5 of the most memorable coming out scenes on TV

These are some of the scenes that helped get LGBTQ representation to where it is today.


Words: Robin Mills

LGBT+ characters might be becoming more and more common on television, but it's taken plenty of time and effort for the community to be properly represented on the small screen.

TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic have often tried to tackle to big dramatic coming out scene over the years - some with more success than others. Here are some of TV's most memorable coming out scenes that were handled sensibly, with dignity, and have stuck with us ever since...

Jack McPhee - Dawson’s Creek (1999)

Hard to watch but high in drama, viewers saw Jack (Kerr Smith) come out to his father in emotional scenes, ending with the sad apology: "I'm sorry, I don’t want to be going through this but I am".

He would go on to become the first character to have an on-screen gay kiss on US television in 2000.

Justin Suarez - Ugly Betty (2010)

A firm favourite with Ugly Betty viewers, Betty’s irrepressible nephew Justin (Mark Indelicato) came out to his family with enviable class and subtlety.

Callie Torres - Grey’s Anatomy (2011)

Callie (Sara Ramirez) had already been out to friends and colleagues and viewers for years when she finally came out to her sick ex-mother in law; stumbling over her words but speaking from the heart.

Todd Grimshaw - Coronation Street (2004)

In one of British soap's most-watched storylines of the noughties, Todd (Bruno Langley) finally came clean to girlfriend Sarah Platt (Tina O'Brien) about his affair with Karl Foster (Chris Finch).

Kurt Hummel - Glee (2009)

In one of the more realistic scenes in the show, Kurt (Chris Colfer) opens up to his brilliant father Burt (Mike O'Malley), and in a refreshing twist on the format immediately received the acceptance all gay kids deserve.