Where there are living, breathing characters there are ships, and where there are ships there are heroes like critically acclaimed SAG-nominee Brett Gelman to officially stan — with consent — your faves. After the Stranger Things Season 4 finale, and after actor Noah Schnapp confirmed that Will Byers is gay, Byler has been making the social media circuit. On July 17, comedian and absolute legend, Gelman posted an official stance on his personal Twitter, declaring his advocacy of both the LGBTQ+ community and Byler, but with a very important caveat.
For those who are unfamiliar with shipping, the concept refers to when fans of a television show, film, novel or otherwise, take a particular interest in a number of characters who they believe should be in a relationship, friendly or romantic. In the case of Stranger Things, a lot of fans are shipping the two characters Will Byers and best friend Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) — hence, Byler. The coupling has gained momentum in the wake of Schnapp’s interview in which he explicitly stated that yes, Will Byers is gay and has been in love with his best friend Mike for some time. Gelman, who plays former investigative journalist and ally of The Party Murray Bauman, has recently delighted (and, naturally, enraged) some fans of the show by showing his support of Byler:
In the initial tweet, Gelman efficiently states a healthy support for a wholesome relationship that has the potential to blossom between the two best friends. However, as fans should, Gelman keeps his ship in perspective of the show’s natural progression, stating, “If it’s a match then it should be so.” By this, the actor implies that so long as the ship isn’t forcing two characters together against one’s Will (pun intended), and doesn’t drop structured storylines in order to cater to the whimsical desires of audiences, then he’s all for it. Gelman concludes his first post with, “But if Byler is what is meant to be then I ship Byler BIG TIME!!!” Huzzah!
Unfortunately, as any statement made in support of the human rights of the LGBTQ+ community does, the harmless tweet attracted a swarm of homophobic responses geared towards the actor in just under seven minutes. Often, the knee-jerk reaction is to, ironically, call a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community “gay” because intelligent conversation and witty humor is not their strongest suit. Class act that he is, Gelman responded to the backlash and pointed out that being called gay is not an insult, but that he takes it as a compliment. On a psychological level, the actor offered some free therapy by rounding out his response with, “I ship love in whatever form it takes baby. And y’all who don’t. Maybe you’re scared to look at something.”
While Gelman is experiencing a surge in the spotlight after a phenomenal fourth season on the Netflix series Stranger Things, the comedian and actor has quite a stacked career behind him, with a ton of stuff in the works for the future. While he gained a lot of notoriety from his role as Murray in Stranger Things, Gelman is also best known for his roles in Adult Swim’s cop show parody Eagleheart as well as a starring role as Martin in the BBC comedy Fleabag. His feature film credits include 2017’s Lemon, Without Remorse alongside Black Panther‘s Michael B. Jordan and the Netflix comedy Metal Lords. As for future projects, besides the highly-anticipated fifth season of Stranger Things, Gelman has a handful of post-production roles that include Anthony Mandler‘s debut feature film Surrounded with another Black Panther star Letitia Wright, the upcoming comedy Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, Boy Kills World alongside Bill Skarsgård (IT) and his upcoming Showtime comedy series Entitled.
The Stranger Things stand-out comic TKO’d the argument with a resounding “I Stan the LGBTQ+ community,” and then metaphorically dropped his mic. It’s safe to say the LGBTQ+ community stans Brett Gelman.
Check out Gelman in a Collider interview with Stranger Things co-stars Winona Ryder and David Harbour below:
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