Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
"When I grew up, being gay, being a sissy or anything like that was verboten. I disliked myself intensely and feared this part of myself intensely and had to hide it and became "Perfect Richard, All-American Boy" as a place to hide."
Kanou from Okane Na Gai would like to remind you that he thinks that homosexuals and Okama are unnatural and he's totally straight! He just loves Ayase, dammit!
Played for Drama in Welcome To Room 305. Yoona has heavy baggage about being lesbian, no thanks to her twin brothers homophohic backlash when he learned her secret. She begins pretending to be straight and Yoon Sung, realizing the emotional damage he's causing, tries to stop her. She resists and their relationship continues to sour. Yoon Sung pretends to be gay in order to get her to stop but she in turn becomes overprotective and highly homophohic towards him
In Preacher... a police-detective, real Cowboy Cop, Dirty Harry-type. Outspoken bigot, who hated blacks, Asians, Muslims, and - more than anything - gays. He is only tangentially involved with the plot, but a short while later, the main character stumbles on him in a bondage-club, getting it on with a couple black guys.
In The Twelve, the Phantom Reporter notes that Dynamic Man's extremely outspoken prejudice towards gays has gotten the other heroes talking. It turns out he feels no sexual attraction to anyone or anything, as he's a robot with no genitalia. His creator was bigoted and wanted Dynamic Man to be above and opposed to the ills of society, which in his mind included homosexuality; this is also why Dynamic Man is virulently racist.
Inverted in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series with Maximillian Pegasus, who makes a point out of making everyone believe he's gay and getting violently protective of his secret when he's discovered to be straight.
Col. Fitts from American Beauty, especially the homophobic part, and violent.
Ray from Scary Movie is gay, but he hides it, rather poorly though.
Champ Kind, from Anchorman. He hits on women more aggressively than any of the other newsmen, but then basically professes his love for Ron when he gets drunk, and at the end of the movie, the narrator tells us that he later got fired from a job as an NFL commentator for sexually harassing Terry Bradshaw.
The spiritual sequel to the film, "Wake Up Ron Burgundy", invokes this trope far less subtly.
Champ: "You fellas remember that limp-wristed fairy that was supposed to do the financial reports?"
Brian: "Oh, yeah. We were 51% sure he was gay."
Champ: "No, he was gay alright; I made out with him at the Christmas party."
In the sequel, when he meets up with Ron again, he constantly keeps on hugging him, to the point Ron gets a little weirded out.
Neil McCormick in Mysterious Skin is picked up by an exceedingly dangerous man: possessed of strong homosexuality and physically violent hatred of gays, both sides of his character manifest simultaneously in bed.
Invoked in Heathers — the football players' fake suicide note makes them out to be lovers.
"I love my dead gay son!"
Annette's friend Greg in Cruel Intentions plays on the football team and makes himself out to be a heterosexual jock type. He isn't, which is taken advantage of by Sebastian.
The former lead singer of fictional band Steel Dragon in the movie Rockstar, and as he is based on of Judas Priest singer Rob Halford he may also count, but he is probably more truthfully Manly Gay.
From a British movie, Victor/Victoria. One of the guys (though not self-loathing) revealed that he was gay. The main character was shocked, pointing out that he always worked out, and was the captain of the football team. The gay man replied that the best way to hide that you're gay is to always work out, and be the captain of the football team.
Otto, Karl's agent in Magicians, who strenuously denies that he has any kind of homosexual love for his client. His denials ring a bit false consider that he once snogged the guy completely out of the blue (and then had the nerve to challenge Karl's own understanding of his sexuality with accusation that "we just kissed..."), and then, whilst trying to pep Karl up before a gig, blurted out "I love you!"
Tropic Thunder has a less-extreme version of this with Alpa Chino, a famous rapper who's branching into acting. His catchphrase as a rapper seems to be "I love the pussy" and he hawks a soda based on his music called "Booty Sweat." Toward the end of the film, as all the actors talk about their love lives, he's asked if he has anyone special that isn't just a sexual thing, and Chino replies that he's had a crush on someone he was too shy to ask out. When asked the girl's name he wistfully replies "Lance." When they naturally question it, he falls into a long, denial-filled rant about how he isn't gay and how much he "loves da pussy." He's last seen in the movie hugging Lance Bass at the Oscars.
