Transparent Closet

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"New Rule: You can't call it 'coming out of the closet' when the door was wide open."
Bill Maher on Clay Aiken

Marik: Oh what, just because a guy likes to dress effeminately, and hang around with another extremely attractive man, and read yaoi, and flaunt his gorgeous abs, and stroke a phallic symbol suggestively in every other scene, that automatically makes him gay?!
Bakura: Kinda.
Zorc: Yeah, kinda.

Teddy Bear: Yep!

Everyone knows these characters are gay except the characters themselves. Any suggestion to the characters that they are gay is met with a too-emphatic statement of their heterosexuality. If they finally come out of the closet, no one will even pretend to be surprised. Often played for laughs.

Sometimes also falls under the Open Secret category, with somebody who's basically open about their sexuality, but for whatever reason (often fear of some form of legal or employment discrimination) can't afford to confirm it directly.

This is Truth in Television often enough, but let's leave it at that.

Examples of Transparent Closet include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Haruka Suzushiro from the Mai-HiME manga, apparently feels that girls having relations with other girls is wrong. Although in her Lotus Eater Machine dream, she rules the school and all women serve her naked. Especially her rival Shizuru, who wears a leather dog collar and is made to get down on hands and knees so Haruka can use her as a nude bench (note that Yukino, her childhood friend who honestly has a crush on her, is exempt from this treatment). How does Haruka get out of the dream? She refuses to accept that she could ever be that happy.
    • In the anime version, Natsuki Kuga fits this trope, though she isn't confirmed to be gay until one of the art books. She's the perfect stereotype of a biker dyke (if perhaps a fair bit more attractive than per the stereotype), and Mai mentions that her lack of interest in any men has most of the school thinking she's gay. Natsuki's reaction to this is a mix of surprise and bluster, though she never exactly denies it.
  • Shibuya Yuuri of Kyou Kara Maou is raising a daughter with his beautiful male fiance whom he shares a bed with every night in a world where same-sex marriage is taken for granted and still insists loudly on his heterosexuality. He's not only in a transparent closet, he's in a transparent closet he carried with him from an alternate dimension.
    • Except it is an accidental engagement and Wolfram did kind of bully his way into sharing parenthood of Greta and sleeping in Yuuri's bed, and Yuuri spends a lot of the beginning of the show forgetting that they got accidentally engaged, because he figures it's an accident and doesn't mean anything, and then, because he's clueless and king of a certain river in Egypt, ignores the fact that Wolfram has fallen for him heavily for about seventy episodes. He does get dreamy over female characters on a couple of occasions, but he doesn't actually acknowledge the underlying gay situation enough to actually insist that he's straight. It's just a no-go area. It twists his brain when he does have to think about it, and he does not want his family to hear about it, but his oblivion is an art form. If you're in gay situations that mean nothing to you, and take no actual gay action, does that really get you gay points?
    • "Oh, I forgot about that." "You forgot?!" "Well, it's not a big deal. Pretend it never happened." "I can't do that! It would hurt my self-respect!" "Well, you can reject me, then. I don't care about my pride." "I can't do that either!" "Why not? Hey, Wolfram, wait! Do anything but shut yourself in the closet!" It's actually a wardrobe.
    • Yuuri's mom used to dress him up as a girl when he was little. He really hates that. She did give him a fairly broad view of OK, though, and he has so little preconception of homosexuality that even while totally blocking out the fiance issue he isn't at all uncomfortable observing that given men are beautiful. Which they are.
    • Stunning young guy in season three basically plays the Damsel in Distress card hard in order to gull Yuuri into being used in war. Works really well, if not exactly sexually, playing on Yuuri liking to be the hero, and if Wolfram were willing to do this he might actually get somewhere. But he won't, because he's proud and lacks the subtlety to be devious.
  • Setsuna of Mahou Sensei Negima is so obviously gay for Konoka that practically everyone knows it despite her frequent denials. Asuna knows it. Evangeline knows it. Friggin' Negi knows it. Naturally in Chapter 256, when Jack Rakan revealed to everyone present how Setsuna had finally shared her First Kiss with Konoka, no one reacted besides Setsuna herself.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, it's dead obvious that Kaorin has the hots for Sakaki, although she tries to play it off. It gets a massive Lampshade Hanging from Osaka in the 10th anniversary comics (see the page pic).
  • The whole premise of Miyuki-chan in Wonderland by CLAMP
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: While there are no openly lesbian characters, Rainbows are straighter than Subaru, who has a long-standing friendship with the Tsundere Teana, serving together in the Bureau for four years before opportunities for their dream positions presented themselves, and with Subaru almost constantly e-mailing Teana afterward. Subaru also enjoys fondling Teana's breasts while she's asleep, and glomps Teana when seeing her for the first time in a year and a half.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • When Wiccan of the Young Avengers came out to his parents, their response was to say that they always knew and welcome his boyfriend to the family. The problem is he was trying to reveal that he and his boyfriend were superheroes.
  • Lt. Cecil "Doubtful" Milk in Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, who takes the Ambiguous out of Ambiguously Gay. He can't seem to keep a girlfriend, is hip to the latest fashions, and despite being the sole survivor of several hot engagements the sternest word he's ever used is "ghastly". He repeatedly fakes fatal wounds, using his "last request" to goad Captain Darcy into performing romantic gestures towards him; everyone, him included, sees these as hilarious pranks and nothing more. Near the end of the first miniseries he confesses that he wants to be Darcy's bride, with the both of them later agreeing that he had gone temporarily insane from stress. When his uncle tries to specifically broach the subject, Doubtful doesn't seem to be aware that there's such a thing as being gay.
    • Also, his last name was Milk. Like... Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.
  • Played straight in Ultra: Seven Days; Cowgirl's friends often tease her about her boyfriend's obvious (and strongly denied) homosexuality, and the fact that he is clearly engaging in a homosexual affair with his sidekick. It's subverted, however, in that the fact that Cowgirl herself also turns out to be gay and in the closet completely floors them... despite the fact that Cowgirl herself is in many ways rather butch.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

