Through the lens of horror—from Halloween to Hereditary—queer and trans writers consider the films that deepened, amplified, and illuminated their own experiences.
Horror movies hold a complicated space in the hearts of the queer community: historically misogynist, and often homo- and transphobic, the genre has also been inadvertently feminist and open to subversive readings. Common tropes—such as the circumspect and resilient “final girl,” body possession, costumed villains, secret identities, and things that lurk in the closet—spark moments of eerie familiarity and affective connection. Still, viewers often remain tasked with reading themselves into beloved films, seeking out characters and set pieces that speak to, mirror, and parallel the unique ways queerness encounters the world.
It Came from the Closet features twenty-five original essays by writers speaking to this relationship, through connections both empowering and oppressive. From Carmen Maria Machado on Jennifer’s Body, Jude Ellison S. Doyle on In My Skin, Addie Tsai on Dead Ringers, and many more, these conversations convey the rich reciprocity between queerness and horror.
Graham Halstead is a Brooklyn-based actor and voice artist. His voice work includes animation, commercials, and Audie and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning audiobook narration. His work in the theater includes performances in New York, regionally in Washington DC, and internationally in Edinburgh and London. His most recent television work can be seen on AMC.
Aven Shore is an audiobook narrator who is in love with the magical alchemy of storytelling. A dual United States/Canada citizen, she has a passion for sustainable living; feminist, gender, and sexuality issues; cognitive science and productivity; and trauma/cult memoirs. She currently resides in an off-grid tiny house in rural Canada.
Aida Reluzco is a first-generation queer/LGBTQ+ American of Cuban and Filipino descent as well as a patron and contributor to the creative arts. Having received training in character studies, dialects, animation, and theater, she can usually be found enjoying life with her young family or reading.
Mark Sanderlin is a talented voiceover artist who has worked on numerous audiobook projects.
Krystal Hammond is a narrator/writer, cancer survivor, and nonbinary queer human. They grew up in rural North Carolina, nurtured by a steady diet of local Black Beard legends and Civil War-era ghost stories. These nuggets of folktale and myth fostered a lifelong love of storytelling and all the drama that goes with it, resulting in loads of trunk novels and dozens of audiobooks. They have a passion for science fiction, fantasy, and horror, YA and middle grade novels, and romantic comedies.
Daniel Henning is a director, producer, actor, and writer. His work has been seen on HBO, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, MTV, Comedy Central, and on stages throughout Southern California. He won a 2017 Telly Award for "Best Writer" for the film version of his play The Tragedy of JFK (as Told by Wm. Shakespeare). As director and writer, his TV and film work includes MTV's Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and the film Critic's Choice. He won the NAACP Theatre Award for "Best Director of a Musical" for The Wild Party.He is the Founding Artistic Director of Hollywood's The Blank Theatre, winning over 200 awards for his productions, including "Best Production," from LA Drama Critic Circle, LA Weekly, Ovations, NAACP, etc. Henning has been inspirational to thousands of young artists through his creation of The Blank's Young Playwrights Festival (the only professional nationwide competition for playwrights aged nine to nineteen). He directed the first play by 2016 Tony Award Winner for "Best Play" Stephen Karam when Stephen was seventeen and a winner in The Blank's Young Playwrights Festival.Henning has also been an acting teacher and coach and is known for his ability to spot young talent. He has given opportunities to many young actors who later went on to success in Hollywood including Tessa Thompson, Noah Wyle, Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. He coached Sarah Michelle Gellar on her auditions for the landmark TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and they shared a close personal friendship, even traveling to Australia together with family for New Year's Eve 2000, where the paparazzi photographed Henning and Gellar dancing. For several months, Henning was rumored to be dating Gellar in the Australian fan magazines (including Big Hit Magazine), which, of course, was inaccurate as Henning was traveling with his husband, Rick Baumgartner.He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Circle in the Square Theatre School, and American Conservatory Theatre. His work for LGBTQ Equality includes creating the fiftieth Anniversary Celebration of the Black Cat Protests (the first major LGBTQ Demonstration in the US) and directing and hosting the 2017 LA City Council LGBTQ Pride Ceremony. He was recently honored by the CA State Legislature for his work in LGBTQ Equality and nurturing the future of the Arts.He has also narrated dozens of audiobooks, both nonfiction and fiction.
Ron Butler is a Los Angeles based actor who works regularly as a commercial and animation voiceover artist and an audiobook narrator. A member of the Atlantic Theater Company, he has over a hundred film and television credits to his name and won an Independent Filmmaker Project Award for his work in the HBO film Everyday People.
Born in the United States and based in France, Hope Newhouse comes from a stage background ranging from medieval farce to contemporary drama to children’s theater. Now more often found behind a microphone, her warm and engaging voice has been heard on commercials, video games, e-learning programs, institutional films, and audiobooks.
Lindsey Dorcus is a SOVAS and IAA Award-winning audiobook narrator and classically trained actor. She has narrated over fifty titles for publishers like Penguin Random House, Disney Hyperion, Audible Studios, Scribd, and others. After receiving her BA in theater from Northwestern University, she worked as a theater artist and teacher in Chicago for over ten years, before shifting her focus to audiobooks. She especially loves narrating YA, science fiction/fantasy, and stories with LGBTQ+ themes.
Joel Froomkin is a classically trained actor and audiobook narrator with nearly 300 titles to his credit. An eight-time AudioFile Earphones Award winner, he is a United Kingdom transplant with American parents who has the unique ability to switch between authentic British and American accents. Having taught dialect at New York University/Tisch School for the Arts, he spends his spare time wrangling loquacious dachshunds.
Mike Cooper is a British voice artist based in the United States. In addition to a wide variety of voice-over work he has narrated audiobooks including The Divine Spark, The Magician’s Way, and The Last Shaman.
Vikas Adam is a classically trained actor with numerous credits in stage, film, commercials, and television, in addition to his over two hundred recorded audiobooks. His narrations have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including AudioFile Earphones Awards, various Best of the Year lists, and the prestigious Audie Award. He was an inaugural inductee into the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame.