it turned out well I hope and I’m happy with it. And I definitely would never get to do that in real life, so I’m glad I got to do that," Schnapp said.