Light: I'm not gay.
L: Oh, my apologies, I forgot that you're the sexual scourge of womankind. You obviously only have sex with me because you roll over in your sleep and misjudge the distance. Maybe you're sleepwalking... or maybe the term, 'sleepfucking', would be more appropriate. Maybe you're completely unaware of what you're doing.
Light: It happens.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Pretty much the entire premise of In and Out, to the point that the protagonist's buddies bring Barbra Streisand movies to his bachelor party.
  • Wally Terzinsky in The Kids in The Hall: Brain Candy. Despite his tendencies to masturbate to gay porn, dream about gay sex, and get arrested naked at gay rest stops, it takes wonder-drug Gleamonex to get him to finally realize that he's gay.
  • Lance Delune in The Ladies Man, the leader of "Victims of the Smiling Ass", who likes Greco-Roman wrestling a little too much.
  • Captain Shakespeare, in Stardust, maintains a reputation as a fearsome pirate captain, among his crew as well as the rest of the populace, whilst owning an extensive closet for crossdressing in the privacy of his cabin. When he's found out, the crew admits that they always knew, but do not particularly mind.
    • This one's an interesting semi-subversion; the crew knows, but outsiders evidently remains in the dark.
  • As Invisible to Gaydar as Jack and Ennis of Brokeback Mountain are, they can barely keep their hands off each other when they're together - Ennis' wife Alma finds out about them when she sees them kissing, outside, in broad daylight. Sure, they're in love, but this is 1960s Wyoming.
  • Jay of the View Askewniverse's infamous response to being accused of fantasizing about other men during masturbation: "Dude, not all the time!" Among many other incidents, including Silent Bob breaking his silence in one of the deleted scenes of Clerks II to accuse him of being "a deeply-repressed gay man". Word of God is that the character is actually closet bi.
    • Then there's this bit in the original Clerks:

Jay: You know, Silent Bob, you're a rude motherfucker, but you're cute as hell. I could go down on you, suckle you, line up a couple other guys and start making like a circus seal. (kneels down and starts pantomiming this) What the hell, fucking faggot? I hate guys. I love women!

  • Megan in But I'm a Cheerleader! fits this trope perfectly. She never suspected she was gay and strenuously argues the point when confronted about it, saying that she has a boyfriend she's been going out with for two years. When asked if they've had sex, she says she's a Christian. Another character responds, "It's really easy to be a prude when you're not attracted to him, isn't it?"
    • Inverted Trope in the very same film by having one of the lesbians (the Butchest one, at that) come out as straight.
  • Ray in the first two Scary Movie films.
  • Sorta paralleling the previous example, the main character of Saved lives in a heavily conservative Christian town and believes her figure skating boyfriend is straight. Once she suspects he's gay, she tries to cure him with sex and winds up pregnant, triggering the main plot of the movie.
  • "Gay-in-denial Mob tough guy" is pretty much the whole character of Corky's brother Peter in Corky Romano. Even the FBI knows -- "latent homosexual" is the core of their profile on him.
  • The officious and cruel prefect Denson in Lindsay Anderson's if..... "All this homosexual flirtatiousness -- so adolescent", while he looks longingly at blond junior boy Bobby Philips.
  • Corky St. Clair in Waiting for Guffman.
  • Marc Hall in the Canadian film Prom Queen comes out to his parents when he needs to ask their help to convince the school to let him bring his boyfriend to prom. Their response: yes, I know.

