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How 'My So-Called Life' Helped Me Discover My Own Queer Identity

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MY SO CALLED LIFE CLAIRE
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: MY SO-CALLED LIFE - 'Father Figures' - Season One - 9/15/94, Angela (Claire Danes, left) approached Graham for the first time as a person rather than a superhero. Wilson Cruz (Rickie) and A.J. Langer (Rayanne) also star., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) | ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images

The TV landscape for LGBTQ characters has shifted dramatically since the groundbreaking show first aired 20 years ago

When I was 8, my favorite thing to do after school would be to visit the set of My So-Called Life. My mom, who created the show, had to be there all the time, so I’d visit her on days when a babysitter could drive me or when my dad was shooting scenes as Angela’s grandfather. I’d play behind the scenery, do my homework in the unused fake school hallway, and plunder the craft service snack table. I loved reading the scripts and watching rough cuts of the episodes. A lot of what I saw went over my head, but I could totally identify with Angela’s intense crush on Jordan Catalano. I was already boy crazy, pining after classmates, camp counselors, my friend’s older brother, and the bowl-cutted hunks of Tiger Beat.

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