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"Hey, a free drink is a free drink, baby."
Sam Axe on infiltrating a gay bar, Burn Notice

Ho Yay is a same-gender relationship that seems to be more than 'just good friends'. Foe Romance Subtext is when two people seem to be more than just mortal enemies. Faux Yay is when a character pretends to be homosexual for some reason, or acts in a homoerotic or romantic way with someone else of the same gender as themselves.

One of the most common flavors is when two girls start kissing and acting a little too friendly just for the sake of gratuitous titillation, which in real life is known as "club lesbianism" due to party girls often doing this at the Coolest Club Ever. (Though it's possible for gender inverted examples to occur as well.) When a straight guy pretends to be gay himself, however, it is often done with the purpose of exploiting women's willingness to trust gay men more compared to straight men, allowing him to infiltrate female spaces and approach the opposite sex more easily.

This does not count if the homoeroticism is unintentional or the result of a misunderstanding; only if it is a contrived "performance" for some reason. Almost always leads to fleets of shipping.

In music, this is referred to as "Stage Gay", while in the sex trade (including pornography) it is known as being "gay for pay". Not to be confused with No Yay. Can overlap with Sorry, I'm Gay, but not necessarily; Sorry, I'm Gay refers specifically to situations wherein the excuse is used and rarely kept up as a facade. A specific subtrope of this is Gay Bravado, wherein characters (usually male) make loaded, homoerotic comments and suggestions to one another with the intention of appearing more macho and secure in their completely heterosexual orientation.

Compare Coming Straight Story, when a supposedly gay character genuinely comes out as being attracted towards the opposite sex.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayame Sohma of Fruits Basket is practically the incarnation of this trope: he wears feminine clothes, speaks in a stereotypically "gay" manner, crawls into bed to cuddle with an unwilling Kyo, and constantly exchanges sexually-charged banter with Shigure that implies more than cousinly affection. Despite this, he has a girlfriend and business partner he adores (Mine Kuramae, the local seamstress and Meganekko), and his constant flirting with Shigure turns out to just be a mutual gag they use to bug people (and in Ayame's case, perhaps to discourage the family head from having sex with him).
  • Twins Hikaru and Kaoru from Ouran High School Host Club intentionally exaggerate their "brotherly affection" to cater to their twincest-loving Yaoi Fangirl clientele. Played for Drama later on, when the reason supplied for their "unnatural" closeness is an inability to open up to other people.
  • Rumbling Hearts - Takayuki, in Episode 1.
  • Itsuki of Haruhi Suzumiya says he's this in the novels. Whether you believe him is a matter of preference, so far.
    • Supported by alternate reality Koizumi being attracted to Haruhi (which may still apply in the 'real' world) and hanging out with her over it. Buuut shot down a little in that he only gets... flirty... with Kyon when she's not around anyway. Plus the whole 'heart's desire' thing in Snow Mountain Syndrome.
      • No-one actually explains why people saw who they did in Snow Mountain Syndrome. It could just be Yuki making sure they remember the shape. Of course, that would take out all the Shipping.
      • Possibly Itsuki was lying to mess with Kyon.
      • The girls also have fun with each other, but are only really romantically uncomfortable with Kyon. (And not Itsuki.)
      • Also, in the spin-off gag series Haruhi-chan, Kyon's declaration of love to Itsuki is entirely a joke on Kyon's side. Too bad Haruhi took a second to realize it.
  • Shimazaki in Please Twins! falls somewhere between this trope and being bisexual.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane: Saitou, while he may or may not actually be interested in men (who knows with him?), is willing enough to pretend to be for information.
  • In My Bride is a Mermaid, the class president pretends to be a lesbian who's in love with San after she botches a Love Confession to Nagasumi. When you confess to someone, you really should make sure you're talking to the right person.
    • Nagasumi pretends to be gay for Masa, to avoid letting him regain his lost memories.
  • Usui from Maid-Sama! has this with Yukimura. He frequently playfully harasses the poor boy with innuendos and such. And that was after stealing his first kiss.
  • In Nichijou, Mai convinces Yukko that she's starting to develop feelings for her for all of two minutes before revealing that it was just to see if she could get a funny response.
  • In K, Yashiro Isana explaining things he got from Kuroh as being from "his wife", with Kuroh threatening to cut out his tongue.
  • Played with in Ayakashi Triangle: When rumors start describing Suzu as promiscuous, Matsuri diverts attentions by pretending to flirt with Reo. Matsuri is female and attracted to girls, but unbeknownst to the school used to be male and still considers himself a guy. Reo, meanwhile, was only pretending to pretend—she is actually bisexual and in love with Matsuri (not that he's noticed), and used the episode as a chance to make a move on him. (Humorously, the ploy not only works, it ends up making everyone think Matsuri seduces girls and guys.)