"Marc, your hair? It's blue. And you have a poster of Celine Dion on your wall."


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Mary Renault's The Charioteer, Andrew Raynes is gay and in love with his male best friend. This is obvious to the friend, who's also gay, and to an older guy, gay as well, who acts as a father figure to Andrew. Andrew, however, has no idea, though sometimes he wonders: "This doesn't seem very -- very sensible. Other people aren't like this...It makes me feel, in a way, jealous, without knowing what of...Things happen that one can't completely...the feeling of being different..." He does eventually realise, and writes in a letter, "Often before when I have been fond of people I have got somehow caught up in it all round; but I am such an average person, it must be quite common I thought." Given that Andrew is nineteen, that this is England in 1940, that his rigid religious beliefs declare homosexual sex wrong and that his only previous contact with homosexuality has been seeing a boy at his school who "used to bully the little boys, and terrify them into doing what he wanted" get expelled, it's not so surprising that he hasn't got things figured out.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the first season of The L Word, Dana and her friends all know that she's gay, but she keeps up a Transparent Closet Masquerade in front of everyone else, dragging a Beard with her to all of her social functions, and so forth.
  • Tobias in Arrested Development, who has a habit of accidentally making every second or third sentence he says a homosexual innuendo.
    • To be fair, he's at least twice shown signs of being sexually attracted to Lindsay. I'm willing to call him bi leaning gay.
      • The irony of course being Lindsay's actress is gay, while Tobais's actor is not.
    • There's also Barry Zuckercorn, whose frequent homophobic remarks are contrasted with his penchant for hanging out at rest stops and taste for Transvestite hookers.

Barry: Last time they were balls. I really wish they were balls.

  • This is the entire premise behind Jonathan in Help Me Help You.
    • ...and Josh in Veronicas Closet. (No pun intended. Honestly.)
    • ... and Gil in Frasier. There was one episode where he was talking about him and his wife wanting to lose weight in the New Year, so he'd baked "motivational" muscular gingerbread men. The problem was he couldn't stop eating them...

Gil: This is my last little man, I promise. Oh, Gil, who are you kidding?
Frasier: No-one, Gil.

  • Stephen Colbert's right-wing persona, in a perfect satire, indicates regularly that he's attracted to men while vigorously denying it, and the character's cartoon features a hero modeled after himself who regularly hops into bed with women, all of whom say "You've obviously had hundreds of girlfriends" and just about all of whom turn out to actually be man-eating monsters. In one episode, they show a diagram of his brain; one section is labeled "repressed homosexual urges".
  • Six Feet Under had Father Jack (not to be confused with the Father Ted character of the same name), who initially was portrayed as a slightly effeminate, fairly liberal, gay-friendly priest. Audience members could be forgiven for expecting him to be outed at some point in the series, but when David suggested Jack might be gay (as he had assumed), he denied it. Still, comments he made in one of his later appearances suggested that perhaps the closet had been transparent all along, and that he had since vacated it.
    • Maybe??? He was caught renting gay porn...
  • Rajesh Koothrappali of "The Big Bang Theory"
  • Devon Banks, Jack's corporate rival on Thirty Rock, claims to have been "cured" of his homosexuality, but still seems aroused by pretty much anything with a penis. His closet involves getting engaged to the CEO's daughter, by all appearances mentally retarded.
    • Played with, in that he is not closeted because of any of the usual reasons, but rather, is faking his heterosexuality in order to inherit the company through said engagement. He has also admitted that he is gay to Jack, because he knows well enough that Jack can't do anything about it.
  • Done for a dramatic reveal in the pilot of Kings. Crown Prince Jack Benjamin tries to hide behind the facade of a party-hard, womanizing career officer, but when he confronts his father about not being appreciated for his military efforts, Silas rips into Jack about his secret, revealing that he's known for a long time. Jack's reaction makes it clear that he's been terrified of the king finding out for a long while.

