I’ve seen a few articles published here and there about pop culture moments millennials and Gen Z-ers loved as kids that absolutely, 100% made us gay. A slow news day and a few proverbial walks down memory lane with my high school BFFs later, I figured it was time for my take.
Below, find 12 things I loved in my formative years that made me into the chaotic queer mess I am today. Is this a nostalgic piece of first-person journalism, or a shameless ode to one 22-year-old’s questionable childhood obsessions? I’ll let you decide.
The music video for “Buttons”GIPHY
I’m not saying this Pussycat Dolls music video was my sapphic awakening, but actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
The Warriors books
If you loved Erin Hunter’s Warriors book series about rival clans of feral cats, you’re definitely gay now. And also probably a cat lady. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Avatar: The Last AirbenderNickelodeon/Avatar: The Last Airbender
Nickelodeon’s Avatar gave us badass female characters (and amazing female friendships) galore. James Cameron’s Avatar could never. An aside, in case you
actually grew the fuck upstopped following the series as an adult: Korra, the titular character from The Legend of Korra spinoff series, is canonically bisexual! And ends up with Asami, another female character, in the comics! Told you so!
Arguably the OG viral video, Liam Kyle Sullivan’s “Shoes” was a gem of a YouTube comedy sketch from ’07. Years down the line, it’s still a video I turn to when I need
a bout of inspirationa good laugh: “Kelly, what are you going to do with your life?” “I’m gonna get what I want!”
Anything and everything witchyGIPHY
A fun and extremely embarrassing anecdote from my childhood: For years, my BFFs from middle school and I would traverse through the woods behind our suburban homes and pretend we were witches. An overactive imagination, too many Sabrina, the Teenage Witch reruns—call it what you want, we were capital-O Obsessed.
Also, all of those aforementioned friends ended up being queer. Coincidence? I think not.
Sam from Danny PhantomGIPHY
As a kid, I thought I wanted to be Sam Manson from Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom. (It would’ve been convenient, too, since we share a name.) In retrospect, I realize I wanted to be with a witty, offbeat goth cutie like Sam. Classic lesbian dilemma—do I want to be her, or is she my type?
Every Tegan and Sara song everGIPHY
Did your really grow up gay if you didn’t spend your nights crying about your unrequited same-sex crush and listening to The Con on your iPod Nano?
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
As an adult, I know the lyrics to “Landslide” aren’t actually about coming out, but as a teenager in the closet, you’d be hard-pressed to try and convince me otherwise. What can I say? My parents raised me on a steady diet of ’90s sitcoms, Stop & Shop rotisserie chickens, and classic rock. Stevie Nicks just gets it.
Winona Ryder as Veronica in HeathersGIPHY
I know Heathers isn’t technically gay, but I watched the dark ’80s cult classic for the first time in the ninth grade, and I haven’t been the same since. What’s your damage?
TumblrAndy Hepburn/PA Images via Getty Images
Oh, Tumblr. Let’s say a prayer for the NSFW gay haven that once was.
Bo Burnham’s “My Whole Family…”
I’ll let this early-aughts masterpiece speak for itself.