That time Noah Schnapp casually came out to his 30+ million followers in an 8-second TikTok video

This profile is part of Queerty’s 2023 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year.

Name: Noah Schnapp, 18

Bio: Before gaining widespread recognition for playing Will Byers in the hit Netflix sci-fi horror series Stranger Things, Schnapp appeared in the 2015 historical drama Bridge of Spies directed by Steven Spielberg, and as the voice of Charlie Brown in the 2015 animated The Peanuts Movie.

He was initially cast as a recurring character in season 1 of Stranger Things in 2016, when he was just 12 years old, but was eventually upgraded to a regular in the series, which was in the middle of filming for the fifth and final season in the summer of 2023 before the Writers Guild of America strike caused production to shut down.

In addition to Stranger Things, Schnapp has appeared in a handful of smaller indie movies and has maintained an active presence on social media, where he has over 4.8 million subscribers on YouTube, 26 million fans on Instagram, and 32.8 million followers on TikTok.


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

? original sound – Privacynbling

Coming out: In January 2023, Schnapp came out in a super casual 8-second TikTok video. He said, “When I finally told my family and friends I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was ‘We know.’”

He also captioned the video, “I guess I’m more similar to Will than I thought,” hinting at online chatter at the time that his Stranger Things character was gay.

A few days later, Schnapp posted another TikTok video of himself and his friends joking about how his low-key coming out made international headlines.

“Hold up, guys,” one of the friends shouts, before pretending to read off a headline stating, “Noah Schnapp gay at 18.”

The room bursts into screams, with the camera eventually panning over to Schnapp himself in faux hysterics.

Speaking to Variety in August, Schnapp recalled what happened immediately after he posted his coming out video:

I didn’t want to sit there waiting nervously to see what people were going to say. I just wanted to put it away and be confident in who I am and know that I don’t have to care what people think anymore.

When I opened my phone at the end of the car ride, it was, like, a thousand texts of hearts and congratulations and rainbow flags. I was crying. I was like, ‘I made it. I’m done. I don’t have to worry.’

…In the end, I decided that if I was only out to my close circle, I would still feel like I’m hiding something. The only way to truly feel myself is to tell everyone.

While fans will have wait a little longer to see how Will Byers fairs in the fifth and final season of Stranger Things, they’ll surely be following their newly out fave’s journey on social media and cheering him on along the way.

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