What Would Farrah Do? 

Gay kids have crushes too

Is it me or has it been an odd couple of weeks? Former Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett dies after a long and courageous battle with cancer. And then before I could blink, Michael Jackson dies. Bummer to the third power, people.

I spent an inordinate amount of time watching television during the first few days after the deaths of Farrah and MJ, which is not my norm. And yet, I just couldn't stop myself. I watched Michael Jackson's entire video history on VH1 Classic more than once. I watched Farrah's documentary of her fight against cancer. And my childhood memories just came flooding back.

I'm not afraid to tell you that my big sister and I spent a truckload of our childhood hours in her bedroom dancing and singing our hearts out to MJ's Off the Wall.

And, any girl who grew up in the 1970s who doesn't have some amazing memory of Charlie's Angels and by extension, Farrah Fawcett, missed something that would forever inform her existence as a woman.

Yes, I hollered, "Freeze!" and assumed my best Charlie's Angels pose in my front yard. And I flipped my head upside down beforehand to fluff my hair, too.

All of this got me thinking about my early heroes — and crushes. I was explaining this to a straight friend the other day. Most every girl (straight or gay) can tell you about a girl/woman/star she idolized as a kid, but for most straight girls in my generation, those girl crushes were brief and quickly replaced by hunky crushes like:

1. Scott Baio
2. Ralph Macchio
3. Shaun or David Cassidy
4. Patrick Swayze
5. Rob Lowe/Tom Cruise/C. Thomas Howell
6. The Estevez boys, Emilo and Charlie
7. The Coreys

And then there are the crushes and heroes of the young, gay girls of the 1970s and '80s. What determined crush status, you ask? Emotional strength, attitude, sassy comeback lines, hair (remember the time period, kids), and clothes. Or as a friend of mine more eloquently quipped, "It was always a struggle to decide who you wanted to be and who you wanted to be with." Because being 13 isn't hard enough, right?

Let's cut to the list.

Disclaimer: This list is in no way representative of the views of the entire GLBT community. It's the result of a conversation between my friends and me, but geez, it's compelling!

1. Wonder Woman
2. Daisy Duke
3. One of the Hemingway girls
4. Princess Leia
5. Blair and/or Jo from The Facts of Life
6. Mary Stuart Masterson, specifically her role in Some Kind of Wonderful
7. One of the women driving in a sports in car in Cannonball Run
8. One or all of The GoGo's
9. Jodie Foster
10. One or all of Charlie's Angels

I can't tell you what it all means, except that there is an entire generation of gay women who wanted to hang up the Farrah Fawcett red bathing suit poster in their room, but didn't or couldn't. They can, however, seriously feather their hair if the occasion calls for it.

Maybe it simply means we find the heroes/heroines that help us imagine and strive to become our best selves, hair tosses and all. Props to Farrah.


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