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I’ve known I was bisexual since I was 11. But it took another eight years before I even began getting comfortable with that. Then, age 19, stuck in lockdown, I discovered Kate McKinnon by chance and it was a golden moment of change for me. It was the kind of representation I had been looking for all my life. I finally began to feel at home in my identity. By the luck of the YouTube algorithm, a clip of Kate McKinnon popped up on my phone.

Speaking loudly and proudly at the Golden Globes, Kate McKinnon said to the world “Am I gay? And I was. And I still am!” I hadn’t heard of her before and just clicked on it, watching in the darkness of my room at 2am. It was scarily relatable – as funny as the joke was, I had also spent a chunk of my youth lifting weights in front of the TV and feeling like I was weird! I really related to knowing I was a bit different.

Seeing someone young, successful and in a packed room talking about being LGBTQ+ in a positive way was a revelation. The way that she is open about her own sexuality made me feel able to embrace my own sexuality without censoring myself  – like how I naturally want to sit in a chair, dress or walk or speak, or find women attractive.

Not to be dramatic but it was like a veil lifting before my eyes – coming across that video by chance helped lead me into acceptance and pride. So here are four times Kate McKinnon made me feel extra proud to be bisexual.


The Ghostbusters movie is great fun. McKinnon’s character Holtzmann, in all her gun-licking glory is not explicitly queer, but also not depicted as straight. She’s a valued member of the group, and the film features four awesome women wearing boiler suits, doing science and looking boss. The visibility of a queer character in a major family-friendly movie like this is fantastic and really inspiring. I watched this film with my little niece and saw her face light up seeing all the ghosts on screen. It’s great to think that young kids like my niece have role-models like Holtzmann in these kinds of films who they can look up to.

The Big Gay Sketch Show

This sketch show from the 2000s had an LGBTQ+ cast and lots of queer characters. The sketches range from Svetlana the dancer to a gay werewolf to a fantastic Dynasty spoof.

SNL – ‘Themyscira’

When McKinnon joined SNL, she was the first out lesbian cast member in the show’s long history, and working with incredibly famous people she has now become a celebrity in her own right. In ‘Themyscira’ McKinnon and Aidy Bryant play two lesbians washed ashore on the fictional island from Wonder Woman: Themyscira. Drama ensues as they try to find other lesbians on this all-female island, and Gal Gadot and McKinnon end up kissing. Seeing this unapologetic kiss in the sketch made me realise how much shame I had been holding on to, I think if I’d seen something like this on a widely celebrated show as a teen, life would’ve been a tad easier.

SNL – Justin Bieber

These sketches where McKinnon plays Justin Bieber, including in a Calvin Klein advert and on Celebrity Family Feud, are so accurate and also funny as hell. If you’re going to watch one thing – please watch these. Positive representation like this where McKinnon is toyfully playing with gender is so important, and the great reception that the performance receives is, I think, affirming of queer identities.

Thank you Kate McKinnon for being an inspiring woman, your work made a huge difference to my confidence and made me smile.

El volunteers with Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity.