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There's a new me coming out
And I just have to live
And I wanna give
I'm completely positive.
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never knew it
Oh I'll make it through.
The time has come for me
To break out of this shell
I have to shout
That I am coming out!
Diana Ross, "I'm Coming Out"
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The LGBT story trope: a Closet Gay (or Bi or Trans etc.) character's journey to embracing who they really are. Used at least once for almost every LGBT character ever, but most often seen with lesbian or gay characters, due to the No Bisexuals trope and trans characters still being rare as well (as are asexual, pansexual, etc. characters). In any case, while coming out certainly happens in real life, the coming out story trope has certain standard stereotypical notes that every telling of it hits, no matter who the characters involved are.

Although there are only so many variations you can do with it, you can be assured that any LGBT cast member of a show will relate it to someone at one point, or have it shown one person in their life will wholeheartedly support them, while at least another will turn out to be homophobic (even if they gave no indication of ever being so in the past) and will hate them. When parents are involved, they will either furiously throw their own child out of the home for this revelation, or reveal that they suspected all along, but were content to wait for their child to feel comfortable enough to admit it. Also usually includes a hate crime somewhere in the story.

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Sometimes done especially clumsily, such as to a character who never gave any indication before. It also might be a payoff for a character who has long been giving hints, in which case few are surprised.

Several teen and young-adult centric stories will incorporate this with a Coming-of-Age Story. If the characters are an ensemble of LGBT characters, usually this plot is assigned to The Twink or the Lipstick Lesbian. If not, then this will almost always be a Gay Aesop.

Related to Late Coming Out, which is for people who come out well into adulthood, and Coming Of Age Queer Romance, which is for people coming out when they're entering puberty. If a character comes out as a supernatural creature, see Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?. If a trans person has supernatural help coming out, see Supernaturally Validated Trans Person. This trope has a strong overlap with Queer Establishing Moment in stories where it isn't the main focus of the work. For ways that characters can realize their identity, see Closet Key or LGBT Awakening. Such stories will often be inspired by Coming Out Stories.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sweet Blue Flowers:
    • Fumi has her coming out toward her best friend Akira at their favorite hang-out spot, when she tells her that she's dating a senior from her all-girl high school. Akira is a bit surprised at first, but soon decides to support her friend fully. Luckily, there are no homophobes in this series, and the emphasis is more on the relationship between Akira and Fumi in light of this development.
    • Played with as well; In what appears to be a more stereotypical form of the trope, Yasuko invites Fumi to meet her family, and states to them during dinner that they're dating. The response from Yasuko's sister, however, is for her to repeatedly ask whether Yasuko's really in love with Fumi, before delivering the Wham Line "So you're bisexual, Yasuko." Fumi had no idea that Yasuko wasn't a lesbian, and it leads to Yasuko breaking up with Fumi over her unrequited feelings for her old teacher, pointing out that Fumi has her own unrequited love to get over as well. Yasuko's family, it should be noted, were fine with it.
  • Wandering Son, made by the same mangaka who makes Sweet Blue Flowers, has a Transgender variant, mixed with a Coming-of-Age Story. Both Nitori and Takatsuki are not reluctant to tell people of their wishes to be seen as a girl and a boy, though Takatsuki is more worrisome. The beginning of the manga began with them two meeting in fifth grade, and soon after telling each other of their wishes. Both of them feel the need to start dressing as the opposite sex around that time, but their parents either don't notice or think it's a confusing phase. Takatsuki's anxiety foreshadows her gender confusion as a teenager. In contrast, Nitori's arc ends with the implications that she'll transition now that she's off to college.
  • Played with in Love My Life. At the start of the story, Ichiko comes out to her father by introducing him to her girlfriend... only for him to reveal that he's gay and Ichiko's mother was a lesbian, and that the two of them only got married because they wanted to have a family. Notably, none of the story's gay characters ever come out to society in general.
  • Marika from Bokura no Hentai is a trans girl who has been dressing up as a girl in secret for some time. After persuasion from her friend Satoshi and his family, along with fears of puberty, she comes out to her mom and begins living as a girl.
  • Love Me For Who I Am:
    • A good chunk of Kotone's character arc is her coming to terms with her gayngst and coming out of the closet. When taken to gay rights festival by her transgender friends while still closeted, she ends up breaking down crying after seeing all the happy lesbian couples.
    • There are also a few other, less obvious, Coming Out Stories: Mogumo learning about their non-binary identity and how to be openly enby, Suzu being in a Secret Relationship with his boyfriend and learning to be more open, and Mei learning that it's okay to be seen a trans girl instead of a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Kanojo ni Naritai Kimi to Boku is told from the POV of Akira's friend, however it is about Akira transitioning as a trans girl in her first year of high school.
  • Asteroid in Love: Part of Chapter 29, adopted as part of the ninth episode, deals with Moe's Love Confession towards Misa, and how she struggles with it. She does not openly declare her sexuality, but the fact she did that is implied to be known to some of the cast, if off-screen. By Chapter 32, some 6 weeks after in in-universe time, it appears that even Moe's Childhood Friend Mira is publicly saying Moe likes a girl within Moe's earshot, and yielded only positive responses.

