There’s the Big One. The one where you look in the mirror — either a real mirror or one you’ve dramatically imagined — and tell yourself the Big Gay Truth. There’s the other less big, but still big ones. The ones where you tell your family and friends and the family dog. There’s the other definitely not big, but still not totally insignificant times — awkward family gatherings, doctor’s appointments, college application essays — the times when you still have to say it out loud.
And then there are the thousands of other times. The unspoken times. The small moments that say “I’M GAY” more than any words alone could fully convey.
These are 41 of those moments:
1. The time I asked to be taken to Best Buy with the sole intent of purchasing a fresh copy of Britney Spear’s iconic second studio album, Oops!… I Did It Again.
2. The first time I watched Desperate Housewives, specifically any scene in which a naked Jesse Metcalfe jumped out of a window.
3. The first time I saw a shirtless picture of Nick Lachey in gym shorts in one of my mother’s copies of Us Weekly.
4. The first time I watched Dancing with the Stars, specifically any routine with Derek Hough or the hot Ukrainian one.
5. The time I told my brother I thought women were “just hotter with their clothes on.”
6. The time I got the a capella single version of Pink’s “Most Girls” for my birthday and sang it exclusively for seven straight weeks.
7. The first time I saw a shopping bag from Abercrombie & Fitch.
8. The first time I walked past an actual Abercrombie & Fitch.
9. The first time I saw a picture of Taylor Lautner.
10. The entire time Tag was Rachel’s boyfriend on Friends.
11. The time I had a girlfriend in third grade and realized I only liked her for her purple, fur-rimmed winter coat.
12. The first time I bought a pair of purple underwear.
13. The time i choreographed a full underwear-only dance routine to Diana Ross’s “Upside Down”
14. The first time I ordered a Cosmopolitan at a bar.
15. The first time I skinny armed for a photograph.
16. The time I requested a full-sized dollhouse to accommodate my collection of “Littlest Pet Shop” toy animals.
17. The time I announced the pink Power Ranger was my life inspiration.
18. The first time I passed the men’s underwear section at JCPenney’s.
19. The first time I saw another boy take his pants off in the gym locker room.
20. The first time I saw the Titanic painting scene and felt nothing.
21. The first time I saw Channing Tatum when Channing Tatum was a model.
22. The time I checked out an interior decorating book from the public library to satisfy my obsession with TLC’s Trading Spaces.
23. The time I stumbled upon the dirty channel on television, lingered, and thought, in all seriousness, “why aren’t there more penises.”
24. The first time I saw another boy in a gym uniform.
25. The first time I heard Beyoncé.
26. The first time I watched Jennifer Holliday’s performance of “And I Am Telling You" at the 1982 Tony Awards on YouTube.
27. The time I discovered Milo Moreira, my first male model crush.
28. The first time i used a separate towel to wrap around my head after getting out of the shower.
29. The first time I wrapped a towel around my body starting at my boobs instead of my waist.
30. The first time I cancelled plans to watch American Idol.
31. The first time I saw Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
32. The first time I saw an issue of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated and felt nothing
33. The first time I saw Brendan Fraser’s oiled abs in the movie adaptation of George of the Jungle.
34. The first time I performed the entirety of Destiny Child’s "Lose My Breath” in the privacy of my bedroom.
35. The first time I listened to “Lady Marmalade.”
36. The time I requested a DVD copy of the Princess Diaries 2 for Christmas.
37. The first time I saw Brad Pitt’s chiseled bare butt in Troy.
38. The time I made my entire family watch Brokeback Mountain "because of its critical success.“
39. The time I went to baking classes for an entire summer.
40. The time I made my father and brother wait in the car until "The Call” by the Backstreet Boys had played in its entirety on the radio.
41. And the time I wore this fabulous slender pink gown, elbow-length golden gloves, and floral hat ensemble.