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7 Iconic LGBTQ+ Characters from Horror Movies

The inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters has become more prevalent in media as time goes on, and while some see this as a quickening race of inclusion, others look at it as making up for time lost to Will Hays’ Hollywood Production Code. This code would last for over 30 years, and while some of the rules it had placed on cinema could be argued as appropriate, restrictions were placed on any form of same-sex relationships and signs of non-gender-conforming behavior.

While filmmakers were able to sneak some LGBTQ+ characters into their films, it would usually come at the cost of demonizing the characters or killing them off swiftly. This would prove to be especially true in horror films. For this list, we will focus on more modern characters that stand as icons for the modern-day audience and help show how much the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in the horror genre has changed.

7 Mitch – ParaNorman (2012)

Focus Features

ParaNorman (2012) follows the story of Norman, a young medium ostracized from the town for his behavior. During the following misadventures, audiences are introduced to Mitch, a young man to whom Norman’s older sister Courtney is attracted. The viewer gets to watch as Courtney’s attraction grows, seeing Mitch as the archetypal jock, working out and being fascinated with his car.

By the movie’s end, Courtney asks Mitch to see a movie, where Mitch reveals that Courtney would love his boyfriend. This small reveal would show that the filmmakers weren’t interested in portraying a gay male character with the stereotypes that had often been used in films past. Fans of the film would often praise the team for making Mitch’s sexuality just a tiny story beat and not using it as a plot hook or a reason for Mitch to be disliked. Mitch was allowed to develop as a character who happened to be gay.

6 Mindy Meeks-Martin – Scream (2022) & Scream VI (2023)

Paramount Pictures

Being introduced in Scream (2022), Mindy Meeks-Martin, the niece of Randy Meeks, would prove to be as much of a horror nerd as her uncle. Mindy’s time in the franchise would mostly be spent breaking down the new rules for the characters to survive. However, Mindy would also be willing to ignore the danger around her if it meant getting high and enjoying the company of another lady.

Many Scream fans were happy to see Mindy because she is a legacy character (and carries more similarities to her uncle than her twin brother, Chad) and was the first openly gay character to debut in the film franchise. Her relationship with Anika would make Anika’s death in Scream VI (2023) emotional, as Mindy would plead with Anika to cross the ladder before being forced to watch as Ghostface causes Anika’s fatal fall.

5 Thelma – Thelma (2017)

SF Studios

Thelma (2017) follows a young girl who has been raised by a Christian family and, along with discovering she has extremely powerful abilities of manifestation, learns that she has a romantic attraction to another young woman in Anja. Feeling guilty over her same-sex attraction, Thelma accidentally wipes Anja from existence.

After her family tells Thelma about her powers and how they led to the death of her little brother and, indirectly, her mother’s disability, Thelma would soon learn that her powers can give life as well as take it. As Thelma learns to accept herself, she begins to control her powers, giving her mother the ability to walk and restoring Anja. Many have considered this film a powerful statement about the potential of youth being suppressed as they are raised to feel ashamed of themselves. Thelma is regarded as a powerful figure due to her journey of self-acceptance and love.

Related: Best LGBTQ+ Movies Ever Made, According to Rotten Tomatoes

4 Glen/Glenda – Seed of Chucky (2004)

Glen and Glenda Chucky (1)
Universal Content Productions

Chucky and his bride Tiffany would have a child, and when this child resurrects their evil spirits, there is a question as to the gender of their child. Their child would state that they sometimes felt like a boy and sometimes a girl, much to Chucky’s initial disgust. It would later be revealed that this was due to Glen’s twin sister Glenda inhabiting the same body as Glen, only taking over in times of stress.

After the two are able to separate and inhabit their own bodies, it would be revealed that both the twins identified as gender fluid and remained close to one another, sharing a boyfriend in a polyamorous relationship. While Chucky is a crass and ignorant man-doll, he comes to love his children, even telling Jake (a human teen who is homosexual) that Chucky wouldn’t judge Jake for being gay as his children have taught him that while he may be a murderer, he doesn’t have to be a bigoted monster.

3 Jennifer Check – Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body.
20th Century Studios

Megan Fox’s performance as Jennifer Check has been lauded by members of the LGBTQ community as their awakening to their sexuality. Jennifer Check is a high school girl set to be sacrificed, only for her sex positivity to cause her to become a succubus instead. Using this empowerment, Jennifer would feed off of anyone she could seduce, coming close to feeding on her best friend and love interest, Anita “Needy” Lesnicki, before deciding she cared for her too much to kill her.

The film also carried themes of vengeance, with Jennifer wishing to murder the band that changed her. Though Jennifer would murder Needy’s boyfriend (whether this was motivated by jealousy or hunger), she is still hesitant to kill her best friend, giving Needy the opening she needed to stop Jennifer for good. Though Jennifer’s bite on her friend would also leave her with powers, and Needy would decide to continue her friend and potential crush’s mission of killing the band that had ruined their lives.

2 Deena – Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

Deena Fear Street

The Fear Street franchise would become one of the most popular Netflix originals, with the three films releasing within one month of each other, giving audiences plenty of reason to become immersed in the horrifying tale that spans decades. At the center of this tale is Deena, a young girl who becomes the target of bullying after her girlfriend changes schools.

Deena and her friends engage in a war with undead horrors and terrifying killers as a curse sends these creatures their way. After deceiving the killers by killing Sam (Deena’s girlfriend) and reviving her, the group goes down a rabbit hole of horror, finding Sam to be possessed into becoming the next killer. This curse dates back to 1666 when a lesbian couple would be named witches and set to die, only for Sarah Fier to place the entire blame on herself to save her love. The whole story being the tale of horrors hunting down those who are deemed different, simply so a family would be well off from the sacrifices makes for an intriguing tale, and Deena’s confidence in being who she is despite what everyone else says makes her one of the most impressive final girls in modern horror today.

Related: 20 All-Time Best LGBTQ+ TV Shows Ever Made, Ranked

1 Frank N. Furter – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Rocky Horror Picture Show
20th Century Fox

One of the most widely praised films for the LGBTQ+ and sex-positive communities is The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). While many characters were considered taboo by the standards of the ’70s, this film took great chances by putting their characters to the forefront, and none bolder than that of Dr. Frank N Furter.

The transsexual doctor from Transylvania would create the perfect man for their sexual pleasure, keep Brad and Janet in separate rooms, so they could be more easily seduced, and implied that they had sexual relations with Magenta, Riff Raff, Colombia, and Eddie. Frank N Furter may have had malicious intent at times, but they were unapologetically themselves, singing of their sexual identity and what they valued most in an attractive person.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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