Counting Down Our Favorite TV Coming Out Moments

Whenever a character comes out on TV, it’s always a reason to celebrate. Whether it’s a grand announcement or a subtle moment, it reaffirms what it means to be gay to see it reflected back to us, even if only fictitiously. And each event is, to paraphrase Joe Biden, a big freaking deal.

Last week, another member joined TV’s out and proud club when adorable Justin on Ugly Betty confirmed what we all knew from the start — he is just gay-gay. The moment, played out at a family wedding, was simple and understated. It joins the ranks as one of the sweetest TV coming outs on record. That scene plus my top five list great TV coming out moments after the break!

Justin joins Kurt on Glee and The United States of Tara‘s Marshall as the rare TV teen who comes out to a fully supportive family.

Justin’s scene got me thinking about my other favorite coming out moments on TV. Which, of course, led to a list. My Top 5.

5. Kurt to his dad on Glee.

A
simple understated moment
that reminds us that, in many cases, our parents have known for years.

4. Jessie on Once and Again.

The look on Katie’s face when Jessie tells her she wants to keep the letter forever says it all.

3. Willow telling Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

How many of us have taken that deep breath Willow took before she admits exactly why it’s complicated to Buffy.

2. Rickie Vasquez tells Angela on My So-Called Life.

Rickie and Angela have a touching exchange followed by the best World Happiness Dance ever. Combine this moment with the Rickie is thrown out by his family during the Christmas episode and you have one of the most touching teenage coming out stories on television.

1. Ellen to the entire airport on Ellen.

The “Yep, I’m gay” heard around the world.

These are just a few favorites, there are plenty more. So, how did you think Justin’s coming out was handled on Ugly Betty? And what are your all-time favorite TV character coming out scenes?

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