Jack: Is it my reputation, the 'party prince,' is that it? None of that matters - dad, it's not who I am--
Silas: Oh, if only it was. What would I give for a playboy who couldn't keep it in his pants, who runs through women? But what I have is a son who shows no interest in them. Oh, you thought I didn't know? I've been keeping pictures of our family out of the free press for years. What you do at night with your boys, after your show of skirt-chasing, is a disgrace.

  • Andrew Wells in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Never actually confirmed, however heavily, heavily implied that not only is Andrew gay, he's in love with Warren.
    • Issue 3 of Season 8 has him saying he's bored since all the Slayers (remember, all female and all very fit) want to do is play strip poker. Combine that with some of his actions in his appearances in Season 5 of Angel and a flashback of him and Jonathan sharing a bed in Mexico in Season 7 and it's safe to say he's gay.
    • Reality Subtext: The actor, Tom Lenk, is openly gay.
    • At first Willow and Tara are this to the viewers, as tons of implications are dished out long before they outright say anything. The rest of the cast who don't interact with the two of them together much are far more surprised to find out.
  • Jen has a date like this in The IT Crowd episode "Work Outing".
  • Also in Black Books where Fran has a date with a man who was in the navy before he became an antiques dealer, phones his mother five times a day, enjoys Shirley Bassey and thinks the linking factor between Elton John, Ian McKellen and Jean-Paul Gautier is that 'they're all fabulous!'. Writer Graham Linehan seems to enjoy this trope.
  • Salvatore Romano on Mad Men is an interesting case. The character throws out just about every 'gay' marker imaginable, and is easily recognized as such by the audience, but because the show is set in the early 1960s, almost none of his straight colleagues recognize this. His facade is so effective that he's been married for at least two years and his wife barely noticed anything; the only one of his colleagues who is aware of Sal's sexuality is Don Draper, who only knows because he saw Sal half-naked with a bellhop while escaping a fire at a Baltimore hotel. Don keeps the secret; he's not the judging type, and has a secret of his own anyway.
  • Tom and Crow on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Debatable though. In ten years, Crow is the one who tends to act rather camp, particularly in the Comedy Central era, and is the Bot on record as having had an erotic dream about Tom and the one who went all giggly at the thought of touching Robert Redford. In contrast, Tom... is curvy and has a good singing voice. As with everything in Mystery Science Theater 3000 continuity, though, Rule of Funny in in full effect.
    • Played with in one of the Joel-era episodes. Tom and Crow are discussing how various celebrities "were one", and Joel wondered what they were talking about. Crow tried to work up the courage to tell Joel, but fainted. Tom finally came out and admitted it:

Tom: "Joel, Crow and I ... are robots. There, I said it."
Joel: "Oh. Well, I knew that."
Tom: "What? How?!"
Joel: [smirking to the camera] "It's more than a little obvious."

  • Kurt Hummel on Glee, at the beginning of the show.
  • Robin in The Smoking Room, to a tragic (well, tragicomic) extent: by the time everyone finally tells him that they already know and they don't care, the object of his obsessive crush, Ben-from-the-mailroom, has already come out, dumped his fiancee, and started dating another guy.
  • Kenny in The War at Home. He has a crush on his straight friend Larry, the joke being that everybody recognises his blatantly gay characteristics apart from Larry himself.
  • Helen in Drop the Dead Donkey has a Coming Out Story where she tells her mother she's a lesbian. Her mother already knew. "Rock Hudson, now, that was a shock."
  • In Torchwood: Miracle Day, the steward on a flight being taken by the main characters is repeatedly assumed to be gay, despite his protests. Eventually, he is worn down enough to admit "it was only one time."
  • Wyckyd Sceptre, a fictional band in Mr. Show. They completely fail to comprehend the fact that they are gay, despite being confronted with video of themselves having gay sex.
  • Brad Bottig, Sue's off-again, on-again boyfriend on The Middle. Brad and Sue seem to be the only two people unaware that Brad is gay.
  • Beverley Leslie from Will and Grace.


