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What’s the date today, Mean Girls fans? “It’s October 3rd.”
2004 was a weird time. People wore Juicy Couture tracksuits, called friends on Motorola flip-phones and started to get hooked on a TV show called Lost.
It was also the year Tina Fey’s Mean Girls debuted in cinemas, and 17 years on, it remains as popular as it ever has been.
With its aggressively quotable lines, the Heathers of the millennial generation has remained an LGBT+ cult classic. Here are the 12 reasons why the film is simply too gay to function.
1. Cady’s an outsider trying to fit in. Sound familiar?
Cady Heron, played by Lindsay Lohan, starts the movie was an outsider. She tries being herself and fails to fit in until she pretends to be someone she’s not.
It’s no surprise that queer folk see a part of themselves in Cady’s clumsy attempts to look the part of ‘normal high-school teen’, considering that being in the closet and pretending to be straight is so common in the community.
Just like Cady, who was actually named after Tina Fey’s college roommate, it’s only until we accept who we really are that we can come out and be who we are.
2. Damian is, and always will be, a queer icon
When Damian has a shoe thrown at him at a talent show, seeing him stand up to bullies by throwing it back is actually pretty inspiring. Especially in the early noughts, when gay representation wasn’t exactly plentiful.
His pal Janis described him as “too gay to function” and his unabashed love for pink polos, Danny DevVito and witty observations quickly made him a beloved character.
Daniel Franzese, who played Damien, has since gone onto several other queer roles on the small and big screens, such as the HBO show Looking.
3. Literally everything about the Winter Talent Show
When the Plastics – Cady included – rock up in red PVC Santa costumes and slap their thighs, it became a scene for the history books.
It soon became one that inspired Christmas cards for generations.
And, for those truly dedicated to the queer cause, here’s a link to the Jingle Bell Rock dance tutorial on YouTube
4. Mean Girls is the most quotable movie in queer existence
“You go, Glen Coco!”, “That is so fetch!”, “You smell like a baby prostitute”, “Get in loser, we’re going shopping”, “That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets.”
Honestly, what other movie has had its dialogue so quoted, spoofed and remixed than Mean Girls?
Wear pink to the office on a Wednesday, and your colleagues are almost legally obligated to say to you: “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”
5. High school is a lot like the LGBT+ community
“You can’t sit with us!” thus spoke Gretchen Weiners, played by Lacey Chabert. And it kinda sums up high school.
Many LGBT+ people have reported feeling like the pressure to be a “type” of queer person, and when Damian and Janis sketch out the high-school social scene by listing which table everyone sits, it’s not a stretch to see the parallels.
In the queer male world especially, hair-splitting into tribes can feel restrictive and as a result, many have started to break away in favour of a more united community. A vision not too dissimilar to how Mean Girls ends, not enclosed in the cafeteria, but out and free.
6. Shade, all the shade
Evil arrived into our lives in the shape of Regina George.
Shade was in no way a product of Mean Girls – finding its roots from 80s black and latinx drag culture in Harlem, New York – but it armed the masses with dozens of quick quotable quips to insult our friends and loved ones with.
You too can be a life-ruiner and ruin people’s lives by complimenting their skirts and bracelet.
7. Janis delivered some serious queer women energy
Played by Lizzy Caplan and named after the lesbian singer of the same name, Janis Ian is implied to be queer in the film.
A Lebanese goth-tinged artist, armed with acerbic come-backs against anyone who called her a “d**e” and was best friends with Damian.
She was the victim of homophobic bullying in North Shore High School after Regina started a rumour about her, all because Janis felt sad about Regina ditching her for her boyfriend. Her being nominated as Spring Fling Queen over Regina was an LGBT+ victory.
8. Tina Fey has never wavered in her support for the LGBT+ community
When the people behind the films we love, whether actors or directors, make anti-LGBT+ statements or acts, it tends to taint the film.
But Fey, who both starred in and wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls (and later adapted it into a musical), has undeniably been an ally for years
Even in the movie, her character, Ms Nobury, encouraged young women to be successful in their studies and beyond. True ally.
9. Mean Girls‘ greatest straight love interest later came out as gay
It’s an undeniable fact of the fabric of the universe itself that, yes, Aaron Samuels does look sexier with his hair pushed back.
But behind the scenes, the actor, Jonathan Bennett, was dogged by rumours about his sexuality for years.
After years of swirling speculation, the Hollywood hunk (who did play a number of gay characters post-Mean Girls) came out as gay in 2017.
10. Mean Girls inspired countless Halloween costumes
Halloween is basically gay Christmas. No wonder, considering you get hundreds of queer folk throwing on skimpy outfits only to say: “I’m a mouse. Duh.”
The Jingle Bell Rock suits, Regina’s bunny costume, the cut-out vest, the pink cardigan, Damien’s blue hoodie: the options are endless.
11. Glen Coco is also very much a real person
Glen Coco, whose denial of candy canes honestly captures just how harsh and unjust life can be sometimes, is a real person. Kind of.
“I tried to use real names in writing because it’s just easier,” Fey explained to Entertainment Weekly.
“My older brother’s good friend is Glenn Coco. He’s a film editor in Los Angeles, and I imagine it’s a pain in the butt for him.”
12. Mean Girls helped Daniel Franzese to come out
Franzese came out as gay in 2014 and reflected in how playing Damian actually inspired him to proudly live his authentic truth.
“Now in 2014 – ten years later – looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the ‘art freaks’,” he wrote in a coming out letter to his character in 2014 in IndieWire.
“Being a queer artist is one of my favourite things about myself. I have always been different and that’s rad.”
Now, go forth, Glen Cocos of the world, in your pinkest garbs, insure your hair for $10,000 and eat some Kälteen Bars. It’s truly a gay day today.
Just don’t, you know, get hit by a bus.