The Best (& Worst) Coming Out Scenes In Pop Culture History

Designed by Tristan Offit
There's nothing like snuggling up on the couch, turning on the TV, and briefly delving into the lives of others. Through forging strong relationships with characters over years, the best TV shows sow empathy as well as entertainment. Characters become like old friends who can teach and inspire us.
So imagine, in the year 1997, when the famous sitcom star Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian on Oprah in February, and the character she played on her comedy show Ellen came out as well. It was the first time on network TV that any main character had come out as LGBTQ. This watershed moment declared TV a space for everyone's stories to be heard.
Similarly to Ellen's televised journey toward self-acceptance, the stories featured on this list depict moments of people asserting their truths in bold, brave, raw, spontaneous, or calculated ways. Each character approaches the act of coming out differently. But in watching how these characters' coming out affects their story lines over weeks, TV viewers have a chance to empathise, learn from, and admire people unlike — or very much like — themselves.
Looking for more inspiring LGBTQ stories in film? Check out Shatterbox Anthology's newest feature, Out Again.
Just 7% of 2016's top films were directed by women. Refinery29 wants to change this by giving 12 female directors a chance to claim their power with our series, Shatterbox Anthology. Our message to Hollywood? You can't win without women. Watch new films every month on and Comcast Watchable.

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