NBC; Dean Buscher/The CW; Disney Channel/Mitch Haaseth
Tess Pearson, This Is Us
Tess (Eris Baker) approaches her parents after Thanksgiving dinner to apologize for seeming withdrawn. “I’m sorry I’ve been so weird lately,” Tess stammers, tears swelling. “People at school have been having crushes and stuff. A lot of girls have boyfriends but I don’t want one. It’s because I think I might like girls, not boys.” Tess’s parents, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), share their classic Pearson wisdom and love after comforting Tess that no matter what, they will always love her. It’s another one of those This Is Us moments that no matter how many times you rewatch it, you always keep reaching for the Kleenex.
Patrick, Schitt’s Creek
David (Dan Levy)’s business partner and now-fiancé Patrick (Noah Reid) had an emotional coming out to his parents over lunch. “You are the only thing in the world that matters to us,” they assure him, just wanting him to be happy.
Demi Burnett, Bachelor in Paradise
Fan favorite Demi Burnett was all sass and smiles on the beach for Bachelor in Paradise, until she couldn’t hide her feelings for off-screen girlfriend Kristian Haggerty. After discussing her hesitation to label herself, Demi fully embraced Kristian when she arrived as a surprise. Demi’s honesty and bravery throughout the season was a beacon for viewers — the epitome of strength, Demi further proved why she will forever be one of the best Bachelor Nation stars. Better yet? Demi and Kristian are engaged!
Disney Channel/Mitch Haaseth
Cyrus Goodman, Andi Mack
The lovable Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) deadpans his coming out to crush Jonah Beck (Asher Angel) at his grandmother’s memorial service. “That’s gefilte fish — skip that — and I’m gay,” Cyrus says, with Jonah simply saying, “Yeah, ok cool,” as a response. Although Cyrus had previously come out in an earlier scene to friends Andi (Peyton Elzabeth Lee) and Buffy (Sofia Wylie), this moment marks the first time a Disney character ever has used the phrase “I’m gay.” The historical scene later leads to Disney Channel’s first homosexual romance between Cyrus and basketball captain TJ (Luke Mullen) in the season finale, complete with a cast singalong to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” anthem.
Denise, Master of None
The Emmy award-winning episode “Thanksgiving” told the story of beloved Denise (Lena Waithe) with her various coming out stories to family and friends surrounding the holiday. We’re truly thankful for the masterful performance by Waithe, as well as her impactful writing of the episode with show creator Aziz Ansari.
Queen bee Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) softened her crimson pout to open up to Serpent confidante, Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), in Season 2 after seeing Love, Simon in theaters. “Everyone think I’m this loveless monster but it isn’t true. I loved someone who loved me, and my mother destroyed it,” Cheryl cries, explaining her relationship with her middle school best friend that was squashed by her mother. Toni comforts Cheryl with the best possible response: “You are not loveless, you are not deviant. You are sensational.”
Nicole, Fresh Off the Boat
Sixteen year-old Nicole (Luna Blaise) visits a bar to connect with their softball team, but unbeknownst to Nicole, her mother is sitting at a table socializing. Nicole is caught off guard, but instead of lying, opts to tell her mother why she’s really there. “Maybe there’s never a right time. I’m gay,” Nicole says to applause.
October is LGBTQ+ History Month, a powerful moment of acceptance, self-reflection, and identity. And during this month, we also celebrate coming out stories.
From landmark breakthroughs like Ellen DeGeneres coming out on her sitcom Ellen to Jack (Kerr Smith) on Dawson's Creekhaving the first male-on-male kiss on network television, TV has come a long way in showcasing these powerful moments.
While we wait for 'Love, Simon' to premiere, see other TV series featuring young adults in same-sex romances.
In light of that, we're looking to some current memorable scenes of beloved characters sharing their identity, such as Tess (Eris Baker) on This Is Us, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) on Riverdale, and Bachelor in Paradise reality star Demi Burnett. Click through the gallery above!