The Babadook is now an LGBT icon! Who knew?

So this is a bit unexpected. Apparently the Babadook (from the film THE BABADOOK) - that creepy ghoulie with the stove top hat, black cloak, and perpetually bug-eyed and creepy smiling face - is now a legitimate LGBT icon!

Which...okay. But how did that come to be?

Well, it turns out that it seems the beginnings of this movement began with Netflix. It seems that THE BABADOOK was put in the "LGBT Films" section (intentionally or not), which then became a sort of meme on Tumbler and later Twitter.

A debate about whether the Babadook was actually gay or not raged in the fringes of the internet for months, until June hit. And since that's Gay Pride Month, the meme exploded and took a life of its own. Whether the people arguing about the monster's sexuality were doing it ironically (which seems to be the case for at least a large portion of them), the fact is that his status as a full-fledged Gay Icon has been cemented!

Now, this entire thing is predicated on the ridiculousness of the premise that Netflix would even put THE BABADOOK into the LGBT films category. But is it really that surprising? If you look at the film at the subtextual level, it actually starts to make a bit more sense. I mean, the film is about a creature who is forced into the shadows (like many closeted gay men), who only wants to be seen and heard and accepted, while the main character (clearly coded as heterosexual) does her best to reject and repress him (even claiming that he - i.e. his struggles with sexuality - don't even exist). That is, until the end, when her coming to terms with his existence - and accepts him - does the Babadook ends her suffering, and allows him to also have a semblance of recognition and family (where be will forever be fed and acknowledged).

Now look, this whole thing was indeed probably just a mistake with Netflix's algorithms and is entirely a fluke. Not only that, but no one from the film itself has confirmed this gay reading (though they haven't denied it either), claiming that the Babadook represents dealing with depression and loss. But that doesn't change its impact with the LGBT community, and quite frankly, I'm enjoying the Babadook's newfound LGBT identity - whether it is an oppositional reading ("Death of the Author" and all that) - or not. I think it's fun, and this sort of thing isn't even new for horror icons! Hell, FREDDY'S NIGHTMARE is literally a metaphor for suppressing homosexuality (not to mention all the kinky shit the Cenobites from the HELLRAISER series are probably into.) So, like I said above, this isn't as surprising once you look more into it.

Either way, I'm definitely Babashooked for sure!

Extra Tidbit: THE BABADOOK is great. If you haven't seen it, give it a chance!
Source: Polygon



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