Coming Out

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Coming Out TV Poster Image
Docu shows emotional process of coming out of the closet.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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Positive Messages

The series promotes tolerance in general and shows how supportive friends and family members can make a positive difference in young people's lives.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rachael and Nevin take steps to be honest with their friends and family members in a way that they believe is positive and beneficial for all. It's a difficult step and one that they handle with courage. Friends and family offer positive support; references are made to others who don't support them.


References to being in prison. Scenes of rough rugby plays.




Occasional salty vocab ("a--hole") is partially muted out.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Visible drinking (wine) and cigarette smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this documentary special promotes the acceptance of the LGBTQ community by underscoring the difficulty that gays and lesbians face in revealing their sexuality to others. Same-sex kissing is visible, and occasional salty vocab ("a--hole") is muted. There's some drinking (wine) and cigarette smoking. Information about support services (such as the Trevor Lifeline) for the LGBTQ community is also provided.

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What's the story?

COMING OUT follows two young adults preparing to reveal their sexuality to some important people in their lives. Cameras follow 21-year-old Rachael, a lesbian living in Sacramento, Calif., as she struggles with her decision to come out to her estranged father. Viewers also meet Nevin, a 20-year-old college athlete from Cincinnati, Ohio, as he anxiously prepares to tell his rugby team that he's gay. From coping with the fears of revealing their true selves to experiencing the pride that comes from standing up for who they are, the two show how difficult it can be to come out to the people you care about the most.

Is it any good?

The documentary takes an honest look at the range of emotions that gays and lesbians must come to terms with when deciding to come out of the closet. It also shows how difficult and frightening the actual moment they publicly reveal their sexuality can be -- and how satisfying it can be once that moment is over.

The film is voyeuristic, but it also underscores how empowering coming out can be to someone who's comfortable with his/her own sexuality but is still struggling to be who they are in public. The documentary also serves as a way of reminding viewers who may be struggling with similar issues that they're not alone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to come out of the closet. What is the significance of this act to members of the LGBTQ community? Why do you think Rachael and Nevin chose to come out on television?

  • What are some of the existing stereotypes about members of the LGBTQ community? How does the media perpetuate or diffuse these stereotypes?

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 11, 2011
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • Character strengths: Courage, Integrity
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 30, 2020

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