Noah Schnapp, the talented actor known for his role in “Stranger Things,” recently shared a deeply personal revelation about how his character’s sexuality on the show helped him come to terms with his own identity. In a candid Variety profile, Schnapp discussed the transformative impact that portraying Will Byers, a gay character, had on his personal journey.
Schnapp, 18, reflected on how the process of fully embracing his character‘s sexuality led to his own self-acceptance: “Once I did fully embrace that Will was gay, it was just an exponential speed towards accepting it for myself. I would be in a completely different place if I didn’t have Will to portray, and to embrace and help me accept myself.”
The actor acknowledged that his role in the hit series was instrumental in his own coming out: “I think if I never played that character, I probably would still be closeted.” While he initially struggled with addressing his sexuality, Schnapp found courage in the way his character’s story was embraced by the audience.
The revelation that his character was gay received overwhelming support in the media and from fans on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Schnapp recalled, “There was not one bad thing about him being gay. I was like, ‘If he has all this support, then why should I worry about anything?'”
In January, Schnapp came out as gay through a TikTok video that featured the caption, “I guess I’m more similar to Will than I thought.” The heartfelt video was accompanied by a message acknowledging his journey: “When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was ‘we know’.”
Schnapp expressed gratitude for the support he received after coming out, affirming that he wouldn’t have done it differently. Since then, he embraced his first Pride Month in New York City, sharing the vibrant celebrations on his social media. His posts included snapshots of him sporting a rainbow-colored “Straight Out of the Closet” T-shirt, symbolizing his newfound freedom and authenticity.
Looking ahead to the fifth and final season of “Stranger Things,” Schnapp feels empowered by his journey of self-discovery. He acknowledged that his performance might now carry a different essence: “I will be fully aware of who I am.” He’s excited to invest his newfound self-awareness into his character, anticipating a more profound and authentic portrayal.
As Noah Schnapp’s journey intertwines with the evolution of his on-screen character, his story becomes an inspiration for many struggling with self-acceptance. Through the power of media, art, and storytelling, he has harnessed his platform to make a meaningful impact on his life and those of others. The lessons he’s learned through “Stranger Things” extend beyond the screen, becoming a beacon of hope and encouragement for anyone on their own path of self-discovery and acceptance.