Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp defended from vile homophobic abuse after celebrating first Pride

Noah Schnapp's fans have zero time for homophobic hatred. (Getty)

Fans of Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp have leapt to his defence after he was targeted with homophobic abuse for sharing photos of himself at his first Pride parade.

The 18-year-old star, who plays reserved Dungeons and Dragons lover Will Byers in Netflix’s popular sci-fi horror series, came out as gay in a TikTok video earlier this year.

In the short clip, the award-winning star suggested that his family reacted positively when he came out to them.

@noahschnapp

I guess I’m more similar to will than I thought

♬ original sound – Privacynbling

He captioned the clip: “I guess I’m more similar to Will than I thought.”

Fans of Schnapp’s character have long suspected that he was gay and in love with leading character Mike Wheeler, played by Finn Wolfhard. The fourth season of the sci-fi drama, which aired last year, is the first to heavily imply that Will is indeed gay.

Speaking to Variety last summer, Schnapp confirmed that he believes his character is gay.

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The fifth and final season of Stranger Things is currently in the pipeline and expected to air next year, with Will widely predicted to come out officially – Schnapp has previously revealed that the writers have “addressed everything they needed to”.

Since coming out himself, Schnapp, first seen in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies in 2015, has fully embraced being part of the LGBTQ+ community, poking fun at his own coming out and sharing the heart-warming reaction his grandfather had to the revelation.

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Now, he’s also showing up and being visible at Pride festivals, telling his 26 million Instagram followers that he attended New York City Pride over the weekend (24 June).

He shared a series of photos of himself, with the leading image showing him standing in a fountain in Washington Square Park, wearing a vest with the slogan: “Straight outta the closet.”

He added the simple caption “First Pride”, accompanied by a heart emoji.

The post couldn’t have been much more innocuous, although homophobes still managed to take issue with it. The comment section was quickly flooded with vomit emojis and people declaring that they would be unfollowing him.

“Worst month in history,” one person commented, presumably alluding to Pride month, while another said: “Happy mental illness day”.

A third blank profile wrote: “You fell out of my sight, Will Byers,” accompanied by a sad emoji.

Side by side photographs of David Harbour and Noah Schnapp, who are both actors in the Netflix series Stranger Things
David Harbour said he has nothing but love for Stranger Things co-star Noah Schnapp (r) since the teen came out as gay. (Getty)

While there were a few bigoted people plaguing the comment section, the hate was easily drowned out by those sharing their messages of support for Schnapp, who is estimated to be worth up to $7 million (£5.5 million).

“Shade never made anybody less gay,” one fan wrote in Schnapp’s defence, referring to the 2019 Taylor Swift song, “You Need To Calm Down”.

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They went on: “Hope you know how extremely proud all of us are of you and how much you are loved by your loved ones and your true fans.”

Another fan wrote: “Be your true self always,” while a third added “I’m so proud of you, baby” alongside a Pride flag emoji.

In addition to having a loyal legion of fans ready to jump to his defence, Schnapp also has the support of his Stranger Things cast mates.

After coming out, fellow stars, including Wolfhard and David Harbour, who plays cop Jim Hopper, shared exactly how proud of him they were.

“I’m always happy for people [who] are true to themselves and come out,” Harbour said. “That was terrific.”

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