Brüno decides his homosexuality is preventing him from being famous, he first tries to consult an ex-gay ministry, then attend a swinging party. After running away from the party, he vows to be back, and be straight, and a few months later, he's organizing a cage fight event under the pseudonym Straight Dave, and holds a homophobic speech at the audience, before making out with his male assistant inside the ring.
Rex from Sex Drive. Loves his car more than anything and is violent (and violently homophobic) towards Ian, who he thinks is gay, but he comes out at the end, and his sexuality is implied to be the motivation for his Jerkass behavior.
Max in Bent is willing to do unspeakably depraved things to keep the Nazis from thinking he was gay. This is somewhat justified because you really don't want the Nazis to think you're gay.
In the autobiography film The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp and a group of his friends are at a club, when gang of drunks come in and harass them. Quentin himself is confronted with a huge guy who is leading the pack. Quentin whispers in his ear 'If I were you I’d bugger off back to Hoxton before they work out you’re queer'. The lesson he learned from this experience is 'some roughs are queer'.
Hooper in Chasing Amy acts as an Angry Black Man but is in real life a nice gay guy. However, he doesn't do this out of self-loathing - being an a angry radical makes him successful.
Zac Beaulieu from C.R.A.Z.Y., partly because the film is set from the 1960's to 1980's and partly because his parents are a conservative father and a devout Catholic mother who believes he's a miracle child after consulting a Tupperware selling mystic.
Bobby Kent from Bully is a sexual sadist who can't find anyone who appreciates his homemade gay porn movies. Gay themes constantly follow Bobby's character; his repressed sexuality might be his defining character trait.
In Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon, Hawkins Fuller is very much in the closet. He even bashes homosexuals at work. The book was set during the McCarthy era when being gay meant being black-listed and possibly never working again. Fuller had no choice but to play the part. To a lesser extent, Timothy Laughlin fits the self-loathing part, and he was also in the closet for a long time because of necessity.
A strange case, in The Black Magician Trilogy in that there's no macho posturing, and only a little gay bashing. Dannyl, a magician from a country that has very strong prejudices against homosexuality, is so incredibly deep in the closet (due to the aforementioned prejudice and an incident as a teen) that he constantly uses his magic to suppress any and all attraction to men. Utterly subconsciously- he doesn't even know he's doing it till he exhausts himself magically and can't do it anymore.
In the horror novella The School House by Simon Bestwick, the protagonist's friend committed suicide after being raped by two classmates who had mercilessly tormented him on suspicion of being gay (it's never revealed whether he really was.) Although it's possible this happened because they were in an all-male boarding school where there were no girls around, the protagonist seems to suspect that the bullies put up a front as tough-guy thugs because they were unsure about their own sexuality.
Michael suggests that Shitley, The Bully who likes to target gay or effeminate kids, is a case of this in order to anger him. It's left ambiguous whether he was correct or not.
Downplayed with Francis. He isn't homophobic (going by fifteen-year-old boy standards) and his Establishing Character Moment has him rescuing a boy who is being bullied and accused of being gay by Shitley, but he's definitely Straight Gay, and it's implied that this is a front when he thinks he is outed by Michael and demands to know how he managed to figure out his secret.
In The Heroes of Olympus, it's revealed that Nico di Angelo has or had a crush on Percy Jackson. We only find this out because Cupid forcibly draws a confession him in return for a plot-critical MacGuffin. Justified, as Nico grew up in the 1930s and was influenced by the homophobic hysteria of that period, in addition to his feelings of ostracism because of his godly heritage.
Live Action TV
In The L Word Alice and Tasha meet an NBA star at a closet party. A few days later, said player makes homophobic comments about a fellow player, and Alice outs him in public.
In Queer as Folk Drew Boyd is a macho football player who was engaged. Then he hooked up with Emmett, insists to stay in the closet until near the end of the series.
School bully Frank Grayson from Bad Education. Though he directs very little homophobia at the openly gay student Stephen, Grayson often calls other students and even teachers gay and uses it as an excuse to bully them. In the season 2 Christmas Special however he turns out to have a crush on Stephen and kisses him in front of the whole school. Later he invites Stephen on a date to a football match while other students can hear him. He tries to hold on to his macho persona but Stephen tells him to drop it and non of the other students seem to care that he's gay anyway.
The fighting instructor in the "Self Defence" episode is rampantly homophobic, but also seems to enjoy grabbing Alfie's crotch.
Grayson and Stephen were made an official couple in the series finale when they went to prom together. Also they won prom king and queen.
Naomi was this for much of Series 3, assuring everyone how very straight she was in between make-out sessions with Emily. It didn't really work - well, except for Cook, who was probably too horny to care.
Katie Fitch was an aversion; her constant harping on Naomi for being a "lezzer bitch" who "is coming to gay us up" made it seem like she was being set up to be this trope, but it turns out she's straight. But her homophobia does cause a world of pain for her twin sister, Emily, who actually is gay and crushing on Naomi. Emily was in an armoured closet with Katie (until the end of the third series) but didn't seem to have as much trouble opening up to others, especially as it became increasingly apparent that Naomi was lying about being straight.
Mini came across as this in the fifth series, with a history of obvious unrequited crushes on her female friends - Franky during the show's run and, in the prequel novel, Liv. However, this was completely abandoned in the sixth series, where she was suddenly only into boys.
Larry from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a big brute bully who sexually harasses girls to cover up his gayness until he comes out in an episode called "Phases". After he comes out, his attitude changes dramatically.
Four seasons after his last appearance, we learn this about Buffy's brief love interest Scott Hope in "Conversations with Dead People". He told people that every girl he broke up with was a lesbian, "and then last year, big surprise, he comes out."
Although that was more a joke on that the actor who played Scott went on to star on the american Queer As Folks.
A Kids in the Hall sketch has Scott Thompson playing a macho actor who constantly denies that he's gay, even when he's seen in bed with a man. The sketch ends with him dead and in an open-casket funeral, with two women wondering how he died. One of them says it was AIDS, but his corpse keeps muttering "Cancer." (A "Funny Aneurysm" Moment as Scott - who is gay in Real Life - was successfully treated for cancer in 2009.)
Riley of Degrassi: The Next Generation: star track runner, football team captain and quarterback, summertime lifeguard, insatiably attracted to men. Early on any insinuation of his sexuality led him to lash out violently, including clocking a gay lifeguard in the jaw. But anger management classes, and his new boyfriend's coaxing, have helped him to not only calm down but even come out publicly.
Pulled out a few times on the various Law & Order incarnations, either played straight or subverted depending on the episode.
On Glee, Dave Karofsky (one of the jocks and Kurt's main bully) starts out as this. After forcefully kissing Kurt, he denies that it ever happened and attacks Blaine, a guy whom he doesn't know who's only there to let him know he's not alone.
Santana is a female example - she 'fesses up to Brittany that the reason she acts like such a bitch is because she is angry, and she is angry because she has feelings for Brittany that she can't handle. Some parts of the fandom then quickly decided that Santana's Anything That Moves behaviour is because she subconsciously has decided that it is easier being the school slut rather than the school dyke.
Her inner narration three episodes later:
I'm a closet lesbian and a judgmental bitch, which means that I have excellentGaydar.
She then goes and bullies Karofsky into being her beard.
And then Karofsky not only switches to another school... then is so cruelly bullied by the boys there that he's Driven to Suicide and only barely survives.
In Playmakers, Thad Guerwitcz even beats up his own boyfriend in the presence of his teammates and proposes marriage to a girl he just met just to avoid being ostracized by his team.
The Quantum Leap episode "Running for Honor" featured Sam as an Ambiguously Gay cadet at a military academy with a no-gays policy trying to protect an openly gay ex-cadet from the violent intentions of a campus hate group. Sam calls out the leader of the group and accuses his homophobia of being a front to conceal his own homosexuality. The group leader never admits to being gay, but he backs down from the raid he was planning, and later leaves school, claiming he doesn't belong there.
Ted Altman of Intelligence (2006) is implied to be one. In one episode, he is seen checking out another man at the bar, then freaks out when he the guy notices him and starts checking him out back. In a later episode, he appears to be cruising a group of male prostitutes before being scared off by a patrol car.
Brendan of Hollyoaks genuinely is homophobic—it's not a façade. He is also gay, and quite jealous and possessive with his sometimes-boyfriend Ste....who he also abuses as a result of said homophobia. It's...twisted.
