I got to thinking recently about all of the media that I’ve consumed throughout my life. And it’s a lot. I’m an only child who has had access to the Internet and my own computer since I was about 10 years old. So it goes without saying that I have watched A LOT of TV and movies over that time period.
It wasn’t until college that I really started seeking out queer movies and shows because up until that point I thought I was a straight cis woman (HAHAHA).
But I was thinking back to the shows and movies that I loved watching growing up, and I realized that there were definitely queer characters and movies that I loved back then, but they weren’t necessarily meant to be seen as queer. Straight people accidentally created the GAYEST characters and then are like o shit and try and backtrack (ex. mulan). Like no honey give us this one thing.
But, as queer people definitely understand, we take what we can get when it comes to representation, and oftentimes this means finding the queer people within straight media.
So I thought in this post we would take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the movies and shows that really had an impact on little queer trans me when I was under the impression that I was straight and cis (again, HAHAHA).
Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Drew Barrymore playing Dylan has got to be the gayest portrayal of what was supposed to be a straight character that I’ve ever seen.
As I watched this movie over and over (and still watch it over and over like come on this is a cinematic MASTERPIECE!) I was obviously very attracted to all of them. But even when I watched this for the first time as a 7-year-old, I knew I was drawn to Dylan’s character more than the other two.
It is undeniable that Dylan is queer. Like, there’s no question. I will not hear anyone tell me any different. And watching this obviously queer character in this mainstream movie definitely made me feel ~something~ as a kid and teen watching this. It was probably a combination of gaydar and attraction.
Whatever it was, this movie was so important to me as a baby queer and it still is as an adult. I think I still watch it (and the sequel) at least once every few months. RIP Bernie Mac.
Cheaper By the Dozen
Here, we have another movie that doesn’t seem queer on the surface. In actuality, it isn’t a queer movie at all.
BUT!!!!! We all know that Sarah Baker was queer.
These could be pictures of me at that age. I definitely had those exact outfits. What made her so important to me was that she was just like me: a tomboy who liked sports and hung out with the guys. I never soaked my sister’s boyfriend’s underwear in meat, but that could’ve been a result of not having a sister. We all need to admit that’s one of the most badass pranks in movie history.
Seeing her in this movie made me feel like I was watching myself for once.
She was just so fucking ~~~cool. Words can not explain how much I wanted her frog hat.
I think most all queer people who watched the movie could say that she was DEFINITELY queer. The hairstyle?? The way she carried herself?? The outfits??? Played softball AND lacrosse?? Come on.
And then they had to have her have a crush on Taylor Lautner in the 2nd movie but let’s just ignore that. She could be bi!!!
Also, this movie had our queer character queen Piper Perabo. Enough said.
John Tucker Must Die
While this movie only really had one instance of queerness that was obviously a gross example of queerbaiting/using queer women to lure in gross teenage boys, I fell for it. The Sophia Bush/Brittany Snow kiss in this movie was a game changer.
You know when you’re closeted/don’t know you’re queer yet and you see ~gay~ stuff and you kinda just go like “ooooooooh~~~!!!” without really understanding why? That was me watching this kiss in the movie. I was watching it at a slumber party and all the girls were swooning over the very plain looking lead guy while they all were like “omg yuck!!” at the two girls kissing.
I, meanwhile, began to feel warm all over and couldn’t understand why I suddenly had a nervous stomach ache. I couldn’t quite understand WHY I suddenly felt like throwing up and cheesing hard while I watched it, but I definitely couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen the entire time.
I ship it.
Pretty Little Liars
This was probably the first piece of media that was purposefully queer that I watched, and it definitely had an impact on me. That’s probably why I stuck with it through all the bullshit storylines (somewhat randomly making a trans person the evil villain?? Beheading Noel Kahn?? Making it ok for a teenage Aria to be in a relationship with her teacher?????).
While some of the early storylines of Emily revolved around her being closeted and her coming out, many of her romantic storylines were treated as “normal” romantic storylines. Not all queer media has to revolve around coming out stories: we have lives beyond coming out of the closet. Watching Emily have multiple different partners, normal relationship issues (besides the slightly abnormal complication of A trying to kill her/ruin her life), and ultimately be more than her sexuality was eye-opening for me as a young queer person.
With this show, I got to see a classic coming out story while also not seeing yet another disaster/horror story about coming out. She had struggles with her family accepting her, but her friends were there for her and her family came to accept her and be proud of her identity.
Sure, this show obviously isn’t the best or most representative piece of queer media out there. But this one character showed me that not all queer people have to have horrible lives that revolve around their queerness. Emily was a normal teenager with struggles in school, with swimming, with her family, and an always evolving murder mystery involving multiple fake deaths and numerous rumors!! Who doesn’t go through all that in high school amirite??
Also, we got to see Moze from Ned’s Declassified play a queer character, which I was also waiting for since the School Survival Guide dayz.
So idk how to end this post!!!
I’m sure I could name more if I really thought about it, but I’m lazy so 4 it is. These 4 were the ones that I really remember being attached to growing up. Of course, I watched Grey’s Anatomy (Callie is my bi queen), Glee was up there, I called Harry Styles’ queerness in high school, and I definitely read some gay fanfiction during my tumblr days of 2012 when I looked like this:
There y’all have it!! 4 movies/shows that impacted me a great deal as a little baby queer tran.
P.S: Only a month and a half until pride month!!