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League of America once had a subplot where the second Ice did this towards Fire, as well as reforming herself to look like the original Ice. It turned out that Ice was purposefully trying to make Fire uncomfortable so that Fire would realize that she wasn't the same person as the first Ice, a now deceased heroine who had been Fire's best friend.
  • In X-Force, newcomers Phat and Vivisector pretended to be lovers because they felt their teammates were getting a disproportionate amount of media attention. This all gets turned on its head when they both conclude that they really are gay... but not actually attracted to one another. They stay friends, though.
  • In Joe Sacco's short comic "Soba", the titular artist, Soba, tries to attract a young woman to dance with him. When his own moves don't have any effect on her, he has his buddy A dance with him homoerotically in the hopes that it'll get her attention. It doesn't work.

    Fan Works 
  • The eponymous character from Uzumaki Harry starts doing this towards Snape in Chapter 13, mainly to mess with everybody's heads.
  • In Ten Random Characters, Reflet's plan to stop Robin from pairing him up with every girl within a five-mile radius is basically this with Shulk. It doesn't stay that way, though.
  • In When Reason Fails, Izuku is straight, but it does not stop him from flirting with Katsuki to get a reaction out of him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The French film The Closet features the main character trying to save his job by pretending to be gay and suing for discrimination, involving photoshopping his head onto images of homosexual men being intimate. The entire scheme is concocted by his neighbor a man who was fired from the same company years earlier for actually being gay.
  • The main character in Folle d'elle, aka, What I Did For Love pretends to be homosexual so he can share an apartment with a woman he's interested in.
  • Mel Gibson's character in What Women Want tries to save a girl's feelings by telling her that he is gay, and that this is why he never called her back.
  • The entire plot behind I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.
  • American Beauty: Ricky tells his father that he is a male prostitute who services other men to get him riled, after discovering that his father would rather him dead than homosexual.
  • In one of the endings of the movie edition of Clue (a.k.a. Cluedo), one of the characters does this.
  • In the Bollywood movie Dostana, Sameer and Kunal pretend to be a gay couple in order to score an apartment. They both fall for the same girl but neither gets her. The end leaves a little ambiguity as to how much of their act is fakery.
  • In American Pie 2, two girls act physically intimately in order to 'have fun' with the boys by making them do the same, despite revealing at the end that they do in fact both like men. They are not actually in a relationship and it's left open to interpretation whether they're actually also interested in women, or just very comfortable with each other.
  • The girls in Coyote Ugly play-act physical intimacy as a part of their bar-dancing. Later in the film, when Violet thanks Cammi for a good bar-tending tip by jokingly professing "I think I just fell in love with you.", Cammi breezily replies, "Oh, Violet, I'm not a lesbian. I played in the Minors, but never went Pro."
  • Eating Out: In the first movie, Caleb pretends to be gay so that Gwen will set him up with Marc, he can use Marc to get close to Gwen, and Kyle can use Caleb to get close to Marc.
  • Nelson, the straight protagonist of Let's Go to Prison, is forced into a relationship with Barry - a homosexual gangster and fellow inmate. They eventually form a bond with each other as friends, prompting Nelson to just play along with the “relationship” for the sake of Barry’s happiness as well as his own safety.
  • Partner(s) features a heterosexual man who moves in with his gay friend and is mistaken for gay. He goes along with it for a chance at a big name case with a man who claims gay discrimination. it turns out to be a double case as the man who claimed discrimination was seen kissing a woman in the final scenes of the movie
  • In Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes pretends that he and Watson are a gay couple in order to fend off a Russian ballerina (and, apparently, believer in eugenics) who wanted him to father her child. Watson, meanwhile, tries to flirt with the ballet dancers, only to discover that word has spread.
  • In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the actually gay "Gay" Perry pulls the straight Harry into a passionate kiss to prevent the nearby policemen from realizing that they're hiding a body in a car trunk. Harry is not amused.
  • In Kick-Ass, after it becomes rumored that he's gay, Dave decides to go with it so that his crush will be comfortable around him. Once he reveals he's straight, she's even more enamored with him (unlike the source comic, where she gets extremely pissed off at his manipulating her and she kicks him out).
  • In Freshman Orientation, (basically the same thing as in Kick-Ass), a freshman in college pretends to be gay in order to score the girl of his dreams.
  • In Plan B, the very straight Bruno pretends to be interested in his ex Laura's reportedly bisexual boyfriend Pablo as part of a convoluted scheme to win her back. Then it becomes not so faux after all when Bruno realizes that he's become genuinely smitten with Pablo.
    • Pablo also does a variant of this trope: he claims to have once slept with another guy, but admits later on that it was just a lie he made up to seem more "modern". Much like the above example, however, it ends up being not so faux after all when Pablo becomes smitten with Bruno too and admits to another friend that even though him being with other men in the past was a lie, some part of it still appealed to him.
  • In Happy, Texas, two criminals on the run are mistaken for a gay couple hired to help with a child beauty pageant and they go along with the misunderstanding to avoid being caught by the police.
  • Occurs a bit in Booksmart when Molly gets touchy-feely with her best friend Amy in front of the latter's parents to get them to agree to Amy spending the night before graduation at Molly's house (they're planning to secretly spend the night partying it up at a classmate's house). Amy really is a lesbian, but she and Molly are strictly friends and Molly only shows interest in guys during the film.

  • Confessions Of A Married Call-Girl discussed the idea of heterosexual sex workers engaging in homosexual actions to please the clients.
  • Candy Girl, the memoir of a woman who worked as a stripper for a year, claims that strip clubs are usually quite cold to encourage the girls to stand close together and encourage the appearance of lesbianism.
  • The Day of the Jackal - the eponymous character pretends to be gay to sneak past French security, counting on their being homophobic and thus not bothering to look closely. In the remake The Jackal, the eponymous character needs a safehouse so he picks up a hapless gay guy in a bar. The gay guy later ends up dead.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • At one point Harry tries to get inside Thomas's apartment while Thomas is out but gets caught by security. To keep suspicion off him, Harry pretends to be a heartbroken ex-lover who is mad that Thomas isn't taking responsibility for their baby (a dog). It works because Thomas's cover among humans is a Camp Gay hairstylist.
    • Thomas plays it up when he overhears Butters accidentally think that Harry is gay. This irritates the crap out of Harry.
  • In Moonflower Murders, the killer, Aiden, is a victim of this. He was at the mercy of Depraved Homosexual Frank after Frank was a client to him as a sex worker. Upon learning that Aiden was getting married to a very rich heiress, Frank blackmailed him into having sex with him on the wedding night. Instead, Aiden killed him, and then killed his wife when she figured it out.
  • In the thriller One Of Us, an actor has used this to achieve notoriety, with everyone arguing over whether he has the right to stay in the closet. Upon discovering proof that he visits female prostitutes, the hero informs him, "Your lack of a secret is safe with me."
  • Callgirl, a memoir of a woman who worked for some time as an 'escort', describes one night when the woman was doing a double night with another prostitute. As the writer was on her period that night, the other woman claimed that she wanted the writer all to herself. The two of them played up the lesbian routine so well that the agency was complimented for 'sending real lesbians'.
  • Discussed in Sid Stills' Blues (Three-Quarters in the Bag in Alphabet City). Jason, one of Nathan's old bandmates, wanted to do stage gay to excite the girls in the audience. Since Nathan actually liked men (and loved Jason), he refused. Sid has trouble understanding the concept, since pretending to be gay on stage and being straight off of it is the exact opposite of how it was in the past.
  • In the first book of Tales of the City, after losing her job, Mona cynically gets back together with her wealthy ex-girlfriend D'orothea so that she can move in to D'orothea's place for a while and save on rent while she looks for a new job.
  • In one of the Fearless books, Gaia is being helped by Mary Moss after one of her Power Strain Blackouts, which render her temporarily unable to walk without leaning on someone. A cop comes by to see what they're doing and, mistaking them for lesbians, acts like a homophobic jerk about it. Gaia plays into his impression in order to fuck with him.

    Live-Action TV 

  • American Horror Story: 1984: Xander is straight, but was forced into doing gay porn after a Depraved Homosexual producer picked him up in the park and got him clean.
  • Friends toys with this trope on occasion. In season two, Joey and Chandler pretend to be a homosexual couple in order to retrieve Ross' baby from the transit authority. Later, Rachel and Monica "kiss for one minute" to win their apartment back from the boys.
  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Cox and Ben play Gay Chicken.
    • The Todd zigzags this, with a possible side of Compensating for Something. In the episode where he "reveals" that he's a gay man who has been deeply closeted, he explains at the end that this was all an act because gay guys get all the chicks. However, in other episodes, he seems to fall anywhere on the spectrum between really secure heterosexual to Extreme Omnisexual, according to the Rule of Funny.
      Janitor: What are you?
      The Todd: I'm The Todd.
    • While not done intentionally, Turk and J.D. often act in a very intimate way with each other, parodied in the Musical Episode with the song, "Guy Love". This is somewhat ironic as both characters have been shown to be a tiny bit homophobic (an entire episode is devoted to Turk's homophobia in season 3).
  • In Rizzoli & Isles the two main characters pretend to be more than friends to discourage an unwanted suitor of Maura's (he, of course, suggests a threesome). This was so popular with the show's fanbase that the man has since become a recurring character so that Maura and Jane have to pretend to be gay repeatedly.
  • In Supernatural the two main characters do this to investigate a gated community in "Bugs" (Dean slaps Sam's ass to sell it) and to escape suspicion of anything more than a passion for interior decorating in "A Very Supernatural Christmas." It's only weird because they're actually ... brothers ...
  • In one episode of Not Going Out, Lucy thinks she's offended a gay man she fancies, so she gets her flatmate to pretend to be gay so she can show how tolerant she is. This one has an extra layer to it as the guy Lucy thought she'd offended wasn't even gay himself. He'd said that to spare the feelings of a woman who was attracted to him.
    Lucy: Oh come on! I'd do the same for you! I mean, I can't think of any situation in which me pretending to be lesbian would help you at all...
    [Lee sinks into thought]
    Lee: No, me neither.
  • The Australian proto-reality show House from Hell offered a monetary incentive to the first housemates to have sex in the house; in response, two of the female contestants invoked this trope, faking a sexual experience to get the cash.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • An early episode involves Hawkeye trying to get some leave in Tokyo by telling a visiting psychiatrist that he has a homosexual crush on Major Burns.
    • Another early episode has Hawkeye telling a visiting soldier (played by Leslie Nielsen) that Frank has a crush on him.
  • Dorian Lord fakes being a lesbian and engages with a woman Amelia Benett on One Life to Live: to try
to earn the approval of the LGBT community to win a mayoral race against her enemy Victoria Lord as well as a scheme to make her ex-husband David Vickers jealous of her. Before the wedding occurs David Proposes to Dorian and She leaves Amelia at the alter.
  • On Three's Company, Jack pretends to be gay to be allowed to share an apartment with two female roommates.
  • On Cheers, Norm had a side job as an interior decorator and pretended to be gay in order to keep a client.
  • The Season 7 Frasier episode "Out With Dad" involved Martin pretending to be homosexual on Valentine's Day, in order to stave off the advances of Frasier's date's mother. This being Frasier, a "Fawlty Towers" Plot ensued.
  • Hardison and Eliot in Leverage: "No -- no, I -- I am with. him."
  • This is a huge part of the humor of Whose Line Is It Anyway?
  • The Mighty Boosh: After Dennis the Head Shaman catches Vince with his wife, Vince uses this to avoid getting his head cut off, and has to live with the short-term fallout. They both get over it pretty quickly and both end up with other women by the end of the episode.
  • In the High School Graduation episode of Unhappily Ever After Camp Gay/Gay Best Friend Barry outs himself as straight — he just acted gay so he could hang around hot chicks.
  • On Seinfeld, while at Monk's Coffee Shop, Jerry, George, and Elaine realize that the woman in the booth next to theirs is eavesdropping on their conversation, so they decide to mess with her by pretending Jerry and George are a gay couple. Hilarity Ensues when she turns out to be the same woman who is supposed to interview Jerry for a magazine, and publishes an article "outing" the two of them, much to their dismay (Not That There's Anything Wrong with That). George later tries to use the article as an excuse to break up with his Girl of the Week.
  • A WKRP in Cincinnati episode had Johnny buying a condo with a surprise windfall. He very soon wants out of the cloying surroundings of 'Gone With The Wind Acres', but signed an ironclad contract. The condo board very quickly lets him go, though, when he affects a very flamboyant manner with his 'partner' Venus.
  • On Frank's Place, Bubba Weinberg takes Frank as a guest to his parent's house on the holidays, and to Frank's surprise and chagrin acts like they're a couple. Afterward Bubba tells Frank his plan worked and his mother raised no objections at all to the latest lady friend he'd brought over.
  • Happens frequently on NCIS between "very special agents" Tony DiNozzo and Timothy McGee.
  • The first Blackadder series has an episode where Blackadder is due to marry an ugly Spanish princess and, following Baldrick's advice, attempts to get out of it by swishing around in effeminate clothing and makeup. The plan backfires when the princess assumes he's trying to please her by imitating a Spanish man.
  • Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show, played for laughs.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • In the midst of canvassing for suspects, Lake and Finn get Mistaken for Gay. Instead of trying to explain the situation Lake just smiles, puts a hand on Finn's leg and squeezes.
    • In another episode, Benson and Rollins pose as a longterm lesbian couple while investigating a sperm bank.
  • On Law & Order, Detective Lupo has posed as someone soliciting sex from other men at least twice in order to bust a suspect.
  • Moss makes out with Roy twice in one episode of The IT Crowd, in an attempt to hide from passing police cars.
  • TV personality and interior decorator Christopher Lowell is actually straight, but Executive Meddling compelled him to Camp up his behavior on screen, because the executives thought viewers wouldn't accept a male interior decorator who wasn't gay.
  • Hope & Faith: Faith puts her sister Hope as a "domestic partner" so she can get an apartment as part of a fundraiser for lesbians.
  • This is the whole plot driving force in the first story arc of Colombian series Los caballeros las prefieren brutas.
  • Happy Endings:
    • In an episode, straight dude Dave kisses his best friend Max to convince Max's parents that they're dating and save him from being set up with other guys by his mom.
    • Inverted in another episode, Max is mistaken for straight, but keeps up the charade to get awesome concert tickets from his fake girlfriend.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • Stiles tries to do this so that he won't have to explain to his dad (who is also the sheriff) that he and his friend Scott happened to end up in a gay club because they were chasing a creepy, homicidal lizard monster. It doesn't work.
      Sheriff Stilinski: Not exactly your type of club.
      Stiles: Uh... Well, Dad, there's a conversation that we need to—
      Sheriff Stilinski: You're not gay.
      Stiles: Wha— I could be!
      Sheriff Stilinski: Not dressed like that.
    • Earlier, in season one, Scott is banned from attending the High-School Dance due to his falling grades. When he goes anyway, Coach Finstock sees him and raises hell - so he drags his Straight Gay classmate Danny onto the dance floor to make the coach's outburst look like a homophobic tirade.
  • On Fresh Meat, accusations of homophobia make Oregon think she should experiment while at university. While JP eggs her on, Ambiguously Bi Vod points out that "kissing a girl for the benefit of straight guys doesn't count", so she decides to do it somewhere more private.
  • As the World Turns has Casey pretend to date Luke (who is gay) so that Ameera, the wife of Luke's boyfriend Noah could stay in the country. This was to provide an excuse for Luke to be around Noah without it seeming like Noah's marriage was less than legitimate.
  • An episode of House has a neighbor assume that House and Wilson, who have just moved into a condo Wilson bought, are gay. This is rather disconcerting to Wilson, who was attempting to hit on her at the time. House camps it up (for example, he orders a huge A Chorus Line poster and opens it excitedly in the hallway when the neighbor is walking by) to screw with Wilson and also as part of a rather convoluted plot to have sex with the pretty neighbor himself.
  • Community:
    • Britta makes a big show over getting a lesbian friend, and to show how open-minded she is, goes to the Valentine's dance with her. However, the other girl is also straight and thinks Britta is gay, and is also showing off - they up the ante by dancing together and initiating very awkward kissing before they find out the truth about each other.
    • Dean Pelton is asked to pretend to be gay so that the college can earn some good PR for diversity. For Pelton, this also doubles as Flying Under the Gaydar, since he is so far beyond gay that he actually has to tone himself down.
  • In Sherlock, Sherlock very quickly deduces that Molly's new boyfriend Jim is obviously gay, pointing out several tell-tale signs as well as the fact that he slipped him his number. However, it later turns out that "Jim from IT" was really Moriarty, pretending to be gay in part to be Beneath Suspicion, but mostly because he enjoys trolling him.
  • A season eight episode of How I Met Your Mother has Robin pretend to be gay when she and Barney are mistaken for a couple.note 
  • A couple of episodes of Psych have Shawn and Gus pretending to be a gay couple as part of the investigation. Although Shawn does seem quite eager to embrace the role...
  • On Will & Grace Jack joins the New York Gay Men's Chorus and quickly learns that his rival as new star vocalist is a closet straight guy (played by Matt Damon).
  • An episode of Donny! sees protagonist Donny Deutsche Mistaken for Gay. For a while, he rolls with it after realizing that it boosts his ratings.
  • The Drew Carey Show has dipped into this well at least twice. The first time, Drew and Oswald pretended to be a gay couple so that Drew could use his company health insurance to buy a hip replacement for his dog Speedy. The second time, Drew marries his boss Mr. Wick to allow him to stay in the country, in exchange for Mr. Wick giving Drew his old job back. They have to pretend to be gay when someone is sent over to make sure that the marriage is legit. Unfortunately, Drew had also recently joined the Boy Scouts as a scoutmaster, something that has long been a dream of his. They don't allow gay people to join, and Drew's superior has come by to give him an evaluation at the same time. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Apparently Drew and Wick are still married, if the finale to Craig Ferguson's run of The Late Late Show is to be believed. They even share a bed. The yay might not be so faux anymore...
  • On Quantico, Simon Asher pretends to be gay to distract people from other aspects of his life that he'd rather not disclose.
  • On Young & Hungry, Gabi pretends to be a lesbian to help Logan get back together with her girlfriend.
  • In one episode of Ally McBeal, Ally and Lin kiss in order to try and put off an Abhorrent Admirer who was into Ally. He sees through the ruse immediately, but gets the hint and backs off, since it's not the first time it's been tried on him.
  • One episode of Lucifer (2016) sees Luci going undercover with Pierce as part of a case. Luci is entirely comfortable with it, Pierce is less so.
  • In an episode of Halt and Catch Fire, Donna and Cameron are Mistaken for Gay while searching for a house for Cameron. Donna suggests that they roll with it to see if the realtor will give them a better price, but Cameron argues that Donna's not her type.
  • In Gilmore Girls, when Paris and Rory are on Spring Break, they run into old friends Madeline and Louise, who've been stretching out their own Spring Break for a few weeks. They give Paris and Rory a list of rules to get the most out of clubbing, including "When all else fails, make out. With each other." as a quick way of getting attention. Their rivals, identical twins, also figured out this trick. None of them actually kiss on-screen. Paris does kiss Rory on-screen, trying to get "in character" to understand the appeal of Spring Break.
  • The main premise of Faking It is that best friends Karma and Amy pretend to be a lesbian couple after they're "outed" to their classmates and become popular as a result. However, it turns into Not-So-Faux Yay for at least one of them when Amy realizes that she really does have feelings for Karma.
  • In The First Shop of Coffee Prince, Han Kyul hires Eun Chan to pretend to be his boyfriend so that his family will stop trying to set him up with women. What Han Kyul doesn't know is that Eun Chan is actually a girl who he develops real feelings for before he learns her true gender.
  • Hot in Cleveland:

  • Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl".
  • Franz Ferdinand's "Michael" from Franz Ferdinand (2004). While the band maintains that they are all straight, they still find it amusing that many fans still think that they are gay or bisexual because of the explicit homoerotic lyrics in that song.
    • It's also possible the band did the song In the Style of Morrissey of The Smiths, who is known for his bisexuality and camp lyrics.
  • Britney Spears and Madonna at the MTV Music Awards.
    • Christina Aguilera was there and got a kiss from Madonna too. But no one remembers that.
    • Madonna, by all indications, is bisexual. Christina is quasi-openly bi, and there have been rumors about Britney with Jenna Jameson at one point.
  • Girl band t.A.T.u., because their manager wanted to make a profitable gimmick out of it.
  • The Village People. Note that some group members were straight and others were gay.
  • Possibly David Bowie; over time, he has gone back and forth over what his sexual orientation is. That said some of his characters, most notably Ziggy Stardust, were definitely gay or bisexual.
  • Mexican singer and showman Juan Gabriel is very famous for his Camp Gay stage antics. He never mentions his real sexual orientation, however.
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood gained notoriety and coverage using the gay vibe. Of the five of them, only Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford were actually gay.
  • Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld. Sung the duet Where the Wild Roses Grow with Blixa in the female role, as Kylie Minogue (the usual other singer) was unavailable. One time, they went further. Not to mention Blixa's live cover of Peggy Lee's "Johnny Guitar."
  • GACKT knows how to feed his fangirls, as evidenced by this live version of Vanilla.
  • While the men of Barenaked Ladies are happily married dads, that didn't stop guitarist Ed Robinson and former lead singer Steven Page from occasionally dancing together and stage kissing.
  • Bands engaging in Stage Gay at various times include: Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance (1, 2)(the gayest members of which have all now married hot women, go figure), The Used...It became de rigeur for pretty much every male-fronted band without a macho or wholesome image to keep up will do this. Thank David Bowie.
  • Despite relatively little actual stagegay, Swedish band The Ark have a lot of songs about gay rights and gay sex, considering that all are straight except for the frontman, who's bi and married to a woman.
  • Jimi Hendrix, aware that many people misheard the "Purple Haze" lyric "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" as "...kiss this guy," would playfully point at Experience bandmate Noel Redding when performing the song live. On at least two occasions he even mimed kissing him.
  • Oshare band An Cafe are fond of Stage gay, especially the original members (Bou and Miku particularly).
  • Being Fanservice: The Musical Genre, Visual Kei is practically joined to this trope at the hip. So when one of Visual Kei's founding fathers (Atsushi Sakurai) decided to do a live cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity, there was pretty much no chance that he wouldn't wind up dry-humping the guitarist in the middle of the song.
  • Kurt Cobain made out with the other members of Nirvana. He reportedly did so to piss off homophobic people, and to keep them from coming to Nirvana's shows. The band famously did this after performing on Saturday Night Live. SNL censored the kissing for repeat broadcasts.
  • Captain Ahab built a name on having this as their stage persona.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence frontman James "Jimmy Urine" Euringer was known for this, first as shock, (there exists footage of him making out with a male audience member, knocking him over, and then teabagging him) then for humor, where he would pull off the Camp Gay archetype as a gag.
  • Suede used this in their stage act and songs like "The Drowners", about a male-on-male seduction. May have been angling for Guy on Guy Is Hot appeal.
    • Brett Anderson notoriously described himself early in the band's career as a "bisexual who's never had a homosexual experience". Whatever that means...
      • That he's attracted to men but never actually had a sexual encounter with one?
  • Miley Cyrus has dabbled with this trope from time to time, in television performances and live appearances, at least since 2010. The 2013-14 Bangerz tour is filled with Faux Yay, from flirty/suggestive moments with her female dancers to kissing Katy Perry in the audience of a show.
  • K-pop idols engage in this a lot - sometimes unintentionally, as their culture is a lot more liberal about same-sex physical platonic affection (hugging, cuddling, hand-holding and general clinginess); but many times intentionally played up for Fanservice. You only have to look at how many videos of "K-pop idols being gay" or fanfics shipping group members exist to see how big this trope is in the genre (BTS alone has over 100,000 fanfics on Archive of Our Own).
  • Eminem frequently indulges in this in interviews, TV appearances and cameos etc, in part to soften his reputation for homophobia. He came out in The Interview, announced he was gay on a German chat show, repeatedly jokes in interviews that he uses Grindr, and has presented himself as either an Armored Closet Gay or a Depraved Bisexual in many of his middle-period songs.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Goldust. Just, Goldust. When he was debuted, his gimmick was a way over the top Camp Gay "movie star" who fixated entirely on Razor Ramon, who was the Intercontinental Champion at the time. He played mind games all throughout their feud, selling that he may just be infatuated with the uber-manly Ramon, so far as to start calling him "The Naughty One" (Razor was also known as "The Bad Guy"). All of these antics culminated in their title match, where Goldust freaked Razor out enough to pin him. Afterwards, Goldust tongued his valet (and real life wife) Marlena, showing everyone he was, indeed, straight and played Razor for a sap.
    • It didn't fully go away, the character basically "just acted that way," including outright trying to kiss male competitors mid-match and such. Especially in his later "unstable" phase where he came out in varying costumes as ___Dust, half the time it was something along the lines of semi-cross-dressing MansonDust. After his time in the spotlight faded and he was in and out (pun not intended) of the company, the character has boiled down to "Dustin Runnels in gold-and-black facepaint".
  • The infamous 'Billy and Chuck' angle, where Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo became infatuated with one another, eventually culminating in a wedding ceremony. At the last moment they both chickened out and admitted that the whole thing was just a publicity stunt.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Max Galactica hits on Phoenix Wright ("You've stolen one of my hearts!" when Phoenix pulls an Ace of Hearts from his deck) in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. However, the flamboyant camp performer's persona masks a Southern-fried country boy. However, Max seems to prefer Camp Straight to Camp Gay.
  • In Lucky Dog 1, this is a recurring shtick for Gian and Bernardo who love to engage in playful flirting with each other, especially when they have an audience (i.e. Ivan). Depending on whether Bernardo's route is taken or not however, the faux part might change into something else entirely in the second and third parts of the game.

