30 Most Inspiring Coming Out Moments

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Today is National Coming Out Day and in that spirit, this slideshow was created to show appreciation for a multitude of TV characters that had their own coming out moments.

These characters didn't always go through a coming out arc and sometimes they didn't even truly come out, but they did offer representation when they shared who they were either with others on their show or with the audience. 

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They are inspiring in the same ways that they are iconic, they hold the strength that every fan that feels represented by them should have as well. 

These TV characters created a space of inclusion and love, something that everyone deserves every day but especially today. 

What are some coming out moments that you found inspiring or that were important to you?

1. Cheryl Blossom - Riverdale

Cheryl Blossom - Riverdale
From the emotion to the chemistry to the lovely bisexual lighting in the diner, Cheryl coming out to Toni was a scene that none of us will forget any time soon.

2. Clarke Griffin - The 100

Clarke Griffin - The 100
Clarke didn't necessarily come out to herself, but that didn't make this moment when she made it clear that she could be interested in anyone regardless of gender any less significant. There is nothing more inspiring than getting to see a character like Clarke Griffin on screen, leading and showcasing constant resilience.

3. Rosa Diaz - Brooklyn 99

Rosa Diaz - Brooklyn 99
Rosa's continued arc where she shares her sexuality with the people around her is a reminder of her courage and it is validating in a way that not many TV shows can offer.

4. Lionel Higgins - Dear White People

Lionel Higgins - Dear White People
It was a pleasure to get to navigate Lionel's understanding of his sexuality during Dear White People, and it is an inspiration to see something that has to be so relatable.

5. Raphael Santiago - Shadowhunters

Raphael Santiago - Shadowhunters
Asexuality has almost no representation on television, so to have a character like Raphael openly express his sexuality is incredible. It is important because those that identify with him can see themselves onscreen just effortlessly making preferences clear and getting moving on. Raphael is more than just his sexuality, and yet the huge value that comes from him even saying these lines is unmatched.

6. Anissa Pierce (and Grace Choi) - Black Lightning

Anissa Pierce (and Grace Choi) - Black Lightning
Coming out again doesn't always have to be a character storyline where the person figures who they are out. Sometimes it is coming out to a larger audience, offering fans the chance to watch two women fall in love and just be. Anissa and Grace are a great example of that and it is truly an honor to get to see their journey together.

7. Elena Alvarez - One Day at a Time

Elena Alvarez - One Day at a Time
Elena's conversation with her mom was honest and emotional, it was real beyond belief. Getting to experience Elena getting to this point is a real inspiration because of the strength it transfers over to people in her position.

8. Kate Messner - Everything Sucks

Kate Messner - Everything Sucks
Kate's journey was empowering and at the same time not appreciated enough. It allowed for many people to accept themselves with the way that they experienced Kate getting to that point.

9. Alec Lightwood - Shadowhunters

Alec Lightwood - Shadowhunters
There is coming out and then there is coming out, and Alec definitely went for the second one when he went after what he wanted. That happened to be Alec, but at that moment Alec also found a way to not worry about what others thought of the fact that he is gay and wants to be free to live in that truth. This dramatic and loving moment has to be considered iconic, if only for that kiss.

10. Annalise Keating - How To Get Away With Murder

Annalise Keating - How To Get Away With Murder
Annalise has been through a lot but it was through her relationships that we got to learn more about her. We already knew that she was strong and amazing, getting that reveal that she is also pansexual was a chance to see yourself represented even more through such a legendary character.

11. Callie Torres - Grey's Anatomy

Callie Torres - Grey's Anatomy
Callie offered us some of the most memorable quotes about bisexuality, something we will never be able to thank her enough for. It was a pleasure getting to travel with her to this point, where she is nothing but confident and inspiring for us.

12. Willow Rosenberg - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Willow Rosenberg - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Willow was a hero to us all, so this is a wonderful moment to show some appreciation for this one-liner that really explains it all.

13. Audrey Jensen - Scream

Audrey Jensen - Scream
Audrey was a queer character that felt underappreciated, it never felt like her story was given enough love. But in fact, Audrey felt real in a different way, maybe because it wasn't a real coming out story. We may meet Audrey at a time when others are starting to realize that she isn't straight, but the more we dig into the character, the clearer it is that she knew. And through that we followed her relationships with her friends and her crushes, something that we were so lucky to get.

