What would a queer Silent Hill look like?
It’s probably a pretty odd question, but it’s one I kept brushing up against while I was brushing up on my Francis Bacon know-how for a previous article on Silent Hill right here on GayGamer.Net. Bacon had a massive influence on the artistic direction of Silent Hill, and his work often contained themes of sexuality and/or violence. As a gay man, however, most of the paintings that were explicitly sexual in Bacon’s work were focused on the male form – but as a whole, the Silent Hill series is very much a negative heterosexual male perspective on sexuality (particularly female sexuality).
This may not necessarily be as oppressive as it might sound, given that the narrative of Silent Hill goes to great pains to demonstrate that its protagonists have very problematic, negative ideas about sexuality. In fact, the narrative makes it pretty clear that any representation of human life the player comes up against (from sexuality to family, from guilt to being teased at school) are by definition the protagonist’s own profoundly negative ideas.
That doesn’t change the fact that most of Silent Hill‘s representations of sexuality come from straight male characters and their attitudes to female sexuality, whose perspectives can pretty much be summed up with “women’s bodies are mysterious and foreign and sexy and scary.”
[Trigger warnings for discussion of sexual abuse from here on out, and spoiler warnings for the main themes of Silent Hill 3, as well as bosses in Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill: Homecoming].