    Comic Books 
  • Pied Piper comes out to The Flash, Wally West. Wally claims he knew all along.
  • Steady Beat is a well done Coming-Out Story; nobody comes out...yet, but the main character discovering that her sister is apparently a lesbian is the motivator for the plot. Her own reaction is more confused and upset than homophobic.
  • Spoofed in Young Avengers. The character Wiccan is reluctantly trying to tell his parents he became a superhero, but they misunderstand and assume he's coming out with his boyfriend. They're supportive of his sexuality, but no word yet on his choice of profession since he didn't get a chance to say anything about it. Also Marvel planned on slowly hinting, then having a big reveal that Hulkling and Wiccan are gay and a couple, but readers figured it out long beforehand. Marvel then had it casually mentioned in one issue instead of making it a shocking reveal.
  • Averted by Scott Pilgrim, where most gay characters are already out by the time they are introduced. While bi-curiosity abounds (Ramona dated a girl for some time but eventually didn't really consider herself bisexual, Knives and Kim drunkenly made out but never mentioned it again), Stephen Stills is the only one who comes out, and it's done off-screen around Volume 5 without fanfare.
  • Alison Bechdel's autobiographical Fun Home details her coming out as a lesbian, and while her mom writes a letter expressing disappointment (Alison herself noting "As disapproval goes, I suppose it was rather mild"), and she finds supportive people (her roommate responds "Oh cool! Can I tell my friends?") the main crux of it is how it spurred Alison to learn of her own father's closeted homosexuality. Her father, tragically, never has his coming-out. She also published her coming out story in comic form in 1993 in Gay Comics (Early Summer 1993, #19). You can read it here.
  • In the furry comic Circles, Marty is eventually forced to come out to his parents and godmother when they inadvertently force the issue during at visit to his boarding house. As it turns out, his parents had a wager where the mother thought he was gay while the father was holding out for him being bisexual so grandchildren could still be possible from him. As for the godmother, she is so obtuse that she doesn't understand the confession in the first place.
  • Batwoman (Katherine "Kate" Kane) came out as gay and was kicked out of West Point under the "Dont Ask Don't Tell" policy. Her commanding officer had given her the chance to deny the whole thing and have it swept under the rug, but Kate refused to lie and compromise her personal honor. When she comes out to her father, he is awesome:
    [Kate enters her father's garage]
    Dad: Kate? This is a surprise. Shouldn't you be attending class? Are you on pass?
    Kate: No, sir. I've been separated from the Army.
    Dad: What? What happened?
    Kate: Colonel Reyes informed me I was under investigation for violating Article 125. I couldn't say what he needed to hear.
    Dad: Article 125... that is Homosexual Conduct.
    Kate: Yes, sir.
    Dad: Why couldn't you tell him what he needed to hear?
    Kate: [raises her sunglasses, looks him straight in the eyes] I'd have been lying.
    [Beat Panel of Dad carefully cleaning his hands, processing this]
    Dad: Then you kept your honor and your integrity. I'm proud of you. Your mother would have been too.
  • Renee Montoya, in an award-winning arc of Gotham Central, was involuntarily outed by Two-Face, who had become obsessed with her since their encounter in Batman: No Man's Land. He mailed pictures of her with her girlfriend to her family and to the Major Crimes Unit, the branch of the Gotham City Police Department where she worked. Captain Maggie Sawyer, Renee's shift commander at the MCU, was already out and attempted to help guide Renee through the initial tribulations, but Renee felt that their circumstances were not comparable. Ultimately, her parents disowned her, but she was able to find a modicum of acceptance from the cops she worked with. It's later implied that her parents — or her father at least — upon cooling down a bit have deeply regretted this disownment, but Renee is by this point understandably unwilling to have anything to do with them even if they are willing to mend fences.
  • Just in case there was anyone who hadn't figured it out yet, Karolina Dean of the Runaways came out in the two-part "Star-Crossed" arc. Unfortunately, someone at Marvel apparently felt that having an open lesbian on the team might scare away readers, so she was suddenly engaged to a genderfluid alien royal and put on a spaceship for several issues. It was not one of Marvel's braver moments.
  • The first volume of The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars has Korra and Asami telling various supporting characters about the relationship they started at the end of the preceding TV series. Everyone they tell is accepting, but they are warned that some people won't be.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color: Much of the story is about Clémentine coming out to herself, and then also other people. Her friend Valentin is also gay and came out to her early on, which helps Clémentine do the same.
  • Gender Queer: A Memoir revolves around Maia coming of age and coming out as both nonbinary and asexual.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Glee fanfic Hunting the Unicorn, the Warblers are questioned by the FBI for leads on on Blaine's recent kidnapping. Nick reveals that he came out as bi to his mother, only to have her think that going to a same-sex school "confused him." He smokes a blunt to piss her off while he packs up and leaves, then gets drunk with a friend and kicks out her headlights. He also tripped so hard that he didn't remember to tell his best friend Jeff he was bi for a year.
  • In Chapter 2 of Despair's Last Resort, Monokuma threatens to reveal everything about the characters love lives and fetishes as a motive. Shortly afterward, Kazumi goes to her best friend and crush, Shizuka, to tell her that she's a lesbian. Shizuka, after reassurance that she won't be hit on, is accepting of her friend's sexuality.
  • Clumsy has something like this in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "My Unsmurfy Valentine." The object of his affections, Brainy, doesn't reciprocate, however.
  • Angel of the Bat blends this with, of all things, Curiosity Causes Conversion: Cassandra Cain gets into Catholicism as an outsider and gets most of her information from Stephanie Brown. Knowing Cassandra doesn't understand symbolism well and wanting to be supportive, Stephanie unintentionally Bowdlerises the Bible in a few places, and homosexuality never comes up. Catholicism ends up making Cassandra far more comfortable in her own skin, and ends up awakening her to her queer side. By story's end, she is a practicing Catholic in a secret lesbian relationship. The writer admitted this may very well have been an Esoteric Happy Ending.
  • Here's a James Bond fanfic on fanfiction.net called Q Comes Out As Asexual, where Q comes out as asexual.
  • You Built This House begins with Apple White meeting the Charming siblings as children and, unknown to her at the time, falling for Darling. It then leads into her as a teenager, trying to blend in and be how others expect her to be, all while struggling with her increasing attraction towards girls (especially her best friend Raven). She ends up Forced Out of the Closet before she comes to terms with everything, though Apple eventually accepts her sexuality and her feelings towards Darling.
  • Because of the "Groundhog Day" Loop that she is trapped in Eakin's Hard Reset, Twilight Sparkle does a few interesting things knowing that the timeline would be reset again, and one of them being heading home to her parents in order to reveal that she is gay. Turns out her parents knew this and actually accepted her for it, with her mother interested in some medical techniques that can be implemented to have two mares produce a child together. This interaction motivates Twilight into getting back on track to escaping the Time Loop.
  • But You Won't Have To Do It Alone is a Sailor Moon story that revolves all of the Inner Senshi coming out to each other.
  • In "Ash's Adventure: Girls' Hunter Edition", Ash's childhood friend Yellow has long assumed that she's bisexual, but May helps Yellow realise that she's actually gay, something that Yellow hadn't even realised was a possibility before May explains the concept to her.
  • Ironically, while The Power of Seven focuses on Harry Potter forming a harem of seven witches to save his life, one of the sub-plots of the fic is Ginny Weasley accepting that she's bisexual, as she comes to accept her genuine attraction to other women even as she remains in love with Harry, such as pleasuring Luna or realising that she had sexual fantasies about Fleur the preceding summer.
  • So the Trauma is an alternate universe oneshot based off of Kim Possible: So The Drama that mixes this into the story. Kim realizes she's lesbian after falling for the New Transfer Student Erica at first sight. The two begin dating, but Erica is actually a synthodrone created by Drakken and Shego to act as a way to get Kim's guard down. Her first girlfriend being a robot makes the betrayal hurt Kim even more than it did in canon.
  • Warmth is both about Nyamo realizing her sexuality and her changing relationship with Yukari.
  • In The Wound's Still Bleeding, Kakashi spends nearly ten years in the closet to all but her Parental Substitutes before coming out as trans to her friends in her teens.
  • The Frozen oneshot Elsa's Revelation is about Elsa coming out as aromantic asexual to her sister after her advisors keep on trying to persuade her to marry.
  • Kim Possible Recut (Kigo) is a tongue-in-cheek video that recuts Kim Possible so that it's about about a teenage superhero who realizes she's gay after falling for a female villain.
  • Chapter 19 of One Girl with Ten Brothers focuses on Luke working up the courage to tell his family he is bisexual and has had a boyfriend named Sam for the past six weeks. Despite his fear of rejection and their brief initial moments of shock over it, they all quickly accept it and reaffirm their love for their son/brother no matter what.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Subverted in Dream for an Insomniac. A character nervously plans to come out to his father, only to find out he already knows and has no problem with it.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United: Referenced when Mrs. Drake asks her son Bobby, "Have you tried... NOT being a mutant?" This has spawned its own trope.
