The Greatest MTV "True Life" Characters of All Time

13. Joel from "I'm Coming Out"

Air date: June 27, 2002

In this GLAAD award-winning episode, 19-year-old Joel, a closeted gay man from a conservative Catholic Filipino family, struggles with coming out to his parents. At first, he comes out to his father, who welcomes his confession with a warm hug. However, his mother is not so understanding; she bluntly asks, "When did you realize you were like that? I mean, your kind.” The episode doesn't see a resolution to the tension between Joel and his mother, though it shows them taking the first steps. 

Note: Joel wrong a piece for the Advocate in 2011, chronicling his experience on the show and his life after. His story has a real happy ending.

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