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Looking Back on Another Year of Horror Pride Month

by Waylon Jordan
Horror Pride Month

It seems like Horror Pride Month only just began and now it’s time to bring it to a close once again.

It’s always an interesting time for me to look back over the month and the many things that have happened. The comments, the interactions, the new fans, and the same old tired arguments against it.

Before I go any further, however, I’d like to apologize to those loyal fans of the series. I was unable to produce as much content this year. With everything going on in the world and here in the U.S., my attentions were divided trying to lend support where I could to all those communities in need right now.

Still, it was, as always, a privilege to post articles highlighting and spotlighting some of my favorite LGBTQ filmmakers and creatives and talk about their amazing accomplishments and their lives as members of the queer community who love the genre.

Two moments in particular stand out to me from this year’s Pride celebration, and I want to talk about them in more detail.

When I posted the article announcing the third year of Horror Pride Month, I braced myself–as I always do–for the backlash and the naysayers. It’s just a part of doing this. Anyone who has spent any amount of time online knows that a comments section can become toxic cesspool in no time at all. We had a couple of straight-up homophobic comments complete with name-calling which were booted from our Facebook page immediately.

Then there was this one guy. He took umbrage with my choice of featured image. I had taken a still from The Bride of Frankenstein and superimposed the Pride colors over it. I thought it was clever and just a little classy. This guy did not. To paraphrase, he asked, “What the hell does Bride of Frankenstein have to do with being gay?”

I can hear a few of you snickering out there now. I was going to ignore it, but I thought, “No, here’s a chance to teach the guy something.” So, I replied and told him that among other things the director, James Whale, was gay. He replied, “Okay so use a picture of him. Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean the film is. It’s not hard to do something right.”

Now…anyone who knows me knows just how hard it was not to pull my lectern up at that point. I’ve written entire articles about this subject and researched it in detail as an adult. I was ready to put this dude on blast.

I could tell him that the veil of queer-coding over Pretorius was so thin, it was almost non-existent. I could tell him that Whale often injected his own queerness into his films. I could tell him that if he really thought it through, the entire film was about two men creating life together. I could remind him to watch the sheer jealousy Pretorius displayed every single time Henry spoke to a woman or indeed when a woman shared the screen with them in any way.

I could have done all those things but I decided to let it go. Not because it wasn’t worth it, but because I have spent years now educating other people on this subject. I have written articles, spoken on panels, and expressed what some of those creators themselves had to say about their work. I have highlighted the works of historians and scholars who have written exhaustively on these subjects.

But I digress.

The second Horror Pride Month moment that stands out most to me from this year involved an interview I did with filmmaker Tiffany Warren. During the interview, she had this to say:

“When I watched movies growing up, I didn’t see anyone who was anything like me. So, I would put myself in the story with them when I was little and watching these movies. Like Nancy was my best friend and I was worried about what was going to happen to everyone else in our group. And I didn’t think about how I would be impacted because somehow I was just in this world watching everything happen and being unaffected because you couldn’t see me.”

The impact of that statement carries a hell of a lot of weight. To be invisible in a genre that you love is detrimental, especially for marginalized groups.

LGBTQ history is not taught in most schools leaving many of us adrift without a mooring. In the absence of that foundation, we naturally turn to film, television, books, and other artforms to search for answers to who we are and what it means to be LGBTQ.

When those examples do not exist or when they are based on toxic stereotypes that perpetuate negative ideas, then we are left with a shaky foundation at best, and no small amount of internalized homophobia is the result.

Honestly, I write this series for both the unnamed commentator and for the young people who find themselves in the same place Tiffany did as a child. It’s why I have spent hours researching and studying the history that seemingly exists only in shadows, and why I will continue to write these articles during Pride Month and throughout the year.

The truth is the LGBTQ community has not only been a part of horror since its inception, we are encoded into its very DNA, and we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Below, you’ll find a list of all the interviews and articles published this month in case you missed any of them or would like to go back and revisit them. Happy Pride from all of us at iHorror!


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