Music[edit | hide]

  • "Gay Boyfriend" by Garfunkel and Oates is about dating one. [1]


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Rod in Avenue Q.
  • Glinda from Wicked is a more hard to notice version, especially since she "loved" a man. It was more so her thinking she loved him then a true cover-up. Interesting she doesn't have such "feelings" for Fiyero in the books however she is married to a man she doesn't love (obviously).
    • So...translucent closet?
    • Um...I'm pretty sure that if she is hard to notice and YMMV on whether or not she loved Elphaba romantically, as it was never actually confirmed, that makes the closet anything but transparent.
      • Actually it has been confirmed...Repeatedly, by both the original actors, actresses, and the books author that she was in love with Elphaba.
      • To quote: "[Glinda] could recall far more clearly how she and Elphie had shared a bed on the road to the Emerald City. How brave that had made her feel, and how vulnerable too." Clearly, not transparent at all.
  • Roy Cohn in Angels in America does this right to the face of the doctor who diagnoses him with AIDS.

Roy: I don't want you to be impressed. I want you to understand. This is not sophistry. And this is not hypocrisy. This is reality. I have sex with men. But unlike nearly every other man of whom this is true, I bring the guy I'm screwing to the White House and President Reagan smiles at us and shakes his hand. Because what I am is defined entirely by who I am. Roy Cohn is not a homosexual. Roy Cohn is a heterosexual man, Henry, who fucks around with guys.

  • The leader of the missionaries in The Book of Mormon is this played for laughs, claiming that he managed to take his gayness and "Turn it Off." He obviously didn't.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Thomas MacLaine of Deadly Premonition is an unsubtly effeminate Shrinking Violet of a man. Of course, that's not so much the surprise as to who he happens to be involved with. That and the fact that he's not only a homosexual, but a transvestite.
  • IF in Hyperdimension Neptunia such a horrible person at hiding her obviously preference for women (especially Vert, who doesn't bother hiding it from anyone) that the entire cast tends to troll her about it when she goes into denial mode. Then again, given it's an all girl cast and lesbianism is pretty common in the series in general, she fits this trope because she's the only one whose attempts at hiding her sexuality are so bad it would be less embarrassing to be open about it.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Inverted Trope in Fans!, where Shanna pretends to be a lesbian from high school until well after college, so badly that when it's over, Will and Jackie haven't even noticed.
  • Nanase in El Goonish Shive, until the Opposite Gender Clone of her former boyfriend shows up.
    • Not really, the only one who ever guessed it was the also gay Justin. The only reason that everyone knew was that because Susan messed up and told everyone about it. However it is implied that this trope will come into play soon, as she recently had a very obvious and very public argument with her girlfriend.
      • Sarah finds out while she and Grace are hiding behind the couch at the birthday party, intending to surprise Susan and Nanase. Grace was unsurprised, saying that she thought it was obvious that Nanase and Ellen had feelings for each other. Also, Susan had started to pick up on these feelings before Nanase had, working it out when Nanase mentions Ellen's V5 pheromones which Ellen didn't have anymore. A recent comic reveals that she'd suspected her of being gay since sophomore year.
  • The Spider Cliff Mysteries: Barlow's matrimonial plants in The Third Vault. Or maybe not.
  • Ethan in Shortpacked! A bit strange, since his personal revelation comes the day after apparently great sex with a hot woman.
    • Ethan was Invisible to Gaydar. Faz, on the other hand, is implied to pursue Amber with all of his might solely to be able to consider himself not gay (after an encounter with Ninja Rick).
    • Ethan's an interesting example, because while Amber kept telling Robin that Ethan was gay, neither of them actually knew that at all. Amber made it up to get Robin to give up on Ethan, and when Robin tells Ethan that he's supposed to be gay, that's when the epiphany hits him. Given that Ethan's a Invisible to Gaydar, this is more of an Accidental Truth on Amber's part than a Transparent Closet.
  • Sara from Penny and Aggie does not realize she is gay and aggressively accuses nearly everyone else around her of being a closeted homosexual (despite having fantasies about Lindsay Lohan) until she kisses Marshall and discovers/admits to herself that she is gay.
  • Most of the cast of Misfile believe Emily is living in one of these, partly because Emily makes sure to constantly remind them that she isn't gay.
    • It should be noted that the "girl" she's attracted to is psychologically male, so the situation is... unique.
      • Due to this, debate rages on and off of the Misfile forums on whether Emily qualifies as straight, gay, bi, or just Ash-sexual.
      • Most of the cast is incorrect. The only two who seem to have even considered otherwise are Missi and Emily herself. For people to believe Ash as the lesbian is much more viable, unfortunately, the only person to realize that completely on her own is the niece of the devil.
  • Angela explains in Punch an Pie how she came out as bi to her friends: "They knew before I did. There's nothing like a loud chorus of 'Christ, FINALLY' to take the wind out of your sails."
  • Keti from Footloose since An was revealed to be female, who still loudly denies having any feelings for her, despite the Luminescent Blush whenever they're in the same room, even as she's dragged her friends into tailing her on a cross-country foot trip into a pirate lair.
  • Matt, from Concession.
    • "You've been in denial. Everyone else has figured this out and grown to accept it. Everybody but you."
  • Marluxia from Ansem Retort. Everyone in the series has figured out that he's gay, and when he finally announces it, the only reaction is being told that this is less interesting than Seinfeld re-runs.
  • Colin of the Friendly Hostility/Other Peoples Business universe. As Fox points out:

