When I was a kid, I was massively in love with Clarissa from "Clarissa Explains It All." The moment Melissa Joan Hart's gorgeous teenage face penetrated the static of my TV screen, I knew I was in the throes of an all-consuming crush.
Oh my God, when she wore a Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt in one episode, I think I might have gone into extreme cardiac arrest. The Smashing Pumpkins were my favorite band and I just knew my musical connection to Melissa Joan Hart meant we were soulmates meant to live together forever.
If "Clarissa Explains It All" came out in 2016 and not in 1991, our girl Clarissa would have totally identified as queer or at least had a fierce gay best friend, over that little punk that used to climb into her bedroom on that nasty flimsy ladder. Or her best friend would have been a lesbian and would have rocked the flannel way better than that dude (whatever the hell his name was).
I love the '90s as much as the next self-identified style goth, but damn, the '90s would have been so much better if all the fabulous teens in the fabulous '90s shows identified as queer. Because, let's face it, the coolest kids are always the badass queer kids. The '90s just wasn't quite ready to let them out of that stifling little closet yet.
So here is the list of characters from my fave '90s childhood shows, that I, Zara Barrie, personally wish had been out as queer (because they were QUEER AF).
1. Alex Mack from "The Secret World Of Alex Mack"
I'm sorry, but I have a hunch our girl Alex Mack was totally queer. I mean, the girl had bonafide queer superpowers. She could melt into a puddle. Every queer kid dreams of melting into a puddle when they hear homophobic slurs from teen fuckboys. Lucky, lucky Alex Mack.
Also, that girl rocked that snapback way before my girl, Ruby Rose. Just saying.
2. Zack Morris from "Saved By The Bell"
First of all, no teenage boys that gorgeously hot are straight and that's a fact. I wrote the rulebook, bitches, don't challenge me. Plus, he was in the damn GLEE club, wasn't he?
Yes, I'm wildly stereotyping, but COME ON. We gays are musically gifted creatures, especially when it comes to '50s Doowop music. And to be honest, I think he was totally screwing A.C. Slater behind all of our backs. He never seemed that into the chicks that threw themselves at his feet. He just wanted to play music and play with his boy A.C.
Important to note -- he was the first character to have a cellphone, a massive flamboyant cellphone and we all know it's the gay kids who start those hot trends. There is a special place in hell for men with cellphones that are homophobic. WE MADE YOU, WE CAN BREAK YOU, BETCH.
3. Wednesday Addams from "The Addams Family"
Oh little Wednesday Addams, so wonderfully beautiful, so delicately angst-ridden. It would be a curse to the queer culture if she wasn't at least a little bit queer. Why was she angry all the time? Because she was repressing her sexuality, obviously. I was the same way in the throes of adolescence.
And also, those clothes. She would have totally slayed the '90s lesbian Hollywood goth scene. Do you know how many lesbian goths I see rocking the same fetish braids and black dresses? Too many to count. In fact, I might be one of those goth lesbians with the fetish braids. And it's all because of Wednesday.
Plus our girl hated basic bitches. No one hates basic bitches like a closeted crazy dyke, trust me, this one I know from personal experience.
4. Brenda Walsh from "90210"
I think that Brenda starting out so sweet and so innocent and then quickly turning into a wild rebel had to do solely with the fact that she was in the middle of a scalding hot lesbian love affair with Kelly.
Their friendship was a little, um, INTENSE if you ask me. And trust me, I know all about lesbians and their intense high school friendships. Goddamn, that show would have been so much cooler/hotter if only they actually showed what was really going on in the subtext of the script. Lesbian overtones, lesbian undertones.
5. CatDog from "CatDog"
I think Cat Dog was a very progressive metaphor for sexuality and gender, babes. You can be both a CAT person and a DOG person. In fact you can identify as both a CAT and a DOG at the same time, you know?
Everything I know about having a liberal, free-thinking mind is derived from CatDog.
6. Ashley Spinelli from "Recess"
Spinelli from "Recess" was waaay too badass to be straight, don't you think?
I don't know if she was "totally gay," but she was too chill and didn't subscribe to pressing gender roles enough to be "totally straight" either. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, because you know I'm weak for a chill tomboy.
7. Joey from "Blossom"
I certainly hope Joey from "Blossom" was queer because you know I frequent the gay leather clubs on the reg, kids. And let me tell you, all the gays have channeled a little bit of Joey into their wardrobes. I mean, the black leather jacket with the wife beater underneath? It's practically a leather gay's uniform.
And who does he think he was kidding with that "woahhh" act? That was just him trying too hard to convince us that he was a dumb straight frat boy. Sorry, honey, but with those manicured brows and all that black leather, we're not buying it, queen Joe. And of course, Blossom would totally have a gay brother. She would be the best sister in the world to come out to. I wish Blossom was my sister.
And Blossom's BFF Six, she totally would have been Joey's little fab fruit fly.
8. Kevin from "Home Alone"
I had a crush on Macaulay Culkin my whole childhood and that's because he was so pretty LIKE A GIRL. Jokes, darlings, jokes.
I had a crush on his character in "Home Alone," because he was super adorable and witty. I realize now he had total gay sass. What straight kid has the balls to say "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal" to an adult? See, us queer kids are sassy AF, we have to be to survive. That's why we're all wildly successful adults.
Plus he was awfully comfortable in those sweaters, just saying.
9. Jane Lane from "Daria"
Jane Lane was such a hot, sexy queer girl (I know she was IN HIGH SCHOOL, I'M PERVING).
All those piercings, those combat boots and skater shorts -- she was what lesbian dreams are made of. Plus you know Jane Lane and Daria never had boyfriends because they were completely obsessed with each other or at least hooking up.
Jane Lane is probably a famous queer artist in Manhattan now with a slew of young, adoring lovers. I bet she broke Daria's angry little heart.
10. Jordan from "My So-Called Life"
The tortured, soulful songwriter was, of course, queer. I think he loved Angela, but I also think he was too beautiful and too unique to only swing one way. Let a unicorn be a unicorn, babe.
11. Roger Klutz from "Doug"
The bully on "Doug" was CLEARLY a bully because he had unresolved issues with his sexuality.
Kids, take note: If a mean boy is bullying you, he's probably just suffering with an inner demon. Bestow him with nothing but empathy, my lovelies. And it does get better. The Roger Klutz in my world definitely came out later in life and now owns a really successful leather bar in the West Village.