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Elements of a character changing when a work is adapted from one medium to another is an extremely common occurence. Nice Guys might turn into Jerkasses, platonic friends might become love interests, an ally might become an enemy, etc.

One of the most controversial ways of changing a character (much like a Race Lift, and for similar reasons) is to alter their sexuality. This could mean making a gay character straight, giving a love interest to someone described as asexual,[1] making a straight person gay or bisexual, or any combination or variation of the above.

Sometimes a form of Bowlderization, when the change is made to appease Moral Guardians or to avoid controversy. Compare Hide Your Lesbians. Not to be confused with Situational Sexuality.

NOTE: If a character (most importantly if s/he is based on a Real Life person) is merely speculated to have a certain sexuality and a depiction does not follow that, it does not count as this trope, even if said speculation has been generally accepted as fact through Pop Culture Osmosis.


Anime and Manga

  • In the Sailor Moon manga, Kunzite and Zoisite's sexuality was never addressed but there is a piece of artwork Naoko Takeuchi made whilst hashing out plot points that were eventually dropped that shows Zoisite and Sailor Mercury and Kunzite and Sailor Venus embracing. (Thogh the manga implied that the second duo had mutual feelings) In the first anime however Kunzite and Zoisite are Yaoi Guys (and in some dubs "Zoycite" is a woman). Then Crystal took the picture and ran away with it, stating that Kunzite and Zoicite actually were with Venus and Mercury in the Silver Millenium.
    • Also Fisheye was never into guys in the manga, again showing romantic interest in Sailor Mercury, but chased men in the anime and once more became female in the English dub.

Comic Books

Film

  • The gay, unnamed protagonist of Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (whom Holly calls by her brother's name, 'Fred') becomes the film's straight love interest Paul. Famously referenced in Seinfeld, when George's attempt to bluff through a book club meeting, having only seen the film, fails spectacularly when his girlfriend has to tell him, "George... Fred's gay."
  • In Tennessee Williams' 1955 play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brick's friend Skipper killed himself after drunkenly confessing his love, and Brick's own feelings are rather violently conflicted and ambiguous. The 1958 film strips out this aspect, which some critics have suggested leaves the central conflict of Brick's character somewhat muddled.
  • Shows up from time to time in the James Bond franchise:
    • The film version of From Russia with Love eliminates Rosa Klebb's lesbianism.
    • Pussy Galore's lesbianism is downplayed in the film version of Goldfinger, where she merely tells Bond she is "immune" to his charms.
  • The documentary The Celluloid Closet was supposed to feature a sequence detailing biopics where the subject was known to be gay or bisexual, but was nevertheless portrayed as straight. It was cut due to rights issues. Some of the films meant to be featured were:
    • The Agony and the Ectasy: Charlton Heston denied the film rights because he insisted that his portrayal of the famous sculptor Michaelangelo as straight was historically accurate.
    • Alexander the Great, starring Richard Burton
    • Hans Christian Andersen, starring Danny Kaye (the filmmakers were denied the rights to this because the studio mistakenly thought the documentary would claim that Kaye was gay, rather than Andersen)
    • Night and Day, starring Cary Grant as a straight Cole Porter.
  • The first film adaptation of the play The Children's Hour changed the story of two teachers having their lives ruined due to rumors that they are having a lesbian affair to rumors that one of them slept with the others' fiance. This is because the Hays Code outlawed even the slightest hint of homosexuality. Even the title had to be changed (to "These Three") because the stage play was so well known as a work that dealt with lesbianism.
  • The Color Purple was criticized for not including the lesbian relationships detailed in the book.
  • Similarly, Fried Green Tomatoes portrayed the realationship between Ruth and Idgie (which is quite clearly a lesbian union in the book) as just friends, with maybe a hint of Les Yay.
  • The film adaptation of David Gerrold's autobiographical novel Martian Child had the openly gay Gerrold played as straight by John Cusack, giving him Amanda Peet to flirt with.
  • In the film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Peter Gulliam is portrayed as gay instead of straight (as in the novel and miniseries).
  • In Rope (the original play) Brandon, Philip and Rupert were explicitly gay. In Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation (which was made in 1948) it was reduced to subtext between Brandon and Rupert with Brandon also referring to a past relationship with Janet implying he's possibly bisexual.
  • In the Animated Adaptation of Superman Red Son, Wonder Woman is a lesbian while she was straight in the comic.