    • X-Men: First Class: Xavier accidentally outs McCoy as a mutant.
      Charles: Why didn't you say? ...Because you don't know. I am so, so terribly sorry.
      Hank: You didn't ask, so I didn't tell.
    • Gloriously handled in Deadpool 2. When Negasonic introduces her girlfriend to Wade, though he makes a snarky comment which she initially thinks is bigoted, he quickly assured them he's simply happy for the two of them. Just like if any other of his circle of friends got engaged. Being a lesbian isn't ANYTHING to be unhappy with (but trying to be an angry and edgy teen, is an issue-that's what the remark was really about, as he clarifies). Of course, since Wade is canonically pansexual, it makes sense he wouldn't care.
  • The Australian movie Strange Bedfellows used this trope in an interesting fashion - two (straight) men living in a small country town registered as a gay couple in order to claim tax benefits, but then had to convince a tax inspector that they really were a couple. Thus, they have to go through all the travails of a Coming Out Story in a (typically gossip-driven) small town, without actually being gay in the first place. Mostly played for laughs, but with a reasonably sensitive Aesop mixed in.
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry has pretty much the same premise as Strange Bedfellows.
  • The Gay Deceivers has its protagonists pretending to be gay in the Vietnam area to avoid being drafted. They're found out but still not inducted because the recruiting officers are gay and don't want any more heterosexuals in the Army.
  • The Heather Graham flick Gray Matters had her come out as a lesbian to her therapist, while they were rock climbing. She also comes out to her brother (who, as it turns out, already knew).
  • Played with in He Died With A Falafel In His Hand. Dirk spends a large segment of the movie coming to terms with his (rather obvious) homosexuality, which ends in him in tears declaring to his housemates that he's gay. When they accept this reasonably well, he then starts angrily berating them for not giving him a hard time about it.
  • The protagonist in Bent is a gay man who hides his homosexuality whilst in a concentration camp, and learns from his openly gay lover that he meets there that it's better to die as you are than live as a lie.
  • Two of Us, a 1986 English TV film: gay boy is already out except to his parents, who find his soft-porn magazines and are thoroughly upset. His friend/boyfriend comes out as bisexual.
  • Juste une question d'amour, another TV film, this time from France. Covers all the bases very nicely; widely viewed and widely liked.
  • Beautiful Thing, the story of two sixteen-year-old boys falling in love on a London council estate. There's an emotional scene in which the main character comes out to his mother.
  • Get Real, another love story between teenaged boys, this time set in middle-class suburbia. The sixteen-year-old protagonist comes out by making a speech in front of his entire school and his parents.
  • C.R.A.Z.Y., a 2005 French-Canadian film about Zac, who is an Armored Closet Gay due to growing up in the 1960's-1980's and has a conservative father and a devout Catholic mother who believes he is a miracle child after consulting a Tupperware-selling mystic.
  • Desert Hearts begins with Vivian Bell, a repressed, middle-aged English professor in The '50s, going to a Nevada dude ranch for a Divorce in Reno. There, she meets Cay Rivvers, a free-spirited young casino employee-cum-sculptress who is openly lesbian—and strongly attracted to her. Vivian has to come to terms with her own sexuality before she can admit that she's equally attracted to Cay.
  • Handsome Devil is built around Conor, a star rugby player, coming out in an all-boys boarding school.
  • Trevor is about a 13-year-old boy who struggles with the realization that he is gay, especially after he's outed to the whole school. It ends with "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross on the soundtrack (Camp Gay Trevor is a Diana Ross fan).
  • Blockers: Sam spends much of the film suspecting that she's gay, but scared that her friends will reject her if she tells them.
  • I Can't Think Straight: Tala and Leyla both undergo them after coming to terms with their orientations. Leyla first tells her parents, and this later inspired Tala to do the same. Interestingly, in both cases it's their mothers which are most upset at the news. Leyla's father accepts this, and Tala's at least reacts more calmly.
  • V for Vendetta: Valeria details her own in a flashback. When she told her parents she was a lesbian, her mom cried and her dad disowned her. The last we see is them tossing a baby picture of her in the trash.
  • First Girl I Loved: This is the focus of the film, as Anna slowly comes out to her friend and herself.
  • Pariah: The film's plot is about Alike coming out to her family. A painfully realistic portrayal at that.
  • 3 Generations: Ray is already out but he's just starting to medically transition. The plot revolves around him trying to begin hormones and his family adjusting to the transition.
  • Margarita with a Straw: Laila realizes she's bisexual after falling in love with Khanum, and says she is to her mother. Her mother is unhappy with this initially, but they reconcile. Khanum, on the other hand, related that her parents were violently hostile to her being a lesbian, with her now being estranged from them.
  • Fourth Man Out: The film is primarily about Adam coming out as gay to his three best friends and trying to find a boyfriend. However, arguably the more compelling plot is with his friend Chris, who realizes he himself isn't entirely straight, and he was Adam's biggest supporter partly to work through his own feelings on the matter.
  • They/Them: Played with; Ash's classmates acknowledge that they identify as nonbinary, or at least trans, without Ash having to spell it out for them. However, Ash gets bullied to hell and back over it, and they're forcibly outed while reciting a poem about their identity. The culmination of the story is when Ash recites the poem in front of their whole class for real, letting them come out on their own terms this time, thus technically playing this trope straight.
  • The Half of It: Paul realizes Ellie is a lesbian and attracted to his love interest. He's initially slightly hostile, saying Ellie's going to Hell, but later on accepts things. Ellie never explicitly comes out, though she makes things plain to Aster by kissing her. Aster didn't mind, from her reaction.
  • Sappho: Sappho tells Phil she likes women too and begins an affair with Helene. Near the end she's also now embraced the term "lesbian" (though she seems to be bisexual-this wasn't used much when the film is set).
  • Saving Face: Wil's mother had caught her with a woman a few years ago, but the two of them had never discussed it and her mother was in active denial and frequently attempts to set her up with men. Eventually Wil directly comes out to her mother. Her mom isn't happy at first, but later accepts this.
  • Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story: Alex comes out as gay to her parents quite early on. This results in them sending her to conversion therapy, which lasts until she escapes.
  • The Craft: Legacy: Timmy emotionally comes out to the girls as bisexual, having struggled with it for some time, and they all accept him sympathetically.
  • Across the Universe (2007): This is Prudence's arc. She struggles with her sexuality over the course of the film, first pining for another girl on her cheerleading team and then runs off to New York City, moving in with the main cast. She then pines for Sadie too, who's with Jo Jo, locking herself in the closet literally before the others get her to come out. Though she never explicitly says anything, Prudence is later with a girl named Rita.
  • The Truth About Jane: A big part of the story is Jane revealing she's gay to her family, and then dealing with the fallout.
  • Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives: Most women interviewed discuss their coming out in the past.
  • Plan B (2021): As a secondary plot, Lupe plans to tell Sunny she's queer (bi or pansexual, from what she says). However, Sunny realizes for herself on meeting Logan, who's Lupe's girlfriend (Sunny'd thought it was a guy's name). Lupe still hasn't told her dad by the end, but has been reassured he would never kick her out and he'd love her no matter what.
  • Kissing Jessica Stein: After a kiss with Helen, Jessica struggles to come out to her mother as bisexual (she does tell a friend, who finds it surprising but is excitedly approving). Fortunately, her mother knows and approves.
  • Naomi And Ely's No Kiss List: Bruce 2 is dating Naomi but then gets attracted to her gay friend Ely. By the end, he has come out to his mom (though without a clear orientation) and tells Ely, after which the pair begin dating.
  • A New York Christmas Wedding: In the prime timeline, Jenni tried coming out then but failed as her attempted Love Confession to Gabby never happened, and she got engaged to a man. She might have come out later though as David shows no sign of surprise after Jenni calls Gabby her first love later. In the final timeline she successfully confesses her love to Gabby as well, who knew already.
  • Steam: Elizabeth at first shows attraction to women but doesn't label herself or say anything. She gets into a relationship with Niala, an openly bisexual woman who's proud of her orientation. As a result, she realizes and acknowledges she's a lesbian. By the end Elizabeth defiantly comes out to her mom, shocking her.
  • Cursed (2005): A minor subplot has Bo come out to Jimmy as gay after growing attracted by him, believing Jimmy's gay too.
  • 100 Girls: Wendy tells Matt she's a lesbian near the end of the film, and he's instantly accepting. He sets her up with Arlene, whom he's discovered is a lesbian as well.
  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love: In a subplot, Evil tells her friends about her being with Randy. Two don't take this well and reject her, while the third is accepting though too meek to stand up for her.
  • Crush:
    • Paige came out pretty young as a lesbian to her mom, who's surprised but also very accepting of it.
    • AJ's was very low key, though her sister Gabby made a big deal of coming out at her birthday party.

