1. Andrew Van de Kamp's Gay Storyline on Desperate Housewives. ABC / Via youtube.com For some reason, I know this storyline resonated with a lot of my male gay friends — I think it probably helped that Andrew and Justin were both hot AF. Andrew was also a super-charismatic character with a penchant for shocking his mother with his gay antics, which was fun. But when she threw him out it all got super real. Ultimately they came together again, but Bree’s shame over her gay son was really sad to see. Nowadays, I think we’re a more accepting society, and dramas like The Fosters and One Day at a Time show how far we’ve come with regards to supporting LGBT youth. 2. Will Smith's naked shower in I, Robot. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 20th Century Fox / Via popsugar.co.uk I used to watch the DVD alone in my room and pause this scene OVER AND OVER. In one frame I swear you can see his peen. It was...stirring to say the least. Honourable mentions for sexy scenes of men in movies include Chris Evans' banana split moment in Not Another Teen Movie, and the whole of Jake Gyllenhaal in The Day After Tomorrow. 3. The gay kiss in Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" music video. SONY BMG MUSIC / Via youtube.com This definitely felt like a huge moment in which Christina Aguilera (already a huge star) went out on a limb and included a kiss between two men in the music video for her 2002 hit "Beautiful". It was difficult to watch because at the time it truly felt like a shameful act — in some ways it still does. So much of pop culture then was still casually anti-gay, and to my knowledge, no one had ever been so bold as to say: "Hey, this right here is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of." It was an incredible statement and one I’ll always love her for making. 4. Bratz dolls. View this post on It's no secret in my family that I used to love playing with dolls as a kid. It was a cause of shame for years but in my wise old age I've become rather proud of it! We had Barbies, of course, but life became so much better when Bratz suddenly came out. They were edgy, stylish, and they had these crazy feline eyes, which I loved. My sister and I played with them for hours, gave them storylines, and styled their hair and clothes. It was super camp and I LOVED it. 5. Britney...just Britney. Jive Records / Via youtube.com Especially that period in which she gave us THREE studio albums in THREE years, namely ...Baby One More Time (1999), Oops!... I Did It Again (2000), and Britney (2001). Britney ushered us into the new millennium with some of the biggest hits of her career! I had the cassette tape for ...Baby One More Time and honestly it's emblazoned in my memory. I still remember that innocent honey-haired girl in front of that white background praying. And life was forever gay from then. 6. Playing It Straight. Channel 4 / Via dailyedge.ie Looking back, this show was beyond misguided, but when it aired, it was like Christmas every week! However many hot guys would do super "gay" stuff to test whether they were truly heterosexual, all presided over by T4 royalty June Sarpong (and later in Season 2 by The Good Place alum Jameela Jamil). In Season 1, the winner was also a former Mr Gay UK, who felt so bad about deceiving contestant Zoe Hardman that they eventually split the money equally between them! 7. Moulin Rouge. Bazmark Productions / Via nfsa.gov.au If you've ever watched Moulin Rouge, you'll know it's hella camp. Director Baz Luhrmann was inspired by the showmanship and excess of Bollywood, which is embedded in the high-kicking visual style of the film. But it's also a tragic love story set against the vibrant underworld of Montmartre, Paris, during the Belle Époque. This movie switches from comedy to drama to tragedy seamlessly, and to top it all off, it features some of the most incredible costumes, sets, and musical numbers ever! It even has queer characters! What more could a gay man want? 8. Hama Beads and other crafts. Marco Verch / Via Flickr: 30478819@N08 Hama beads, blow pens, cross-stitch, and more! All these craft pursuits kept me entertained for hours and I bloody loved it. You'd never find me outside practising keepy-uppy, no sir. I'd be painstakingly dropping minuscule beads into a plastic patterned mould for my mum to iron later. What became of my creations, who knows? Did it make me more gay? Yes, yes I think it did. 9. Pete Burns in Celebrity Big Brother UK. Channel 4 / Via WENN Now I know public opinion on Pete Burns is divided, but I wanted to give him a shoutout here for his incredible appearance on Big Brother in 2006. While many attacked him for his many surgeries, being foul-mouthed, and wearing gorilla fur, I just couldn’t quite condemn him in the same way. I thought he was beautiful, witty, and unapologetic. He’s far from perfect, but his gender-bending ways were truly an inspiration to me. What I also like about this moment is that reality shows were starting to show us a more diverse set of voices than ever before, which is great. 10. Stacie Orrico's self-titled album Stacie Orrico. Virgin Records / Via music.apple.com Did anyone love this album as much as me?! I nearly wore my copy out taking it on long trips in the car in my cutting-edge portable CD player. I learned the lyrics from constant listening and reading the liner notes over and over again. I found solace in Stacie's words, her fabulous face mole and her sick vocalising. Honourable mentions for albums that got the same treatment from me include B*Witched's B*Witched, the Spice Girls' Spiceworld, and The Immaculate Collection by Madonna. Yeah... I think my parents knew. 11. Mulan and other Disney princesses. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Disney / Via giphygifs.s3.amazonaws.com I know, I know: Mulan came out in 1998, but trust me, we had the VHS on repeat throughout the noughties! The effect that these strong Disney leads had on me as a young gay kid was profound. From Mulan to Pocahontas and Ariel, these ladies were beautiful, strong-willed, and totally unique. I used to run around pretending to be one or the other with a tea towel on my head for hair. But Mulan was by 'Fa' my favourite — get it? 12. The Dresden Dolls. Ethan Miller / Via Getty Images It was pure chance when I first took an Amanda Palmer album off of the shelf in a friend's room back when I was about 14. My life was forever changed when I listened to Who Killed Amanda Palmer, and I naturally began listening to the band she'd been in before her solo career, the Dresden Dolls, as well. Together with Brian Viglione, Amanda made "Brechtian punk cabaret" music. It was so dramatic and thrilling that my gay heart clung to every word! 13. Sugar Rush. Channel 4 / Via fanpop.com Sugar Rush was another TV show that I watched alone in my room in secret so no one knew what was going on in my head! It was about Kim, a 15-year-old girl coming to terms with her lesbian identity and fighting her unreciprocated feelings for a sassy runaway called Sugar. It was excellent. Kim's parents were also polyamorous, which was cool and queer 'n' all. Other TV shows that affected me similarly include Queer as Folk, Lip Service, and Hollyoaks: In the City. 14. The "emo" style craze. Getty Images Ah, I remember it well — the emo identity was the perfect subterfuge! To me, it was an opportunity to slap on some nail varnish or eye shadow, spend hours on my hair, and wear whatever clothes I wanted without being seen for what I truly was. I also enjoyed the music and I loved being able to reject all sporting activities and whatever else the straight mainstream threw at me. What good times! I feel a black tear rolling down my cheek. 15. That Pepsi commercial. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Pepsi / Via giphy.com This advert was legendary! Pepsi somehow managed to bring together the triple powers of Britney, Beyoncé, and Pink — probably the biggest pop stars at the time — and also Enrique Iglesias at his absolute peak hottest. The gladiator costumes were evvvverything and the song of choice was the inimitable We Will Rock You, which some slayed more than others. If I do this costume with some friends for Halloween, I expect gay guys everywhere to know who we are! 16. Beanie Babies. Dominique Godbout / Via Flickr: dominiquegodbout Beanie Babies were a huge craze that allowed you play with cutesy toys a lot longer than peer pressure would allow. My sister and I must have had around 30 of them; indeed, every kid had their own collection of Beanie Babies! It was this exercise in collecting that I think was a real turning point for me, and gave me experience in the gay art of curation. I wouldn't have just any Beanie Baby! My collection was refined and cohesive. I guess you could say Beanie Babies gave me a taste for finer things in life, you know? 17. Will & Grace. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF NBC / Via giphy.com I absolutely LOVED watching Will & Grace in the morning when I was a kid! I would try and catch every episode Channel 4 put on and most of the time I didn't even care who saw! It was such a funny and yet extremely comforting show. In a horribly neoliberal way, it was also nice to see gay men portrayed as successful, monied, and happy — as if they were normal after all! And let's not forget, Karen Walker is the one of the best comedy characters ever created, obvs. 18. Pop art. Peter Macdiarmid/Andy Warhol / Via Getty I first discovered pop art in secondary school during a GCSE art project. I was totally taken in by the graphic style, the beautiful subjects, and the references to celebrities, advertising, music, and more. Many pop artists like Andy Warhol and David Hockney were gay celebrities of their time. Their work depicts both the lowbrow and the highbrow of the 20th century, and brings together many elements of traditional gay iconography like old Hollywood, fashion, and the male physique. 19. Tony Stonem in Skins. View this post on Skins captured the imaginations of many teens in the late noughties. It was funny, wild, and sexy AF. No character appealed more to me than de facto leader Tony Stonem, played by breakaway Hollywood star Nicholas Hoult. Not only was he handsome and smart, he liked to push boundaries, including those surrounding his sexual identity. The above scene was typical of his impulsive personality and totally opened my eyes to the possibility that sexuality could be fluid and spontaneous! I think many gay men enjoyed this one. 20. Attitude/Gay Times Naked Issues. Does anyone else remember walking past these covers in a WHSmith and slowing down a little to get a good glance at the nude celeb on the cover? I'd never buy one, good god, no! But I'd always give them a good stare, you bet. So many hot guys of the time did these Playgirl-esque spreads, including Duncan James, Thom Evans, and the boys of McFly (who did several). Thank gay god for their bravery and service. 21. John Paul and Craig in Hollyoaks. Lime Pictures / Via channel4.com What gay man doesn't remember these two lithe hotties? I think we can safely say that the will-they-won't-they love affair between John Paul McQueen and Craig Dean in Hollyoaks was a huge deal and probably a formative moment for many British teens — the "McDean" romance even has its own Wikipedia page, FFS! I vividly remember how their story built from an overzealous friendship to a frustrated yet passionate affair. Producers have said that this story was one of the most successful storylines Hollyoaks has ever done! You can read the full details of their romance here.