By May Keith
90s kids remember the movies and TV shows of our childhood fondly, but openly LGBTQ+ characters were few and far between. So let’s take a moment to celebrate and remember ten of the women that helped us queer 90s girls feel our queer feelings. Even if we didn’t quite know what we were feeling until later.
10. WOMEN OF THE MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS (1993)
All queer 90s girls loved the Power Rangers. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Maybe you loved Kimberly (Pink Ranger), or possibly the “less girly” Trina (Yellow Ranger), but you obsessed over someone. If you were me, you worshiped Rita Repulsa for reasons you didn’t understand (spoiler: it was because she was a total queer icon).
9. GABRIELLA, BRINK! (1998)
This Disney Channel Original movie gave us a glimpse into the apparently-it’s-a-thing world of competitive rollerblading. Gabriella was the resident cool girl on the ragtag team of Soul Skaters (as opposed to the corporate-sponsored-sell-out team of jerks). Gabriela was fierce, athletic and rocked overalls like only a 90s chick could.
8. NALA, THE LION KING (1994)
Even if you’re not into anthropomorphic cartoon characters, this definitely made you feel something. For most of us 90s kids, it was the earliest and most obvious instance of “do-me eyes” we’d ever seen.
7. THE ENTIRE FEMALE CAST, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997)
Willow and Tara are legitimately iconic as the two shared the first-ever lesbian kiss on network television. Cordy and Anya, Glory and Drusilla, even Kendra and Kennedy, they all gave us different things to gush over and different feelings to misinterpret. But, the real stars were Buffy and Faith. They were both strong, badass bitches who helped us realize our love for women.
6. RITA WATSON, SISTER ACT 2 (1993)
Lauryn Hill played a rebellious, misunderstood teenager in a Catholic school uniform whose singing somehow saved her high school from financial ruin...which...okay, sure. Rita won queer hearts and the All-State Choir Championship. Joyful, joyful, Rtia, we adore thee.
5. RAIN, RESIDENT EVIL (2002)
Technically we’re into the early oughts here, but 90s chicks loved Michelle Rodriguez. She played strong, fearless women in The Fast and the Furious, Girlfight and Resident Evil. Thank you for your service, Michelle. Now, please be the woman we thought you were and address/correct your recent racism.
4. ANDI CARSON, MOTOCROSS (2001)
Another Disney Channel Original, Motocrossed gave us Andi, a girl who disguised herself as a guy so she could avoid the rampant sexism in motocross racing. The bikes were cool and all, but this movie is fondly remembered as the time Disney introduced children to soft butches. Disney’s gay agenda, indeed.
3. MISS HONEY, MATILDA (1996)
All we ever wanted was for Miss Honey to take her glasses off and take care of us. Her little cottage with the wildflowers is a sapphic dream that we still yearn for. She taught us so much, like how to spell “difficulty," and that in a woman is really, really hot.
2. XENA AND GABRIELLE, XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS (1995)
Their “friendship” was genuinely the gayest thing on television at the time. A warrior princess and her trusty sidekick, Xena and Gabrielle were such amazing friends! Boy, we young children thought, I sure hope I have a friend like her someday!
1. FA MULAN, MULAN (1998)
The number one spot goes to yet another warrior-woman (with a special shout out to her super-hot bisexual lover, Li Shang!) Mulan spoke to all of us as she struggled to balance her femininity and her desire for something outside of her assigned role. She was beautiful, strong, funny and brave. Her song, “Reflections” is still a queer anthem that I sadly sang into many a rainy window as a child. Plus,“I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” freaking slaps. The live-action remake has a lot to live up to.