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Don’t Force 21st Century Norms

I just finished up Stranger Things 2 and although it was slower than season 1 I still loved it. While I can go on and on about my favorite parts, Dustin, and the shadow monster, today I just want to talk about Billy played by the hot Dacre Montgomery.

Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) - Stranger Things 2

Billy's character is inspired by Rob Lowe's portrayal of Billy Hicks in St. Elmo's Fire ('85). It's funny because when my papa and I were watching Stranger Things I was like "man he looks like someone I've seen before, probably from an 80's movie" and my papa goes "he kinda looks like Rob Lowe". Well, turns out his entire look is a carbon copy of Rob Lowe's famous character (A.N. if you didn't know I have a weird love for 80's movies and if you look at some of my previous articles you will be able to tell ;). However,  Billy's attitude is different than the one in St. Elmo's. The Duffer Brothers actually told Dacre to emulate Jack Nicholson's character Jack Torrance from The Shining when acting like the mean older (step) brother/classmate.

Now that I'm all done with the series I have been filling the void by reading fan theories and catching easter eggs. So far, the most interesting is the "Is Billy Gay?" theory. It caught my eye immediately because at first glance Billy came across as a total ladies man.

However, there is evidence to say that Billy could possibly be gay. The scene between Billy and his dad was one of the most aggressive scenes (without a demogorgon or shadow monster). His dad calls him a faggot during a heated exchange. The use of the F word is the most derogatory statement made in the series so far and theorist think they used this strong word to make us consider Billy's sexuality. The next piece of evidence is when Billy goes to Mike's house. When Mrs.Wheeler opens the door and asks if he's "here for Nancy" he responds "No she's not my type". This is being interpreted as his type might be males. The basketball/shower scene is by far the strongest argument. Many people got homoerotic vibes considering how close the two boys were and the flirtatious nature of the conversation.

#Harringrove was trending a few hours after season two was released and now there are fanfiction and fanart dedicated to this ship.

Now you are probably thinking that this is crazy but Joe Keery who plays Steve Harrington even has some thoughts on the theory. Keery told Vulture, "It’s kind of like this homoerotic sort of vibe, especially with the basketball scene". Fans agree and think that Billy is using bullying as a defense mechanism to hide his true feelings... possibly for Steve.

Dacre (Billy) has other opinions he think Billy is just threatened by the male figures in his life:  ‘Now is Billy attracted to Steve?’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t think he is.’ I don’t think it’s like this confused, homoerotic kind of thing. I think it’s literally he’s threatened by all these characters in his life."

So this is what I think. I think society is so conditioned to see an LGBTQ character in all of our TV shows and we are merely trying to find one in Stranger Things. This show is set in the 80's and back then it wan't "socially acceptable" to be out. Although this is very sad it is very true. I think we should just enjoy the show instead of forcing 21st century norms into the past. My papa and I think that Billy might just be attracted to older women. There was no need for Billy to flirt with Mrs. Wheeler to get information he wanted to do that...but for now it's just a theory.

Please tell me what you think below and on social medias.


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2 thoughts on “Don’t Force 21st Century Norms

  1. Erm…I’m confused. Are you saying that Billy can’t be gay bc it wasn’t socially acceptable in the 80s? Since when does it being “socially acceptable” have anything to do with being gay? There have always been gay people, even when gay sex meant the death penalty. I see no reason Billy can’t be read as a stereotypically macho teenage closet case. Also like…his scene with Mrs. Wheeler is creepy af? I’m not saying he doesn’t WANT to flirt with her (if he IS closeted, flirting with older women would be a GREAT cover), but the way his face falls immediately after he turns away from her-like the whole thing was an act-tells me something else is going on.

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