A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: "Is this [being fired] because I'm a lesbian?"
D.A. Arthur Branch:
— Alternate line reading
from Elisabeth Rohm's final Law & Order
A character who pulls a flip-flop in terms of proclaimed sexuality or suddenly, for no apparent reason, feels strongly enough about it to become the Token Minority
of their particular series for that particular sexuality.
This can be because the author changed his mind about a character, is catering to Fan Wank
, or is simply providing Fanservice
. In any of these instances it is usually frowned upon. Not that it's entirely unrealistic
, but it's very jarring.
Sometimes employed purely as an answer to the assumption that all undeclared characters in fiction must, by default, be heterosexual.
Can be implemented as a quick gag, in which case the characters may immediately become some variation of Stereotype Gay
the most popular), regardless of their previous character traits.
, if no information as to a given character's sexuality has been demonstrated before in a work, either due to that character not getting a lot of screen time or the work simply not focusing on romantic relationships, then any
declaration of sexual or romantic feelings would count as this trope.
If this is done via Word Of God
instead of within a work, it's Word of Gay
Compare to No Bisexuals
. May result in a Straight Gay
. Can be forced by introducing Situational Sexuality
. Relationship Reveal
is a chance to out a character with more buildup. For the race version, see Suddenly Ethnicity
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Anime and Manga
- Shidou Ayane of Baldr Force EXE Resolution is stated to be a lesbian in the first episode, but she's never shown to be. It was probably said to keep fans from shipping her with The Hero. Ironically, in the original H-game, she's one of the main heroines, and is indeed attracted to Toru.
- Grell from Black Butler. Toboso Yana eventually made it pretty clear that Grell is actually male-to-female transgendered, but many fans still either don't believe it or refuse to.
- Arguably Nuriko from the series Fushigi Yuugi: a Wholesome Crossdresser and would-be Gender Bender who lives for years in a female role, considers herself female, and is firmly oriented toward men. Shortly before leaving the show, Nuriko is retconned into a straight (or bisexual) man with Fan Wank levels of interest in the main character, and whose gender issues were explained away as a memorial to a dead little sister. Take great care when debating this, however.
- Reiner Braun from Shingeki No Kyojin casually mentions his lack of interest in the opposite sex, in ch. 38. Prior to that, it had seemed as though he might have a crush on Christa. However, this appears to be a case of everyone having a crush on Christa.
- Obsidian, a DC Comics superhero, is in the modern age written as an openly gay character despite having dated women in the past and having poor luck with them. He's had a lot more success after coming out, having a steady boyfriend in Damon, assistant to Kate Spencer (a.k.a. Manhunter). Possibly subverted since in Justice League of America, he did have a sorta-crush on Atom Smasher long before he was clearly identified as gay, but it may have been too subtle for people to pick up on and/or forgotten by later writers.
- Connor Hawke, something of an answer to the Nineties Anti-Hero and something of one himself, was introduced originally as a man with no interest in romantic attachment (due to his being, y'know, a Buddhist monk) in the relaunch of his title Green Arrow. The book attracted a large gay following due to his lack of obvious heterosexual romantic attachment and received praise from both gay and straight sources due to its innovative and mature characterization. Unfortunately, the author, Chuck Dixon, was uncomfortable with people thinking Connor was gay, and in reaction put in several random sexual moments for Connor that came out of nowhere, went nowhere, and sat bizarrely with Connor's established characterization. (The most inexplicable and disturbing instance of same involved Connor making out, for no obvious reason, with the woman who raped his father; this was immediately dropped and never mentioned again.)
- The Vertigo Comics miniseries Enigma actually makes the sudden sexuality switch of its protagonist, Michael, a part of the plot - it is revealed that his lover, a sociopath, used psychic powers to alter his sexuality. In the end his lover feels regret and offers to turn him back, but Michael decides that he's happier as he is.
- Despite what some people said when it was finally confirmed, it's averted with Marvel's Shatterstar and Rictor - Shatterstar was conceived as asexual, being a genetically-engineered TV gladiator from an alternate dimension (go with it), but he was slowly learning about Earth culture. Rictor was implied to be bisexual. A growing relationship between the two was hinted at for years and years, finally culminating in a kiss between the two in X-Factor # 45. Rob Liefeld, however, didn't see it coming at all - to the amusement of every other person on the internet.
- For years, Legion of Super-Heroes fans knew that Element Lad was gay. So they weren't happy when he started dating Shvaughn Erin. Then some of these fans started Taking Over The Asylum, and it turned out that yes, Element Lad was gay. But that was okay, because Shvaughn Erin was really a man!
