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Horror of Queerness

How the world of horror handles queerness isn't perfect. But it can give comfort to some of us.

By Raphael FontenellePublished 2 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Horror of Queerness
Photo by Justin Campbell on Unsplash

Pride was for other people when I was younger. Living in the Midwest didn’t really give me a lot of insight into what queerness is. Despite having a bisexual mother and trans neighbor I had no honest idea what it was. There were a ton of examples of it growing up. Both problematic and I suppose as unproblematic as they could be at that time.

Buffalo Bill from ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ was one of the more problematic ones.

Along with Leatherface if I really had the words to describe him as such. Mostly thanks to his behaviors you could see in the movies. Though in all honesty, I might be grasping at straws when it came to him.

Horror is where I’m trying to go with this in case it wasn’t obvious. There were a lot more examples of queerness for me in horror. Then there were in anything else growing up. Mostly because horror was something that I really wanted to see. As horror was an escape mechanism that I have adored for years. But I can save that for another story.

Queerness in horror isn’t always the best thing in the world. Often, we are demonized to Hell and back for existing. When we’re either the monster in the dark lurking to harm the straight protagonist or the toxic person in their life. One that they can’t let go no matter how hard they apparently want to. Or just the stereotypical victim that gets mowed down in a violent manner that is wholly unnecessary. Such as trans women, queer men, amongst others that I really don’t know if I can fully divulge into.

Then there was a moment where the gay character survived. For just being gay. At least that’s what some folks found in horror. Mostly white gay men. I think a few have been campy but I can’t entirely remember.

I have still yet to find a black trans woman final girl and I hope that changes soon.

I want a queer horror survivor. I want a queer slasher. Asexuals would be wonderful. Even if we’re not the final ‘girl’ or final ‘boy’. Just not dying painfully slow would be great too.

Though it is hard to find a full queer person that is in a horror movie. One that’s not problematic. But I can’t go too far to find one in the horror community. I think for those of us who love horror and practically live in it. We hate the stereotypes that appear on the screen but somewhat love the characters that are portrayed. Taking them and fixing them the way that the writers would never do themselves. Writing better versions of these characters for either our own amusement or for our own comfort. We’ve taken time to make our own horror comics with these characters over the past few years. Novels.

Or we’ve moved to the Creepypasta community once it cropped up.

For those of us who love to write horror and watch it. We stayed where we were but enjoyed Creepypastas along with it. Making our own queer horror characters for ourselves. Or making queer versions of the Creepypastas.

I have made a few things in Creepypasta before dealing with my queerness better. Since then. I have written a lot of outright queer protagonists. Such as Morticia from ‘The Cheshire House’, Bo from ‘The Gnawing Hunger’, and other outright queer characters. My characters going from cisgender lesbians to trans men. One of them being asexual like myself.

It really helped me in the long run.

I know this seems like a ramble instead of actual writing, but I wanted to put my thoughts on this out into the world. And this is one of the best ways that I could. To say how horror has helped me with queerness. Even if I haven’t put to words how problematic it can be for us. What straight people intentionally or otherwise have presented us as boogeymen on the big screen. Scary and out to cause them harm. The toxic relationships you can either squint to see between the protagonist or the antagonist. Hell, outright intimate together in ways that are meant to titillate the straight audience. Sometimes queer audience members if they’re fine with it.

Trans community being demonized a lot more with the man in a dress trope if I’m being entirely honest. Such as Norman Bates and Glen/Glenda from ‘A Seed of Chucky’. Along with a certain character from the Insidious movies.

I still found it easier to cope when I was working with horror. Making the problematic a whole lot less so with other queer people’s works. Some of which reworking it into something a ton more memorable than that. Making friends that I still have contact with even if they’re not as into horror as I am in this moment.

Queer can be horror. Horror can be queer. It has come a long way throughout the years that I have watched it. Or read it. But it can still be pushed to something better. To be more interesting in ways that aren’t heavy handed. And not just some straight man wearing a dress pretending to be a woman with a knife.

At least, I hope it’s going to be.


About the Creator

Raphael Fontenelle

Horror movie fan trying to write decent horror.

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Comments (13)

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  • River Joy2 months ago

    Congrats on the top story! Really well deserved. This is a really excellent look at the tropes in horror. I would also like to see some more queer people make it to the end. Great piece!

  • Thavien Yliaster2 months ago

    This does remind me about "queer coding" that we would often see be put into characters especially in Disney Movies such as Scar and Ursula. Hence why the villain characters in those movies tend to be celebrated amongst the queer community as queer representation. I do wonder what You take would he in queer characters in Vivziepop from the Hazbin Hotel series and the Helluva Boss series. I've been watching it ever since the pilot came out. In the shows there's a lot of characters that are queer. Asmodeus the sin of lust is homosexual with his imp partner, Fizzarolli. Blitzø is seen having a homoerotic relationship with Stolas, a goetia (who was in a toxic arranged marriage with his wife, Stella), but Blitzer is seen having bisexual fantasies. Moxie is a bisexual, and his heterosexual relationships with his wife, Millie, is anything but the typical heteronormative. Charlie Morningstar dates a female angel and if I recall correctly Vivziepop said that Charlie is bisexual just like Moxie during pride month. And one of my favorite characters, and a lot of other peoples', Alastor, the radio demon is asexual. I honestly do wonder if him being asexual made it easier for him in his pursuit of power in toppling down overlords. Yet, the biggest thing I recently learned about asexuals is that being asexual doesn't mean that they enjoy an absence of pleasure. An asexual person may still enjoy sexual pleasure, but more so in an aromantic sense (whether it's with themselves or with somebody else). Then again there are romantic asexuals, so even asexuality is a varied spectrum. The two main heteronormative characters, at least from my perspective, don't have the best situation going on in their lives. Lucifer is depressed and Adam, the original Adam, uses sex as a coping mechanism and even part of his personality. Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss may not be a horror show at all in the slightest, but what would be Your take on it?

  • Raduxx Radu2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story 💓😘💖❤👍

  • Dorota2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Nice story 😄

  • Tamil2 months ago

    Yeah, need more authentic representation in the genre

  • I M A KING2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Oneg In The Arctic2 months ago

    Representation is so important, showing that there are more narratives than the traumatic stereotypical, or the coming out. Really enjoyed reading this, you did an excellent job crafting this piece. Congrats on the top story!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Excellent piece on how proper representation in queer culture can be so helpful to others, even in horror films. We definitely are marginalized and need better representation

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    Yessssssss!! Congratulations on Top Story!! I'm so glad to see this on the front page. 👏🏻💓

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    This is wonderfully written and brings to light a topic I hadn't yet thought about. It's true, though, the representation of queerness in horror is not, historically, good. I hope we can see some changes to that and some more queer writers at the table. Thank you for writing and sharing this!

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