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Coming Straight Story

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Norm: I can't go on with this any longer. I wanted to be your decorator, so I pretended to be who I thought you wanted me to be. But it's time I came out of the closet. I'm straight.
Robert: Impossible.
Norm: Ever since I was a little boy I've known that I prefer girls. But the point is I think you should judge people for what they do, not for who they do.
Cheers, "Norm, Is That You?"

A straight character is believed by everyone within a group to be gay. Eventually, that straight character "comes out", and admits to the group that they are, in fact, straight. Nearly always Played for Laughs, this is a very common inversion of the typical Coming-Out Story, where a closeted homosexual or bisexual person finally admits to their heterosexual friends and family that they like the same sex.

Where a Coming-Out Story is frequently a serious event within a character's life, with friends and family sometimes being initially unaccepting of the revelation, a Coming Straight Story almost always involves the gay friends rapidly coming to accept the fact that their friend is straight. Typically involves a straight male character in a profession where any men in the job are stereotypically expected to be gay.

Often also serves the purpose of a Gay Aesop about being open-minded and accepting of those with a different sexual orientation, although this may be undermined by the trope being Played for Laughs. Also serves as an Aesop that Honesty Is the Best Policy.

Often a result of Mistaken for Gay remaining uncorrected, or due to a character intentionally being Camp Straight. Occasionally applied directly upon the character being Mistaken for Gay, although this is usually less effective. Can only arise in the absence of a character with Gaydar. Sometimes Invoked by a character in order to get a laugh from other characters. Contrast with a successful case of Cure Your Gays, where a character that was gay is turned straight and thus "comes straight" in a different sense.


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    Comic Books 
  • Kick-Ass: In the original comic his would-be girlfriend is not pleased that he had been lying to her. In his defense, he didn't originate the lie; when he was found naked and beaten up it was rumored that he was prostituting himself for rough sex. He just rolled with it because it was a way to hang out with her.

    Fan Works 
  • Subverted in Girlfrenemies. Raven and Apple lied about being in a relationship. Everyone believes it because they're obviously in love. The problem is that Apple is straight, or so she initially believes. Over the course of the story she realizes that she loves Raven after all and that she's lesbian.
  • A variant of this occuring in the future in alluded to in Celadon's New Blossom. As a cover-up for being Disguised in Drag, Ash says that he's a transgender girl. Ash knows that one day he'll have to come out about being cisgender, but for now he uses that story.

    Film — Live Action 
  • But I'm a Cheerleader:
    • Jan, who has been sent to "True Directions" camp in But I'm a Cheerleader "comes out" as straight after a while, complaining that her parents just assumed she was a lesbian because she's tomboyish.
    • Subverted with the lead. Her family and friends send her to the camp because they think she's lesbian (with all their reasonings being humorously outlandish). Megan, however, is sure she's really straight and she even had a boyfriend. Being at the camp, however, makes her realize she actually is lesbian.
  • In Three to Tango, Matthew Perry's character is initially Mistaken for Gay, then keeps up the façade for a number of selfish reasons until the film's climax, where the trope comes into play.
  • In the movie Where the Heart Is note , Crispin Glover's character comes out as straight after pretending to be gay because he thought it would be the only way people would take him seriously as a fashion designer.
  • At the end of Out at the Wedding, Alex admits to her family that that she lied about being a lesbian and that Risa was her girlfriend. Her sister Jeannie admits to her family (and husband) that she is a lesbian and that she wants Risa to be her girlfriend.
  • Bring It On: In It To Win It has Ruben, a flamboyant, sunny male cheerleader... who turns out to be straight. And because his female teammates assumed he was gay, they had no reservations about changing their clothes and modeling underwear in front of him, and he had no desire to correct them. After learning this, the girls kick his ass.
  • Adam (2019): Adam's mistaken for a trans man by Gillian, going with it but also feeling guilty until he finally admits the truth, which she already knows.