    Web Comics 
  • Penny and Aggie:
    • Inverted when, at a party, Cyndi publicly makes out with Daphne, a lesbian who's been established as desperate for a partner, and then turns to tell Marshall that she's essentially straight; Daphne is visibly hurt at this, and later insights into Cyndi's character (including that she most certainly does like girls, Sara in particular) suggest that hurting Daphne was her primary goal.
    • In the sequel series QUILTBAG, Lisa is accused of this when she keeps bringing up her then-current relationship with Stan and is then thrown out of a party for a lesbian sorority. In fact, she's bisexual.
  • This Shortpacked! strip, with Amber shanghaied into attempting to throw off an unwanted admirer with faux-lesbianism.
  • Jodie from Loserz (who actually is attracted to women) arrives at a party and announces her intention to hook up with a hot guy... then immediately goes off to look for hot girls to make out with. When her friends point out this apparent contradiction, she tells them that there's no better way to get a guy's attention than two hot girls making out.
    Ben: Sheesh, women, they think they've got us all figured out, like we're some brainless fools who do nothing but listen to our dicks.
    Eric: So are we gonna go watch or what?
    Ben: Of course we are!
  • Oglaf: It appears that Mistress's guard corps is largely straight, but the two guards in this strip clearly don't really care.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • In a Q&A session, Lisa theorises that Elliot's 'party form' would do this to put on a show for the guys, despite probably not being a lesbian. This is largely based an event where Lisa (an actual lesbian, or at least bisexual) was on the receiving end of a one-sided version during college, and thought it was for real before having her hopes dashed when her admirer left with a guy she'd attracted via the Faux Yay. Not that she admits to it, of course. Later on in comic it is established that party form Elliot is actually asexual.
    • Played with later. At a party, two girls are quite clearly doing this, but a later strip shows them making out much more comfortably in a secluded area.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things had a game of "Gay Chicken" between Kratos and Leonidas that lasted over a year. Leonidas eventually surrendered because he needed to go home to his family.
    Coelasquid: Consensus on the debut of this game was that Spartan Gay Chicken ends in a 30 year committed relationship complete with bickering over when to open a joint bank account and where to place the ottoman.
  • Pixie Trix Comix: Tracy suggests a classic display of club lesbianism to Tess in this strip. Tess is initially bemused, especially because she rather enjoys the kiss (well, in this comic's universe, almost Everyone Is Bi), but then contemplates extending the deception to restore her relationship with her friend Maura, who's recently been heavily distracted by a new lesbian relationship.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of King of the Hill, Bill pretends to be gay to get a job at a trendy hair salon, due to their prejudices that straight men can't be good hairstylists. A prejudice that it turns out their customers share. A very attractive female customer expresses her attraction to Bill, saying that it's such a shame he's gay because she would be willing to do all kinds of nasty things with him if he wasn't. He can't resist telling her he's not actually gay, at which point she becomes disgusted that she let a straight man style her hair and outs him to the whole salon, getting him fired.
  • Family Guy:
    • In one episode, Meg pretends to be a lesbian so that she can be part of her school's Lesbian Alliance Club and finally have friends. Lois, who's bisexual herself, tries to discourage Meg after learning of her farce. She's outed when she can't go through with actually having sex with another girl. The following conversation seems to imply that at least some of the other club members aren't really gay either.
      Girl: I don't get it. Why would you choose to be straight?
      Meg: But being gay isn't a choice.
      Girl: Well, no, not for guys...
    • Stewie and Brian pretend to be gay in a later episode, a failed attempt to be discharged from the army. Well, Brian was pretending, at least. Stewie was clearly enjoying it a little too much to qualify. That was far from the only time in the show that Stewie hatched a plan that involved making out with Brian.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Moe partners with Smithers to turn Moe's into a gay bar. Moe's new patrons assume he's gay and he doesn't set them straight for fear of losing them as customers. Moe even starts to become the mask because of all the acceptance and adoration of said patrons, but all is back to normal by the end of the episode.
    Moe: [after kissing Smithers] Like frisbee golf, I'm glad I tried it once.
  • An episode of Moral Orel revealed that Stephanie, the owner of the piercing-parlor, ran afoul of this when she was in school, as she and her friend would "practice" kissing. Stephanie's was real, her friend was this.
  • At the climax of the third episode of Clerks: The Animated Series in an extended parody of Outbreak, Dante is pleading with the bomber pilot to not nuke the town and going over how little he's done with his life, and Randall adds that Dante is gay and Dante denies it. But the pilot decides that it is important for Dante to be honest with himself, and says that he will disobey a direct order if Dante admits he's gay. The entire conversation is being broadcast on television, and Dante's parents, friends and ex-girlfriends are all listening, and the pilot for some reason also says Dante's address. Dante says he's gay and the pilot turns around.

