The Babadook turns out to be completely obsessed with tormenting the innocent mother and son at the center of the film, and the whole movie is absolutely depressing, but I did enjoy it. However, I didn't think about the Babadook again after that screening—that is, not until a new phenomenon rose to the internet's surface: Through a series of memes, the Babadook is being worshipped as an LGBT icon."It's this tall monster," says Rex, a queer man who believes that the Babadook is obviously also very queer. "He's like—or they, let's not gender the Babadook—the Babadook is in this large overcoat and it has big teeth. They look very campy," Rex explains respectfully. In an interview with Broadly, Rex shared his account of what appears to be a mass cultural happening. He realized that the Babadook is queer seemingly simultaneously with hundreds of other people.
LGBTHanSolo accepts that the queer Babadook is more of a joke than an actual icon for LGBT people—but she thinks there are aspects about the evil monster's narrative that are relatable to queer people. "Throughout the film, the Babadook took revenge on families that attempted to suppress him," LGBTHanSolo told me, apparently fairly knowledgable of the film despite never having seen it.
The Babadook just looked real good.
"What I like about the Babadook is there's nothing super-imposing about her," Rex says, giving in to the desire to assign feminine pronouns to the Babadook. "She's just like, slithering across the ceiling. It's just like this top-hat-wearing, grinning thing." Rex, and lots of people, feel that the being itself isn't exactly scary. In the film, it ultimately comes across as a metaphor for the mother's emotional struggles, which just make it even more gay.
She's just like, slithering across the ceiling.
LGBTHanSolo feels that the Babadook has been embraced by LGBT people "like any other meme." She explained one circulating origin theory: that the Babadook "became a meme more specifically for the LGBT community because of Netflix placing the film in the LGBT category of their movies."While the film isn't listed under Netflix's LGBT films, many still say the "B" in LGBT actually stands for "Babadook."Rex remarked on the way the Babadook "slithered" across the ceiling and jumped around smiling. That's how he'd be if he were a horror monster, he said. "The Babadook's first scare prop is a very heavily illustrated pop-up book," Rex told me, widening his eyes in amazement, emphasizing how obvious it is that the Babadook is queer. "If using art to scare people isn't queer as hell, then what is?"