"Sorry, but it's like that "pope is secretly Catholic" shocker"

  • These exact words are used in reference to Sweden from Scandinavia and The World.
  • This strip of Something*Positive: "The nicest closets have glass doors."
    • Inverted early on with Monette, although it didn't last forever.
  • Mecha Maid in Spinnerette's attraction to the title character is incredibly evident to everyone else but Spinnerette herself. When she finally gets the nerve to ask Mecha Maid whether or not she's attracted to her, Mecha Maid chooses to lie and tells her that their relationship is strictly friends.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Garrison, in earlier episodes of South Park. Since then, Garrison's touched every single point of the GLBT spectrum...first being a man in denial, then a Camp Gay, transgendered man-to-woman, Camp Lesbian, transgendered woman-to-man, and back to Camp Gay (or possibly still attracted to women) again.
  • Xandir from Drawn Together, until he comes out in the third episode. Later on in the series, Xavdir opts to informs his parents about being gay, fearing the worse. However, his fears are put aside when his parents simply says... "Well, duh".
  • Xander Crews from Frisky Dingo. The huge gay porn collection and the posters of male celebrities all over his house are kind of a give-away, but he still insists that he's straight. To be fair, he does seem to like women, but a repressed attraction to men is pretty obvious, too; among other things, he pretty quickly turned to doing gay porn after losing his fortune.
  • Gus the android in Tripping the Rift is at his most Camp Gay when insisting he's not gay.
  • Waylon Smithers from The Simpsons. Mr. Burns is probably the only one who's actually fooled.
    • Most of the time.
    • Patty was one as well, to Homer anyway. Marge however was surprised to find out.

Homer: Hey Marge, here's another bombshell. I like beer. (walks off laughing)

  • Riley Freeman plays with this on The Boondocks. Everyone but Riley knows Gangstalicious is gay. Riley concludes that Gangstalicious can't be gay because he likes Gangstalicious's music and he's not gay. Gangstalicious's new fashion line convinces Granddad that Riley is gay. Huey takes advantage of Granddad's suspicions to get his own room and then, at the end of the episode, Riley, who is EIGHT, tearfully confesses his homosexuality to Granddad.
    • It should be noted though, Riley only thought he was gay just because he was a fan of Gangstalicious.
  • The Larry 3000 on Time Squad, starting on the episode "Blackbeard, Warm Heart" and getting more and more transparent until it reached its peak in "Ex Marks the Spot."
  • Shore Leave and Sky Pilot from the O.S.I. were this when they briefly appeared during the season three finale, having apparently transformed into born-again Christians who'd banished their "demons" through prayer and faith. As it turned out they were faking it and it was all part of an elaborate Xanatos Gambit on the part of Hunter Gathers to get Brock enlisted in the fight against un-unionized supervillains.

Other[edit | hide]

Marik: I'm not gay! [Bakura laughs] What? What's so funny?
Bakura: Come on, Marik, we all know!
Marik: Know what?
Rex: Uh, heheh, yeah, we know.
Weevil: Heheh, yeah, we know.
Pegasus: I definitely know!
Marik: Know what? What the hell does everybody know?
Bakura: Marik, I believe it's time you came out of the closet.
Marik: Oh, what, just because a guy likes to dress effeminately and hang around with another extremely attractive man and read yaoi and flaunt his gorgeous abs and stroke a phallic symbol suggestively in every other scene, that automatically makes him gay?!
Bakura: ...Kinda.

Light: Raye Penber, I couldn't help but notice.... * sniff* your hair smells like strawberries.