  • Japanese comedian Razor Ramon - aka, "Hard Gay", who is actually married to a woman and is heterosexual.
    • And what a woman!
  • UK funny-man Russell Brand reportedly pretends to be gay to charm women into bed. He also makes out with Noel Fielding a lot, who is equally straight...ish.
  • "Terry rushed up to Barger, threw his arms around him and planted a sloppy wet kiss on his mouth. This is a guaranteed square-jolter, and the Angels are gleefully aware of the reaction it gets... The sight of a photographer invariably whips the Angels into a kissing frenzy, but I have never seen them do it among themselves, when there was nobody around to shock. There is an element of showbiz to it..." - Hunter S. Thompson, "Hell's Angels"
  • In the book Light My Fire, Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek say that drummer John Densmore did this to avoid being drafted.
  • Gabriel Iglesias, in his special "I'm Not Fat.. I'm Fluffy", talked about getting drunk in El Paso and ending up at a gay club. When he realized where he was and realized that guys were checking him out, he embraced it, putting his hands on his hips and going "Shoot..." in fairly camp manor. He even went so far as to call his girlfriend to say, "You better not mess up, because I have options."
  • The famous David Tennant/John Barrowman kiss although this is less "pretending to be gay" as "driving the fangirls insane."
  • Similarly, Jared Padalecki does this, both to drive the fangirls insane and to play pranks on his Supernatural costars. The blooper reels are filled with ass-slapping, kissy faces, and general silliness. The crowning jewel came in the Season 14 blooper reel when Padalecki pinned Misha Collins on the ground and full-on kissed him.
  • Jeff Foxworthy once recounted his experiences in dating a woman who had neglected to tell him that she was married, leaving him to find out when a very large, very angry husband stormed in and demanded, "What the hell do you think you're doing with her!" Not wanting to get killed, Jeff promptly turned on the Camp Gay and retorted, "I'm cuttin' her damn hair, and you're just gonna have to wait!", while tossing his head girlishly.

    Real Life 
  • It's common for people to do this with their friends, just to joke around or even freak someone out.
  • Some male pornstars become gay for pay because the pay can sometimes be as much as ten times the equivalent for a similar straight scene. Many of them moonlight as male escorts as well.
  • Gay Chicken.
  • Towards the end of her career, when she was reduced to performing in softcore erotic films, Dana Plato (of Diff'rent Strokes fame) tried to resurrect her career by coming out as a lesbian. This being back in 1998, it did not boost her career, and she ended up giving up the pretense soon afterwards when getting engaged to a man.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pretending To Be Gay, Gay Ruse


The Straight Closet

Amanda realizes her gay friend isn't gay when she notices him checking her out. He confesses he only pretends to be gay because it helps in his career as a fashion designer.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / FauxYay

Media sources: