“Lydia,” Countess Eleanor whined, “why can’t you take better care of your hair?”
One, two, three. Her mother always brushed her hair in three succinct strokes before taking a breath. This meticulousness always unnerved Lydia: for one, because her mother never seemed to notice that she was doing it, and two, because she couldn’t stand to sit still for so long. On and on, one two three, pause, one two three. She stared straight ahead at her reflection in the ornate mirror, her soft brown eyes burning, willing her tangled raven hair to spontaneously combust.
“Lydia. I am serious,” Eleanor hissed, tugging roughly against a tight knot of hair. “I know that you do not use these brushes; there’s not even a strand of your hair left in here!”
“I brush it. I just clean off the brushes.”
“That’s a funny lie, girl. You best learn to take care of yourself, otherwise I will not allow you to go riding in the afternoons.”
“And what shall I do all day instead?”
“You can work on your embroidery skills, for one. Your governess gave you an assignment about a week ago, didn’t she?”
“I misplaced it.”
Continue reading “Follicles”
We’ve all heard the stories. Books that change as you read them, predicting the future or inserting you as a character. But, what if that was true? At least, the changing as you were reading them part? Aaron Reed, author of the upcoming novel Subcutanean, has figured out a way to do just that.
A novel where no two copies are the same. Each reader gets a unique experience which means there are infinite possibilities and interpretations. GenderTerror had the chance to speak to Aaron about the concept, complications, his history with video games, and the switch from games to novels.
Continue reading “Not Quite the Same: An Interview with the Author of Subcutanean, Aaron Reed”
CW: Incest, assault, abuse.
Hurricane Aaron is a film about brothers in tragedy. J.R. Howell’s first feature film takes viewers on a series of twists and turns that may leave some queasy, but thoroughly intrigued about the psyche, and rage, of its main characters, Aaron and Cory. There is more than just horror that lurks under the skin of this film. GenderTerror had a chance to interview the director, writer, and score creator, J.R. Howell about his psychosexual thriller and other upcoming projects.
GenderTerror: Why horror, especially queer horror?
J.R. Howell: My first horror movie ever was A Nightmare On Elm Street, which I saw when I was five years old. I love the thrill that horror movies provide. As I grew older, I similarly fell in love with the science fiction genre. One of the things so attractive about science fiction is the social commentary it provides through allegory or speculation. Truly great science fiction can be mind-blowing in that way. Lately, mainstream science fiction feels like it’s lost its soul and offers up action movies in space with tacky tech without really having any deeper meaning. Films like this seem to be evolving cinema to a medium without narrative. Yet, at the same time, horror is picking up the slack. Over the last few years, we’re seeing films marketing as “high concept horror.” Of course the truth is almost all horror is in some way “high concept.” Nevertheless, some horror films have taken a more overt approach to directly assert their attempt at social commentary, which is an astonishing effort when you think about it. Many criticisms of mega budget films that go on to tremendous financial success is that they’re too devoid of meaning so as to appeal to the widest audience as possible across countries and cultures. Yet, there’s a subgenre of horror that’s openly asserting that its making social critiques, come what may. I absolutely love that courage. So for these reasons I wanted to take on the social issues referred to in the film using horror.
Continue reading “Hurricane Aaron is Howelling Through”
“Odysseus is mad.”
Eurylochus leaned in on his bow until only Elpenor could hear him. They hovered near a lighted torch on the furthest side of their beach camp. From where they were, Elpenor saw the great blue eyes of their ship peaking out from the water, which looked oily so deep into the night. On their other side, he only saw dim shadows in the dark wood.
“He misses home,” said Elpenor, himself leaning in, although he kept his back straight. “And he’s kept us alive.”
“By fighting a giant we had no business bothering?” Eurylochus challenged. He looked back at Elpenor from under a headband and dark-brown curls. “Now we’re stranded on this island, and more of us go missing every day. He swears there’s a witch.”
Elpenor’s brows arched downwards, his fine mouth settling into a frown. The woods beyond stayed quiet, and far enough away not to hide listening ears. “You don’t believe him.”
Eurylochus checked behind them to confirm that the men at the bonfire were still distracted. They did. Men sat languidly around the fire, telling tales and cooking meat until their watch. The boat remained quiet, the soft waves rocking it peacefully. “I don’t believe one way or another. I know I took a small group of men into the woods, and we found nothing but vines and wild sows.”
“Well,” Eurylochus began, “As far as I can tell, there’s not a stag, bull, or stud among them.”
“Odysseus came back with a stag not long ago,” Elpenor added.
“But have you seen any? In the wild?” Continue reading “Circe’s Boars”
CW: So, just as a heads-up, this analysis is going to talk about sexual assault, rape, and murder involving hetero and homosexual individuals.
It is extremely hard to deny the feminist underpinnings that are at the heart of the film adaptation of Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson’s otherworldly predator of a protagonist takes on the body of a woman in order to lure and then harvest the young men of Scotland, secure in their belief that nothing terrible could happen to them. As the movie progresses, though, she starts to take on a slow understanding and identification with that new form, to the point where she begins to be objectified and victimized herself. This character is ripe for analysis, but I feel that from a bisexual perspective, something begins to show itself by analyzing the film’s alien together with the men she chooses to lure to their deaths. The upheaval of the narrative of the woman victim and the male sexual predator, the flipping of this all-too-familiar story, is a compelling hook to hang the narrative on. It is also reminiscent of something that is also all-too-familiar to the queer male community and has hung over it like a dark cloud. Under The Skin can be interpreted as a look into how the gay community has to deal with opening itself to a dangerous world of predatory and sometimes fatal behavior when dating.
Continue reading “Men as Prey: Under The Skin’s Connection to Gay Victimization”
Werewolves are a centuries old monster, representing everything from change to the animalistic tendencies of humans. Werewolves of some sort are seen in almost every culture across the globe. Shape changers are something that has captivated and horrified for years, so how does one create a spin on the time old story?
Coey Kuhn, an artist stationed out of Columbus, Ohio, has managed to not only change a key part of the werewolf lore, but also created a rather loveable monster in the process. Lucille is a short-form comic (available for sale in physical copies or through his Patreon) that follows the titular through the consequences of her attack and subsequent first transformation.
GenderTerror was lucky enough to interview the artist about not only Lucille‘s creation, but the deeper meanings to the work and Lucille’s special attributes.
Continue reading “Beauty in the Beast: On Lucille”
I watched the stars blink out one by one.
I let the silence overtake me then, as space and time grew quiet and alone. A dark void surrounded and filled me as the black grew into existence, and I knew that we had done this. We had stirred this darkness, stirred it and fed it and made it grow, and it consumed us. Slowly, desperately, and terribly, it consumed us.
And then we set it free. Continue reading “Silence”
Ben shut the bathroom door before he turned on the fan, the sink, and the tub faucet. He paused for a moment, then turned on the shower as well, a cascade of sound surrounding him. It wasn’t enough. He imagined he could still hear the thrashing in the backyard pool, the way it grew increasingly frantic before it finally slowed. Then, as always, stopped.
He sat on the edge of the tub, almost hyperventilating. The water from the shower beat a warm staccato against the vinyl shower curtain pressed against his back. Drops of mist caught in his hair and mingled with the sweat that trickled down his face and back, soaking into his clothes.
He wasn’t sure how long he remained like that, mind racing but going nowhere, until he was shocked out of it by a knock on the door. He didn’t answer, and after a few long moments, it opened slowly.
Continue reading “Sea Changes”
Hey I’m Murphy, a trans guy from Ontario, Canada. You can find me on tumblr, twitter and furaffinity (forewarning, my fa has nsfw content)!
While I’ve only more recently began adding gore to my art, it’s been something I’ve obsessed over since childhood. Gross, slimy, horror has always drawn me in. And of course for Halloween I just had to draw a werewolf using his tiny boyfriend as a chewtoy!
This post was made possible with support from Patreon. Support GenderTerror and its creators by becoming a part of our Patreon! Every dollar counts!
“Prepare to have your assumptions and comforts challenged a bit, and remember that queer people are a part of your human experience,” Philip told me when I asked them what they wanted their non-queer viewers of Gaming in Color to take from the film. Of course the film, which focuses on the experiences of queer gamers in video games, from developers to simple fans, is meant to be about educating others. Philip wanted there to be an easy to consume resource for those who may not be able to influence every gamer they meet to understand the issues queer gamers face.
“Your gaming tendencies will probably feel a bit poked at and criticized, maybe even deconstructed in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. But that’s often how queer people feel just getting past the hurdle of even turning on a game, assumptions are made and questions are asked and you’re never allowed to just exist in a culture that is hostile or at best neutral but aloof to you.” As Philip states here, gaming is not always perfect when it comes to dealing with queer characters, let alone dealing with queer people within gaming experiences. However, not everything is negative when it comes to the intersections of identity and gaming.
Continue reading “Gaming in Color: An Interview with Director and Producer Philip Jones”
Kung Jin is the name of Mortal Kombat’s first gay character. After numerous games, adaptions, and so forth, Mortal Kombat has its first gay character. However, you have to be pretty observant to catch the reference. During a flashback he is talking about the gods accepting him.
“I can’t… They won’t accept…” He says, only to have Raiden respond with They care about only what is in your heart; not whom your heart desires.” And that’s it. That sole line. It’s subtle. It’s nice. But it is far from perfect.
Continue reading “Implied and Rarely Said: Queer Sexualities and Genders in Media”
What would you do
If I asked you to stop saying
Just one word?
Would you look at me and laugh?
Would you spit the word at me?
Or maybe you’d say that old adage
About sticks and stones.
What is I said that this word
Just this one
Or maybe a few
Out of our vast vocabulary
Would you spit again?
Would you tell me I’m weak?
Would you tell me words
Are just words?
Continue reading “One Word”