Between this blog and the tumblr it evolved from, I have talked about a lot of things. Movies, shows, books, games, comics, music, conventions, creepypastas, urban legends, deep web hoaxes and just about everything in between. The one thing I really haven’t talked about at all, is memes.
Because of their fleeting nature and the amount of time it takes to research articles, I suppose I’ve just never seen them as a particularly practical topic for my blog. However, one of the more recent ones has caught my attention and I think it’s time to talk about this particular internet trend;
The Babadook is being used as an icon for gay pride.
Since my first horror blog was on tumblr, I’ve seen a lot of speculation about the Babadook being gay. It was something I never weighed in on or paid much attention to – since tumblr is known for wild media theories concerning the LGBTQ community.
Yesterday I stumbled across this on my Twitter feed:
Clicking on this link sent me down a rabbit hole of strange photoshopped images, babadooks, pride articles and, like anything else online, arguing.
I can see why. Not being a part of the community myself, I am reluctant to weigh in on whether or not Babadook makes a good pride icon – and I can see the argument from both angles.
On the one hand, turning something that is perceived as dark and evil into a symbol of something like sexual identity is a cool, mature twist on preconceived notions (especially if you’re one of the people who has been told that your sexuality is something dark that you should be ashamed of.) On the other hand, it could reinforce certain negative myths about being gay – especially when you take the plot of the actual movie into consideration. The Babadook in the film is the embodiment of depression, something dark that the protagonist can learn to live with, but ultimately has to keep subdued in the basement.
After deliberating with a number of LGBTQ members and hearing a number of arguments on both sides, here are my conclusions:
Is the Babadook gay? Very probably.
Is the Babadook evil? Also, very probably.
Are all gay people evil? Absolutely not. If anything the inference that we should be making from the gay/Babadook connection is that the evil thing, is trying to deny something that you could just as easily accept.
Is the Babadook a good icon for the LGBTQ community? Maybe. It depends on how much you want to read into it. Like with all memes there are good points and bad points, but as long as you don’t take it too seriously, it’s essentially harmless.
Does the “B” in LGBTQ stand for Babadook? No. This was sort of a fun joke initially, but as it’s gaining traction, we all need to be aware that the “B” in LGBTQ stands for “Bisexual.” Replacing Bisexuals with Babadook actually pulls attention from certain members in the community which is the opposite of what we should be doing and what pride month especially is all about.
With all of this being sorted out, I have one final question to answer.
Will I be reviewing The Babadook tomorrow as a part of pride month? Yes.