Gay Heroes in Genre Fiction

Last night I actually went out of my way to watch Mortuary, a Tobe Hooper blunder from 2005 starring Denise Crosby as a single mother who takes a job as a mortician and moves with her two children to an old house attached to the mortuary.  While it’s better than some of the cheap horror films that show up on the Sci Fi Channel, it’s still pretty forgettable; it features zombies, a killer fungus, and some sort of beast thing that lives in a pit, but there was no real coherence to the storyline and no attempt to explain what was really going on.  There were a couple of gratuitous Lovecraft references, but I suspect they were there more so the writers could show off ("Look! We know horror! Really! See? A Lovecraft reference!") than to offer any cohesive mythology to the film.  There was also an end that… well, wasn’t.  Again, I suspect the writers were showing off by trying to put a twist on a standard twist ending, but it just came off feeling truncated.  The characters, in general, were ineffective, only reacting to events in the movie but not initiating anything, and featured the standard crew of ineffective female characters and barely effective teenage boy characters.  I’ve always thought Denise Crosby deserves better than this sort of thing; perhaps it’s because she’s gained a few pounds and wrinkles since her days on Star Trek: The Next Generation that she doesn’t manage to land any roles that are interesting and effective.  But that’s another rant for another day.

What intrigued me about this film was the presence of Grady (played by Rockey Marquette), a self described gay character.  The viewer would not have had any idea that Grady was gay just by watching him; Grady flirted so much with Liz (played by Alexandra Adi) and interacted with her so intimately, it was easy to assume that the two of them were dating.  And once Grady has "outed" himself, there’s very little indication at all of his orientation, except for the appearance of an occasional swish or over-emoting (because no straight man, of course, ever feels emotion in a film like this).

And, of course, Grady is the first of the heroic characters to die.

So now I’m curious about this.  Is being gay in horror films as serious a crime as being black, or being a young and pretty woman who has sex?  I can’t think of many gay characters in horror films (that’s films, not literature, where gay characters seem to get almost a fair shake); Grady is the only one I can come up with off the top of my head.  Can anyone out there suggest any others to me, and how they fared in the film they were in?

(On another note, I remember that the character Zach (played by Thomas Dekker) on the show Heroes was originally supposed to be gay; however, this was apparently changed when Dekker’s managers thought that him playing a gay character might be detrimental to his future career.  Seems that even playing a gay character can land you in hot water.)