Howard Bragman’s Coming Out Show Sounds Terrific. It’s Too Bad Howard Bragman Will Profit From It

Howard Bragman, the gay publicist behind Chely Wright and Meredith Baxter’s comings out, is reportedly developing a reality show with A&E that’ll have celebrities coming out. I love this idea! Too bad it’s Howard’s.

When people of any degree of celebrity come out, it makes news. Sure, hearing about Ricky (duh) or Chely (who?) might not change your life, but it’ll be a brand spanking new way of offering a positive platform for people to come out, and it’s all about the kids, isn’t it? That a reality show — and let’s not pretend this is going to be some sort of docu-drama — makes the whole process a charade worth filming isn’t too appealing, but done tastefully, I’m confident we could see an 8-episode season where some minor league baseball players, character actors, and foreign pop stars come out on the program. We always say we want more people, preferably of higher profile, to come out and this is one way to do it.

(This blog has also raised the notion of whether it’s kosher for celebs to cash in by coming out, and Bragman’s show again raises the opportunity, since it’s very possible, and perhaps likely these folks will be paid to share their coming out stories.)

But, with the working title Coming Out, the show (Update: For now it’s just a special) is the domain of Howard Bragman. The man has done much good, easing the path for B- and C-listers to acknowledge their sexuality or gender identity publicly. He’s also responsible for some wretched “publicity” endeavors, such as helping Prop 8-supporting hotelier Doug Manchester try convincing the gay and business communities he shouldn’t be hated (and boycotted), which is plainly ridiculous. But that’s Howard’s job: Spin, convince, plant, and manipulate messaging for his clients. And in the end, he takes a handsome paycheck back to his Hollywood Hills home, which is exactly what he’ll do with the fees he collects from a television show.

Putting aside any feelings of animosity toward Bragman (a game that requires Mr. Bragman to do the same, okay buddy?), the show has great potential to take coming out mainstream. That is good. Instead of waiting for a Lance Bass or a Chaz Bono to drop a bomb every few months or years, “average” celebrities and public figures will show queers teens (and adults!) real life stories about how people tell their friends, families, and co-workers about their true selves. Yes, they’ll make it dramatic, and the cameras will cut to dropped jaws, hissy fits, and parents storming out of the room, but in the end a show like this helps at least one more person come out to the world. I can get behind that.

Now just get Anderson Cooper to sign on for the series premiere.

Did Howard Bragman Do More Damage To Gay Celebrities Than Good?

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #a&e #andersoncooper stories and more


  • Jeffree

    It could be a good premise in the right hands. I’m just not real keen on those hands being Bragman’s. Too much baggage there…..

    I don’t even see the need for the focus to be on “celebrities” other than to score ratings — which is huge; yep, I know– but a show on regular everyday people coming out would still be good.

    Paging Ellen Degeneres: We need your help !

  • yeah

    That will be fun. I will watch it!

  • Jeffree

    Then we’ll have the inevitable spin-offs if the show does well:
    –“Coming out: New Jersey Style”
    –“Marry My Gay Dad”
    –“Hollywood Hills: Housewives Come Out”
    –“Leather & Lace: (Where Malibu B*rbies Fall for D*kes on Bikes”)
    –“My Third Wife Used to Be a Guy”
    –“Please Date My Newly Lesbian Mom”
    –“Crossing Over – The TransGeneration”
    –“Trading Spices”: (Cooking show to impress Mr Right)

    I’m trapped at work, so that’s all I got at the moment.
    Take my advice: Never take a job at a place with no caffeinated beverages :-}

  • Troy Boy

    Maybe Ryan Seacrest can host it. She’s a good hostess.

  • Samwise

    This is actually a pretty cute idea, though they’ll have to dig pretty deep to find enough wannabe-out gay celebrities to fill multiple seasons of it. I agree with Jeffree: Ellen would be a better host for the show. She’s nicer, funnier, more likable, she’s got name recognition out the wazoo, AND she knows way more about coming out in the public eye than Bragman, because she’s been there.

    Even as it is, though, I’d definitely watch it. Especially if Anderson Cooper were to drop by. (Yeah, right.)

  • James Davis

    “Instead of waiting for a Lance Bass or a Chaz Bono to drop a bomb every few months or years”

    Shouldn’t this read Instead of waiting for a Lance Bass or a Chaz Bono to have an “uh Duh, no shit Sherlock” moment every few months or years.


  • Layla

    Jeffree, is it wrong that I would watch all of those?

  • Jeffree

    @Layla #8 : I probably would at least check them out, too.
    It’s no secret that successful reality TV shows spin off in all kinds of directions, so we were just having fun imagining what “Coming Out Version 2.0” might look like ! But, obviously I’m biased because I helped craft the list !

    Think of more titles, if you like. It’s fun.

    I hope Bragman’s show or something like it makes it onto TV. When a member of a family comes out, things get interesting, so seeing this on TV will be a good thing. Then it can be taken to a whole ‘nother level……

  • Xtincta


Comments are closed.