Chuck Noblet from Strangers with Candy, played by Stephen Colbert, is an English teacher / history teacher, assistant to the principal, sharp-shooter gun-enthusiast, step-mom attracting, gay slur using, emotionally unstable badass who has armored his closet so thickly that he is in an unhappy marriage with children and willing to kill off his boyfriend/lover/art teacher when he threatens to out them both in front of the whole school.
Don't worry though. In spite of Noblet's fear of being found out and acting like Mr. Jellineck means nothing to him in public, they both really do love each other. This is demonstrated most prominently when Noblet almost came out to save Jellineck's life after a horrible accident with a "ray of hope" after his surgery, but when he proved to be OK, he quickly stopped the explanation of their 'friendship'.
In December 2011, Conan referred to a news story in which a schoolteacher in Michigan struck the word "gay" from the popular Christmas carol "Deck the Halls." The sketch which followed depicted two men pitching a CD entitled Straight-Up Christmas, which included such carols as "Little Drummer Boy (To Whom I Am Not Sexually Attracted)," "Jingle Breasts" and "Do You Hear What I Hear? (Yes! Monster Trucks!)" They also pitch a bonus CD of music performed on power drills. After they believe the cameras have stopped filming, they start making out.
Parodied in an episode of Scrubs, with The Todd. Carla and Elliot suspect that Todd is gay (since he hasn't actually slept with any woman he supposedly has), and his sexist behavior is a way to hide this. They confront him and he comes out of the closet - but then he starts harassing guys instead of girls. As it turns out, he's not gay - he's into Anything That Moves.
On Scandal, the client in the pilot episode is a decorated war hero and a prominent conservative activist so deep in the closet that he'd rather be arrested for a murder he didn't commit than allow his lover to provide an alibi for him.
In the Cracker serial Best Boys, Stuart Grady joined the army, married, and had a child to try and cover the fact that he is gay. Then he meets Bill Nash (played by a very young John Simm)...
Paige in Pretty Little Liars. She spends her entire introduction episode making jabs at Emily for being gay and physically threatening her — and then kisses Emily two episodes later and becomes Emily's on again/off again girlfriend.
On Jerry Springer and Maury, a common show topic is the manly man who also enjoys dating men or pre-op transwomen and claims to the end that he is 1000% heterosexual, and is not even bisexual, or even bicurious.
With every passing season, Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia becomes less ambiguous and more armoured closet. This has been lampshaded multiple times throughout the series, and as far as the Gang's concerned, Mac is definitely gay.
Charlie: I know we've never said this, but Mac's gay right?
*The rest of the gang agrees.*
The Ambiguously Gay Louis inAlpha House is trying to become more macho, as he's a Republican Senator facing a primary challenge from a cowboy type.
Satisfied Street Rat Mickey Milkovich on Shameless (U.S.). He's a teenage thug whose psychopathic father is homophobic to the point of being willing to kill his son when he finally finds out. Hence for most of the series Mickey is obsessively secretive about his sexuality, to the point of seriously considering murdering his boyfriend's father when he finds out about it.
Kaldrick King on The LA Complex. He's a tough, violent rapper with a criminal record who's spent time in jail. He also falls in love with the slightly less armoured Tariq and starts to let his guard down a little. True to the trope, though, when the two are caught kissing, Kaldrick beats the crap out of Tariq to save face, even though Kal still claims to love Tariq afterwards.
Spoon's "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" seems to deal with this trope, describing a man who tries very hard to be masculine: "in his coat and his boots/and his black-heart machine/no one sees the two sides of Monsieur Valentine." Later, the man "makes love to the duke."
Musical comedian Roy Zimmerman has a series of songs satirizing anti-gay politicians and activists who turn out to be closeted gays. Here's the latest one.
In the video game Bully, one of the jocks, Kirby, behaves the same way, until you finally make out with him. All of the cliques have one boy who will kiss Jimmy, if his respect with their gang is high enough. If it's not, even Cornelius, the Urkel-like gay nerd, will try to whup Jimmy's ass with a yardstick.
