Mothman is Motherfiled June 29, 2023
Here at The InQueery, our days are spent analyzing trend reports and poring over ancient manuscripts both sapphic and faggotic. If there is one thing that this rigorous research has illuminated, it is that we queer people love our divas. We are beings prone to idol worship, who need icons to understand who we are and what to buy and how to feel about things like fashion, media, and nuanced international politics. That’s why we’re deeming 2023 The Year of the Mother. This Pride season, The InQueery will be introducing a new honor to bestow: The Mother of Mothers Award.
We’ve spent the last several months combing through the canon for icons who have given us everything and served tirelessly, but had yet received their due celebration. Our scouring of the scrolls reminded us first of our problematic Mothers (i.e. Azelia Banks, Lea Michele, M3gan). Then, the parchment pecking led us to consider more local figures (Cheryl from Human Resources, Becca’s Aunt Shannon, chaotic-but-in-a good-way Alexis from a 2017 Uberpool). To think outside the box, however, we looked toward a community even less represented. Who has been hidden in the shadows? There exists one group so invisible, and yet deserving of more than one letter among the likes of Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts, and Qs. This group is known as: Non-Human Queer Creatures (NHQCs).
While the population of NHQCs is inherently mysterious, their presence is undeniable. Visibility may be critical to progress, but within their community, mystery remains a virtue. Some humans claim to witness their visitations while most of us become aware of their existence through media that erases their queerness for straight audiences (e.g. The Babadook, The Blair Witch Project, Cocaine Bear). One queer creature that has escaped the human-normative gaze, however, is the prophetic and ancient shapeshifter of omnipresent experience, the Mothman.
Best known from 2002’s (erotic?) Christmas thriller, The Mothman Prophecies, the preposterously male-gendered Mothman (Mothmxn) is a spiritual presence known for revealing themself in various forms, but most notably as a very tall, half-human, half-winged moth-demon with glowing red eyes and a kinky proclivity for terrorizing heterosexual teenage couples making out in their cars. In the film, Mothmxn also stalks Debra Messing’s character, Mary Kline, who is described in the script as “a beautiful redhead with a natural joie de vivre.” Mary is wed to John, a news reporter who finds himself in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where Mothmxn is making housecalls. John is played by Richard Gere, who, it should be noted, was in the original Broadway cast of Grease!
Aside from killing Debra Messing via a brain tumor in the shape of its likeness and then bringing her back to life for a few haunting shots of her crossing the frame alien-in-Signs-style with hair bouncy enough for a mid-aughts L’Oréal commercial, The Mothman Prophecies contains several other arguments for bringing the titular figure into the queer canon. For example, as a cunty and classic harbinger of doom, Mothmxn uses their omnipresent status to save human lives by prophesying the collapse of a bridge filled bumper-to-bumper with holiday shoppers. Furthermore, one of Mothmxn’s visions provides inspiration for a chilling (and wandering) monologue from Laura Linney donning a sheriff’s outfit with a mind-boggling, Helen Hunt-adjacent dialect. Talk about activism! Our queen also famously loves a lip balm.
Cinematic interpretations aside, Mothmxn is busy, busy, busy – she’s on the go, girlies! She’s everywhere all the time, popping out and touching down when and wherever she wants, be it in a shifting physical form, or a mysterious tele-electrical energy manifested as a gayvoice calling a sleazy motel bedside phone. Honey? We have simply no choice but to – say it with us – stan. And while we may have been slow to recognize this legendary creature, the Mothmxn is already a regionally celebrated figure. Should you sojourn to Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the fall, you can partake in the town’s annual Mothmxn Festival. Or, if you’re not moved by regional booth-based affairs, you can pay a visit to the harrowing tribute statue forged in steel.
The research is clear: Mothman is Mother. Sure, Mothmxn was no angel (not all multidimensional beings that fly are, boomer!) but not all Mothers get an immaculately executed image rebrand PR tour like Alison Roman. That’s why, in honor of the 2023 pride season, we are thrilled to present The InQueery’s first ever Mother of Mothers Award to The Mothmxn, an honor particularly deserving, seeing as they have… never not existed. May their legacy haunt us forevermore.
Our Conclusion: You can’t spell Pride month without d-e-m-o-n.
Queer Rating: Angels in America Part 3