That One Time Freddy Was Gay

Contel Bradford
3 min readOct 7, 2020

I’m not ashamed to admit it … I love Freddy Krueger. Like everything about him. I’m talking the character, and the actor who brought him to life. The concept. Even the movies, despite all their extra thick cheesiness, are certified classics, IMO. I’ve seen every Freddy flick countless times, but it wasn’t until nearly 30 years later that I noticed some glaring themes poking out of one particular sequel.

Photo by Philipp yy

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge will forever be remembered for two things: that chilling opening scene on the school bus, and being one of the gayest horror movies in history. After my most recent rewind of the flick, I do some research and run across articles such as How a Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Became an Iconic Gay Horror Film (after years of being hated). I never knew it was hated, first of all, but the article (eventually) touches on how the movie subtly, or not so subtly, highlights main character Jesse’s struggle with his repressed sexuality, which none other than Freddy is a supposed representation of.

Mind you, dude was never portrayed as gay in the film. But I guess, if you take a deeper glance… his interaction with the coach in the fetish bar, always tussling with his homeboy Grady, and the trouble he seems to have embracing his girlfriend, who was blatantly throwing the pussy at him like JV… you could say those are some valid observations.

But There’s More!

Aye, this isn’t just me or people online being douchey homophobes. Further research turned up articles like, The Nightmare Behind the Gayest Horror Movie Ever Made. This Buzzfeed piece goes beyond the fourth wall to dig up dirt on the controversy surrounding the movie. I think the craziest tidbit is how the role was perceived to be so overly gay, that actor Mark Patton (Jesse) was pigeon-holed into such roles moving forward.

Public domain photo, yo!

Guess it didn’t help that the biggest character he’d played before Jesse in ANOES 2 was also a gay role. Even more bunkers is the fact that Patton really was a gay man in the industry during a time when something as simple as your sexuality could completely ruin you. So he chose to stay in the closet a little while longer. The article also mentions the director, who allegedly blamed Patton’s ‘gay’ acting for giving the film whatever contentious reputation it picked up over the years. Fuckin’ bonkers, right?

Gay, subtly gay, or not gay at all, Jesse’s complex story sets the backdrop for one of my favorite Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Freddy is at his absolute darkness and not shitting the bull. He’s also able to enter the real world “through” Jesse, which was another controversial element that had fans feeling some type of way. Mark was serviceable in his role as Jesse and gets bonus points for being an absolute cheese ball in the process. Organic cheese though, which is totally cool.

Good times!

Contel Bradford is a mystical and complex individual. You can attempt to unravel some of the mystery by visiting his author site at countkrewpublications.com.

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Contel Bradford

A seasoned freelance journalist and author, Contel Bradford is into reading, botanicals, horror, video games, and pro wrestling. Moreover, he LOVES adulting.