September 17, 2017 | Sex & Society

Babadook and Pennywise sitting in a tree ...

We live in interesting times, that's for sure.

One of the big debates taking place online right now -- one that doesn't even mention Donald Trump -- is whether or not it's okay to celebrate two evil fictional characters as gay icons.

The first is the Babadook, who landed on the big screen back in 2014 in a film of the same name. According to Buzzfeed, the monster of the movie was outed thanks to Netflix when Babadook was featured in the LGBT film section (even though there is no obvious queer content in the film).


The Internet ran with it. Memes were created about it. Drag queens dressed up like it. And some even looked for "proof" about the creature's sexuality.

“Someone was like, ‘How could “The Babadook” become a gay film,’ and the answer was readily available,” said Karen Tongson, an associate professor of gender studies and English at USC. “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.”

This year's big baddie is Stephen King's Pennywise, the evil clown in the movie It. He, like Babadook, never comes out in the movie. In fact, the Internet is once again to blame for outing the creature. And all it took was a single tweet.

The artist Kumi included this image with the caption, "Pennywise and his boyfriend, the Babadook, are off on a date to get crepes and terrorize some kids."

The tweet went viral, and the media ran with it:

The internet has decided that Pennywise from 'IT' and The Babadook are dating [PinkNews]

Two horror characters are now dating because the internet said so [New York Daily News]

The new It couple: Say hello to long-time lovers Pennywise and The Babadook [National Post]

Not everyone is convinced this is a good thing. One Twitter user explained her concerns by pointing out that making two creatures that prey on children gay is not the best association for a community that actually battles such perceptions in real life.

"I want to love the Babadook/Pennywise as queer thing but honestly "monsters who terrorize children BUT QUEER" makes me feel exhausted [b]ecause there are people who already view queer folk, especially gay men, as inherently dangerous and harmful to children," she wrote. "Why do you think it's always been harder for queer folk to get work in child-centric fields, to adopt or foster children? 

"Also because of WHO these particular monsters are. One, the terrifying embodiment of a mother's overwhelming grief and depression. Two, an unearthly evil terrorizing generation after generation whose evil forces pre-pubescent kids to have sex in a sewer."

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