Here are our top unconventional childhood crushes…
Way back, in the long, long ago, there was a time called the 90s, when in order to watch television we had to actually, well, watch television. There was no streaming, no torrenting, not even any DVR capability (well, save for the VCR, but historians have discovered that those actually existed solely for cutting edge 90s comedians to make jokes about programming the damn things). So prepubescent little gay kids across the world watched, and developed nascent crushes on the small screen characters we saw. Some were typical: Matthew Fox and Scott Wolf as Charlie and Bailey Salinger on Party of Five, Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano on My So Called Life, Joey Lawrence as Joey Russo on Blossom. But some of ours were a bit more outside the norm. Here, our top unconventional childhood crushes.
Robbie Sinclair from Dinosaurs
Sure, he was an anthropomorphic dinosaur in a latex suit, but something about Robbie’s slicked back spikes (like hair, you see), varsity jacket and high-top sneakers – to say nothing of his penchant for the electric guitar – just screamed “bad boy” to us. Like if Zach Morris was born in the Mesozoic era.
Patrick Duffy as Frank Lambert from Step By Step
Nothing was more quintessentially 90s than TGIF. That was ABC’s “must see” Friday night television lineup that saw the premieres of blockbuster hit shows like Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters and Step By Step. Way before the term zaddy ever entered the lexicon, something in us knew that beleaguered single dad Frank Lambert was the real deal. Step By Step was most millenial’s first intro to Duffy, who had previously starred in Dallas (which ended its run in 1985), but hey, if he could nab the attention of Suzanne Somers (who played his love interest in the show), he was good enough for us.
Bob the Guardian from ReBoot
Days spent indoors watching YTV were a common pastime of the gay 90s Canadian youth – who wanted to get yelled at for missing another pop fly breakaway on the soccer rink (we’re totally certain that parlance is correct!) anyhow? Bob the Guardian, with his short dreads, blue skin and muscle-y bod, was a welcome respite from the cold world of the t-ball pitch. The fact that he had major responsibilities (Guardian of the Mainframe) just made him seem all the more mature and aloof – things even little ten year old us knew were crush-worthy.
Gambit/Remy LeBeau from the X-Men cartoon
The X-Men‘s resident bad boy, Gambit always had a certain charm over Wolverine (too much of a bad boy – also, totally smitten with Jean Grey) and Cyclops (goody two shoes). And precision throwing those exploding cards? The man is good with his hands! Though never made, a solo film was set to star Channing Tatum as Gambit, which kind of proves our whole point. As a sidenote: Gambit was voiced by Toronto-born Chris Potter, who also starred in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and later played Michael’s love interest in Toronto-filmed Queer As Folk. The more you know!
Lani Billard as Busy Ramone in Ready or Not
Busy was brassy before we knew what brassy was. She was scrappy and tough and of course, in retrospect, it may have been more of a sisterly crush, but hey – sexuality is a spectrum!
Doug Funnie from Doug
Doug was the pre-teen with heart. Shown as being good at writing, drawing, and caring for his dog Porkchop (hey Victoria “Porkchop” Parker!), Doug reminds us of every sensitive boy we’d pine after later in life. His green sweater vest and gigantic shorts mimicked every outfit we wore throughout the 1990s and, like those real life boys, Doug was also unattainable (beyond being a cartoon and all), he was utterly devoted to Patti Mayonnaise, after all.
He-Man from He-Man
T-R-A-D-E. ‘Nuff said.
Bugs Bunny in drag
Maybe more of a fan worship than a crush – a “Yassssssss, kween!” before we knew what that was – Bugs Bunny in drag always slayed us. RuPaul told the Hollywood Reporter that Bugs Bunny was his first introduction to drag and if Ru was on board, then we say “What’s up Doc?”