Queer Horror

Horror - Why Do We Like It?


If we learn anything from this period in film history, let us learn this: that fantasy and horror can speak to the ordinary and the most eccentric; fantasy and horror can embody and reflect the most common and the most dreaded pain we all share; fantasy and horror can speak to the addict, to the celebrity, to the gay man, to the gay woman, to the housewife, to the working man or woman, to me to you, to the truck driver, to the brain surgeon, to the monk, to the nun, and to the child. Poetry thrives in fantasy and horror books and films; so do great visions of truth. The ambition and the potential of these genres is limitless.

Anne Rice
New Orleans, Louisiana 1994

Why Queer Horror?

What is it about the horror genre that holds an interest for queer folk? At first glance, it seems strange for queers to want to turn to horror, when that's often what their lives involve. Before coming out, being queer is in and of itself a horror for many. After coming out, there is AIDS, the religious Reich, hate crimes, discrimination and prejudice. Why then would some g/l/b/t people choose to turn to horror as a source of entertainment?

There is no one way to answer this question, and each person's story will be a unique one. We could just as easily ask "why does anyone like horror?" Why would anyone want to be scared? Fear is an emotion triggered by danger, and courting danger is not a good way to stay alive. Why would anyone want to do this? Is it just for the adrenaline rush? The sense of power seeing others in danger when you are not? Or just a way of reminding people that they're alive. So many possible reasons, many of which probably all come into effect.

Now, add being queer to this...

Because most of us had to face signifcant fear in order to come out of the closet, horror affects us differently. In dealing with our orientations, we learn a lot about it. Not only do we learn to face it head on and deal with it, but we also learn that after we deal with our fears, we're better off than we were before. Horror becomes the doorway to a better world. The illusion of it being life-destroying instead becomes the reality of its life-expanding abilities. The world before coming out of the closet was a world filled with fear and self-loathing. For few, the world they imagined would exist, if they accepted their homosexuality, actually occurs. For most, the problems are much less, nonexistent, or at least much shorter term than they imagined. And, after facing one horror, GLBTs are more equipped to deal with others.

These are possibilities but truly, I don't know.

But back to the question, why does this site exist? And what exactly is queer horror? There are so many horror sites out there, why does there need to be one just for GLBT folk? What is it that makes queer horror different from heterosexual horror?

Horror is a genre that seems to wallow in stereotypes. Often time very formulaic and predictable plots are used, because what scares us is very formulaic and predictable. Sure, some people may be scared of fuzzy bunnies (the kind that don't grow really large, eat people or have long, pointy teeth), but they probably won't make a movie of it. Instead, the classics are used over and over again: the unknown, a force of nature unleashed, a human intent upon causing us harm, or destruction of society or Earth itself. Horror works by reminding us of what it's like to be caught up in those events and inspires us to place ourselves in the action.

Probably partially because of this formulaic basis, horror is overwhelmingly heterosexist. Traditionally the victim of horror is a helpless female caught up in events out of her control, often because of a male villain; the hero, an assertive male capable of saving both himself and the victim. You can see where this type of gender-based roles may not work as well for queer folk. This is not the world view that we are accustomed to. Gay men have no romantic motivation for rescuing the pretty damsel in distress, and lesbians are no longer willing to be assigned to that role.

In spite of this, horror can teach us the truth about stereotypes in ways that reality cannot. Evil may really be good and good is evil; the world around you may be built on a lie. Your preconceived notions may lead directly to your downfall, or may be the only thing keeping you sane in an insane world. Some of these messages may ring truer for our segment of society than they do to straights.

Definition of Queer Horror

Queer Horror is a subgenre of horror that focuses on characters relating to those that are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. It may deal with characters who are coded as, or who are openly, GLBT, or it may deal with themes or plots that are specific to queer people. Depending on when it was made, it may contain open statements of sexuality, same-sex sexual imagery, or same-sex love or affection, or it may just include a sensibility or campiness that has special meaning to GLBT people, as well as key aspects of horror

But while this is only part of queer horror, there are many other ways to understand it... and that's the purpose of this site. This site is an open forum for everyone to discuss and/or enjoy the subect in any way. Whether people want to find new movies to see or books to read, or to write about their fantasies, or even to babble nonsensically about tranny vampires, this is the place. I want people to feel safe to explore this site and free to add their definition of queer horror to it.

However, to keep the site safe, and legal, there are a few rules that must be followed. I won't include content dealing with positive portrayals of child molestation. This will likely include even such ideas as a 700 year old vampire in a child's body, or a mind transfer of a child into the body of an adult.

Rape, violence, torture, etc. will be handled on a case by case basis. Same-sex attraction does partially bypass the problems of 'violence against women', but not completely. While I would like people to be able to explore interests as much as they would like to, I don't want to encourage real-life expressions of these subjects with unwilling partners.

I reserve the right to censor stories, links or messages that are inappropriate and/or illegal. The average person is unlikely to be censored, and many may feel I should censor more. Stories dealing with these subjects are much more likely to receive warnings for people thinking of reading them than to be banned altogether. In general, people who are censored should be expecting it.

Lastly, just so this is said explicitly. Nothing in this site is meant to encourage people to do hurtful things in real life. Hurting others against their will is not okay. Killing is wrong. Having sex with unwilling partners or children is wrong, and even desiring to do it without acting on it is a sign of a problem that should be dealt with. Having done any of these things and not taking responsibility for your actions is also continually wrong.

Outside of the moral issues. Please do not use this site for advertising purposes without asking permission first, nor for any other illegal purposes (drugs, prostitution, etc.) But, please do offer to help. Send pictures, stories, poems, or articles. Send content or corrections. Create your own site and link up. Go wild, go crazy.

- Dave

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