A Quick Streaming Guide of Black Queer Characters in Horror

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Mark O. Estes has the streaming guide we need!

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We were fortunate enough to catch up with writer/podcaster Mark O. Estes this month! His piece A Quick History of Black Queer Characters in Horror is required reading. Which is why he was the office choice to write this streaming guide featuring some of our favorite Black and Queer characters.

American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)

Ramona Royale, Played By Angela Bassett

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu and AppleTV

AHS Hotel 1024x1469 - A Quick Streaming Guide of Black Queer Characters in HorrorCR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

While American Horror Story welcomes and showcases almost every letter in the LGBTQIA+ rainbow family, it wasn’t until the show’s fifth season, Hotel, that we got our first Black Queer queer character in Ramona Royale. Channeling the Pam Greer-esque glamour of the 70s, Ramona met The Countess (Lady Gaga) in a disco and became her lover throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s. But the thing about eternity is that you tend to grow tired of the one you’re with. This happens, chaos ensues. And revenge becomes Ramona’s new lover. 

Blacula (1972)

Bobby McCoy, Played By Ted Harris

Where You Can Stream It: The Roku Channel

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Bobby McCoy was one of Blacula’s first victims when he and his white lover purchased the coffin of Prince Mamuwalde from Dracula’s estate. He reawakened as a vampire in the 1970s Los Angeles and walked the streets, luring unsuspecting men to their death. Bobby McCoy must be remembered as being one of the first, if not the first, Black Queer representations in horror history. 

Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

Belle, Played By Russell Clark

Where You Can Stream It: Youtube

Fright Night - A Quick Streaming Guide of Black Queer Characters in Horror

If you haven’t experienced the sheer excellence of Russell Clark’s portrayal of the lethal beauty Belle from Fright Night Part 2, then please rectify that faux pas immediately. Belle enhances the Queer subtext within the two Fright Night films. While the ‘relationship’ between the first film’s villains Jerry Dandridge and his manservant Billy Cole has been considered subtle, Belle’s blatant Queerness is not kept under wraps as they utilize their gender-bending attire and look as a bold weapon. It throws off their unsuspecting victims while stealing the scene from everyone involved. Belle’s silent but deadly presence is both a marvel and yet a curse, something that should be studied more in the Black Queer horror lexicon. 

The Quiet Room (2018)

Michael, Played By Jamal Douglas 

Where You Can Stream It: Shudder

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Before Spiral, we got a Black Gay lead in Sam Wineman’s short The Quiet Room. This horror film was the first I saw with a Black Gay lead and I took to it immediately. And not only does it have that achievement, but it also showcases (albeit ‘briefly’) Black Gay Love in horror as well. After attempting suicide after the death of his boyfriend, Michael ends up in a psychiatric ward where he’s haunted by a ghost named Hattie (played by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum and All-Star Winner Alaska). The short manages to pack a lot of story in its 28-minute runtime so check this out during binge between the other movies in this list. You will not be disappointed!

The Ranger (2018)

Jerk, Played By Jeremy Pope

Where You Can Stream It: Shudder

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Before Jeremy Pope wooed the masses in Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood and Pose, he was featured in Jennifer Wexler’s The Ranger where he played Jerk, one of the obnoxious punks in the film. Not only was Jerk a Black punk, but he was also gay. This went over my head initially because the movie didn’t focus overtly on the sexuality of Jerk and his white boyfriend. It was treated as normal as it should’ve been. Despite 90% of the characters deserving their demises, Jerk is still a part of the Black Queer horror lexicon.

Scream (2022)

Mindy, Jasmin Savoy Brown

Where You Can Stream It: VOD

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New decade, new rules, new characters. The Scream requel gave us the extraordinary addition of Mindy Meeks-Martin, one-half of the Meeks-Martin Twins, and niece and nephew to Randy Meeks. Mindy is not only a proud, Black horror head but a proud Lesbian as well. Seeing the double representation in this new era of Scream is one of the highlights of the movie that is enhanced by the crowd-pleasing performance by Jasmin Savoy Brown, who’s also queer. 

SB: *You can also catch her stealing scenes in Yellowjackets and playing another Queer character that keeps Twitter running.*

Spiral (2019)

Malik, Played By Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman

Where You Can Stream It: Shudder

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Spiral is a must-watch for all Black Queer peeps who know how terrifying it can be navigating this existence with a double target on our backs. Jeffrey Bower-Chapman’s Malik is the sole Black person in this film and sole Black Queer person as well, which he’s reminded of when his neighbors are too eerie for their own good. When the ish hits the fan, you panic for Malik’s because, in mid-90s America, the gay community did not have a lot of rights that we have today. Saying any more than that may spoil the film. So I strongly suggest giving this one a watch and seeing Malik battle the double-headed demon of racism and homophobia with little to no help.

True Blood (2008-2014)

Lafayette Reynolds, Played By Nelsan Ellis

Where You Can Stream It: HBOMax

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Nelson Ellis’s portrayal of Lafayette Reynolds in all seven seasons of True Blood is iconic. There hasn’t been a character like Lafayette since and there never will be. Lafayette is one of the greatest LGBTQIA+ characters to appear in horror and the fact that his character narrowly escaped death following the first season cliffhanger (SPOILER: the character didn’t survive the first novel in the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries series that True Blood is based on) proves his popularity with the masses. 

If you enjoyed this guest steaming guide as much as we did, then follow Mark at @theanticritic. You can also check out his podcast Midnight Social Distortion.

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