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And so, he did it. On last night’s Ugly Betty, Justin Suarez came out to his mother. Without saying anything. Well, not at first: Of course they had to TALK ABOUT IT afterward!
If you’ve been watching the series for any amount of time, you’ll know Justin’s sexuality has never been a big secret. We sort of all assumed, from the beginning, that he was a gay teenager, and that his Aunt Betty and mom Hilda, and even gramps knew he wasn’t playing for their team. But it went undiscussed for so long, with just a few hints dropped along the way (his love for Beyonce, for example). Then along came the storyline involving Marc St. James, acting as Justin’s big brother in all things gay, slowly guiding him out of the closet.
But in recent episodes, as Justin came to grips with his sexuality, and his soon-to-be stepfather caught him smooching his boyfriend, we were briefly treated to Justin recoiling from what everybody thought even he knew about himself. Very quickly (in television time), he got tired of withholding his true self, and at his mother’s wedding put it all on display.
Yes, it’s television. And yes, some might call the Suarez’s level of acceptance on par with fairytales. But here we have a Mexican-American fey kid coming out to his mother in front of millions of viewers, and she’s proud of him. Props to the writers on that one, and even bigger props for ensuring none of it felt overly chintzy.