Due to the fact that the sexuality of Will Byers has turned into a noticeable arch in season 4 of “Very Strange Things”, viewers are arguing about whether the series uses the right approach to telling this story. Given that Will is so loved by fans, people understandably want to see him happy. This led to the fact that some viewers wanted Will to make a meaningful, memorable and public appearance as a gay man. Despite this well-intentioned wish, criticism of the fact that he is still locked up downplays the complexity of this situation.
Fans of “Very Strange Things” suggest that Will may be gay since season 3. Since most of the young characters are depicted entering their first romantic relationships, Will was noticeably lonely. In some ways, this can be explained by the undeniable injuries that he experienced in the first and second seasons. After being trapped Upside down and possessed by a Mind Catcher, romantic relationships can hardly be his main concern. However, fans wondered if this was more a hint that Will was actually gay than just a continuation of his post-traumatic stress disorder. However, when the 4th season of the TV series “Very Strange Things” convincingly confirmed Will’s sexuality, the audience was not really thrilled. In a scene that seems to confirm that Will is gay, Will passionately calls Mike the heart of the band, saying that because of this, Eleven will always need him. After calming Mike’s fears, Will turns away and begins to sob softly, revealing that he was actually talking about his romantic feelings for Mike, and not just about El’s feelings. But the waiting fans were disappointed because this turning point in Will’s life was primarily focused on calming Mike’s fears, not on Will’s discovery.
It’s easy to see how unsatisfactory this is to reveal Will’s sexuality. Many viewers, both in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond, were hoping for a more triumphant scene dedicated to Will’s coming out. Thanks to the success of shows like Love, Victor and Heartstopper, viewers have become accustomed to bolder depictions of LGBTQ+ teens. So they feel that in “Very Strange Things” it takes too long to show Will as gay. However, there are several factors that prove that the show takes a realistic approach to this discovery.
The LGBTQ+ community was mistreated in the 80s
An important detail to remember about Will is that he is a small-town boy living in the 80s — not exactly the time when being part of the LGBTQ+ community was easy and guaranteed to meet recognition. The action of “Very Strange Cases” takes place at a time when the LGBTQ+ community was faced not only with ostracism, but also with the AIDS crisis, and the rampant homophobia that followed made the 80s a particularly dangerous time to openly talk about their sexuality. While Hawkins may not care about the Underside and may feel forgotten and removed from the rest of the United States, he is not immune to the pitfalls of limited residents. There were subtle hints of prejudice, dysfunction and a general desire to stick to the status quo. Being an openly gay teenager would attract a lot of negative-potentially even violent—attention. Given the difficulties Will has already faced throughout the show, it would be unrealistic for him to think that now is the right time to open up, even to his closest friends.
Cuming out is different for everyone
It is important to keep in mind that there is no right way out. This is a deeply personal choice that varies from person to person; it may even have multiple meanings for one person. Adopting a general or purposeful approach to the representation of LGBTQ+ in shows and films will undermine its reality. If there is any universal factor for disclosure, it is that a person feels confident declaring himself to the world.
Will’s own personal experience has already demonstrated a specific reason why it would be difficult for him to admit, even to his family. In the first season of Very Strange Cases, Joyce Byers tells Hopper that Will’s father was homophobic. In the past, he even called their son an insult. Although Byers’ parents divorced a long time ago, such an emotional trauma leaves an indelible mark. Despite the fact that his mother and older brother Jonathan would most likely support him — Jonathan actually says this in a touching scene of Season 4 — he may still feel that he is not in a safe place.
Will and Robin portray two stages of absence
Another argument from fans of “Very Strange Things” is that Robin’s presence makes Will Byers’ hidden sexuality feel out of place, as Robin Buckley openly talks about her sexuality with Steve. When Robin is introduced in the third season as a colleague and new friend of Steve Harington, it is initially implied that they will have a romantic relationship. However, she was given a poignant scene in which she shows him that she is actually a lesbian.