  • Emberverse: Heuradys is the daughter of Delia and her beard Rigobert. At one point in her adolesensce she goes off on an epic rant about how her mother needs to stop finding nice girls to set her up with, because she 'really likes boys better', and how hard is for her to find a good man, since everyone already assumes she's gay because she's a woman and trying to become a knight (a distinctly male profession in the post-Change world). Delia, who is too young to be familiar with pre-Change culture, asks her anxiously if this might be "just a phase". Rigobert and Tiphaine (her mother's lover, who incidentally is a knight and fetchingly butch), who are old enough to remember both the idiom and the sexual mores of the pre-Change world, find the whole situation hilarious.
  • A subplot in The Fourth Bear involves a prominent gay MP terrified of the scandal if it should come out that he's had an affair with a woman. He explains that his partner knows the truth and agreed to stay with him for appearances sake.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Friends:
    • Phoebe's husband, whom she married so that he could get a green card, was always considered to be gay, in part due to his profession (he skated in the ice-capades). When she goes to meet up with him to reminisce, he admits to her that he is, in fact, straight, and that he wants a divorce, so that he can marry his new girlfriend.
    • Not shown in the show itself, but an early episode noted that many of the group assumed that Chandler was gay when they first met him, until such events as him getting drunk one Thanksgiving and talking to Phoebe’s breasts assured them otherwise.
  • On Modern Family, Cam drafts his straight father-in-law Jay into his gay bowling league. Jay has to keep up the charade for the entire tournament but reveals himself at the end.
    Jay: It feels good to finally tell someone. For four hours I'd been living in fear that I'd be found out. Do you have any idea what that feels like?
  • Matt Damon appears in Will & Grace as a candidate for the lead position in a gay choir, going up against Jack for the part. It is soon revealed that his character is, in fact, straight, which gets a gasp of shock when he admits it in front of the choir. They quickly accept him anyway, to the frustration of Jack.
  • Unhappily Ever After: In the High School Graduation Episode Barry comes out as straight - he was just pretending to be gay in order to hang out with hot chicks. Later retconned when he shows up during The College Years with the same personality he had when he was "pretending" to be gay.
  • Cheers: Norm pretends to be gay in order to secure an account in his new home decorating business, then confesses to the couple that he's straight. They fire him - not because he lied, but because they simply must have a gay decorator. It's tres gauche to use a straight decorator.
  • In the sitcom Rodney, Rodney gets booked to do a stand up performance at a gay bar and his best friend pretends to be Rodney's boyfriend so guys won't hit on him. Eventually, they come out as straight.
  • In an episode of Two and a Half Men, while Charlie is pretending to be gay for the sake of a gay client, he meets a hot chick, so he invites her out shopping. On the shopping trip, he tries to convince her that she's flipped him, but when that doesn't work, he comes out as straight. Unfortunately, his mother is coincidentally in the same store, overhears, and decides to support his original story, for fun.
  • Frasier:
    • There was an episode where Frasier was Mistaken for Gay by a well-to-do gay Seattle socialite played by Patrick Stewart. He used the misunderstanding to gain access to social circles but eventually chose to "come straight" when his only alternative was to start dating Stewart's character.
    • They did a very similar plot line with far more well-meaning station manager played by Eric Lutes in season 2. Frasier got to discussing wine, opera and men's fashion and decided to invite him over for dinner as a date for Daphne. Of course, that time, Frasier didn't realize until much later, and didn't try to actively deceive his boss in any way.
    • Gil Chesterton is Ambiguously Gay but becomes outraged when he discovers that everyone in the office assumes he's homosexual. He hotly explains that he's married... to a woman, thank you (describing his wife in terms that match the stereotypical Butch Lesbian). The scene concludes in these immortal lines:
    Gil: Honestly, the conclusions people make just because a man dresses well, and knows how to use a pastry bag! (exits in a huff)
    Frasier: (Beat) Well, that's the first I've ever seen a man in himself.
  • An episode of the FX series Starved sees corrupt cop Adam denying to Internal Affairs having an eating disorder. When shown photos of himself and another man at a park restroom Adam claims to be gay and ropes in his friend Dan to pretend to be his boyfriend. When Dan later admits the truth Adam is suspended.
  • Caroline in the City: Richard is invited to have an art opening at a gallery that is exclusively for gay artists, so he has to pretend to be gay. He eventually comes clean to the gallery owner, who is sympathetic but makes him take his stuff down.
  • The Nanny episode "A Fine Friendship" has Fran getting close to the male nanny of Gracie's friend. Throughout the episode, Fran is firmly convinced that he's gay, until they share a passionate kiss, making Fran say "You mean you're not gay?!".
  • On Queer as Folk (US), everyone assumes Hunter is gay because he used to be a prostitute and showed an interest in Brian when they first met, so when he asks Michael for extra money because he has a date, Michael and Ben are very excited that he finally has a boyfriend. Imagine their shock when he reluctantly points out that while he did say he had a friend, he never said anything about it being a boy.
  • In an episode of Its All Relative, the gay couple's very flamboyant event planner comes out as straight.
  • Played for Laughs on one episode of The Colbert Report, in response to a Fox News report about straights being repressed, where the heavily implied to be gay Colbert comes out as straight in a fairly unconvincing manner that has some parallels to someone coming out as gay to his or her family.
  • In the second season of The Almighty Johnsons, Gaia's father Bryn comes out as straight. Since Gaia subsequently learns that she's a goddess, Bryn's a giant and Bryn killed her birth parents and kidnapped her, the truth about Bryn's sexuality is rather overshadowed.
  • Faking It:
    • Karma does this a couple of times after pretending to be gay for popularity. First at Drama Club tryouts to give the teacher something really emotional (which destroys her social standing). Then at her mother's PFLAG group after her mother "neglected" to tell the group her daughter was straight.
    • The guest character Wade averts both this and Coming-Out Story when confronted by Karma (who thinks he's straight) and Shane (who thinks he's gay). He tells them he's bi. Neither of them even considered that a possibility.
  • A rare serious example can be seen in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "P.C.", where an out-and-proud lesbian named Babs Duffy, who is the leader of a lesbian rights movement called "LesBeStrong", is ultimately revealed to have a secret male lover. When she comes clean as a bisexual at a rally, and announces the expansion of her group's mandate to promote all LGBT rights instead of exclusively lesbian rights, it causes her to lose a significant portion of her membership, although she tells the SVU detectives that she feels it is the right thing to do.
  • Kaamelott:
    • Bohort, who is Camp Straight but (surprisingly to the cast) married. But because no one ever sees his wife because she's sick, it does nothing to quell the rumors that he's gay and it's a Girlfriend in Canada situation.
    • Lancelot is thought to be gay because he actually strives for personal cleanliness in The Dung Ages and is never seen chasing women (because his heart is set on Guenievre). But because he's never been interested in any other woman, he's still a virgin (and so is she, as Arthur has no interest in her) which makes their life together problematic after he kidnaps her.
  • You Me Her: Gabriel pretends he's pansexual at first to be cool, thinking this will impress Sasha. Then he confesses he's straight after going on a date with Alex, a gay teen in his school, who's pissed naturally but forgives him later.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Played for Drama (well, as dramatic as the series can be) in the mini-series Professional Gay Wrestling. Tag team partners Esteban Santana and Tristan Titus are driven apart by the combined factors that: (1) Tristan wants a relationship; and (2) Esteban is actually straight, and using the promotion to get ahead in the wrestling business, with his female lover tagging along pretending to be his sister.

