Created By: remakesformoney on January 19, 2010
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Informed Sexuality

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We know that a character is gay because we're told so, and not because they're allowed to display any sort of romantic feelings for those of the same gender.

For example, a man comes out of the closet, and even talks about past relationships, but we don't actually see him going on a date with another man, let alone having a sex scene with another man.

Inspired by the lesbian from Half Baked and the uncle from Little Miss Sunshine. Often accompanied with slurs such as "faggot" (Little Miss Sunshine) and "dyke" (Half Baked) and "fruitcake" (Miss Congeniality).

Showing a gay character kissing, holding hands, and going out to dinner and a movie with someone of the same sex would exclude that character from this trope. So Lois from Family Guy doesn't fit this trope, at least until later seasons. And since she's in a committed heterosexual relationship.

Often a case of Real Life for girls who claim to be bisexual because they think that it's wild and cool and will attract guys. The same "desperate to be cool" mentality goes for writers who put gay characters into their stories for shock value, to be alternative, or to show how open-minded they are, while not being able to stomach actually writing a gay romance, despite that good writers should show, not tell. This Token Gay is often found in a Dysfunctional Family Unit to show that society is backsliding away from Family Values. Such as the cross-dressing villain who thinks that he's his own sister from Resident Evil: Code Veronica X, whom Claire calls a "cross-dressing freak." Often used to express a writer's own homophobia through the safe outlet of his or her characters.

The unfortunate implication that you will die alone if you decide to choose the deviant lifestyle of gayness.

Will and Grace spent awhile getting Will a boyfriend while securing Grace as his soul mate. A prominent episode in the first(?) season being one where Grace has a boring romance in the typical manner with some guy in Story A, with Story B focusing on Will talking on the phone to some guy that he liked, in an unnecessary, one-episode version of He Who Must Not Be Seen.

Up For Grabs

Community Feedback Replies: 39
  • December 27, 2009
    Vree
    The polar opposite of Ambiguously Gay ( a character that acts gay, but is never referred to as such).
  • December 27, 2009
    Twin Bird
    I'm not totally sold on the uncle from Little Miss Sunshine, not with the subplot with the student. I'll agree this is a trope, though...I submitted something like it years ago as "Virgin Queen."
  • December 27, 2009
    JAF1970
    The Celluloid Closet goes on about this. You might notice that on TV, you'll see girl-on-girl kissing, but never boy-on-boy kissing unless it's a huge punchline.
  • December 27, 2009
    Twin Bird
    @JAF 1970 There's a bit of Truth In Television to that version; in gay-friendly areas, male/male couples are definitely less affectionate than their straight and lesbian counterparts.
  • December 27, 2009
    random surfer
  • December 27, 2009
    JackButler
    Troy, Eve's male BFF in ''Blast From The Past'.
    Eve: (to Adam, about Troy) "He's gay, by the way."
    Adam: (to Troy, thinking Eve means that Troy is happy) "Well, good for you!"
    Troy: (confused) "Well, I do try..."

  • December 27, 2009
    LogansRun22
    Also seems a little inverse to Transparent Closet.
  • December 27, 2009
    macroscopic
    Have I Said I Am Gay is a little easier on the fingers to build off random surfer.
  • December 28, 2009
    Vree
    I like the "Have I Mentioned..." title ideas, Informed Sexuality is good but too inclusive (not neccessarily only for homosexuality).
  • December 28, 2009
    random surfer
    Tried to edit my reply but it didn't take.

    For comparison see Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today.
  • January 15, 2010
    LeighSabio
  • January 15, 2010
    Giant Space Chinchilla
    Might be related to Straight Gay, no?
  • January 15, 2010
    JackButler
    More discussion of the name of the trope than posting of examples is a bad sign that this one won't get launched.
  • January 15, 2010
    foxley
    Bryan Hand from the Ms Tree comics (although it is justified in story by him claiming to have been celibate since the death of his long-term partner).
  • January 16, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    You might notice that on TV, you'll see girl-on-girl kissing, but never boy-on-boy kissing unless it's a huge punchline.