Light: *looking at porn* Oh, that girl's got a pretty ... face ... OH, check out that hot guy in the backgroun-uh, I mean, check out those classifed files in the background ...
Ryuk: Gay.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The slang term in the gay community for people who are obviously gay but still claim to be straight is "Fire Hazard", as in flaming gay, but still in the closet.
  • It's gotten to the point where "Homophobe" is now practically a synonym for "Closet Gay". No actual heterosexual man spends as much time thinking about gay sex as much as they yell about it. Hell, most gay people don't think about gay sex as much as they do! There is, incidentally, some scientific evidence in support of this.
  • Rather tragically the case with Oscar Wilde. Bosie put immense pressure on Wilde to sue Bosie's father for libel, since Bosie and his father were locked in an eternal Battle Royale over just about everything, and Bosie used Oscar's anger at the card as a weapon against the old man. Not only did his cunning plan backfire, it took out one of the world's great playwrights as collateral damage.
  • Liberace, to the point where he successfully sued for libel when the British Daily Mirror newspaper hinted that he was[1] Fred Armisen's impersonation of Liberace on Saturday Night Live (on those Vincent Price Holiday Special parodies) plays around with this a lot.
  • Clay Aiken (who, however, did come out after fathering a child, saying that he didn't want to raise a child with a lie). It's worth mentioning that very few people were surprised.
  • Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Roy Ashburn, and numerous other conservative closet cases. Hell, up until the Barney Frank scandal, a lot of liberal politicians did this too.
    • Also David Brock (now trying to make amends for his past sins with Media Matters).
    • Foley's closet was even more transparent than the others. That was public knowledge! It wasn't his gayness that was the problem, it was that he sexually harassed under-aged boys.
    • To the north, there's (now retired) federal Conservative MP John Baird. Interestingly enough, he was outed not because of a scandal but because a conservative commentator was asked to name an openly gay Conservative MP and picked Baird despite the fact that he was (technically) still in the closet.
  • Andrew Shirvell, who stalked and tried to sabotage the career of Chris Armstrong, a gay student much younger than him. Shirvell was fired from his job and has been interviewed many times but has not admitted to being gay yet. But you only have to watch an interview with him to know it.
    • In Germany, after a coalition row in the city of Hamburg, then senator (more like a state secretary) Roland Schill shocked the city with "outing" then mayor Ole van Beust at a press conference. Only that everybody had known for years and in the mostly liberal city nobody gave a damn. Which more or less ended Schill's career (along with some misdemeanors).
  • Somewhat inverted by Neil Patrick Harris, who has been openly gay for years, but regularly plays misogynistic womanizers (Barney in How I Met Your Mother and himself in the Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle films).
    • It's interesting to note that in those films, he's not credited "As Himself" but rather "as Neil Patrick Harris" to point out that this is not how he is in real life, but rather a composite character who happens to bear his name. Also worth noting is that he wasn't out when the first movie was filmed; the humor in his portrayal was because he was more famous at the time for playing Doogie Howser.
    • The final H&K film features both him and his real-life husband, and explains that he's just playing gay to pick up women.
    • Same goes for Dan Butler, a proud gay man in real life who plays the over-the-top heterosexual macho "Bulldog" Briscoe in Frasier.
  • Rob Halford, until his coming out in 1998. He wore leather outfits you could only find in a special shop in London. The closet apparently wasn't transparent enough though since there have been tales of guys in the 70's asking where he got his outfits and still not figuring it out even after visiting said shops.
  • Yoshiki Hayashi of X Japan, if bisexuality counts, when he announced his relationships with hide and Toshi in a 2010 interview.
    • In solo music to be released in 2011 (the lyrics of one were leaked as was the title of another), it looks quite like Toshi has similar feelings, Bi the Way. Let the Shipping begin!
  • David Hyde Pierce (Niles on Frasier): "My life is an open book, I just don't choose to read it to you." He came out in 2007 during his Tony acceptance speech in which he thanked his longtime partner, Brian Hargrove (who was one of the writers for the FOX sitcom Titus).
  • When Jim J. Bullock announced he was gay, the whole country said "Yeah, and...?"
    • As one comedian drolly remarked, "Yeah...thanks for connecting the dots on that for us, Jim..."
  • When Rosie O'Donnell came out, the press treated it as a big story, even though no one was actually surprised.
  • Wanda Sykes before she came out.
  • Ernst Röhm, leader of the SA. There's a joke:

Hitler was furious when he found out that Röhm was gay! How furious will he be when he learns that Göring is fat and Goebbels is small?

