All-American girls lesbians crushed on in the ’80s and early ’90s

When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to watch shows like Roseanne or Married with Children. The sexual connotations and “adult” topics they discussed were apparently too much for my little ears to handle (and I’m pretty sure viewing them may have helped me from going buck wild when I got to college, but we’ll save that for another story). What my parents didn’t realize was that although I wasn’t watching what they called, “smut TV,” I was still crushing on some of the girls on the “wholesome” shows, and surely you were, too.

Here are a few of my childhood TV crushes. If you were born before 1990, you might feel the same. 

Samantha Micelli (Alyssa Milano) from Who’s the Boss?alyssa-milano

Ladies, I know I am not the only one who was crushing on Sam Micelli. She was the jean jacket wearing, baseball playing daddy’s girl and everything about her screamed lesbian in training. She desired to be a successful woman when she grew up, basically starting the women in sports movement.

Sam: Dad, how can a woman make enough money to afford a great house like this?
Tony: Well, I mean, she works hard, and she’s real smart. Hey, you could do the same thing.
Sam: I can?
Tony: Sure.
Sam: Then I think I’ll be the manager of the Mets.
Tony: Good choice. Good choice. I’ll be so proud of you when you’re out there kicking dirt on umpires.

Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon) and Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel), The Facts of Lifejo-blair

There were two things I loved about Jo and Blair. One was their ability to flirt with each other while making it seem like they were actually annoyed with one another. In my mind, that was how you flirted with girls you liked when you were young. The second thing I loved was how they made up after a fight. Blair would give Jo that “if you weren’t so cute, I would smack you across the face” look, while Jo would have the, “Shoot, I fucked it up again” face and hope Blair would forgive her. I am convinced there was something romantic between them, and I only recently learned that Jane Anderson used to write for the show, further solidifying my suspicions that something truly lesbian was going on.

Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar), The Wonder Yearswinnie

What wasn’t there to love about sweet Winnie Cooper?  She was beautiful, polite, well-mannered—your classic “bring home to mom” sort of girl. I would get so annoyed because Kevin always seemed to be such a jerk and upset her somehow! I couldn’t help but think, “Winnie, just give me a chance and I will treat you right!”

Evie Ethel Garland (Maureen Flannigan), Out of this Worldevie

I realize that I might be the only person who remembers this show, so let me refresh your memory: Evie had magical powers that could stop time when she put her two index fingers together. I was enamored with the power that Evie had and her ability to alter everything around her. I would dream about us stopping time so we could hold hands and kiss without anyone else ever seeing. She could do anything and I wanted to be a part of it.

Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet), A Different Worlddenise-huxtable

Although I didn’t start watching A Different World until several years after it actually ended, it was by far one of my favorite shows, mainly because of my love for Denise Huxtable. I loved her, of course, on The Cosby Show, but once Denise reached college age, her clothes were amazing, she was incredibly intelligent and she didn’t put up with shit from anyone, especially from men. At the time, she seemed to scream feminism and I couldn’t get enough.


Follow Erin Faith Wilson on Twitter: @erinfaithwilson