LGBT themes in horror fiction
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LGBT themes in horror fiction refers to sexuality in horror fiction that can often focus on LGBT characters and themes. It may deal with characters who are coded as or who are openly LGBT, or it may deal with themes or plots that are specific to homosexual people. Depending on when it was made, it may contain open statements of sexuality, same-sex sexual imagery, or same-sex love or affection. It may also just include a sensibility or campiness that has special meaning to LGBT people, as well as key aspects of horror.
Modern horror fiction has its roots in Gothic literature. The Gothic genre is characterized by its dank castles, trap doors, and even the occasional ghost. But another important aspect is that of a sexual nature. One of the earliest works by Sheridan le Fanu is the lesbian vampire novella Carmilla printed in the collection In a Glass Darkly in 1872
Books were generally controlled by larger publishers and this made it very difficult for gay authors to get their message out. Queer Horror got a boost with the advent of the pulp novel, a cheap way to manufacture paperback novels that became popularized during WWII. Three on a Broomstick by Don Holliday is an early example of the gay horror pulp.
The advent of the movie provided a new way to start reaching out to people and exploring new subject matter, and brought forth another wave of LGBT horror themes from people, such as F.W. Murnau and James Whale. Yet, the Hollywood Production Code subsequently prohibited LGBT characters or themes from its inception.
Certain films like Dracula's Daughter and The Haunting pushed the envelope by showing what they could, coding it so that other gays and lesbians could see it, but those that wanted to ignore it still could.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, cult film director David DeCoteau began making "horror for women." Films like Voodoo Academy (1999) and The Brotherhood (2001) often featured attractive men in their underwear in homoerotic situations but never fully gay-themed storylines. These films quickly caught on with gay male audiences, to whom they were more often marketed, but with the safety of "Horror for Women" label so as not to out themselves at the local video store.
In 2004 production simultaneously began on two films marketed specifically for gay audiences as "Gay Horror." October Moon was directed by Jason Paul Collum and featured a deadly gay love triangle in the vein of Fatal Attraction (1987 film). Hellbent was directed by Paul Etheredge and styled itself as a modern slasher film with a story of gay men stalked by a masked killer during a Halloween parade in West Hollywood, California. Both films were released theatrically in September 2005.
- The Queer Horror Awards were created to honor works that involve significant, and generally positive, portrayal of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters, issues or themes within the area of horror.
- The Lambda Literary Award includes an award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
- The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards honor works in science fiction, fantasy and horror which include positive explorations of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters, themes, or issues.
- LGBT literature
- LGBT culture
- LGBT themes in speculative fiction
- List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
- Lists of television programs with LGBT characters
- Lesbian vampire
- "Carmilla." In a Glass Darkly. Ed. LeFanu, J[oseph] Sheridan. London: R. Bentley & son, 1872.
- LeFanu, J[oseph] Sheridan. "Carmilla." Daughters of Darkness: Lesbian Vampire Stories. Ed. Keesey, Pam. Pittsburgh, PA: Cleis Press, 1993.
- Stryker, Susan. Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2001
- Doyle, Dave. (2009) "Conquering the Demon Within." In Golden Age of Gay Fiction, The, Gunn, Drewey Wayne, ed., MLR Press, ISBN 1-60820-048-5.
- Bronski, Michael, ed. Pulp Friction: Uncovering the Golden Age of Gay Male Pulps. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2003.
- Vito Russo, The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies [revised edition] Harrow & Row, 1987.
- QueerHorror - a website exploring GLBT folks and the horror genre
- GLBT Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature - A Web Directory
- GLBT Science Fiction and Fantasy Resources
- Wavelengths Online - a review journal for science fiction, fantasy, and horror of special interest to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people and their friends
- CampBlood.org - "a Website dedicated to all things queer in Horror Cinema."
- Gay Male Vampire - an informative and resourceful website for gay vampire news, fiction, movies, television and literature