Coming Out Day has been celebrated every October 11 since 1988: for the occasion we have selected a few ad hoc scenes. Especially in recent years, the television series has cleared the importance of this seemingly simple gesture which, at times, can hide various pitfalls.
Conceived by psychologist Robert Eichberg, Coming Out Day has been celebrated annually on October 11 since 1988, beginning on the first anniversary of the Second National March on Washington for LGBTQ Rights. Even today, the gesture of coming out, that is to say the action of coming out in broad daylight by declaring one’s sexual orientation, is necessary and, after all, essential in the queer gaze, or in the narration of the queer point of view. In addition to giving visibility to a part of the population historically considered marginal, it also allowed their integration into the social fabric, allowing a gradual reduction of divisive barriers.
Because it’s true, certainly the different “boxes” do not describe us completely, but they can be ideas through which to know ourselves better, dismantling a predefined identity for us from others. To celebrate this gesture, we have therefore chosen to bring together some sequences taken from different television series, which deal with coming out in an equally varied way.
Coming Out Day: Scenes from a Teen Drama
We would like to start this review with one of the most recent series, which has won over Netflix users: Heartstopper. Based on the graphic novel written and designed by Alice Oseman, it is based on the teenage love between Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor). In the middle of the final season of the series, the young man will decide to go out with his mother Sarah (Olivia Colman), declaring his bisexuality. A moment of extreme simplicity and sweetness, emptied like a confidence between mother and child.
And, with the same naturalness, Skam Italia also faced a similar moment in the second season. The series, our local take on the Norwegian Skam franchise, can be bolstered by contemporary language that speaks to the young of the young, providing a wide-angle look at Gen Z. And that not only in the most suitable communication methods, but also in the choice of topics covered.
Jack McPhee at Dawnson’s Creek
The coming out of Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith) in Dawson’s Creek was of another content. While the series hasn’t aged in the best way to see it today, it did help lay the foundation for today’s teen comedy-drama. But aside from the perennial Dawson-Joey-Pacey triangle and Jen’s chronic misadventure (which the writers are particularly fierce about), the show also sees Jack among the co-stars, introduced in the second season. Brother of Andie (the latter, during a period in love with Pacey), became “the man of the house”, after the death of his older brother and the abandonment of his father.
Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith), Dawson’s Creek (left); Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), Heartstopper (right).
It is he who will have to hold the reins of the family, following the nervous breakdown of his mother and his sister. But just in a moment of extreme discouragement, the boy will not hold out by declaring his homosexuality to his father, who has retraced his steps. A scene of lost and repressed anger, in which old grudges will not give such a happy ending as in previous cases. But at least they will allow Jack to finally be free.
Is coming out an ingredient in the success of Stanger Things?
To come back to the present day, another episode to mention on the occasion of Coming Out Day is undoubtedly that of Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) in Stranger Things 3×07. Prisoners of the Russians, Robin and Steve (Joe Keery) will confess their darkest secrets: he will reveal that he is in love with her but the young girl will reveal that she cannot return the favor. “Tammy Thompson. I wanted her to look at me, but she couldn’t take her eyes off you and your stupid hair. […] And I was screaming with the pillow over my face in my bedroom,” Robin thundered. Despite the brief initial surprise, Steve then welcomed his friend’s confession, in a moment of extreme emotional closeness between the two.
Not just teen series
Although in the queer gaze, coming out is a stage almost associated with the world of adolescence, there are also examples outside of the purely adolescent genre. Among the episodes that warmed our hearts the most, on the occasion of Coming Out Day, we want to mention the 4×11 of Shameless. The series, centered on the events of the dysfunctional Gallagher family, does not go at it with velvet gloves so to speak: in short, the politically incorrect is its stylistic code. But it can offer moments of strong lyricism, thanks also to the intense (and fought) bond of the Gallavichs, that is to say Ian Gallagher and Mickey Milkovich. Both from the South Side of Chicago, they will embark on a relationship, initially secret, which will become public especially after the coming out of Mickey, who has always been forced to hide because of his homophobic and violent father.
Precisely following the ultimatum imposed by Ian, the young man will shout his homosexuality loud and clear inside the Alibi (the place where the characters of the series often meet). “Hey sorry! Can I have a moment of attention? Wanted to tell everyone here that I’m gay, f**k! Big ass! Thought you should know,” so Mickey informed everyone Despite the fight that broke out moments later, it was a big step for the Gallavichs but especially for Mickey.
Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher), in Shameless (left); Lito Rodriguez (Miguel Angel Silvestre), in Sense8 (right).
Coming Out Day, the case of Sense8
One could only conclude with her, on the occasion of Coming Out Day. . Eight individuals, different from each other by culture, religion and sexual orientation who begin to experience the same sensations, each “living” in the skin of the other: isolated on the surface, but connected in the depths. And it is one of them, Lito Rodriguez, Mexican movie star, who will have to face a terrible exit because of some of his private photos, leaked online without his consent.
Although he may deny, while safeguarding his career, Lito will choose to confirm everything, tired of years of lies, presenting his love, Hernando, to the world. And he will do so as the patron of Sao Paulo Pride, confessing for the first time in front of thousands of people: “Yes, I’m gay!”.
The colors, the music and, above all, a strong sense of union are the basis not only of the scene in question, in the 2×06 of Sense8, but the basis of the whole show created by the Wachowski sisters. Fun fact: the sequence in question was shot during Sao Paulo Pride, so not all the floats present were made ad hoc.
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