14. Darryl Whitefeather - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Darryl Whitefeather - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
He got his own song about bisexuality, Darryl wins everything always.

15. Valencia Perez - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Valencia Perez - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Again, this was a twist on a coming out story because it was the audience finding out Valencia was interested in women at a point where she knew this about herself already. It allowed us to see Valencia comfortable and happy, an example of the lovely domestic representation that we can never get enough of.

16. Sara Lance - Legends of Tomorrow

Sara Lance - Legends of Tomorrow
Do I need to say more? Sara Lance is killing it as a bi icon that shines through in every scene that she is in.

17. Eric Jackson (and Nathan Miller) - The 100

Eric Jackson (and Nathan Miller) - The 100
The audience already knew that Miller was gay, but his scenes with his boyfriend Jackson solidified their sexualities. It also provided another example of the character's natural interaction with sexuality. The 100 has crafted a world where it is safer to assume that everyone is queer than to think everyone is straight until proven otherwise.

18. Camille Engelson - Stitchers

Camille Engelson - Stitchers
That seamless piece of dialogue was an epic coming out moment if I ever saw one.

19. Nomi Marks - Sense8

Nomi Marks - Sense8
Nomi was a character none of us deserve but all of us are lucky to spend time with. She is so loving even when faced with so much darkness, it is inspiring to see her conquer like the queen that we all know she is.

20. Kat Edison - The Bold Type

Kat Edison - The Bold Type
Kat went through such a relatable journey of understanding that her attraction to people was about the people themselves, and it was so exciting to get to see her get to this point.

21. Ian Gallagher - Shameless

Ian Gallagher - Shameless
Ian coming out was so simple and yet so important for what it truly was.

22. Cole Mackenzie - Anne with an E

Cole Mackenzie - Anne with an E
There couldn't be an inspiring coming out moments slideshow without including Cole.

23. Eretria - The Shannara Chronicles

Eretria - The Shannara Chronicles
This was surprising in the very best ways, with Eretria not shying away from who she was. That definitely showcases an inspirational moment for fans that see themselves in Eretria, because she is so confident in who she is and so should everyone else.

24. Waverly Earp - Wynonna Earp

Waverly Earp - Wynonna Earp
You are lying if you say you never tried to use this line after seeing this sweet ball of light use it first. Just like Waverly's coming out, it is short and sweet and simple in all the ways that matter.

25. Alex Danvers - Supergirl

Alex Danvers - Supergirl
Alex came out a little later than the usual stories that we see on TV, that doesn't make it any less impactful or realistic. Sometimes it takes time to realize that there is a part of yourself that you have never really met yet, and in this beautiful moment, Alex allowed others to know that everything they are feeling is real and valuable.

26. Santana Lopez - Glee

Santana Lopez - Glee
This speech really speaks for itself, with Santana making room for fans to be inspired by the way that she came out with no regrets or uncertainty.

27. Cyrus Goodman - Andi Mack

Cyrus Goodman - Andi Mack
This was inspiring but it was also so important to have a character on the Disney Channel come out and say that they were gay. It is beyond rare and it is such a huge step in the right direction and we have Cyrus to thank for that.

28. Lexa - The 100

Lexa - The 100
Lexa is a character that to this day incites loyalty and love from her fans. She was completely true to herself, and this allowed her fans to feel like they had their own space to pull from her. She was strong and she allowed love into her heart, and that is the way that she deserves to be remembered.

29. Emily Fields - Pretty Little Liars

Emily Fields - Pretty Little Liars
Emily's coming out process wasn't fully her own, but through it, she became a real inspiration. She had a really rough journey that she came out of more confident and sure of herself than ever.

30. Amy Raudenfeld - Faking It

Amy Raudenfeld - Faking It
Amy's coming out was linked to her relationship to Karma, a bond that still makes us all emotional. Amy took a huge risk when she let Karma know how she felt, and even though they weren't exactly on the same page, she still became a version of herself that was happier. That is really all that matters and that is inspirational nonetheless.

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