Back in January, Schnapp shared a TikTok lip synching to the popular sound, "You know what it never was? That serious," alongside text that read, "When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was 'we know.'"
While Schnapp revealed that he made the video a few months before posting, he was waiting for the perfect moment to press send—which ultimately happened during a long car ride.
"I didn't want to sit there waiting nervously to see what people were going to say," he told to Variety in an interview published Aug. 7. "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."
As for the response to his TikTok, Schnapp said he received "a thousand texts of hearts and congratulations and rainbow flags" by the end of the car ride.
"I was crying," he shared. "I was like, ‘I made it. I'm done. I don't have to worry.'"
Alongside his January TikTok post, Schnapp also wrote, "I guess I'm more like Will than I thought," in reference to his Stranger Things character Will Byers, who he confirmed was gay in July 2022. In fact, he credits the role with helping him along his personal journey.
"Once I did fully embrace that Will was gay, it was just an exponential speed towards accepting it for myself," he explained to Variety. "I would be in a completely different place if I didn't have Will to portray, and to embrace and help me accept myself. I think if I never played that character, I probably would still be closeted."
After the public confirmation about his character, as Schnapp recalled, the overall reaction changed his perspective on his personal life.
"It kind of blew up in the press, and everyone was like, ‘Oh, Will's gay! Hooray!'" he noted. "I saw all these comments on Instagram and TikTok. There was not one bad thing about him being gay. I was like, if he has all this support, then why should I worry about anything?"
And after starting college at the University of Pennsylvania, Schnapp explained his new chapter drove him to a realization: "All these new girls were starting to hit on me, and I was like, ‘I don't like this. I don't want this.' I was like, ‘Holy s--t. I know now.'"
After coming out to those closest to him including his twin sister, parents and close friends such as Netflix costar Millie Bobby Brown, Schnapp said he decided it was time to "tell the world."
"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 actor shared. "The only way to truly feel myself is to tell everyone."
In June, the Peanuts Movie star shared a glimpse inside his first Pride celebration in New York City and as he noted, the event proved to be "truly such a liberating feeling."
"Just seeing my parents cheer me on," he recalled, "I've never felt so supported and loved."