    Literature 
  • The 9th Dalziel and Pascoe novel, Child's Play, is basically this for Sgt. Wield.
  • Given a nice twist in Holly Black's fantasy novel Tithe, in which one of the characters literally came out to his oddball family and sci fi geek mother by saying: "Mom, you know the forbidden love Spock has for Kirk? Well, me too." Lampshaded after as Kaye says that is the strangest coming out story she's ever heard.
  • The whole point of Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger, only the main character Grady is coming out as transgender. Lacks most of the cliches associated with Coming Out Stories, in that Grady was almost in a Transparent Closet, so it didn't surprise his family at all, and most people at school ignored him anyway.
  • Occurs in Absolutely Positively Not Gay to the main character. He actually comes out multiple times in the book; once, he comes out to his best friend, is confused when she doesn't care, and then has a mini panic attack when she tells her parents. Her 6-year-old sibling comes into the room and asks, "Did he finally tell her he's gay?" His coming out to his parents is actually interestingly subverted. He comes out to each parent separately. Both are fine with it but tell him not to come out to the other just yet, as they don't think the other person will be as supportive.
  • There are quite a few books of lesbian coming out stories, for example this one called Testimonies: Lesbian Coming-Out Stories.
  • There are also some books of gay men's coming out stories, for example Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories.
  • There's at least one book with bisexual men's coming out stories, called Bi Men: Coming Out Every Which Way.
  • Here's a book called A Woman Like That: Lesbian And Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • In City of Glass, Alec Lightwood comes out rather awesomely by kissing Magnus in the middle of the entire Clave, including his parents.
    • Parodied, when Luke gets Simon a pamphlet called 'How To Come Out to Your Parents' when he becomes a vampire and tells him to adapt it to suit the situation. Neither Simon nor Clary is amused.
  • In Annie on My Mind, the main characters are forced out of the closet when they are discovered, and the rest of the novel is about them dealing with the impact of everyone else's homophobia.
  • In Jodi Picoult's Sing You Home, the main character Zoe starts dating her friend Vanessa after divorcing her husband of 10 years. The main plot of the book is them trying to start a family with the embryos Zoe and her husband froze after IVF treatments. However, the book has all the cliches of this storyline, such as one character supporting her (her mom) and one character being homophobic out of nowhere (justified, because her husband had just converted to Christianity).
  • In Hero by Perry Moore, Thom is forced to come out to clear the villain Sssnake for a murder. He was getting intimate with Sssnake at the time that the murder occured.
  • The M/M procedural series Cut and Run by Abigail Roux gives us one hell of a reveal in book 7, Touch & Geaux where FBI Special Agent Ty Grady outs both himself and his partner Zane Garrett by kissing him in front of their entire department, since Ty had just learned he was being recalled to active service in the Marine Corps..
  • Surprisingly averted in Autobiography of Red. From his first teenage romance onward, the main character's sexuality is taken for granted by everyone (including himself).
  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is one for the title character Simon, as well as for his e-mail penpal Blue.
  • The Best at It features the 12-year-old Rahul coming to terms with his sexuality and learning how to be himself.
  • Running With Lions has main character Sebastian struggling with letting people know he's bisexual, but with getting close to his Love Interest Emir, developing as an athlete and team leader, he starts to be more comfortable with it and telling others.
  • Just Juliet: Lena comes out to her friends as being bisexual early on after she realizes her sexuality. Coming out to her parents though takes longer. All of them accept her, though her parents more reluctantly.
  • Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating:
    • The story begins as Hani comes out as bisexual to her friends, who are less than enlightened about it, expressing skepticism of her bisexuality. She'd already come out to her parents, who are very accepting.
    • Ishu much later also comes out to her parents as liking girls (without using any term for it).
  • The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali: Rukhsana comes out to several people as a lesbian in the story, mostly her loved ones, with varying reactions-her parents are hostile at first, with the rest accepting.

    Music 
  • The Erasure song "Hideaway" is clearly about a young man's coming out and the resulting family tension.
  • "Hooped Earings" by The Front Bottoms describes the narrator supporting a female friend as she tells her mom something upsetting and then cuts her hair short. According to this article, the song is "about a friend of mine that asked me to be there with her when she came out to her mother."
  • Jill Sobule's "I Kissed a Girl" is about a woman falling in love with her best friend. Complete with a cheeky music video where they dodge each other's husbands.
  • "Podruga" by the Russian band Kis-Kis is about a girl falling in love with her best friend and the feelings that come with it.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Something of a watershed moment in For Better or for Worse. The storyline where Lawrence, one of Mike's friends, comes out as gay is pretty routine and by the numbers, but the fact remains that it occurred in a newspaper strip. It includes his foster father (briefly) throwing him out. The strip had been getting more serious in its arcing storylines for years, but this one drew furor like no other. While the character was still in high school, his being gay was often of note in every scene he was in from then on, such as the prom, but afterwards, he was just another family friend.

    Radio 
  • In the What Does The K Stand For? episode "First Love", Stephen K. Amos describes how as a teenager he kissed a girl called Fanni, was confused that he didn't feel anything, and then met her brother. ("Was it possible I was no longer interested in Fanni?") He then becomes convinced that his parents will reject him and he'll be thrown out of the house ("That was how it worked, wasn't it? I'd seen Play for Today.") As it turned out, his mother just blanks it out, although he suspects she's always known.
    Virginia Amos: I am glad you are gay, Stephen. We are all gay. And there is nothing wrong with being happy!
    Stephen: And really, I can't put it better than that.