Literature

Live Action TV

  • In the world of Blackadder, Oscar Wilde was the most heterosexual man in Britain.
  • Game of Thrones — Xaro Xhoan Daxos, a Qartheen merchant prince from A Song of Ice and Fire is gay, particularly being interested in young boys. Despite claiming to be in love with Daenerys and proposing several times to her, she can see right through him. The TV series made him straight, and a widower. Then again, Xaro could just be a very good liar.
  • Gossip Girl — Rapist Chuck Bass is a Depraved Bisexual in the books, but is a straight Casanova in the TV series.
  • Love, Sidney made waves when it was first announced, as it would be the first major television show to feature an openly gay main character. However, the show later faced criticism from the gay community because aside from some very subtle Subtext, Sidney's sexuality was never mentioned outside of the pilot.
  • Miss Marple/Poirot: Recent adaption have some of the exclusively straight cast members turn gay, for example in Three Little Pigs and A Murder Is Announced.
  • Pretty Little Liars: Emily Fields went from bisexual in the books to a lesbian in the television series.
  • Riverdale has several changes:
    • Bisexual: Toni Topaz, Fangs Fogarty, Moose Mason.
    • In one of the newer comic runs, Jughead Jones became canon Asexual, but to huge outcry was made straight in the show.
    • Psycho Lesbian: Cheryl Blossom.
  • Sherlock — Irene Adler is straight in the original Sherlock Holmes canon, but is a lesbian, or at least bisexual (but only in the sense If It's You It's OK regarding Sherlock).

Theatre

  • For the stage adaptation of High School Musical, Ryan was made gay.
  • A Very Potter Musical has the Scarf of Sexual Preference in addition to the Sorting Hat. Scarfy declares Harry to be metrosexual and Ron to be bicurious.

Web Original

Video Games

  • Fire Emblem Gaiden has the archer Leon, who referred to his best friend Valbar as his bash brother and didn't show romantic interest in anyone. In the remake Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Leon is not only homosexual but holds an Unrequited Love towards Valbar, and tells Celica that his First Love was a young male soldier from his hometown.

Western Animation

  • In the original English dub of Beast Wars, Tigatron and Airazor were straight, receiving a stasis pod's worth of Ship Tease and very nearly had a kiss. But She's a Man In Japan and the Almost Kiss was left intact.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Disney's The Reboot", the proposed Lois! spin-off has Joe and Quagmire as a gay couple.
  • The Grand Finale of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power had Adora and Catra become a lesbian couple. Spinnerella and Netossa were also revealed as such earlier.
  • In the original GoLion, Takashi Shirogane's sexuality was never explored because he died too early to tell, and his Angsty Surviving Twin Ryou had Ship Tease with Princess Amue so he almost surely was into women.. In the Americanized Voltron, his counterpart Sven falls in love with Princess Romelle and therefore is straight or at least into women. Their Expy from Voltron: Legendary Defender, Takashi "Shiro" Shirogane, is either gay or at very least gay-leaning bisexual: he had a male lover (Adam) in the past, has lots of Ship Tease with Keith, and at the end, marries his also male subordinate Curtis..
  • In Young Justice, Garfield "Gar" Logan's/Beast Boy mother Marie was a lesbian.
    • Subverted with Aqualad - the one in the series is bisexual. . . and is the second Aqualad, Khaldur'am, rather than Garth/Tempest alias the first one (who's with Tula/Aquagirl until her death, so he's straight or at least into girls)
  1. Though being asexual doesn't preclude romance, just sex, this may come into play if the relationship moves beyond cuddling to foreplay
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