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Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp comes out as gay

The actor says he was "scared in the closet for 18 years"

By Joe Goggins

Noah Schnapp at San Diego ComicCon, 2017
Schnapp had previously discussed his character's sexuality. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has come out as gay in a video posted to TikTok yesterday (January 5).

The 18-year-old actor made the news public in the light-hearted clip after first sharing it with friends and family, who, he said, were not taken by surprise.

“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’,” he wrote. In keeping with a TikTok trend, he lip-syncs to a woman’s voice that says, “you know, it never was that serious, it was never that serious, quite frankly, we will never be that serious.” You can see the post below.

The actor hit the big time aged just 11 in 2016 when he appeared in what was initially the guest role of Will Byers in the first season of Netflix’s supernatural horror smash, before being promoted to series regular for series two. He forms part of a breakout cast of child actors that includes Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo; Schnapp has also appeared alongside Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s 2015 thriller Bridge of Spies, and voiced Charlie Brown in the animated The Peanuts Movie the same year.

He had already revealed that his Stranger Things character was gay after the conclusion of the record-breaking fourth season, which smashed the premiere weekend record for an English language TV show on Netflix when it racked up 286.7 million hours streamed on its debut last May. “Obviously, it was hinted at in Season 1,” Schnapp told Variety of Byers’ sexuality, which was not made explicit in the show. “It was always kind of there, but you never really knew. Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing.”

The series, which also stars Winona Ryder and David Harbour, has been renewed for a fifth and final season. No release date has yet been set, although writing is underway. The eighties-set show is one of Netflix’s biggest original hits and its considerable influence over modern pop culture was illustrated last June when the use of Kate Bush’s 1985 single ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)’ in a pivotal scene introduced the track to a new generation of fans and propelled it back to the top of the UK charts, nearly 37 years after its release.