We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
Enrique: If it didn't work with you, it wouldn't work with anyone! I never really knew who I was. You removed all my doubts. I swear, it's not you. I think you're pretty, attractive, sweet; it's me, I promise you, it's me.
Nevertheless, somewhere inside, I was reassured. It was easier to accept that he was gay than that he had preference for Ingrid or he found me ugly.
This girl is responsible for a guy in a Transparent Closet realizing
he's gay, and inversely
this could be a guy responsible for a closeted woman realizing she's a lesbian. The situation is usually that after their first kiss (or sexual encounter in some cases) he realizes that he doesn't feel the right kind of chemistry with her, and outs himself to her and breaks the relationship. Usually this requires that the ex-boyfriend profusely
reassure her that "It's Not You, It's Me
" and that she'll eventually find someone who will return her feelings. On the positive side, they may end up on the good end of Just Friends
This can be Played for Laughs
or Played for Drama
with the girl fretting that she's a terrible romantic prospect
, or such a shrew
or so bad in bed she literally drove the guy into forsaking his heterosexuality
. Can be played for extra laughs/tears by her having several boyfriends do this in a row
, and then with Mom calling to ask whether she's "turned another guy gay".
In the least conflictive examples, the guy will realize due to outside events rather than from their (lack of) chemistry. Sometimes it'll happen after
they've broken up, which may or may not be a relief to the girl. In comedies, this can be a funny way of Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends
This trope has a Spear Counterpart
and Gender Flip
in the form of a lesbian coming out to her boyfriend after going through a similar process. A comedy will usually imply that the guy is so bad at sex or such a perverted pig
that she becomes a lesbian out of disgust. Or both!
This trope is in a way the Inverse
of Closet Key
, rather than a lack of reaction from a heterosexual partner, it's a same-sex attraction leading to the epiphany. It's worth noting that some women may become Fag Hags
who Settled for Gay
because All the Good Men Are Gay
open/close all folders
- In Persepolis, Marjane's boyfriend Enrique outs himself. Previously she had worried that he wasn't interested in her after they slept in the same bed but didn't have sex, and when later she encountered him talking to a prettier girl.
- 1632: Harry Lefferts insists he should be this for Sherry, since he is a typical redneck he will make her lose faith in men, and make her realise her "true" sexuality. How much is Harry being in stereotypical redneck emotional denial about having genuine feelings for Sherry, how much is Harry being a dick to a woman in her late twenties with no romantic history to speak of, and how much is friendly banter between Spec Ops operators who have been righting wrongs and blowing stuff up all over Europe for three years, is up for debate.
Live Action TV
- How I Met Your Mother: Robin lost her viriginity to a gay guy, only not really because he'd barely gotten in before he stopped and announced, "Yeah, I'm gay."
- Ted was also this for the mother's roommate Cindy.
- On The IT Crowd, Jen plays this to a man whose sexuality is a mystery through most of the episode. At the end he breaks down and cries that he only went out with her because she looks a bit like a man.
- Seinfeld also plays with the trope. After seeing his ex-girlfriend Susan with another woman, and confirming that she started dating women right after they broke up, he starts worrying that he drove her to lesbianism. Despite Susan's reassurance that he didn't, his fears are all but confirmed when the woman George dated right after Susan shows up, and starts flirting with her. Of course Susan's lesbianism "didn't take", and she goes back to men, eventually getting engaged to George himself.
- This is the college backstory of Will and Grace, as revealed in a flashback episode.
Will: But... Don't you see what a compliment that is? I mean, I mean, I love you, so if I can't make it work with you, then it'll never work with any woman, because you're perfect for me.
Grace: That is not a compliment. A compliment is, "You're sexy; you turn me on," not, "One look at you proves I'm a queer."
- It becomes a Running Gag that many of Grace's ex-boyfriends turned out to be gay.
- Happily Divorced averts this trope. In the case of that show, the husband has always been gay, but he doesn't reveal it to his wife until they've been married for a long time and he wants a divorce so he can live a gay life. Bonus points for being based on star Fran Drescher's real life.
- On Cheers, Rebecca's boyfriend from high school(played by Harvey Fierstein) pays a visit and she finds out she was this to him.
- Friends: Ross' first wife turns out to be a lesbian, while pregnant with his child.
- On Roseanne, Arnie was obviously bummed when his ex-wife Nancy came out of the closet. His friends tried to jokingly reassure him that he was just so virile that Nancy knew no other man could compete.
- In Hollyoaks, John-Paul's failed romance with Hannah leads him to realise that he is actually gay and in love with his friend Craig. This was also used to kick off Hannah's controversial eating disorder storyline as she refused to accept his sexuality and believed it to be a nice way of telling her she was ugly.
- On The George Lopez Show George learns that a man Benny may have slept with while drunk could be his biological father. He has only been with men since their night together, however, and Benny refuses to believe that someone she slept with could turn out to be gay. It turns out she's right—they never had sex, Benny just passed out drunk.
- Absolutely Fabulous: Edina, Edina, Edina. First husband? Identified as homosexual and left her. Second husband? Became The Alcoholic, and left her... to realize that he may be bi (if not just deeply closeted gay) afterwards. Guy she banged really loudly so she can get him, his wife and their baby out of her house? Came out as gay several seasons later. Really, you could make a case that she's a walking Brown Note to heterosexuality itself, and that intercourse with her leaves straight sex ruined.
- Happy Endings: Penny was this for Max. They're Platonic Life Partners now. One episode of the gang on an unaired season of The Real World had Max having a lot of Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? moments.
- Invoked and inverted on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. During one episode, they interview a man who claims to be able to "turn gay guys straight":
Penn: Which is funny, because I don't think he's that unattractive.
- On Party of Five, Sarah turns out to be this for Elliot.
- On 8 Simple Rules, Rory goes to great lengths to make his date fall for him. Even she thinks it should have worked, but it didn't, so she comes to the conclusion that she must be gay, and asks him where his sister Kerry is.
- In Girls, Hannah finds out she was this to her college boyfriend. She doesn't take it very well.
- Glee had a fair share of hetero relationships involving gay characters, but unsprisingly tends to avert the trope. Most of the gay characters shown in some sort of hetero relationship (Kurt, Santana, Blaine, Karofsky ect.) are aware of their gayness while being in said relationship. Those relatioships are often one-sided or mutual bearding, mostly as a part of an Armoured Closet Gay act, or maybe a sexual expiriemnt. Seeing how Glee doesn't really believe in bisexuality, and in spite having a Cast Full of Gay has only one bisexual character (Britney) and a whole lot of biphobic gays, the writers seem to be more fond of the gay Closet Key trope is their engine of choice in their numerous coming out stories.
- In A Chorus Line, Gregory Gardener realizes he's gay when making out with a girl.
- In Blip, K was Bang's last girlfriend before he realized he was gay. They remain close friends afterwards.
- Happened (only twice!) to Davan in Something Positive, though it's not explained why the girl switched teams.
- PeeJee's ex-almost-fiancée turned gay some time after they broke up. However, they broke up because he was cheating on her with another woman, so she might not have been the last romance.
- Robin is this for Ethan in Shortpacked!. She already suspects that he's gay, but is pursuing him anyway. He's not interested. She gets pissed off when he bangs a chick, and when he asks why she shouts he's supposed to be gay. Confronted with this, something goes click in his mind, and he embraces the gayness.
- Melissa & Justin in El Goonish Shive. Melissa is also inadvertently responsible for outing him in the more traditional sense, since afterwards she told her sister, the town's biggest gossip, about it.
- Nanase also has this with Elliot. Unlike Justin, Nanase dated more guys before dating Elliot, looking for the right one, but Elliot is the only one we know of where she admitted it wasn't working out. She did not, however, immediately come out as gay after breaking up with him. That took a Closet Key in the form of Ellen, Elliot's opposite sex clone. It is that kind of comic.
- More recently, after Elliot and Sarah break up while remaining Just Friends in very good terms, people assumed that this trope was the only way that'd happen, and started the rumor that he was gay. Nothing could be further from the truth, though: actually both of them wanted to break up.
- Played for laughs - in a slightly cruel way - in Girls with Slingshots. Jamie has a period where she starts questioning her sexuality. Thea, Hazel's lesbian boss, suggests they sleep together to find out. They do and Jamie decides she isn't a lesbian after all. After she leaves, Thea is shown adding about the twentieth line to a 'number of girls turned straight' chart with a sigh.
- In Sticky Dilly Buns, Jerzy describes himself as having passed through a bisexual phase before concluding that he was gay. It's not clear who his last het romance was with, but it may have been Angel, or possibly even Zii.
- Condie Ling from Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World turned Rick gay in college (in his own words). She's since become a Fag Hag (with suicidal tendencies played for laughs) since it is inferred that he wasn't the only person to whom it happened.
- On King of the Hill, Peggy—who told Hank that she was a virgin before they got married—admitted that she had once had sex with a male friend who was unsure if he was gay.
Peggy: Oh, no, Luanne, he was not broken. Just gay. Very, very gay.
- According to Clerks: The Animated Series, this is a regular occurrence for Randal.
- Invoked in American Dad!. After Jeff is abducted by aliens, Snot finally manages to score a date with a dispondent Haley. Afterwards he realizes that he's not really into it, being more into the chase than the catch. Because of Haley's depression (and because she has a history of going ballistic whenever she gets dumped) Steve begs him to break up with her in a way that won't set her off. Snot decides to tell Haley that he's gay, and she helped him realize that. If he can't make it work with a woman as perfect as her, then that proves beyond any doubt that he's gay. Haley accepts it with no hard feelings.