Anyone who was anyone in the ’90s will remember the first time they witnessed Drew Barrymore pick up her cordless phone to answer that dreaded question of, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” in the original Scream film.
Now, more than 25 years after that first deadly phone call, the team behind Scream is back with a new, queer-er entry in the franchise.
In honor of the new Scream hitting theaters this week, we’ve decided to take a look back at the first four films and make note of all the hidden (and not so hidden) LGBTQ gems found within the Scream universe. From queer characters to gay icons to not-so-secret gay lovers, here are all the things from Scream that had our gay spidey sense tingling…
Scream is “coded in gay survival”
Forget about “Code Red”–more like “Code Gay!” In a December 2021 interview with The Independent, Kevin Williamson, the openly gay creator and writer of the franchise, revealed how the Scream movies are “coded in gay survival.”
In speaking to how his own sexuality influenced the character of Sydney Prescott, Williamson shared how, “As a gay kid, I related to the final girl and to her struggle because it’s what one has to do to survive as a young gay kid too. You’re watching this girl survive the night and survive the trauma she’s enduring. Subconsciously, I think the Scream movies are coded in gay survival.”
“One of the things I’ve wrestled with is trust, and Sidney trusted no one,” he continued. “Did she really know her mother? Is her boyfriend who he says he is? In the end, she wasn’t even trusting herself.”
Which like, if you suspect your boyfriend is a killer… Girl, I get it.
Meanwhile, Courteney Cox’s hair in Scream 3 is coded in “WTF?”
Gale Weathers = icon. Her hair in Scream 3 = tragedy. But damnit if we don’t love her no matter what!
Check out this clip of Courteney discussing her memorable locks on a January 2022 episode of The
Casey Becker Drew Barrymore Show (around the 5:25 mark):
Billy and Stu, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G?!
I won’t spoil the ending to the first movie (which, like, if you haven’t seen it, what are you doing with your life?), but Billy and Stu are obviously gay lovers, right?! Perhaps I’ve been way too single for far too long, but with every scene they shared, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelming undercurrents of homosexual desire.
At one point, Stu even tells a guy he’ll “gut his ass in a second” which is the gayest thing I’ve heard all day. (Photographic proof below because #journalism.)
And I’m not the only one that thinks so! In an interview with Pride Source, Scream‘s very own Neve Campbell weighs in on the Billy/Stu-are-lovers theory, saying, “I would theorize that perhaps there was confusion and that maybe some of their anger comes from not being allowed to be who they want to be.”
Boom. Case closed.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for gay icons!
Some pray to God at night. Others (like me) pray to the likes of Carrie Fisher, Laurie Metcalf, Parker Posey, and Sarah Michelle Gellar… all beloved by the LGBTQ community, and all who appear in the Scream franchise at some point or the other.
Now put down those cigarettes, ladies! Don’t you know there are children reading this?
…and queer actors, too!
Though they all play straight characters (as far as we know) and some were not publicly out at the time, there are quite a few queer actors that pop-up throughout the first four Scream movies. This includes Portia de Rossi in Scream 2, Heather Matarazzo in Scream 3, and Anna Paquin and Nico Tortorella (sans any of that trademark facial hair!) in Scream 4.
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of queer hearts beating with pride every time we see these folks on screen!
Scream: The TV Series was pretty damn queer
Scream: The TV Series premiered in 2015. Over the course of 3 seasons, the show introduced viewers to 5 (!!!) different LGBTQ characters, including a bi-curious character played by trans non-binary actor, Bex-Taylor Klaus (pictured above). I never watched the show (don’t @ me!), but I love anything LGBTQIA+, so obviously am including it on this list.
But back to the movies!
Being gay, to the rescue?!
Early on in Scream 4, it is stated that one of the rules for staying alive is, “If you want to survive in a modern day horror movie, you pretty much have to be gay.”
This theory is brought to the test when teen cinephile Robbie Mercer is attacked by Ghostface (video above). In an attempt to save himself, he crawls away and confesses to being “gay….if it helps!” Needless to say, it’s not enough to keep him from being killed by Ghostface, which… sad face.
In all four of the Scream films, this is the closest thing we get to having an out, gay character–which is seriously not enough for my gay-stained heart.
Fortunately, good news is on the way….
The new Scream will introduce a Black, queer character
When next we reunite with Sydney and the gang in Scream 5 (OK, technically the sequel is called Scream. It’s confusing, I know!), we’ll also be introduced to a new pack of angsty teenagers. Among those teens is Mindy, a queer character played by Jasmin Savoy-Brown who identifies as queer IRL! Don’t you love it when that happens???
“What I love about playing Mindy is she’s a queer Black woman, just like myself, so I’m really proud of that,” Savoy-Brown told Logo last year.
But don’t expect Mindy to be one-note. In fact, Savoy-Brown had a hand in crafting the character to ensure it was authentic to the queer experience.
“The directors and the writers have done a beautiful job out of making characters that aren’t tropes and aren’t caricatures.” she shared. “They’re just people existing in this world. When they asked for collaboration, they were just asking me to be my full self. So there wasn’t a lot of tweaking to do, I felt I could just fully exist just as myself which is a person who happens to be queer, and the writing reflects that.”
If the pin Savoy-Brown’s wearing in the official movie poster is any indication, we are in for a queer-tastic treat! But also, is she going to be the killer? I see you holding that mask!
Guess we’ll find out this weekend when Scream hits theaters.
Josh Galassi is very gay and very disabled, if you haven’t noticed. Sometimes, he writes about both those things, and sometimes, he doesn’t. He lives in Seattle with his dog Carmen Sandiego, who, it turns out, was on Craigslist the entire time (where he bought her). You can find him on Twitter, or at a nearby coffee shop obsessing over cold brew.