parental advisory

Seven TV Episodes That Teach Parents How To React To Their Kids’ Coming Out

(Kurt and Burt Hummel share a moment on Glee)

National Coming Out Day isn’t till October 11 but it’s never to early for parents to prepare themselves for “the talk”—when the apple of their eye sits them down and tells them he or she is gay. Not all parents handle the news well—one friend told us his mom asked if it was because she insisted he only date Jewish girls.

Blogger Corina Writes shared her list of seven television episodes that handled the whole “coming out to the folks” with grace, humor and honesty. You should definitely check out her full list, but we’ve enhanced a few of her picks with a few of our own—some of which are more cautionary tales than blueprints.

UP FIRST: Kurt and Burt Hummel bond on Glee

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18 Comments

  • TheWeyrd1

    Shay Mitchell, who plays Emily (the Pretty Little Liar character who is lesbian) is the lovely gal on the Right in the picture. On the Left is one of the other four “liars,” Hanna, played by Ashley Benson.

  • Lefty

    I thought Ugly Betty was the best one.

  • university_dude

    I feel like you missed Dawson’s Creek in there.

  • fredo777

    Marc “silences the chattering chihuahua”…? Yikes.

    I’m still upset they cancelled Ugly Betty. I might be a rare breed, but I liked The War At Home, especially Kenny’s role. It was cheesy, but I like cheesy.

  • Chris

    Never heard of Absolutely Fabulous, but that looks like my favourite one!

  • redmont

    @Chris: Dooo it! AbFab is aahhhhhhmaaaazzinngggggggg

  • Mike in Asheville

    Dan Avery, how young must you be? Love your list, but let me add 2 more:

    Jodie Dallas (Billy Crystal in Soap, late 1977/79-ish) — Jodie was always out, but there are several fun scenes where his NLF quarterback boyfriend comes out to Jodie’s family (the Dallases and the Tates).

    Steven Carrington (Al Corely, Dynasty, 1981/82-ish) Steven comes out to his billionaire father Blake Carrington, and this is an example of a very bad reaction — Blake is disgusted.

    Oops, neither Jodie nor Steven is a teen, both in twenties. I was 20 when I came out, so perhaps its okay to include these too.

  • rf

    Ab Fab is brilliant, although by the time Serge shows up in the early 2000s they had started recycling the old jokes and it wasn’t quite as awesome as it was in the 90s. That ‘all my friends are gay. all. my. friends. are. gay” line was used before. I hear they’re making new episodes including a Christmas special. Can’t wait!

  • Adam in CA

    I second Marc getting a spin off series! Ugly Betty was a pretty brave series to have a prepubescent (at the start of the show) boy play a gay character (though I don’t think Mark Indelicato had to reach far for the characterization.) I also think the episode where Marc came out to his mother is worth mentioning because it showed just how backwards and horrible it is to not accept your children’s sexuality.

  • Bryan

    If only most people’s coming out went as good as the ones on TV. Sadly they don’t/

  • George

    Should be in this list: David’s coming out to his mother in Six Feet Under.

  • Gii

    I think that parents should pre-empt the potential coming out.

    When I was 15, my mother told me that it was okay if I was gay, and that she would still love me.

    I think it would take a weight off a child, or adult for that matter, to already know this beforehand. But then having not gone through that I guess I could be wrong.

    All I know is, if I have children, I plan to tell them the same thing my mother told me.

  • Chuck

    @Gii: I agree. It would be so easy for parents to take away all that stress.

    AbFab RULES!!!

  • Riker

    There was a nice scene in the US pilot of “Shameless” where Ian comes out to his brother…I think Queerty even covered it at the time.

  • JJ Keyes

    Great piece, Dan. Thank you for this!

  • Interesting

    My situation was kind of like Tara– told my mother while she was discussing which car she wanted to buy. After I blurted out “I am gay.” She kept discussing the car. I asked, and I will never forget my drama queen moment, “I don’t think you understand the ramifications of what i just said.” She responded, “I don’t care if you are gay.” That was about it for the drama over my sexual orientation. I can’t think of one bad incident with my family. Which is odd because they are all Southern Baptist.

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  • Eric Auerbach

    Yikes, that write up for Ugly Betty/Justin Suarez was just this side of racist.

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