Queer people are no strangers to horror. Identifying with the villains and dark forces that plague the white-picket-fence families of the horror genre is as hard-coded into us as our queerness itself. But as publishing chips away at its long-established heteronormative structures, allowing queer creators a seat at the table, we no longer have to identify with the monsters...unless we want to. Here are five queer horror reads that are sure to terrify and delight you!
With misogyny being one of the long-standing pillars of our society, it comes as no surprise that this sapphic, feminist, vampire gothic has gone under the radar of most horror aficionados. But Carmilla, whose conception predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by nearly half a century, should be pushed to the number one spot on the Foundational Vampires list, and your TBR list, of course.
Queer horror at its most brutal, Manhunt has easily solidified itself as one of the most profound works of apocalyptic fiction I've ever read. Felker-Martin ensures not a single jaw-breaking punch is pulled. Though this tale is definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart, the payoff delivered by its central cast of queer characters is more than worth it. Manhunt is the hill I will die on.
Queers everywhere have known most of our lives what it's like to identify as the proverbial monster, but that doesn't mean we all enjoy scary things. Summer Sons is that happy medium. Ghostly, atmospheric, and a sun-dappled fresco of grief, this shaken haunted mystery with a slow-burn romance is sure to give you all the feelings. Yes, even the warm, fuzzy ones.
Though marketed as a young-adult graphic novel, Squad has enough bite to contend with any adult work. Mean Girls vibes abound and the animation gives vibrant, hot-girl, Archie Comic-vibes, but the true power of this lycanthropic story lies in its calls to the queer angst of Jennifer's Body. Fitting in is tough, especially as a closeted teen. And no graphic novel says that — howls that — more viciously than Squad.
Conversion camps are a real-world horror that many queer folks have the privilege of never having to face head-on, but Sass makes certain that every cell in your queer blood knows the awful might that religious extremists wield against the LGBTQ+ community. Harrowing and at times hard-to-stomach, Surrender Your Sons will rattle you to your core.