The Brute Splicer model in BioShock 2 is a violently homophobic man who is always complaining about "poofs" and prefers boxing to wrestling because the latter involves two men touching each other too much for his liking. However, when under the effects of the Hypnotize plasmid, he can get downright flirtatious with Delta.
Kanji in Persona 4. When he was a kid, the other kids teased him for liking things like sewing and other "girly" things, so he developed a Badass Biker facade in order to defend himself. These feelings manifest themselves as a half-naked Camp GayEvil TwinShadow with shades of He-Man Woman Hater. However, since part of accquiring one's Persona is learning to accept your suppressed feelings, Kanji learns to be more at ease with himself (especially once he learns that there are people who do accept him for who he is). Although he remains a tough guy, he stops worrying about whether or not he's "strange."
Grand Theft Auto IV presents Bryce Dawkins, the largely unseen Deputy Mayor of Liberty City, notorious for his vitriolic homophobic rants (thus pandering to his right-wing voter base). So it is perhaps no surprise that he turns out to be the lover of Bernie Crane, a veryCamp Gay fitness trainer. In fact, most of Niko's missions with Bernie involve fending off members of The Mafiya trying to blackmail Bryce. The secret ends up getting revealed anyway (as a post-game radio news feed reveals), but Bryce still insists he's not gay, will not change his anti-gay stance, and instead "visited a rehab", presumably to "correct personal failures", or at least lie low for a while until the issue dies down in favor of celebrity scandals. Quoth a press statement meant to deflect accusations of homophobia against him...
The same game also features Brucie, who is somehow both this and in the Transparent Closet.
In Fallout: New Vegas, James Garret is an... interesting example of this trope. He fits all the criteria, appearing to be disgusted to the point of anger by what he turns out to be himself. But he is not so much an Armored Closet Gay as he is an Armored Closet Robosexual. The similarities to this trope are only further highlighted when the robot in question turns out to have a masculine personality and...implied...parts.
Possibly America, too, though that one isn't as obvious.
String Theory has Dr. Benjamin Langstrom, who remained in his closet to his death.
Word of God states that this is due to the society of the time; the only thing worse than being gay in String Theory's world (a Days of Future Past United States, where it's scientifically the 2050s but morally/socially the 1950s) is being a Communist.
Beckey (creator): Langstrom had to remain closeted or else he’d risk his career. Especially risky with a teaching career. His friend Dr. Auditore was outted, unfortunately, and now the only job he can get is as a drug rehabilitation counselor at a prison out in the middle of nowhere (and only because his friend’s sister runs it).
In Tails Gets Trolled Bugs Bunny joins the Troll Slaiyers due to his ability to screw with trolls by crossdressing and kissing them (he's nicknamed "The Gay"), but he mentions that he hates doing so. Later, Bugs confesses that he actually became gay with Daffy.
After a comic in which the token gay character of Sinfest gets propositioned by an alien from Uranus, a number of readers simultaneously commented that the alien is a dead ringer for Seymour, the overenthusiastic bible-thumping Christian. Seymour has also shown up in a comic where Satan tempts Jesus with the promise of hot bitches.
Li'l E also had distinctively armoured-closet behavior. A notable comic has him nagging Buddha for his feminine traits, only to swoon and gush when Satan walks by. Subverted with the reveal that Li'l E is actually Satan's son.
If this◊ Exiern strip is saying what it sounds like, Typhan-knee may have been gay all along, and that in part influenced the Gender Bender curse, as well as post-transformation Tiffany's attraction to Denver.
On an episode of The Simpsons, Lisa invokes this trope when Nelson is teasing Bart and calls him gay. Lisa points out that homophobic people who accuse others of being gay often have sexuality issues. This shuts up a wide-eyed Nelson, as he runs away.
Subverted in American Dad!. Terry's father Tank Bates is homophobic and deeply disapproves of his son's homosexuality. Stan accuses him of being a homosexual and outs him in front of a crowded football stadium. It turns out that Tank truly is not homosexual.
Stan's attempts to reconcile the father and son reveal that Tank actually subverts EVERY other homophobia-explanation trope as well. He doesn't think it's against God, he doesn't think it's a choice, he doesn't think they are all Camp Gay or after his butt, etc. He is unable/unwilling to offer ANY explanation or justification for hating gays in general and his son specifically (his son even produced a grandchild for him already, what is this guy's deal?).