Signs You Were A Lesbian Teen In The Early 2000s

What a time to be alive!

I came to terms with the fact that I was a massive dyke in the glorious year of 2004.

I was a greasy-faced adolescent who washed my face religiously with Proactive cleanser every single night and feverishly listened to Ani Difranco while riding the school bus in the morning. I was the consummate gay teen in the early 2000s, I loved Tegan and Sara, masturbated to girls who looked like Justin Beiber, and had severe side bangs. Oh, what a time to be alive!

Let’s be honest about one thing: Being a gay teen in the early 2000s was many things. Chic was not one of them.

The early 2000s were not the most sophisticated time for anyone — and us queer bitches were no exception to the rule. It just wasn’t the most, uh, “cultured” moment in history. There was no cool 1970s Warhol factory to splatter paint and take drugs at, we didn’t have a badass lesbian supermodel like Gia in the 80s, and we lacked the angst-ridden, shaved-head, militant edge the 90s dyke possessed so beautifully. We weren’t particularly artful or underground or cool — but we were fun. We were salacious as f*ck. We watched reality TV for hours on end and lusted after Nicole Richie. We lived for the glam and glitz in the early 2000s — not for art or music or theatre or film.

And that’s why us millennial gays are so damn stunted. We grew up rocking diamonte studded belts and singing along to Katy Perry. We had no proper blueprint for being a real gay adult out in the world, honey. Be gentle on us. Purr. 

Here are 9 surefire signs that you too, were a gay teen in the early 2000s.

1. You or someone you dated (or quietly crushed on) had a Beiber haircut!


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Who gave Justin permission to hit the beach looking like all my ex girlfriends?

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The 90s were all about the combat boots and the shaved head. The early 2000s were all about lesbians who bore a freaky resemblance to Justin Beiber. You weren’t gay if you didn’t either contemplate having the Justin Beiber haircut, dated someone with a Beiber haircut or just crushed hard on a Beiber dyke you met via MySpace! (Where your page song was most definitely “So Jealous” by Tegan and Sara).

2. Dani Campbell was your idol. 


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If any lez encompasses the essence of the early 2000s it’s Dani f*cking Campbell, baby (a former GO Magazine cover girl)! Before Tila Tequila turned into a mentally-disturbed neo-nazi, she was the star of the first bisexual dating show “A Shot at Love.” And if you were a teen in the early 2000s you obsessively watched “A Shot at Love” and lusted hard after Dani Campbell, the cute firefighter dyke-next-door who stole the lesbian hearts of an entire generation.

The coolest thing about Dani Campbell? She identified as “futch” (a hybrid of femme and butch) which became my favorite word that I loved to lezplain to all of my straight friends.

3. You were definitely an active member of the original GSA at your school. 

The Gay-Straight Alliance was the hippest shit in high school. And if you were an active member of the GSA in your high school in the early 2000s, you likely were a founding member. You’ll go down in history, babe.

The GSA was a sacred place where all the musical theatre gay boys and closeted softball player girls could meet up and pretend to be radical “allies” to the homos, even though they were all giant homos themselves.

4. Slutty vests outed you to your own kind. 

Photo by @mediocrelesbianmemes

I’m not sure if it was Shane from The L Word who made the slutty lesbian vest so gorgeously iconic — but regardless, we were vest-obsessed. Personally, I rocked a sheer tee-shirt underneath mine as to not get kicked out of class, but it still did a fine job of outing me to the other closeted lesbian teens at my school. If I saw a girl in a vest in the hallway on instinct, I would nod my head at her and she would nod dutifully back.

I didn’t know, know this was the subtle “lesbian nod” we bestow upon our own kind whenever we see ’em loose in the wild, but in a way, I knew. It was innate in my lesbian DNA. Like a love of flannel and the Indigo Girls. 

5. Ani Difranco was your higher-power. 


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#myfavoriteseverindislife #littleplasticcastles #cartires&chickenwire

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Ani Difranco’s misunderstood femme lez anthem “The Little Plastic Castle” came out in 1998, but this was pre-Spotify babe. And us gay teens discovered cool music years after it came out — it’s not like we were old enough to go to underground clubs in the city.

All my fellow teen dykes loved the song “The Little Plastic Castle” and we screamed along to it as we drove through the suburbs smoking cigarettes, speeding and terrorizing the nice neighborhood with our gay angst.

“Someone call the girl police and file a report!”

6. You sobbed to Tori Amos on Sunday nights. 

Though Tori was no lez, all young lezzies wept to Tori endlessly! It was our collective sunday night routine. We identified with her because she was a red-head and red-heads were unique like us. And like, her tortured gorgeous ballads just like, spoke to our struggle.

7. The L Word flipped your world upside down. 

Photo by Showtime

The L Word came out in 2004 when I was in the height of my gay-teen awkwardness. My world was rocked. No, it was flipped. Upside down. Suddenly I had no idea which way was left and which way was right.

I mean; I had never seen a group of attractive lesbians living their best lives — ever — before and it royally f*cked me up! In a good way!

8. You definitely went “walking with ghosts” all the damn time! 

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“I was Walking With A Ghost” by Tegan and Sara was the first ever pop song by lesbians (twins no less!) that I ever heard bursting through the radio. It made me feel like, so seen.

Speaking of seen….

9. You were a total effing scenester.


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16 years old! #emo #emokid #emoboy #emofashion #emoscene #scenekids #scene #scenekid #alternativeboy

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All scene kid girls in the early 2000s looked sort of gay in the plastic-rimmed dyke glasses and extreme side bangs and short bob haircuts — which suited us fine. We could express our blatant gayness and still slide under the radar. Plus all that emo music really spoke to our naturally melodramatic dyke souls.

9. You were only your real self on Myspace. 

In school, I had a boyfriend. A skater boi who rocked black nail polish and sang in a death metal band. On Myspace, I had a girlfriend. She lived in Orange County, California and commented on every picture I posted. I loved her. Never met her. But I loved her. 











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