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31 Characters Whose Coming Out Storylines Made Us Feel Seen

1 week ago 7

Pride 2022 badge

All the scenes that made us say "same."

As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re right in the middle of Pride Month.


And if you fall anywhere on the LGBTQ+ rainbow, I’m sure you know that coming out isn’t always a walk in the park. So we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the coming-out storylines that stuck with them, and here's what they said!

1. Robin on Stranger Things


"Her coming out to Steve was so sweet and well-handled. It was such a lovely surprise, and his reaction was too pure."


2. Alex on Supergirl

The CW

"I've literally just made an account so I could comment on this! Her slow realisation that she liked Maggie as more than a friend, and the support she received from her family and friends was incredible. Watching her grow and become confident in her own skin was beautiful, and it was so well-handled (even if the rest of the show became a bit of a train wreck)!"


"The moment where she was talking to Kara and she was breaking down how she felt really connected with the closeted gay girl inside me."


3. Tess on This is Us


"Her storyline was great because it was so realistic – she had to come out multiple times to different people. The scene with her parents was so emotional – you can see how her whole manner changed once they accepted her as she was."


4. Rosa on Brooklyn Nine-Nine


"She gave me the courage to come out as bisexual to my parents last summer after putting it off for five years. it was my favourite show even before she came out, but the episodes '99' and 'Game Night' made me love it even more because they chose to revolve their 99th and 100th episodes around an important moment that can be absolutely terrifying for so many people."


5. Todd Chavez on Bojack Horseman


"Watching this was an absolute joy. I’m also asexual and the lack of representation in any form of entertainment is very isolating. Todd’s frank and honest discussion about how he may be 'nothing' hit home so hard."


"I’m not asexual, but his coming out really made me realise how little representation there is of asexuality in pop culture."


6. Mac on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


"The dance he performs when he comes out to his dad was so beautiful and unexpected, and heartbreaking. And Frank’s reaction never fails to make me tear up."


7. Clare on Derry Girls

Channel 4

"Her writing the essay anonymously, then telling Erin she wrote it was a great scene. I felt it when Clare told Erin off by saying 'Look at the state of you!' She is a wonderful wee lesbian."


"The fact that they all wore little rainbow pins after was adorable."


8. David on Schitt’s Creek

CBC / Pop TV

"His analogy using a wine bottle is superb. 💕"


"It was so perfect. I’ve been out as pansexual for a few years now but it helped me understand my sexuality even more, and when people ask me 'what is pansexuality?' then I use the same analogy. It’s also great to see pansexual representation!"


9. Emily on Pretty Little Liars

ABC Family / Freeform

"Her journey was pretty groundbreaking at the time. Hanna's support was extra lovely: 'you were Emily dating Ben, and now you're Emily dating Maya. We love Emily. No one cares who you're with.'"


"This was the first lesbian coming out story I ever saw. I was a freshman or sophomore in high school still deep in the closet, and her relationship with Maya made me feel so seen. Even if the show got straight-up ridiculous, Emily is still one of my favourite queer characters on TV."


10. Darryl on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The CW

"He realised he was 'bothsexual' and then gave us the coming out BOP known as 'Getting Bi,' which shatters stereotypes while making you want to dance. Plus, he came out in middle age, in contrast to the young-ish people you usually see coming out on TV."


11. Callie on Grey’s Anatomy


"They addressed her bisexuality, her complicated relationship with her father who brought a priest to the hospital ('You can’t pray away the gay!'), and how it impacted her faith. Despite her father not showing up for her wedding, I love that they had Mark Sloan (the father of her child) step in for the father of the bride dance. It really gave a positive outlook on complicated relationships and the co-parenting that she, Mark, and Arizona did."


12. Alec on Shadowhunters


"Nothing beats Alec coming out at his wedding in front of everyone by kissing Magnus Bane."


13. Waverly on Wynonna Earp

Syfy/ CHCH-DT / Space/ CTV Sci-Fi Channel

"It was so subtle and simple. A really beautiful way to do it!"


