Whenever a character comes out on TV, it’s always a reason to celebrate. Whether it’s a grand announcement or a subtle moment, it reaffirms what it means to be gay to see it reflected back to us, even if only fictitiously. And each event is, to paraphrase Joe Biden, a big freaking deal.
Last night, the newest member joined TV’s out and proud club when adorable future-gay Justin on Ugly Betty confirmed what we all knew from the start — he is just gay-gay. The moment, played out at a family wedding, was simple and understated. It joins the pantheon among the sweeter coming outs on record. (Video under the cut.)
Justin joins Kurt on Glee and what seems to be an inevitable admission by Marshall on United States of Tara and Adrianna on 90210. (Spoiler Alert: Watch USOT Monday, you won’t be disappointed and possibly will have the sudden urge to get a hamburger with your dad.)
Justin’s scene got me thinking about my other favorite coming out moments on TV. Which, of course, led to a list. My Top 5.
5. Kurt to his dad on Glee.
A simple understated moment that reminds us that, in many cases, our parents have known for years.
4. Jessie on Once and Again.
The look on Katie’s face when Jessie tells her she wants to keep the letter forever says it all.
3. Willow telling Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
How many of us have taken that deep breathe Willow took before she admits exactly why it’s complicated to Buffy.
2. Rickie Vasquez tells Angela on My So-Called Life.
Rickie and Angela have a touching exchange followed by the best World Happiness Dance ever. Combine this moment with the Rickie is thrown out by his family Christmas episode and you have one of the most touching teenage coming out stories on television.
1. Ellen to the entire airport on Ellen.
The “Yep, I’m gay” heard around the world.
A few fellow AfterEllen.com bloggers weighted into the great coming out scene debate, too. A sampling of their favorites:
Trish Bendix: Serena on Law & Order.
Well, it is definitely the most out-of-the-blue coming outs (and firing) I can remember.
Heather Hogan: Emily on Skins.
You certainly can’t beat the dialogue. To JJ: “Yeah. I like girls. I like sex with girls. I like their rosy lips, hard nipples, soft thighs. I like t–s and fanny, you know?” To family: “Her name’s Naomi. She’s rather beautiful. So I was nailing her.”
Snoodit: Ashley versus Mama Carlin on South of Nowhere.
When Spencer’s mom discovers them together, what results is a cross between a coming out and a WWE match.
TheLinster: Callie to her father on Grey’s Anatomy.
No, you really can’t pray away the gay.
These are just a few favorites, there are plenty more like Olivia on Guiding Light, Bianca on All My Children and the entire cast of The L Word in that epic road trip. So, how did you think Justin’s coming out was handled on Ugly Betty? And what are your all-time favorite TV character coming out scene?