    Roleplay 
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, a significant part of Kev's backstory is when he came out to his parents. They were initially scandalised, thinking it ruined their image of an ideal Christian family, but they were eventually able to reconcile with him.

    Theater 
  • Played mostly straight, surprisingly, in Avenue Q, though without the homophobe/hate crime.
    • Indeed, one of the characters, Rod, lives in the most transparent of transparent closets; his story is more about coming out to himself.
  • In the musical production called Fairy Tales, there is one song about a man writing an emotional letter to his dad telling him that he is gay.
  • In The Children's Hour, a play by Lillian Hellman that was later made into a movie, Martha comes out as a lesbian to her roommate Karen, and then kills herself out of guilt, since their lives had been ruined due to a child claiming that they were both lesbians (and lovers).
  • The song "See Me" in bare: a pop opera has Peter trying to come out to his mother, and the next song has his mother struggling with it but ultimately accepting him in the end.
  • Fun Home is about Real Life comic book illustrator Allison Bechdel's sexual awakening as a lesbian, and her relationship with her gay dad, Bruce Bechdel. As the play is adapted from a comic memoir, Bruce tragically died from being hit by a truck after Allison came out to him (Allison believes that it was a suicide).

    Video Games 
  • One mission in Fable II has you helping a farmer (the one who earlier put you on the mission to arrest a bandit leader to avenge his wife's death) find a wife for his son. One problem: the son doesn't want to get married... to a woman. The mission ends with you helping the son find a potential boyfriend in the city and the son coming out to the farmer. The farmer is perfectly accepting, and actually says he should've seen it earlier. Not bad for fantasy Renaissance/Colonial England.
    • Depending on your chosen alignment, you can be a jerk and set the son up with a woman in spite of his confession.
  • Gone Home actually revolves around this concept. The entire horror game plot is just a Red Herring, the story is really about the Player Character's sister realizing that she is in love with her (female) best friend.
  • In Growing Up, Charles' route involves him coming to terms with his homosexuality and how it's affecting his political career. In high school, he comes out as gay to the Player Character when they catch him in crying in the bathroom after losing the elections. Then he comes over to their house to ask them for help in dealing with it because his sister caught him first and their father is homophobic. Thanks to the PC's support, Charles becomes brave enough to come out to his dad but still gets kicked out of the house, but he fights for LGBT+ rights in his good ending in the epilogue, looking to his sister for support (and also the PC if he marries him after years of on-again-off-again dating).
  • The Orion Conspiracy is one of the first, if not the first, games to break the gay taboo, and this game was released in 1995. Devlin is investigating the death of his son Danny. In the course of the investigation, he discovers that his son Danny was gay and was in a relationship (that involved love letters) with Kaufmann. Shortly after this, Kaufmann confronts Devlin. Kaufmann confirms that he and Danny are both gay. Both of them get into a shouting match about how Devlin drove away Danny and that Devlin is just some anti-gay bigot who is now thinking that Kaufmann murdered Danny over a lover's tiff. When left alone, Devlin is left feeling guilty over being a poor father for Danny, and that they had been so distant that he simply had no idea that Danny was gay. Devlin also feels that Danny could have told him about this, and that he would not have been angry with Danny for that.
  • We Know the Devil: Sort of. The main characters are fumbling towards coming out to themselves, and even each other.