14. Santana on Glee


"She helped me so much. I remember watching Glee when I was in seventh grade (and questioning my sexuality), and seeing Santana in all her badassery and how impactful it was for me to see that she didn’t fit into any specific lesbian stereotype. Before Santana I kind of thought that, if I was a lesbian, then I had to fit all the butch stereotypes I’d seen on other shows. I thought that, since I wasn’t athletic, I couldn’t be a lesbian. I know that sounds kind of stupid now, but it was so scary and confusing to my middle school self. Santana helped me to accept my sexuality and myself in general. Forever grateful."


"Her coming out story was so accurate. She was in denial for so long, and her abuela took it badly which obviously affected her. She was so inspirational to so many gay girls, and still is. Watching her coming out story helped me come to terms with my sexuality."


"The way her traditional abuela took it showed us Santana's vulnerability. She just wanted to be herself and be accepted by the person she valued the most."


"Santana will always be the best coming out story and thousands of people’s bi/lesbian awakening."


15. Kate on Everything Sucks!


"Watching her explore her sexuality throughout the series was incredibly relatable. It was especially heartwarming when she started living more for herself and embracing her sexuality instead of succumbing to what others tried forcing her to be."


16. Andrew on Desperate Housewives


"I relate to that one so much because, like him, I didn't come out by choice."


17. Ellen on well, Ellen


"Look, I'm definitely not an Ellen fan in real life, but as a young person watching her sitcom, it was a really big deal."


18. Sebastian on Glow


"His whole journey through the series is so real and true to what it was like in the '80s – it really shows how far we’ve come as a society."


19. Ola on Sex Education


"In addition to the coming out, her realisation was huge for me. She talked about thinking that everyone looked at men and women on the street, and I had never felt more seen. It really helped me come to terms with my own sexuality!"


20. Ian and Mickey on Shameless


"They showed a contrast – When Ian came out Fiona was accepting but when Mickey did his dad tried to kill him."


21. Cyrus in Andi Mack

Disney Channel

"All of the scenes that involved him coming out were really good, especially when he revealed that he liked a boy, and the one where he flat out told Jonah 'I'm gay.'"


22. Levi Schmitts on Grey's Anatomy


23. Petra on Jane the Virgin


24. Maxxie on Skins


"Anwar was scared of his Muslim dad finding out his best friend is gay... And then Anwar's dad completely accepts Maxxie and welcomes him to a family party."


25. Matthew on Big Mouth


"When he was working up the courage to tell his dad we saw a totally different side to him. The way his mum reacted was heartbreaking to watch, but I think they did a really good job of showing how a parent's reaction can make or break your confidence."


26. Elena on One Day at a Time

Netflix / Pop

"The way her journey was portrayed was so relatable, and her family's reactions were handled brilliantly. Her mum Penelope struggled at first, but eventually, an ally at a gay bar helped her to understand that she was just at the beginning of the process. It was all just dealt with so realistically and that is great to see."


"During the big scene, I was bawling my eyes out. Then when Penelope accepted her it was just beautiful."


27. Marco on Degrassi

CTV / MuchMusic / MTV Canada

"Marco was the first person I’d ever seen come out on TV. When that episode aired, I was 12-13 years old and I knew about homosexuality, but I had never actually seen anything about it, in both real life and on TV.

I remember being confused because It was so unexpected for me. But then the more I watched, the more I realised that his bravado was all an act because he was afraid and there are people, maybe even some that I knew, that have to hide who they are because they are afraid of how others will react to their sexuality.

It was very eye-opening for me and it actually helped me when a very close friend of mine came out to me a couple of months later."


28. Jack on Dawson Creek

The WB

"It was iconic, and for a lot of us older millennials who were teens at the time, our first real experience of any kind of coming out. His story is utterly vital."


29. Benson on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts


"His coming out was so matter of fact and non-traumatic. A perfect representation for a kid-friendly show."


30. William on Arrow

The CW

"It really hit me the first time I saw it. It had such a unique twist to it. The audience knew the character was gay but he didn't originally get the chance to come out to his dad because Oliver was dead in William's future. Missing out on the chance to tell a loved one who you really are is a real fear for many gay people. Thanks to the future kids being sent back to the present we see him get to come out and be accepted by his dad after thinking he had missed his opportunity to ever tell him. It felt so satisfying."


31. Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The WB

"She was really one of the first lesbian characters to play a large role on an extremely popular TV show at that time."


Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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