From bee charmers to ballers: Actresses who helped us come out

Coming out is different for everyone, but lesbian and bi women seem to share one common experience: that funny feeling in unmentionable places when certain actresses appear on screen. So, in honor of National Coming Out Day, we decided to take a walk down mammary, er, memory lane with AfterEllen.com bloggers who revealed which actresses sent Sapphic shivers down their spines.

Editor in Chief Sarah Warn confesses that seeing Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson in Fried Green Tomatoes when she was 18 (and on a date with her boyfriend) “stunned” her.

She went home immediately and told her supportive mom she was gay. “Of course, then I took it back after convincing myself I was wrong and just hadn’t met the right guy yet, because who realizes they’re gay from watching a movie? :) A year later, I came out for real.”

Blogger Dorothy Snarker shares Sarah’s fond memories of MLP and MSM, adding that she also got “the funniest feeling” from Jennifer Connelly in Seven Minutes in Heaven. But, being an Asian dyke-in-waiting, she found a special thrill from The Karate Kid, Part II’s Tamlyn Tomita.

You don’t have to be Asian to appreciate the appeal of an ass-kicking girl.

Blog editor Trish Bendix squirmed in her seat when she watched Joyce Hyser in Just One of the Guys.

 

She and blogger Hornito also confess to a connection with Sanaa Lathan from Love & Basketball. Mm-hmm.

Hornito adds Kate Winslet, Alicia Silverstone and Jem & the Holograms rivals, the Misfits: “Yes, they were cartoons, but so what?” So what, indeed.

Jen Sabella found her heart racing at the sight of Shannyn Sossamon and “Clea Duvall!”

Grace Chu admits, “Announcing you had a thing for Angelina [Jolie] was like announcing that you like puppies.” But her love for Angelina goes beyond the fear of being stereotyped — with good reason.

Stunt Double, whose love for women in sports movies is well documented, has no words for her feelings about Parminder Nagra in Bend It Like Beckham. I think Keira Knightley can relate.

My own lesbian compass was Meryl Streep. I couldn’t take my eyes off her in The Seduction of Joe Tynan as she, well, seduced Joe Tynan, and was so taken with her in Kramer vs. Kramer that I convinced myself her character was a lesbian.

Even now that I know why, Meryl still takes my breath away. As does my other formerly indefinable crush, Jodie Foster.

Sure, loving Jodie is de rigueur for lesbians, but I’m old enough to be a founding Foster fancier.

What about you? What actresses helped you discover your gayness?

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