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Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp on how Will's sexuality inspired his journey of coming out as gay

"Stranger Things" actor Noah Schnapp credits his character's sexuality for helping him accept his own, revealing he is gay.

In a heartfelt TikTok video shared earlier this year, the actor Noah Schnapp bravely confirmed his sexuality to his fans. The video, which showed Schnapp in bed, included a caption that revealed his journey of coming out: "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'."

In a recent interview with Variety, Schnapp opened up about how his character, Will, on the hit show Stranger Things, played a significant role in helping him accept his own sexuality. He credited the portrayal of Will's gay identity as a catalyst for his own self-acceptance. Schnapp expressed, "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. I think if I never played that character, I probably would still be closeted."

Schnapp has been portraying the character of Will Byers since the first season of Stranger Things in 2016, starting at the young age of 11. He discussed how growing up in the public eye and encountering speculation about Will's sexuality online affected his own sense of identity. The constant scrutiny made him bury his true self deeper within. Schnapp shared, "I think it made me hold it down deeper because it was kind of being poked and prodded out of me in such a public way."

However, it was the overwhelmingly positive response to Will's gay storyline that ultimately inspired Schnapp to come out. He noticed the supportive comments on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where fans celebrated Will's gay identity. Schnapp said, "It kind of blew up in the press, and everyone was like, 'Oh, Will's gay! Hooray!' I saw all these comments on Instagram and TikTok. 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?"

Despite the delay caused by the ongoing Hollywood writers' and actors' strikes, Schnapp will reprise his role in the highly anticipated fifth and final season of Stranger Things. The show's creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, have confirmed that production will resume once the strikes come to an end. Fans eagerly await the continuation of the beloved series and are excited to see Schnapp shine in his role once again.

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