Monday, June 21, 2010

Homo Horror Hall of Fame: Jame Gumb a.k.a. Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs

Jame Gumb liked to wear makeup, mince around with a small dog named Precious, tuck his gennies between his legs while staring at himself in the mirror, and make dresses -- out of "great big fat person" girl skin.

In 1991, that made him a bit of a homo controversy. Jame was seen as yet another psycho-fag stereotype. Protests erupted. San Francisco burned (just after they had finally rebuilt after that whole Basic Instinct thing).
These were dark times, readers. Long before lovable pet homos on Will and Grace and Queer Eye appeared to re-assure hamburger-eating regular 'murcans that gays didn't want to skin their fatties. As it turns out, we only wanted to de-frizz their hair and toss their college-era bong-stained tie-dye wall hangings into the trash.)

But now that 20 years (gulp!) have passed and we have somewhat of a broader range of homos in the American film cannon, it's time to ask the question: what exactly was Jame's deal? Was s/he trans-sexual? Doctor Lecter says he is not (though he is an unreliable narrator if ever there was one). We know Jame had a boyfriend named Benjamin Raspall at one point, but he was also apparently shtupping ill-fated Frederica Bimmel (who provided the lovely diamond pattern for his lady suit). So does this make Jame a bi-trans-sexual?
Well, whatever Jame was, I will go out on a limb here and declare (you can't stop me, San Francisco!) that the Unsinkable Miss Gumb was not straight. This is not just some confused straight man who'd be eating Nachos at Hooters if it weren't for the years of "systematic abuse" he endured.

So Jame, hold your head high, girl. Apply as much lotion as you like. Put on your best nipple rings and blonde wig.

You are a beautiful butterfly and don't let nobody tell you different. You have now made the Homo Horror Hall of Fame and they can never take that from you.


  1. Fascinating post, man. While I was reading it my mind kept drifting to Norman Bates. Which is kind of interesting considering that both him and Bill were not only of the dress-wearing persuasion but both are based on Ed Gein.

    On a side note, that nipple ring makes me wince everytime I see it. Keep up the good work!

  2. It puts the lotion on the skin or it gets the hose again . .

    awesome horror line.


  3. I still think there is a loaded imbalance in the number of gay psycho-killers in horror films and 'psychological thrillers'.

    The publicity at the time defended Buffalo Bill, saying that he wasn't gay. But to the average punter, having a toy poodle is a long way from heterosexual...

  4. Thanks for the comments!

    Mark, I've actually been stumped in finding more recent examples of gay psycho-killers (other than the purely gay horror genre). Any that you can think of off the top of your head?