Tuesday 17 October 2017

How did the Babadook become the unexpected icon of Pride?

People have been dressing up as the horror movie character.

By Prudence Wade

Amongst the rainbow flags and glittery costumes at this weekend’s Pride marches, a slightly unexpected figure could be spotted in the crowds: the Babadook.

For those not in the know, the Babadook is a character from an Australian film of the same name, and it has recently become the LGBTQ community’s newest icon.

Released in 2014, the psychological horror movie features Mister Babadook, a monster who enters the real world from a children’s book to terrorise a widow and her son. The film’s refrain is: “If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook.”

At the end of last year, a Tumblr post went viral raising the idea of the Babadook being gay. It said: “Whenever someone says the Babadook isn’t openly gay it’s like?? Did you even watch the movie???” and sparked a whole lot of debate.

An image showing The Babadook on Netflix’s LGBTQ Movies list soon started circulating the Internet (whether it was real or doctored is unclear), and soon there were many Tumblr posts insisting that the top hat-wearing character was indeed gay.

Whilst it started as an in-joke on the internet, there are perhaps more serious reasons behind the Babadook becoming a gay icon than you might think. Karen Tongson, an associate professor of gender studies and English at USC, told the LA Times: “Someone was like, ‘How could The Babadook become a gay film?’ and the answer was readily available.

“He lives in a basement, he’s weird and flamboyant, he’s living adjacently to a single mother in this kind of queer kinship structure.”

In fact, it’s being used by many in the LGBTQ community ironically – comparing how the Babadook is seen to how gay people are seen by some people.

Safe to say that the Babadook has been welcomed as an icon with open arms. Fan art has been made showing the character sporting rainbow flags over its normal black attire.

his first pride :) reblog if u support h…

his first pride :) reblog if u support him


June is Pride Month, an opportunity for LGBTQ people to reflect on their history and celebrate the community. Pride marches take place all over the world this month, and this weekend cities mainly in the US (from LA to Washington DC) saw a whole lot of Babadooks joining the parade.

If it's in a word or it's in a look you can't get rid of the Babadook

A post shared by Vita Santa Mamita (@vagoutwithvita) on

There were also Babadook signs out in force.

People are absolutely loving the community’s newest icon, joining the auspicious ranks of Madonna and Lady Gaga.

People have even started imagining the Babadook as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Who would have thought that a creepy horror movie character would be re-appropriated as a symbol of love and acceptance?

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