When Will We Get A Reveal?
Part of me thinks it’s a bit too early to start the countdown clock, as if I can’t let the story unravel on it’s own, but I’ve seen some people here and there already accuse them of being queerbaiters and, I am gonna be blunt here, I think it’s way too early to call them that. But I get the impulse. Fans are used to shows continually not delivering on the promise of canon LGBT characters, so when one who is clearly coded as LGBT isn’t automatically confirmed it’s riot in the streets time. Ok, I am exaggerating here, but you know what I mean. Patience is a virtue, but more than ever it’s time for creators to “put up or shut up.”
I get it. After a while you are sick of the bullshit and want to know if it’s worth your investment. Whether you are simply longing for representation, or think it’s just the logical progression for the characters, it’s so hard to invest in a world where “he/she is totally gay but the writers won’t actually DO it” is the norm.
Personally, I feel that as of right now (and I hope I don’t look back at this someday and feel like a fool) it’s worth the investment. I put out a post on some reasons why I think Mike/Will could and should be canon, but I am gonna go into when I think they could reveal Will being gay and why (and why I don’t think it’s baiting…yet).
We know Will Byers has been coded as gay. It was listed in his character bio/the show bible as having “sexual identity issues” and I’ve seen no evidence of the show altering that. I consider that to be canon, though it’s not a confirmation.
So far Will’s journey has revolved solely around the Upside Down, be it by being kidnapped by the Demogorgon or possessed by the shadow monster. He’s spent so much time being traumatized that his we have barely gotten the chance to even know Will as a person. In the first season he was barely there and in season two he wasn’t himself for a nice chunk of time. The Duffers said they originally wanted “evil Will” a whole lot earlier (I think episode four?). Imagine if they’d gone that route? That’s even less time to get to know Will as the person he is.
Who is Will Byers really? We have had time to dig a little deeper into each character (we even got a look into what made Billy the way he is) but him. We know the basic things–he is gentle and shy and loves to draw–but we are always seeing him through other people’s eyes. We did get a bit of him baring his soul in season two, but it was once again centered around his external trauma at the hands of a monster.
We’ve gotten to know the rest of the gang pretty well, see them progress as characters, see them experience real kid stuff, have crushes, etc. Will has literally not gotten a break or a minute to breathe in two seasons. And that leads me to baiting.
Now when it comes to baiting, the show actually has to dangle that carrot in front of you. Hey look what I have here? You want it? Whoops can’t have it! And so far I have yet to see that from the show. I’ve seen many shows queerbait, either by plots that are targeted to bring in LGBT audiences but ultimately have no pay off and go nowhere, to media campaigns designed to peak the interest of the audience with the promise of representation. But so far I’ve yet to see that from the show, and the threads of Will being gay are still there. It hasn’t been dropped, and more evidence keeps being thrown into the mix.
To me the coding of Will so far has been nothing more than a subtle, gradual laying down of the foundation of who this character is, so when they get to the point in the story where it’s natural it would be revealed, it makes sense. And so far I don’t think it’s been the right time, story wise, for Will to sit back and say “Hey guys, I think I am gay.” We are simply not at the point in the story where it comes into play. But I think we will get there. Every writer plots out their story, outlines how to get from point A to B and major points in between. I believe that Will being gay is an important point, and that if the Duffers are good writers, they will have already mapped out the perfect time to add that into the equation.
That leads me into season three. The Duffers are quoted as saying that they want to delve more into character development and deal with teenage coming of age stories. This makes me think there will finally be some movement on this front. I don’t know how much, because I don’t know the overarching plan for the series, but it just makes sense. Will needs to be developed more and I think series three, at the very least, will do this. It would be silly not to. The gang is growing up, very likely being in high school, and stuff like sexuality is going to start to become unavoidable if you want to tell “coming of age” stories. High school is when most people start to date or at least like someone *like that*, and as it was very obvious ( I think the most overt it’s been) at the dance that Will was not happy about dancing with a girl, the show is going to have to address the whole love interest thing for him.
Think about it. Every character in this show so far has had one. Mike, El, Lucas and Dustin, Hopper (you know he’s in love with Joyce), Joyce, Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, even the new characters of Max and Billy had some action or flirtation. Literally everyone but Will, and I think you can’t go down that road with him without the subject of “is he gay” coming up. At the very least, I suspect the audience will be made to wonder just what his sexuality is next season and why he’s never “liked” anyone or had a love interest (unless he’s had one all along *wink wink*).
And I wonder, does Will even realize he is gay? He’s such a question mark. I suspect that he does, going by the “freak” comments about himself, but we don’t know for sure. I am curious to see how they handle that.
Basically I hope that series three is when we really get to know him. I feel like this could be part of the reason they’ve held off on a Mike/El/Will scene. Maybe it will give us too much insight into him (and into who he might like) so they’ve put it off till it was the right time to focus on that.
As for Mike being bi, well that is a hell of a lot more ambiguous and up to personal interpretation so far. There have definitely been some hmmm moments but I am more cautious here. I am more a wait and see on this, and I suspect that any clear evidence on that will revolve around Will’s revelation. I.E that if and when Will comes out, we may see more overt signs that Mike is not so straight either. Or maybe we won’t. I just am not as confident on that.
In the end I believe that we will get confirmation that Will is gay by the end of the series. Of course I hope for sooner, but I have reasons to believe it may not be 100% confirmed till near the end( r.e. a David Harbour quote that I saw and reblogged today and found verrrry interesting and tinhatty). I am confident though that there will be more overt signs next season that not only clue in more of the audience, but move the story, and his character growth, along in a natural way.
I don’t want to hype people up unnecessarily, but I am just optimistic about it, and this is what I see in the show. What do you think? When do you think we will get a reveal?