closet cases

Dutch TV’s Out of the Closet Beats Howard Bragman To Coming Out TV Show

Howard Bragman, the Hollywood publicist who only speaks kindly of celebrity gays when they pay him, has been talking up his A&E reality show Coming Out for months. “It is a difficult series to cast and produce, but celebrities have been approaching me,” he said in November. But while we wait for his premiere, the Dutch program Uit de Kast (or Out of the Closet) is already on air, and broadcasting real-life coming out stories. Yea!

“I want to make programmes about contemporary issues and homosexuality is a major theme on the social agenda,” says the show’s host Arie Boomsma, a Dutch actor. “Friends of mine say that even in Amsterdam they no longer dare to walk hand in hand. We need programmes that make people think, programmes with a personal approach to homosexuality.”

As you’ll see from the clip above, the whole thing seems pretty tame — and I always wonder what producers tell the families is the reason they have all these cameras following them around. Certainly they don’t brief them that they’re being film for a coming out show, right?

I guess the difference between this show and Bragman’s — besides the “English-speaking people” part — will be the celebrity factor. Unless there’s a certain Dutch homosexual that wants to make a big splash?

Does anyone know if other countries have shows like this one?

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  • chpinnlr

    The show looks interesting, but does anyone really believe that his family and friends were surprised? The didn’t all appear to be deaf and blind.

  • arubano

    Just like other Dutch programs in the past like ‘Big Brother’, ‘Deal or no Deal’, ‘One vs Hundred’ or ‘the Moll’, I’m pretty sure this one will catch up too in the States.

  • jacknastion

    the host is really cute. It is kinda funny though, didn’t seem like the family would be surprised by them saying things like “he’s different then us’ and “well um…he had a girlfriend…once”

  • Steveo

    @jacknastion: Something gives me the impression they might have filmed those clips after the coming out and then rearranged the order while editing.

  • Paul

    I wish I could watch this series online with English subtitles.

  • adam

    that was either decent editing or it could be a decent show. Probably both?

  • Wolfgang

    In this instance, the guy who came out and the producers told his family and friends that the show was being filmed about his trip around the world (which he actually started after coming out). In the full episode, the father is rather shocked, his siblings have thought about the fact that he’s never had a girlfriend and his friends are super supportive with one of the guys saying that he thinks it’s awesome he’s doing it and one girl saying ‘You’re not friends with us for nothing, we like you just the way you are.’

  • Jon B

    Didn’t Logo have a coming out stories show?

  • jack

    “Bruno” was a really good film, no need to remake it.

  • scott ny'er

    @Jon B: Yep. It was called…wait for it… “coming out stories”. it was good.

    Logo also broadcasted, “in the life”, cbs gay news, a dating game show, getting married show and gay movies. But those shows are gone except for the movies every now and then. Now, it’s that effin “Buffy” and RuPaul’s Drag Race. And recently Daria repeats.

    At least Noah’s Arc and Queer as Folk was interesting, when Logo repeated those shows over and over again.

  • Eric Flatoe

    They couldn’t be more underwhelmed, they’re like “aha, can someone pass the potatoes!”

  • Mark

    You didn’t mention a fun part about this show. It is produced by the KRO (Katholieke Radio Omroep) aka the dutch Catholic broadcaster.

  • flappie

    @chpinnlr: These are all true stories. In the case of the boy in the clip, his family is told that their son is taking part in a youth tv programme about live changing experiences, that experience is supposed to be a journey around the world he’s planning to make. At the dinner table, when he reveals his true sexual identity, it comes out the programme is about something else.

    After his coming out, there is an awkward silence. But than his brother who sits next to him embraces him, but his father is still in shock, saying he’s disappointed, mother sais nothing. The camera crew returns a few weeks later: the parents are proud of their son again, and they explain their first reaction.

    In many cases parents or friends refused to take part in the show. But when they see the footage and understand the struggle of their son or daughter they choose to cooperate, if they are allowed to explain their initial reactions in front of the camera.

    The kids choose to be part in the show because they almost always come out of the closet several times a day… in their minds. They use the camera as the big stick.

    I think it is the best reality show I ever saw on television. I find all the episodes hart breaking, but always respectful, also to the parents. Every time I see it, it feels like my own coming out.

    You can see them here online:

    (unfortunately, In Dutch, with no english subs)

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