WATCH: 10 Guys Who Made Us Realize We’re Gay, ’90s Edition

When did you realize you were gay? And no, tickle fights with your imaginary friend don’t count.  For many guys it happened quite unexpectedly as they sat in front of their TV screen or in a movie theater. We head back to the 1990s to find out who created some  first time, same-sex stirrings. 

Eric Nies on The Real World: New York

For over 20 years and 29 seasons, MTV’s “The Real World” has provided us with some of the hottest reality man meat on TV.  But for many of us, the first season is still the best. New Jersey native, Eric Nies was just 20 years old when he (and his perfect pecs) made history as one of the “seven strangers, picked to live in a loft, and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real” in the very first season of “The Real World.” Gay fans went gaga for Eric, who spent most of the series half naked.

As the host of MTV’s dance show, “The Grind”, Eric would often (inexplicably) host with no shirt, prompting guest Queen Latifah to once ask him, “How much do they pay you to show your nipples?”

Jared Leto on “My So-Called Life”

Who didn’t swoon like Angela Chase every time Jordan Catalano sauntered into the room? The embodiment of an early ’90s grunge God; Jordan had us all wanting to let our hair grow, get depressed and listen to Buffalo Tom. OK, maybe not that last one… but hey, it was 1994 after all. It’s no surprise that My So-Called Life continues to be a cult show. Jordan Catalano represents the high school hottie we all obsessed over.  As Angela would say, “School is a battlefield. For your heart.”


Johnny Galecki on Roseanne

Millions of people tuned in each week to see Roseanne dish up loose-meat sandwiches and deliver scathing one-liners to friends, family and customers. However, for many a gay it was Johnny Galecki that kept us coming back week after week.  Starting in 1992 Johnny played Darlene’s lovable, floppy haired boyfriend, David Healy; the sensitive, comic book artist with the butch, domineering girlfriend.  He just had to be gay right? Dreams came true in 2007 when Johnny starred in the hit Broadway comedy The Little Dog Laughed. As a gay hustler, he offered up his own loose meat in a jaw dropping full-frontal nude scene.


Marky Mark in Calvin Klein, Tyson Beckford in Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren-Polo Jean Co-Tyson Beckford Tanga Moreau-Car-Broadcast from KraftWorks on Vimeo.

If you were a gay teenage boy in the 90s, I guarantee you had a poster of at least one of these guys on your bedroom wall.  “I swear mom, I just really love the clothing!”  Oh, please!

What Brooke Shields did for Calvin Klein jeans in the ’80s, Marky Mark did for undies in ’92; provoking “good vibrations” in teenage boys around the world.

Starting in 1993 Tyson Beckford became the face (and chiseled body) of Ralph Lauren-Polo. His exotic looks are attributed to his father who is half Jamaican and half Chinese. We were all fully turned on.


Joey Stefano

Chances are if you were watching gay porn in the ’90s you probably already realized you were gay. But Joey Stefano wasn’t just another waxed and tanned porn star dumbbell. Joey Stefano was the James Dean of gay porn. He lived fast and died young… leaving behind a body of work that still garners loads (and I mean loads) of attention to this day- nearly 20 years after his death of a drug overdose. Even Madonna took notice and featured him in her Sex book in 1992. It wasn’t just Joey’s enviable physical attributes (that butt!!) or his ferocious sexual appetite; he had a genuine movie star presence that compelled you to take notice.


Tony Ward

Hey, speaking of hot butts, Madonna and that infamous Sex book… Former porn mag pin-up-boy, Tony Ward became a fashion model icon in the early ’90s thanks, in large part, to the exposure he received by dating Madonna and appearing in her Sex book. Tony first emerged as a merman in Madonna’s Cherish video but graduated to land-walking, leading man roles in her notorious, Justify My Love video and the Bruce LaBruce-helmed, Hustler White.  Recently called the “Male Icon of the Century” by Paris Vogue, Tony Ward is a multifaceted artist and model.


Christopher Meloni on Oz

There should be an entire website devoted to the divine hotness of Christopher Meloni and his meaty ass. Actually, there is. Google it… you won’t be sorry.  HBO’s groundbreaking prison drama, Oz arrived at the tail end of the ’90s and featured butt loads (and we mean that…) of naked men including Meloni’s perfectly plump backside. His bisexual character Chris Keller may have been a ruthless criminal but that didn’t stop millions of men from wishing they could cohabitate inside his Emerald City cell.


Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Velvet Goldmine

The late ’90s provided us with some of the best English imports since Mick Jagger went searching for “Satisfaction” in 1965. Perhaps it’s unfair to list all three of these beautiful blokes together instead of individually, but I ask you, “How can you possibly choose a favorite?” Although each has their own distinct asset that makes them desirable; Christian with those innocent eyes and school boy longings, Jonathan with his Bowie-esque bravado and Ewan with that massive endowment, Velvet Goldmine is so glam rockin’ great because each actor compliments the other perfectly.


Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley

Another Englishman who had us begging for his British Invasion. As Dickie Greenleaf, Jude Law’s uncut unbelievable beauty had poor Mr. Ripley so worked up with sexual obsession he went all psycho and started offing people. You can hardly blame the guy. Even film critic Roger Ebert was smitten. “Beyond being devastatingly good-looking, Mr. Law gives Dickie the manic, teasing powers of manipulation that make him ardently courted by every man or woman he knows”.


Edward Scissorhands

Ok, I’m sorry but Edward Scissorhands is a total catch. He’s vulnerable (yet masculine), a good listener and he can give you a fabulous haircut! Plus, he’s into leather bondage gear so he’s probably a complete kink machine in bed. With his Robert Smith like pale complexion and artfully disheveled black hair, Edward Scissorhands made many a gay goth kid squeal with delight.

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  • Richard

    Marky Mark and Tyson Beckford. There is a little sandwich I could get on board with.

  • Cagnazzo82

    You guys left out David Chokachi from Baywatch.

    What kind of 90s list is this without mentioning Baywatch?

    I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t realize they were gay being more attracted to the hot guys rather than the hot girls on that show.

  • Lyceius

    How could you not have Dean Cain playing superman on here… OMG my sunday nights were full of fantasies :D

  • crowebobby

    I thought Jared was one of the hottest guys I’d ever seen. And that was before I heard he had the biggest dick in Hollywood.

  • JohnnyCorby

    I would add Antonio Sabato, Jr and Eddie Cibrian.

  • tdx3fan

    The only thing I ever shop lifted was a Penthouse with Mark Whalberg in it when I was 13.

  • William

    Maybe I started realizing my gay attractions too late. But my 90’s OBVIOUS gay attractions were Saved By The Bell guys and the Original Power Ranger crew, with a few of the newer Rangers.

  • Harley

    I realized I was gay when I man crushed all over William Shatner as Captain Kirk in the original series as I was growing up in the 70s.

  • TVC 15

    I still get a woody from seeing Christopher Meloni in whatever show he’s in.

  • CaptainFabulous

    To this day Velvet Goldmine is one of my favorite movies. Awesome soundtrack too.

  • DJ Paul V.

    Boys and men – many of those 90’s hunks mentioned here were submitted on my “First Gay Crush” blog, and I’d love to hear YOURS too! Check it out – http://myfirstgaycrush.blogspot.com

  • LovelyLabyrs

    Hey, how about a list of women that made us realise we were lesbian/bi?

  • Jerie Ragsac

    Where’s Mr. T? (hog rider-r-r-r)

  • Cole

    As a young lad of 10 I vividly remember “admiring” Brad Hawkins on the lesser known Power Rangers knock-off VR Troopers. Especially in one episode where he awoke from a nightmare shirtless…

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