Many have named the Babadook, a fictional monster from a 2014 horror movie, to be a mascot for the LGBT community. Here’s everything you need to know.
1. The Babadook is a 2014 Australian Horror Film
The Babadook is a 2014 Australian horror film directed by Jennifer Kent (who also acted in a number of movies including Babe: Pig in the City). The movie is about a mother named Amelia who loses her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth to their only son. As she struggles with being a single mother and raising her son, they find a mysterious book about the Babadook, a monster that hides in dark areas. The Babadook appears to be haunting them and now Amelia must fend off the monster.
The film garnered critical acclaim with the film receiving a “Certified Fresh” score of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86 on Metacritic. It also received $7.5 million from sales on a $2 million budget.
The Babadook isn’t based off of any mythical monster, though it’s probably based off monsters in folklore such as the similarly-named Baba-Yaga. As Not Unpleasant writes, Babadook is an anagram for “A Bad Book.” They also point out that the Babadook is similar to the one in Kent’s 2005 short film Monster with it’s tall figure and claw-like hands.
2. It Was Listed as a LGBT Film on Netflix
Many have argued that the titular Babadook represents the grief and depression that comes with a traumatic loss as experienced by the characters in the film. But many others have a different interpretation.
The interpretation of the Babadook as LGBT began when the film was accidentally listed as a LGBT Movie on Netflix back in summer of 2016, as reported by Mashable.
3. Tumblr Has Debated Whether Or Not It’s Gay
In October of 2016, users on Tumblr debated whether or not the Babadook is gay, citing the fact that he created a pop-up book about himself to stir up drama. As Vulture writes, the Babadook also prefers dark areas like closets and basements and wears an androgynous long coat and a hat.
4. It has become a LGBT Icon
With the arrival of Pride Month in June, many have deemed the Babadook an icon of the LGBT community. People have taken to Twitter and other social media sites to express their joy at the Badabook becoming an LGBT icon.
Mashable argues that the meme has become a way for the community to joke about “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.
5. June is Pride Month
LGBT Pride Month, according to the Library of Congress, is celebrated every June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots on Manhattan, which many consider the driving event of the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, as well as celebrate the historical and cultural impact of the LGBT community. Celebrations occur all month long with parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts and more attracting millions of participants. Memorials are also held during the month to honor those in the community lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS.
The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015.