    Web Comics 
  • Dawn, to Kelli, in World of Fizz reveals early on that she had a crush on Kelli since the first grade, and the two later enter into a relationship.
  • In the webcomic Boy Meets Boy, Mikhael is faced with the challenge of finding a good time to come out to a new group of friends. Finally, in the middle of a poker game, he awkwardly blurts out, "Hey, speaking of a straight... I'm not." His friends support him after the initial shock wears off. The shock itself has more to do with the incredibly awkward way he goes about it than anything else, and the story arc is more about Mikhael trying to overcome his social ineptitude. He actually panics not over the prospect of coming out in and of itself, but over the fact that he's made a friends and doesn't know how to behave around them.
    • Near the beginning of the strip, Mikhael makes Harley come out to his mom over the phone. He grudgingly does so, only to have her reveal that she knew all along, much to his surprise, and had even found him a suitor.
  • Szark comes out as gay in Dominic Deegan...after already being openly bisexual. His sexuality is immediately relegated to humorous and is mentioned at every possible occasion.
  • Ethan of Shortpacked! didn't so much come out as found himself forceably knocked out, when he found that being kissed by Mike aroused him more than being kissed by Robin. Up until right before the kisses (when Robin accused him of being gay), a few people had suspected he was gay but the possibility had never occurred to Ethan himself.
  • El Goonish Shive
  • Played with in Girly. One story appears to involve Otra telling her mother she is a lesbian, but it turns out she was just explaining she was a sidekick. Unfortunately, she was involved in a massive "Freaky Friday" Flip with most of the rest of the cast at that point.
  • All four storylines thus far of Khaos Komix have involved the focal character realizing his or her homosexuality or bisexuality, followed by romantic tension with one or more same-sex love interests.
  • Spoofed to the point of an Overused Running Gag in Umlaut House:
    • Jake frets neurotically over whether to tell his boss, who ends up jumping him on the spot, then his parents, who hardly care.
    • Rick denied being gay as a teen because he didn't know what it meant; after having a bully explain it to him (at gunpoint!) he didn't even struggle with the idea. Then Rick came out and explained the concept to his father, who had the exact same reaction.
    • Amanda says she thinks her story is "the same as [Volair's]" and rattles off a stereotypical version of the Coming-Out Story, to which Volair responds that he "just likes getting 5% more nookie."
    • In a flashback, Volair is outed to his peers (and himself) by an erection in the shower.
  • In Ansem Retort, Marluxia, who has been stereotypically gay for the entire series finally comes out of the closet in 'season' 5. None of the other cast members are surprised and even the jerkass Zexion finds this reveal to be less interesting than watching Seinfeld reruns.
  • Sara of Penny and Aggie undergoes a lengthy and heavily-foreshadowed coming out process, sometimes played for comedy and at other times for drama. Lisa, noticing Sara's Transparent Closet (she's visibly frustrated by the rival title characters not acknowledging their supposed mutual attraction), touches her mock-seductively on the nose, freaking Sara out and leading her to settle the question by kissing Marshall. When she feels nothing as a result, she realizes she's gay. Subsequent storylines deal with her Ambiguously Gay makeover, being slanderously outed to the entire school body as an alleged rapist, eventually finding acceptance (and, in one case, a girlfriend) amongst her friends, and coming out to her mother.
    • Penny, as well, has been (very) slowly coming to terms with her own bisexuality ever since a comment by a projecting Sara hit too close to home.
    • As of late 2009, Aggie is in the midst of her own coming out process, although whether she's gay or bisexual is not yet clear.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal features one strip where a woman discusses with a friend how to come out of the closet to her husband...and admit she is a robot. Her friend's suggestion is a bit unorthodox.
  • Subverted in PVP; Max Powers is a Straight Gay who spends most of the comic in the closet, but his friends had pretty much all guessed that he was gay anyway. When he calls a staff meeting to come out, the basic reaction is "That's it? You called a meeting for that?". No-one treats him any differently and his sexuality is barely even mentioned afterwards.
  • Hom from Welcome to Room #305 came out at the very start of the story but it get tossed around a lot on whether or not it's the truth or he's playing a joke. Eventually, it comes out that he is quite gay but hasn't come out to Sung Joong.
  • One major story element in Sunstone is that neither Ally nor Lisa considered themselves to be gay or bi before meeting each other, and have to come to terms with their mutual attraction along with their roles in the D/s part of their relationship. Ally eventually admits it to Alan ("I'm... gay." "Like a rainbow unicorn.") and a future strip teases at how Lisa will eventually introduce her girlfriend to her family.
  • Rae from Always Human comes out to her friend Sunati as asexual and aromantic.
  • Tripping Over You is a slice-of-life story about two boys and their relationship in a British boarding school. Milo has been outed rather early by the last girl he dumped and is quite comfortable with being out meanwhile, and his family doesn't make much of a fuss about it; Liam on the other hand takes a long time to come out in small steps to his roommate, then to a few more of their school friends, and finally to his strict, conservative father Eli.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Tomboy and Girly Girl Kat and Paz deal with their feelings for each other after the first girl is Mistaken for Gay (her known crushes have been for guys); after settling her feelings Kat then has to deal with coming out to her best friend Antimony. When the couple is spotted by said friend in a compromising position the friend runs away sending Kat into a panic. Turns out she wasn't afraid of Kat being gay (an offhand comment about dating a hot enough woman a year ago was enough for her to accept the possibility that Kat might not be hetero-normative), but that her best (and at times only) friend might leave her. Kat also comes out to an ancient spirit who warns her her friend might not be as open minded as he is; after coming out to Antimony, she worries their spirit pal might be too old-fashioned. The couple later go to a dance and no one seems to care.
  • Lavali of Sandra on the Rocks comes out to her brother Alex after tearfully running into his arms for comfort because her girlfriend had just broken up with her. While her sexuality is news to the reader, the following two strips have Alex reveal that he already knew she was gay and so did their parents, since they had caught her in compromising positions with girls on multiple occasions. Up until that point she genuinely believed that the Blatant Lies she used to "explain" the situation each time had successfully kept them all in the dark.
  • In Rain, every one of the main characters, with the exception of Gavin, has a coming-out scene - and often more than one.
  • In Simply Sarah, the coming outs happen early into the comic. Sarah tells her mother first and her mum is supportive. Janey is reluctant to tell her more homophobic mother, but she ends up Forced Out of the Closet when she is caught kissing Sarah. She later comes out formally
  • In PepsiaPhobia, the "A Good Egg" (the title refers to "egg" being slang for someone who has yet to realise that they're transgender) story arc has teenage co-protagonist Pepsia (formerly Gastro) realise that she's trans, and ends with her coming out to her mother and her best friend Sophia. Both are fully supportive (and the lesbian Sophia is instantly smitten when she sees Pepsia in girl's clothes).

