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The Boston Globe

Television

buzzsaw | matthew gilbert

On TV, coming out of all kinds of closets

Frances Conroy in “Six Feet Under.”

Since the late 1980s, a small army of TV characters have come out of the closet as gay or lesbian. It has been a tried-and-true story arc, as the hero or heroine with The Big Secret faces down a few demons, external and internal, before living out in the open. With the recent Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act and polls that show majority support for gay marriage, many say that watching so many gays come out on TV, along with knowing openly gay people in real life, has been essential to acceptance.

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