In the new season of Stranger Things, we saw a lot of exploration into Will’s sexuality. If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to check out our exclusive article talking about how the show approached queerness in the 80s through the character of Will! The 4th season of the show also saw further development for the other confirmed LGTBQ+ character, Robin, as she navigates being slightly more open, comfortable, and supported in her sexuality.
Many times throughout the season, Robin’s crush, Vickie, is brought up. We even get to see Robin and Steve discuss the possibility that Vickie is also queer and has a crush on Robin. Steve, who is supportive, yet clueless and inexperienced about the queer experience, encourages Robin to go for it in his typical, funny, yet crass, “Steve” way. While the scene is not only hilarious – we will never forget how hysterical it was to hear Steve go on about Fast Times and yell “people who like boobies, Robin!”- it also has Robin giving some really important insight into what it was like to be a closeted queer woman in the 80s: “You ask out a girl and she says no. Big deal. Nothing happens. Maybe your ego’s a little bruised, but I ask out the wrong girl, and bam, I’m a town pariah.”
This scene and Robin’s journey to accepting her queerness in general are so incredibly well-written, as the nuances of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community during that time period are explored in a really interesting way. It shows that even with acceptance from her best friend, Robin is still struggling to navigate her sexuality among her other peers. It relates back to a staple of the queer experience as a young person, which is characterized by the constant laser-focused awareness of outside judgement, the uncertainty of who knows you are queer, and, most importantly, who you can trust with that information.
While we see that Vickie has a boyfriend in episode 8, she tells Robin that they broke up in the finale, which leaves some hope that we might get to see them together in the next season. Even if Robin doesn’t end up with Vickie, though, the fact that she can be so open to Steve about a crush made for some awesome on-screen representation of good allyship, and just general wholesome best friend moments. It also says a lot that Robin even had the courage to talk to Vickie rather than just observe her from afar, so we can’t wait to see how her confidence builds even more in the next season. We can’t help but think about some of the possibilities; maybe she and Will can even bond over the fact that they are both coming to terms with their sexuality in the midst of all the chaos. Robin is such a lovable, strong character, and there are so many options for her story – we truly can’t wait to see what she does next in season 5!