Maya Hawke Opens up About Playing the First LGBTQ Character in 'Stranger Things' (Spoiler)

She discusses the coming out scene in Season 3.

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Between intense monster-fighting and emotional, tear-jerking scenes, Stranger Things Season 3 has introduced the series’ first openly gay character.

Warning: This post contains spoilers.

Portrayed by newcomer Maya Hawke, Robin, the girl who works at the ice cream shop Scoops Ahoy, comes out to her coworker Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) in the seventh episode of this season.

This comes after the duo (also known as 1/2 of the Scoop Troop) has escaped the top secret Russian base. With the truth serum injected into their veins, Steve professes his romantic feelings for his former rival, but to his surprise, receives a response not quite what he’d have expected.

“Look, he doesn’t even know this girl,” Robin tells Steve. “And if he did know her, like really know her, I don’t think he’d even want to be her friend.”

Robin goes on to explain that the reason she’s “jealous” and “obsessed” with Steve back when they’re in high school is because of a girl she likes, Tammy Thompson. “It isn’t because I had a crush on you. It’s because she wouldn’t stop staring at you.”

“I wanted her to look at me, but she couldn’t pull her eyes away from you and your stupid hair, and I didn’t understand, because you would get bagel crumbs all over the floor, and you asked dumb questions, and you were a douchebag. You didn’t even like her. I would go home and scream into a pillow.”

While Steve initially reacts in disbelief — “holy sh*t” — he quickly accepts Robin as a dear friend.

 

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hawke talks about playing the first LGBTQ character in the smash-hit Netflix show, as well as the significance of the coming out scene:

“The great thing about Stranger Things is it has such a reach and so many people watch it in the middle of the country. Even a little gesture like having a gay character is a big deal. It feels wonderful to have a piece of that humanity involved in this giant action-packed drama. It’s such an amazing thing the Duffer Brothers did, stopping the whole show — there’s an action scene going on [elsewhere in the episode] — and it stops for a seven-minute conversation between two people who really care about each other. It’s a really beautiful thing. I feel really lucky that I got to play that.”

She further elaborates on the character development of Robin throughout Season 3:

“Robin starts the season with a lot of hard walls. The more she gets involved with this mystery, the more herself she becomes. The reason she has all these hard walls is that she doesn’t feel like she fits in. She feels like an odd one out. She’s gay, and nobody knows that. There’s a lot she’s bored by, and there’s a lot she’s too nervous to express about herself that makes a person put up a lot of walls. But once these other characters start to reveal themselves to her, and once she gets to be on the front of a mission, her personality really comes through because she feels like herself. She can use her abilities, and she be useful, and nothing makes a person feel better than being useful.”

Hawke’s performance is widely praised by the Stranger Things fandom, with many expressing on social media how they personally relate to Robin. Scroll down to see some of the fan reactions on Twitter.

While you are here, read about five things you didn’t know about Maya Hawke, and check out all of the best Stranger Things merch you can shop right now.

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