The Winx fan to gay man pipeline should be studied.
Of course, Mizz Sharpay Evans from the High School Musical trilogy is iconic, and she’s what made the movies for me. If the gay gene was real, she activated mine.
Nikki Johnson’s first scenes in Johnson Family Vacation instantly had me OBSESSED. The outfit, the hair, the attitude. She was the epitome of cool to me.
Daphne Blake in the live-action Scooby-Doo movies kicked ass in killer boots, and she was my role model because of it. It ignited something in me.
As a kid, I would sneak around and watch Desperate Housewives when I could, and I fell in love (no hetero) with Gabrielle Solis. She was completely unfiltered and hilarious, not to mention, fabulous.
Next are Sasha, Cloe, Jade, and Yasmin, aka the Bratz. The absolute GRIP these four had on me 😵💫 (both the dolls and the animated series). Every Saturday morning, I was parked in front of the TV watching the girls with the passion for fashion, and they ate every single look.
And while we’re still talking about animated series, the girlies on Winx Club low-key made me want to be called a fairy! (I kid, I kid. Only I can make that joke.)
I loved Raven Baxter in general, but her dazzling performance of “Shine” will be imprinted on my brain forever. This was her MOMENT. Raven had one shot, one chance to get to stardom, and she sure as hell gave it her ALL.
In later seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, many boys I knew grew a crush on Ashley; meanwhile, I was in love with her clothes.
I rewinded L.P.D.Z.’s closing musical number in The Proud Family Movie over and over and over. We don’t talk about it enough! C’mon choreo!!! C’mon harmonies!!! C’mon girl power!!! Personally, I think this deserved to be a Disney channel classic like some of the Phineas and Ferb songs.
Dionne Davenport from Clueless spoke to me more than Cher. She’s part of how I realized, I’m a “Disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy” as her boyfriend put it.
Olive Penderghast in Easy A was such a badass that I almost forgot about all those shirtless Penn Badgley scenes. Almost.
Though I was, like, 8 when Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen came out, I strongly identified with the teen Mary Elizabeth. We were both melodramatic and suffered from severe main-character syndrome. This is why representation is so important!!!
Jackie Burkhart from That ’70s Show was the it-girl of Point Place, and she had all her boyfriends wrapped around her finger. I was low-key jealous.
Post-makeover Andy Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada made working in a toxic work environment look so glamourous. This whole movie is gay cinematic art.
The Barden Bellas in their revolutionary, final Pitch Perfect performance awakened something in me. After this, I reached a point on the Kinsey scale from which I could never return.
If Glee wasn’t a big enough wake-up call to me, my adoration for Quinn Fabray should’ve been. The power she wielded in those halls, the grace she had, the softness of her singing voice…a queen.
This brings me to the last of the gay awakenings: Santana Lopez. She’s one of my fave TV characters of all time for many reasons, but especially because she was groundbreaking representation for bitter teen gays everywhere.
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s posts celebrating Pride 2022.
My Fake Boyfriend, a new LGBTQ rom-com from BuzzFeed Studios starring Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse, and Sarah Hyland, is out June 17 in the US — just in time for Pride! Sign up for Prime Video now so you’re ready to watch.