    That's because Most Writers Are Male and Girl On Girl Is Hot. They are not examples.

    Buffy sucked a fair bit of face in her day, but Willow never got any on screen action. I think joss weldon said that the network wasn't to comfortable with showing it.

  • January 16, 2010
    SmashingMelons42
    @UT: Willow did get some action in later seasons, after the show moved to UPN.
  • January 16, 2010
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Dumbledore, of course!

    Utahraptor from Dinosaur Comics, but that has more to do with the medium - the visual part of the comic is the same in every strip, os there's no space for, say, a strip.
  • January 17, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Dumbledore is Word Of Gay, not this trope.
  • January 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Lois from Family Guy mentions having relationships with other women and didn't mind making out with Bonnie.
  • January 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Thirteen from House is supposedly bisexual, but apart from her word, there's hardly anything to support her liking women.
  • January 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • January 19, 2010
    duralict
    Ivanova on Babylon 5

    Mark on Ugly Betty

    Pretty sure Lois doesn't count because she makes out with a woman in the show. It sounds like this trope is specifically for gay characters who never get laid, or even ever show romantic interest. On that note... Ho No Sexual?
  • January 19, 2010
    pawsplay
  • January 19, 2010
    Musouka
    @duralict

    Mark doesn't really count, he had an open relationship with Cliff after all.
  • January 19, 2010
    duralict
    Right, I forgot about later seasons.

    Also this seems related to Discount Lesbians.
  • January 19, 2010
    dilbert719
    @UT 99.194.8.109: There was the episode "Lucky Thirteen," though. That revolved around her bisexuality pretty thoroughly, and actually did show her in bed with another woman. Twice.
  • January 19, 2010
    hbi2k
    Personally I still like Informed Sexuality better than any of the alternatives that have been suggested.
  • January 19, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Didn't Will And Grace take a long time to show Will actually dating men, instead of just saying that he was gay?
  • January 19, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    Not to mention Jack, most of the time. Sure, he's sometimes seen with a date, but you only know it's a date from his own statement.
  • January 19, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    @dilbert719

    Really? I must have missed that.

    Disregard Thirteen then.
  • January 19, 2010
    Gadby
    Ivanova doesn't count because she was never explicitly said to be homosexual or bisexual on the show. It was implied, but IIRC that was only because it was implied that she and Tallia were romantically/sexually involved.
  • January 20, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Eric Van Der Woodsen from Gossip Girl might also fit this. One episode featured his "outing" in its A story, yet to date he never seems to be closer than 8 inches to his boyfriend. If you were to watch the show muted, you would probably just guess they were best friends.
  • January 20, 2010
    BlueIce-Tea
    I like "Informed Sexuality" best.
  • January 20, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Pet Homosexual includes the "no onscreen action" rule
  • January 20, 2010
    SmashingMelons42
    I like Informed Sexuality too. I think this is a good deal more general than Pet Homosexual, since that requires that the character also acts in a stereotypically gay way. Since this trope applies to Straight Gay characters I think it could be separate (or they could be merged).
  • January 21, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    bump
  • January 21, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    Oh, and that guy from the Very Special Episode of The Simpsons. One awkward conversation with Smithers aside, we just have to take his word for it.

    edit: would the Fab five count? Of course it wouldn't make sense to have actual romance on the show, but their sexuality is the entire selling point, after all.
  • January 21, 2010
    trinu
    Serena Southerlyn from Law And Order. To be fair though, the show doesn't really show any of the main characters romances. Huang from SVU may need a little more justification.
  • January 22, 2010
    JackButler
    Jody, Billy Crystal's character in Soap, verbally informed the audience of his sexuality pretty much every episode. But you never saw him going out with other guys.
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