  • Played for Drama with Yoon Sung from Welcome to Room #305. He has told his sister for the last several years that he's gay. He's actually straight but told her that in order to help her get over her denial of her own sexuality. It backfires and she just becomes bitter and homophobic. He comes out to her after saying he knew she was gay.

    Web Original 
  • In the Mockumentary Dorm Life, a first-season episode centers on everyone discovering Andy is gay, and showering him with love and acceptance. In the second season, when they all view a screening of the first season, Andy is shocked to discover that's what they thought, and reveals that he really is straight. The rest of the characters revile him for it for the rest of the season.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Everyone assumed Zarbon was gay due to his campy manner and long hair (he was even mistaken for a female). And then it turns out he has a girlfriend, which was news to Freeza.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Pegasus's entire character seems to revolve around his campness. Everyone is shocked to discover he's straight. In fact, he is Armored Closet Straight, and tries to kill the group of characters who find out so that it stays a secret.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Family Guy has Meg pretending to be a lesbian in order to join an all-lesbian club at her school, just so she can have friends. Another club member becomes attracted to her, which she pretends to reciprocate in order to keep up the act, but when it comes time to actually have sex with her, she can't go through with it and comes out as straight.
  • King of the Hill:
    • A rare example of this trope not being played for laughs: After being laid off from his longtime job as an Army barber, Bill pretends to be gay so he can work as a hair stylist, because apparently no woman in Arlen trusts a straight man to do her hair. However, when one of his customers says it's such a shame he's gay because she's extremely attracted to him and would love to do all sorts of nasty things with him, he can't resist telling her he's not. The customer immediately becomes disgusted with him and outs him to the whole salon, getting him fired.
    • A similar example: Peggy goes to a store frequented by transgender people and makes a "girlfriend" who assumes that she's also transgender.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Flaming Moe"note , Moe opens a gay bar and eventually runs for political power with support of the gays who think he is gay. When challenged by Smithers, who knows Moe to be straight, to kiss him, Moe decides instead to come straight, to the disappointment of the gathered homosexual support base.

    Real Life 
  • Darren Criss, the actor who played Harry in A Very Potter Musical and Blaine, Kurt's boyfriend from Glee, had to come out as straight to his friends when he was younger. Many assumed he was gay because of his fairly flamboyant mannerisms and his upbringing in the gay San Francisco theater world.
  • Likewise, several of the cast of Queer as Folk (US) came out as straight in real-life while doing the show. Same with the cast of The L Word.
  • Jessie J who previously identified herself as bisexual stated in a 2014 interview that she's actually straight and that her dating history with girls was just a phase.
  • David Bowie has said that his sexual ambigious period during the early part of his career, where he most notably described himself as bisexual in an interview, was just to defy norms and that he later admitted to being a closet heterosexual.
  • Misha Collins had to come out as straight after making a joke at a Supernatural convention that sounded like he was coming out as bisexual.


Dad, I'm straight

Son comes out as heterosexual

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ComingStraightStory

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