National Coming Out Day: Daytime Soaps Best Out Of The Closet Scenes

On October 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGĂ“) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O'Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.

To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly.

In 1983 ALL MY CHILDREN's Lynn Carson became the first openly gay character in daytime soap opera history.

On August 18 & 19, 1988, AS THE WORLD TURNS character Hank Elliot became the first male on daytime soaps to officially come out. He told Iva Snyder.

Here are three of the most memorable coming out stories in daytime soap opera history.

Billy Douglas - ONE LIFE TO LIVE - June 26, 1992 (Ryan Phillippe)

Bianca Montgomery - ALL MY CHILDREN - December 22 & 27, 2000 (Eden Riegel)

Luke Snyder - AS THE WORLD TURNS - May 9, 2006 (Van Hansis)

Which coming out story was your favorite?


  1. Well I really liked Hank Elliot because he was just so "matter of fact" about it, and no one really cared one way or the other. Showing a "life goes on" moment after he came out to Oakdale was, for it's time especially, very moving.

    Bianca coming out to Erica has to be the best, though. "Look at me!" Wow. And both Susan Lucci and Eden Riegel gave powerhouse performances.

    I remember Luke coming out and I was so surprised by Lily's reaction. I was thinking it would be HOLDEN who would have had the issues, being a farm boy and all LOL.

    Really . . . how can you choose? They were all good.

  2. I like them all. But I think the most memorable for me was Bianca.

  3. I loved Luke's coming out story on ATWT. It was really well done. The scenes here with Holden and Lily are great, but my favorite scenes from that story line are probably these Luke and Lucinda scenes:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    I also really enjoyed the way "Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden" treated the subject with Lucas and Edwin. Lucas came back from New York and came out to his mother during his 5th appearance on the show. It was not a traditional coming out at all, but it was definitely a great moment:

    It happens at the end of this clip (3:33):

    It continues in the next episode:

    Edwin's coming out was more traditional. The acting was great, IMO. Edwin was very closeted. He had feelings for Lucas, but started dating a girl (Wiet, one of Lucas' best friends). When Edwin finally admitted that he had feelings for Lucas, it didn't take a lot of time before he came out to his parents. He first told his mother.

    At the end of this clip (10:48):

    His mother's reaction:

    Edwin's mother Bianca accepts him right away. Later that day she decides to tell her husband Anton. She expects his reaction will be really bad and she's right. By telling him she hopes she can spare Edwin from a hateful first reaction. The next day Edwin wants to talk to his father, but Anton wants to wait until after the party (it's Anton's 50th birthday). During the party Anton is ignoring his son. This upsets Edwin. Edwin becomes even more upset and angry when his father asks him if Rikki isn't a nice girl for him. What follows is one of the strongest statements I've seen by a gay character on TV. The acting, direction, writing, music... Everything is perfect. The scene starts at 9:30:

  4. Agree very much with woodstockdad about Hank Elliot and Mark about the Luke and Lucinda scenes. My favorite/most memorable would have to be Luke. Luke Snyder was an incredible character - it was just such a shame that during the final months of ATWT Luke basically "disappeared". The show (read: Goutman) was not true to the character of Luke at all. What a waste of time and talent (for both Hansis and Jake Silbermann) those final months were!

  5. I will also say, since Mark brought in other very worthy Coming Out stories, that Justin's coming out during the final season of "Ugly Betty" was incredible. At Hilda's wedding when he danced with his boyfriend, right after he had that touching conversation with his Aunt Betty, was so perfect.