    Web Original 
  • Averted in The Saga of Tuck, where there is no single coming-out event for Tuck. The "coming out" events that do occur range from slapstick to nightmarish.
  • This is the plot of Out With Dad, with the twist that it's a coming out story for two people - Rose and Vanessa. Neither is out to everyone, but their families both know. Rose gets the supportive reaction from her friend Kenny and her dad, while Vanessa's mom is... less supportive. Near the end, Nathan tells Rose he's asexual as well, which is fine though she teases him by repeating one of his lines to her from her own coming out.
  • CollegeHumor did a skit called "When Coming Out Goes Better Than You Thought", in which Grant admits to being sexually attracted to men... and nobody bats an eye. He gets progressively more descriptive as he wants somebody to react poorly to justify his having been closeted for so long - and he gets his wish when he mentions that this attraction is due to him being bisexual, not gay, and a litany of "Pick a side!" comments are levelled at him.
  • Done wordlessly with the YouTube short video In a Heartbeat, which uses strong symbolism to show a boy's "first crush" on another boy in a sensitive way.
  • Whateley Universe: For a series focused heavily on gender transformations and LGBT+ issues, there are surprisingly few of these - it is more often a case of someone coming out as a mutant, instead, though the parallels are pretty blatant. Of those which have occurred, probably the most significant was Mega Girl coming out as a gender changeling to her boyfriend, Stronghold, at the insistence of the school's headmistress at that. It goes better than she ever hope it might, as he readily accepted her and would stand up for her against homophobic bullies not long afterwards.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in Queer Duck, in which the titular character randomly comes out to a bunch of strangers at work. Nobody was the least bit surprised, but he later relates all of the people at his job supporting him and acting emotionally to his friends.
  • Waaaaaaaaaaaaay on the other end of the spectrum, you have Drawn Together, which featured Xandir's attempts to come out to his parents. He tried to practice by having two of his castmates roleplay as his parents. His first trial run at coming out was met with a reaction of "Uh, DUHHHH!" from his pseudo-parents, which causes Xandir to chastise them for not taking the roleplaying exercise seriously enough. They take things a bit more seriously than he may have hoped, as his second trial run led to an insanely convoluted turn of events parodying an after-school special, which killed half the cast (So what else is new?) and made little to no sense. Again, this isn't new. In the end, when he comes out to his real parents, what are their reactions? "Uh, DUHHHH!" Also: when he came out to his girlfriend over the phone, she angrily requested he never save her again, as she is bound and being lowered into a snake pit. Makes Princess Clara look downright tolerant.
  • Patty came out to her sister Marge on The Simpsons.
  • BoJack Horseman has one in season 3 to Todd, who comes out as asexual in the season finale. When meeting a high school sweetheart, he realizes that he doesn't have any interest in being with her sexually, with all through the season the question on what exactly is he interested in being raised. He later actually uses the word asexual to describe himself.
    Todd: I don't think I'm gay. But I don't think I'm straight either.
  • Parodied in the South Park episode "Fishsticks", where due to a series of misunderstandings Kanye West comes out as gay... for fish.
  • Arthur had an episode where Mr. Ratburn is revealed to be gay and has a boyfriend who he ties the knot with.
  • Craig of the Creek has "Fire & Ice", which revolves around Kelsey realizing her feelings for Stacks, even getting advice from J.P.'s sister, Laura, and her girlfriend, Kat.

    Real Life 
  • We haven't got enough space for everyone's coming out, but we can list the most famous ones.
    • One of the most famous real-life coming outs was Ellen DeGeneres in 1997, followed shortly after in the same year by the coming-out of the fictional character she played - in both cases they came out as lesbian.
    • Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, came out as a transgender woman in 2015 through an interview with Diane Sawyer; this made Jenner one of the most famous openly transgender women in the world.
  • Susan Calman wrote that these are "something of a competitive sport" in the LGBT+ community, with everyone trying to top the others in who had the worst experience with it.


 
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Danny Vroom

Ham and Crispin are watching a movie called Danny Vroom: Gay in the Fast Lane, where a NASCAR driver, Danny Vroom, comes out as gay during a race so he can stop living a lie, and his boyfriend, Businessman Greg, proposes to him and he happily accepts.

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3 (4 votes)

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