Happy Pride Month everyone: the Ba-Ba-DOOOOOK is gay.
At least, that’s the theory being advanced by some of the reigning queer meme pundits of Tumblr. In the past few months, the indie horror monster icon has somehow emerged as the unofficial meme of LGBTQ pride for reasons many of us will never fully understand.
Here’s what we do know.
Back in the summer of 2016, rumors first began to circulate on Tumblr and Twitter that the monster from the film was, in fact, queer. Some users reported seeing The Babadook categorized as an LGBT movie on Netflix, and with a just a few screenshots, sparked a national meme movement.
To clarify: there is no scientific evidence to support classifying The Babadook as an LGBTQ movie or the monster itself as a queer character (Netflix no longer classifies the movie as such). By all outward signs, the Babadook is nothing more than an asexual charcoal drawing and a symbolic vehicle for maternal rage.
That being said, it’s important not to fall into a familiar trap and desexualize the poor imaginary monster community. Queer plots are often barely submerged beneath the narrative surface. We shouldn’t assume a fictional monster is straight, especially one who sports a very dandy-like top hat.
I mean come ON. Who hasn’t seen this guy on Grindr?
Tumblr and Twitter almost universally agree: the Babadook is queer.
Of course, we shouldn’t label the Babadook’s sexuality until the monster actually comes out itself. That being said, we have ample symbolic stereotypical evidence suggesting that the monster might be queer, including:
1. Kind of a drag queen
2. Name begins with a B (Bisexual? Babadook?)
3. Never said it was straight.
4. Lives in closet/basement
5. Wears an androyogynous coat
6. Trump is president, everything is bad and it would be so funny if it were true.
The Babadook is a relatable character
– embodiment of depression
– lives for free in a basement
– well dressed in a top hat
— 🎩Boy Mayor🎩 @ AC (@PinkiePoshArt) June 2, 2017
Though the meme first appeared over a year ago, its popularity spiked in the last few weeks with the advent of Pride Month.
Over time, the Babadook meme has become a way for members of the queer community to joke about the community, without becoming dangerously earnest or having people yell at them on Facebook.
It’s a way for folks to parody hackneyed coming out plots, corny LGBTQ tropes, cheesy gay design, painfully academic queer theories, and this one time Netflix maybe messed up.
In 2017, everyone can be LGBTQ — including a fictional character from an independent movie most people have never heard of.
The Babadook may never come out of the closet/basement, but Babadook memes have become the universal language of the Tumblr-Twitter queer community — building bridges, one completely random movie reference a time.