Queer representation has been present across all genres of film since the dawn of filmmaking. Much of the early representation of queer identities originated in the horror genre, specifically during the time of the Motion Picture Production Code (1934-1968). However, many negative stereotypes and tropes still common in media today originated in this time period. Films like Dracula’s Daughter and Bride of Frankenstein included stereotypes like the overly effeminate, weak gay man, the aggressive, ugly lesbian, and the concept that queer people are predatory. Modern-day horror films have started to stray away from these harmful tropes, including more well-rounded and diverse queer representation. Films like Jennifer’s Body still include queer villains but do not make their queerness what makes them evil. Films like The Fear Street Trilogy allow queer characters to be seen in leading roles. The leads of this trilogy have agency in their story and are not defined by their sexuality. 21st-century filmmaking is heading towards better queer representation. This includes exploring diverse identities, respecting the queer community through authentic storytelling, recognizing bias and negative stereotypes, and including queer people in the development of queer characters. Queer representation in the media is powerful and can save lives, so it is important that filmmakers strive for genuine representation when writing queer stories.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-3-2023


Vernon Cooper

Mentor Department Affiliation

Language and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Language and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology