Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeFashionOde to Jordan Catalano of ‘My So-Called Life,’ an Unlikely Lesbian Icon

Ode to Jordan Catalano of ‘My So-Called Life,’ an Unlikely Lesbian Icon

It was almost exactly 29 years ago that a little show called My So-Called Life premiered on ABC, and trust me, had I been literate back then, I would have recapped it regularly. Sadly, however, I was one year old; and while I’m told my passion for television was forged early in life—as befits the child of a TV critic—I was at the time more into Barney than high-drama teen soaps in which Claire Danes was going down in history as the world’s best angsty onscreen teen. (Sorry, Belly Conklin, but we’ve seen all this before—except, of course, Angela Chase never dated brothers.)

I caught up on My So-Called Life when I was a freshman in high school, but at the time I lacked the critical distance (and crucial lesbianism) to make one important observation: Jordan Catalano—Angela’s sad-eyed, fast-car-driving, dyslexia-afflicted crush—was so queer. Much like Ryan Atwood from The O.C., Jordan Catalano was brooding, messy, secretly sensitive, and extremely good at dating women, and I firmly believe that if My So-Called Life were on the air in 2023, he’d have a devoted niche on Sapphic TikTok.

I’ve nursed a crush on Jordan Catalano (who, as Angela and her friend Rayanne observe on the show, is a guy you absolutely have to refer to by his first and last name) since I first saw him onscreen, playing guitar with his band the Frozen Embryos and giving Angela driving lessons in his red Plymouth convertible. But now it finally makes some contextual sense to me: Of course I loved this long-haired, Cara Delevingne–browed, full-lipped, flannel-clad prince of a man back when I was too closeted to admit that what I really liked was…women. (As it turns out, straight people don’t usually keep a diary detailing their dreams about Jael from America’s Next Top Model for the better part of their childhood.)

Once I came out in my early 20s, I was blissfully free to mainline every season of The L Word and develop a new and lasting crush on Shane McCutcheon (that is, until she left Carmen de la Pica Morales at the altar, but I digress). Still, I never quite forgot about Jordan Catalano, and even though I’m not a particular fan of Jared Leto as an adult, I can still find it within my queer heart of hearts to nurse some feelings for this fictional (as far as we know) cishet young man. Hey, studios, hurry up and end the writers’ and actors’ strikes so we adults can all enjoy more teen TV!

Previous articleA Local’s Guide to Toronto
Next article


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS