But what people always tend to overlook is his flair for cross-dressing.
OK, I know. I know. I hear what you are thinking, astute readers. Cross dressing doesn’t make Leatherface a homo. And not everyone who has the gay does drag (just ask anyone who saw me when I dressed as Melissa Sue Anderson from Happy Birthday to Me for Halloween one year... I was so bad that someone made me promise to never do it again).
So, you are right. Leatherface's cross dressing does not equal him having the gay. In fact, the one time Leatherface showed any sign of a sexual interest was when he dry humped final girl Stretch with a chainsaw in TCM2....
So, I could put him in the transvestite category with other hetero icons like Bugs Bunny and Uncle Milty. But his gender distress seems a little more extreme than that. If I had to assign an LGBTQ letter grade, I gotta assume he falls somewhere in the T zone.
Take the following examples:
OK, purists. I know. These stills are from the much-derided Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. He also did some housewife drag in the original, but it's hard to get a good still. And I am NOT including anything from the Platinum Dunes’ remakes which, among other atrocities, sucked all the gay out of Leatherface … okay that sounded way dirtier than I intended.
However, I will counter with this: The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and this admittedly awful sequel were the only ones written by Kim Henkel. They were also the only ones in which Leatherface donned drag. Coincidence? Kim invented this character, so I'm assuming he is the expert on his nature.
And, yes, I know fellow LGBTQers. It's problematic. The transexual psycho was a staple of the 70s and 80s slasher film, seemingly ignoring the fact that most serial killers are heterosexual white men (not that there's anything wrong with that ... being heterosexual and white I mean ... not the serial killer stuff). But it is what it is.