- In Scott Pilgrim, this initially appears to be the case for Stephen Stills, at least from Scott's POV, but then Stills points out he came out in Volume 5, while Scott was too busy with the whole evil exes drama to notice (leading the reader to reach for their Vol. 5 to confirm that this does happen, in an out-of-the-way panel).
- Chili Storm, rival to Millie the Model, was revealed to be a lesbian in the 2009-2010 miniseries Models, Inc. You'd have to squint pretty hard to see any sign of this in her 20th century stories.
- The Firefly fanfic Forward actually subverts this in the "Mosaic" story arc, where River briefly kisses another girl. It turns out that River was in fact quite het, and instead was simply drunk and having a slight mental episode, and the entire incident was foreshadowing the introduction of John Garis/Echo, an agent of the Academy who she was lured into a relationship with in order to keep her mentally stable and to not commit suicide. ....It Makes Sense in Context.
- Marge in Bart The General is implied to be a lesbian (or bisexual, at least), as Toadfish tells her "Don't worry Marge, we'll sort out the lesbian problem," and she is once shown having sex with another woman.
- Sayu and Misa are in a lesbian relationship in Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami. Considering that Misa is Light-sexual in canon, this comes off as fairly jarring.
- Edilio from the Gone series is revealed to be gay in Fear, along with Artful Roger and the two are together. There's a bit of lead up to this in the novel itself, but not previous installments which make sense, since Edilio does not get very many POV chapters.
- Dumbledore from Harry Potter, as told by Word of Gay after the series had ended. As such, the fact that he is gay has little to no bearing on the actual novels. If you read between the lines this was hinted at, especially in his relationship with Grindelwald, and Word Of God confirms he was in love with him. She also said in an interview that she'd always known the reason Dumbledore initially went with Grindelwald's plans was because of love, and that this was why Grindelwald didn't tell Voldemort that Dumbledore had the Elder Wand. Word came out from the screenwriters of the Potter films that J.K. even put the kibosh on a throwaway Dumbledore line that mentioned an ex-girlfriend, years before she ever announced it formally.
- And then there are those who relate to the Death of the Author, suggesting that the author's personal opinion about the characters has no more weight than anyone else's.
- According to an interview with Anne McCaffrey, this can be executed by making use of a tent peg. Yes, that use of a tent peg.
- In her book Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan avoids the more obvious choice of using Straw Feminist April for this, making her (reluctantly) heterosexual - and gives the coming-out story to the least likely member of her Four Girl Ensemble: Bree, the Southern Belle who arrives at Smith with plans to marry her high school boyfriend - before she meets Lara. Subverted to some degree in that she has difficulty identifying as lesbian/bi and sees Lara as a case of If It's You, It's Okay.
- Dono, ex Donna, Vorrutyer in the Vorkosigan Saga probably belongs here. There is no mention of any lesbian tendencies being displayed as Donna, but after his Easy Sex Change, Dono shows interest only in mating with women, and is engaged or about-to-be by the end of A Civil Campaign.
- In Sweet Valley Confidential, a spin-off from Sweet Valley High that follows Elizabeth and Jessica at age 27, the twins' brother Steven is suddenly revealed to be gay. He'd spent the entirety of the original books as ostensibly heterosexual, married one woman (Cara) and been engaged to another (Billie), and had a nervous breakdown over the death of another girlfriend. His partner, Aaron Dallas, was also presented as heterosexual in the original series; while Tom McKay, the only out gay character previously introduced, doesn't reappear in Confidential.
- After thirty odd years, Mark Slackmeyer coming out in Doonesbury seemed a bit forced.
- The same could be said for Lawrence in For Better Or For Worse, who in earlier strips used to hoot at curvy girls quite enthusiastically with his friend Michael.
- Dragon Age II's Anders did not appear as anything but straight in his first appearance in Dragon Age: Origins DLC, Awakening. He flirted with all the female party members (including the PC), and even his character biography included a line about wanting to settle down with a girl. In Dragon Age II it's revealed he is bisexual, but only to male players who have a chance of pursuing him. Female players do not have a hint of him being bisexual.
- Elk/Endrance of the .hack//G.U. Games. Haseo can be this depending on who he sends a certain postcard to.
- Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid went from wolf-whistling at Sniper Wolf and ambiguously molesting Meryl as well as flirting with Snake, to having violent and unending Single-Target Sexuality for Big Boss. Still, the relationship was touching and well-written enough that this is generally regarded as an improvement.
- Kaidan Alenko talked about his first girlfriend and was a romance option for a female PC in the first game, he also had some light flirting going on with a woman during the second. In Mass Effect 3 he will come on to a male Shepard if treated like the close friend he is — even if he knows you are in a loving relationship with a woman/another man.
- Although this case of Suddenly Sexuality is arguable seeing as all same sex romances where cut from the game but of it was left intact, leading to possible hamfisted flirting attempts between Kaidan and a Male Shepard. Also, if Shepards of either sex were modded to active the same sex romances, the game acknowledges the romances, albeit not seamlessly.
- The dialogue states that the reason Kaidan never flirted with a male PC is because he was very focused on his career.
- His dialogue hints that he hasn't particularly looked at anyone besides Male Shepard.
- In Mass Effect Deception, Hendel (who was heavily implied to be gay in Ascension) inexplicably becomes straight, without even the simplest of handwaves.
- Interestingly enough, Shepard his/herself can be played this way. It's more prominent with a male Shepard, as male/male relationships are only available in the third game.
- Bobwhite. In this interim comic, one of the rejected story ideas involves Ivy suddenly being retconned as a lesbian. "Also I've always had a crush on Marlene, all of a sudden."
- Gamzee in Homestuck was unique amongst the shipping-obsessed trolls to have shown no romantic or sexual attraction to anyone of any kind, even the trolls's platonic romances. Later on, a flashback showed Gamzee suggesting that he and Tavros make out. Due to Tavros being dead and Gamzee being murderously crazy, it remains to be seen if this will be brought up again. Less of a case than most since trolls are a culture for whom the term "bisexual" doesn't even apply, let alone make sense, and any given troll being depicted as "male" or "female" is just for characterization (and fanservice)*.
- And then Rose and Kanaya got together, and the shippers rejoiced.
- Main character Italy Ishida from The Lounge, who while having a bunch of sexual encounters with her female friend Aya (which were usually played for laughs), also showed interest in men including the main male character Max, which made it seem like she was bisexual, or that her sexuality didn't matter. Later on she declared that she was only a lesbian and a bunch of other times Italy and Aya had sex were retconned in to justify their new relationship.
- Given that in his earlier appearances in human form he explicitly comments on dealing with the sexual urges he feels toward human women, Artie of Narbonic turned out somewhat like this. The decision to establish him as gay just seemed very hastily and poorly executed..
- The revelation in Skin Horse that "Sweetheart prefers girls!" seemed to come out of nowhere, but in retrospect merely adds another dimension to what's always been her closest relationship anyway. Meanwhile, Tip's interest in Artie is presented as "open to experimentation" meets Even the Guys Want Him. It does raise some questions about Sweetheart's slightly unfortunate taste in women.
- Averted with Ethan in Shortpacked!. After he realizes that he is gay, not that much changes and he even points out that he didn't have a very active love life before that.
- Parodied in the Sore Thumbs strip quoted above when Cloud Cuckoo Lander Harmony blythely decides to break up with her Strawman Conservative boyfriend and become a lesbian upon seeing a woman rip a nightclub to pieces with her bare hands, only to switch back later.
- In Anachronauts, Nel (female) falls in love with Una (female) soon after they meet. By the time the second arc starts, Nel has dedicated herself to being the best assistant and friend possible to Una. When Una finds out due to some Applied Phlebotinum and a few coincidences, she decides that the relationship she's had with Nel has been love all along and she'd simply failed to realize it until then.
- Deconstructed in Dept Heaven Apocrypha, in which a character's revelation that he's bisexual, not straight, is the cause of a lot of problems in his relationship with his loved one.
- LoadingReadyRun parodies this in "The Worst Homosexual", in which womanizer Morgan suddenly declares that he's gay, because, "the only way I could be this much of a mad, pimping playa is if I was covering for something". He spends the remainder of the episode trying to be gay, but fails miserably.
- Light in kpts4tv, mac_sly56, and Arkonid's Death Note Abridged Series. He goes from being very camp to being a Crazy Jealous Guy towards Misa to being very camp again. This is actually justified seeing as it's a result of his Memory Gambit. In this series it's implied Light comes to terms with his sexuality during his time as Kira as a result of Ryuk molesting him and he forgets all about this life-changing discovery when he relinquishes his Kira memories.
- Truth in Television: There's plenty of instances where people have "discovered themselves" later in life after dating someone of the opposite sex they're accustomed to. Even more justified for young people who are just starting to explore sexuality.
- Transparent Closet or Armoured Closet Gay: Sometimes, sexuality is the least visible to the person manifesting it. Beyond simple denial, if being gay or bi simply doesn't register as an option, the wake-up call may seem sudden indeed.
- Chris Birch, a British man claims he "woke up gay" after suffering a stroke.
- When astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died in 2012, her obituary revealed that she'd been in a long-term relationship with another woman. Ride, who was briefly married to a male astronaut in the 80s, had been intensely private about her personal life, though her close associates were all aware of her orientation.