  • Elton John is a semi-example; he claimed for years that he was bisexual and in the late 1980s (briefly) was married to a woman, before admitting he was homosexual.
  • Comedians Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly were all about this trope, in spite of (or perhaps because of) their Camp Gay stage personae. Reilly didn't officially come out until the final years of his life, and Lynde never did, but their sexuality was never really in doubt except to the most clueless. A woman at a party once asked Lynde why he hadn't settled down with a nice girl. His reply (after a long, incredulous Beat): "Have you been living in a cave?!!"
    • In a similar vein, long-time openly gay British actor Rupert Everett was discussing a male ancestor with a fairly upper class woman on Who Do You Think You Are? and it was only after a long conversation in which he repeatedly described the man as "delicious" and "devilish" complete with flouncy hand movements that she asked, in an affronted upper-class manner "Do you bat for the other side?!" [[[Beat]]] "Why yes, I should think I do."
  • Singer Johnny Mathis has been reticent about discussing his sexuality throughout his career. In an early-'80s magazine interview, he stated that "Homosexuality is a way of life that I've grown accustomed to." After Mathis began receiving death threats in response to the article, he made a policy of not broaching the subject again publicly.
  • Noel Coward never explicitly admitted to being gay, because "There are still a few old ladies in Worthing who don't know."
  • The late, great Freddie Mercury of the band Queen certainly counts, albeit as a strange example. Extremely flamboyant on stage and in his music videos ('Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'I Want To Break Free' spring immediately to mind), and describing himself as both gay and bisexual in private, the actual truth seemed to fly over the heads of his adoring audiences until shortly after his death from AIDS (back when it was considered a "gay disease") in 1991. Even then, despite 20 years of controversy and privacy, no one seemed particularly surprised.
    • As my coworker put it, the band's name was Queen.
  • Ricky Martin came out after about two decades of speculation. The guy's sexuality was speculated about since his last Menudo days. Before his Anglo debut, there were rumors of gay orgies surrounding him; when he dated and actually became engaged to a famous actress, the girl was immediately labeled as The Beard by many gossip columnists. Some would say a decade too late as his music isn't too popular in the mainstream anymore, though he's also said that was precisely why he didn't want to do it then since it might ruin his career.
  • How many people were actually surprised when Lance Bass came out of the closet?
  • Sean Hayes, best known for playing Jack on Will & Grace, finally came out after dodging the question for over ten years.
  • Darren Hayes of Savage Garden, who came out and married Richard Cullen in 2006.
  • When REM frontman Michael Stipe came out of the closet, the general consensus was "when was he ever in?" While he didn't talk about it prior to his coming out, he didn't exactly keep it a secret.
  • Derren Brown, a famous British hypnotist and mentalist, was a little disappointed at the general lack of surprise at him coming in the Brtish newspaper The Independent. Many people agreed that his style of dress and general behavior at the very least hinted at this. Since then, Derren has refrained from talking about his personal life on TV, except for a rare comment, such as enjoying the look of David Tennant in a "tight-fitting wet suit" on one of his shows.
  • Figure skater Johnny Weir has just come out of the closet in his new book "Welcome to My World". Not fooling anyone Johnny. Of course, Weir counters that he was never in the closet, he just felt no need to publicly declare his homosexuality.
  • Mexican actor and singer José Christian Chávez Garza from RBD (Mexican rip-off from Rebelde Way) was in a transparent closet (as every male member of RBD) until his outing.
  • John Waters has never directly "come out" as he thinks having to announce one's sexuality seems "square." As for his parents, he says they never asked because they were worried the answer would turn out to be something worse.
  • People magazine made a big fuss when Jim Parsons "officially" came out in a recent interview and the general reaction was something along the lines of "no shit, why are you pretending this is news?" Like Johnny Weir, Jim was never actually in the closet, he simply never publicly discussed it before.
  1. English libel laws of the time were remarkably different from modern American laws. In the USA the burden of proof is upon the plaintiff, who has to show not just that the defendant lied but also that it did so deliberately and with malice -- "absence of malice" is a valid defense. Not so in England, where "absence of malice" only applies to opinions, not facts that turn out to be untrue or simply unproven. The burden of proof is also more evenly placed -- the test is whether the story could affect how a reasonable man sees the complainant. In Liberace's case there was a clear presence of malice in the opinion parts of the review (the article was scathing) and there was no question that a reasonable man would see the complainant differently after reading it. In the absence of any actual evidence that Liberace was gay, that was more than enough.