Every season of American Horror Story ranked by queerness
In true American Horror Story fashion, the new season, which airs in the US today (20 September), already looks set to be packed full of camp moments – especially with Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne joining the cast.
The perfect combo of horror and queer moments has led to AHS developing a huge LGBTQ+ following, although the show is not without controversy.
Having previously brought viewers diverse queer representation, hopes are high that season 12 will deliver more of the same. So, in honour of AHS: Delicate‘s arrival, we’re taking a look back at the previous 11 seasons to see exactly which one should win the coveted award of queerest of all time.
11. Murder House
Season one may have introduced most of us to the twisted and brilliant mind of Ryan Murphy, but it is definitely the least queer of all the American Horror Story offerings. Overall representation and queer storylines were slim on the ground, with mean gays Chad and Patrick not adding much to the plot. While there is some BDSM and, of course, The Rubber Man’s suit, these are not only for the LGBTQ+ community.
However, we’ve got to give some points to Murder House for introducing The Postman Always Rings Twice and Tootsie star Jessica Lange to all the baby gays, because – Mother.
While American Horror Story: Apocalypse was definitely camp, it didn’t really tick that many boxes when it came to queer representation. Yes, this season had more snappy one-liners than you could shake a stick at and some of the fashion choices took it to the next level, but overall queerness wasn’t given a whole lot of screen time.
While we loved the sexual tension that Cordelia Goode and her coven gave us, the only true queer moment in season eight was Mr. Gallant getting it on with The Rubber Man.
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Although a large proportion of the LGBTQ+ community loves a bit of horror-movie gore, American Horror Story: Roanoke didn’t combine this with much else to delight queer fans. Season six may have made us jump more than any other, but there was really only one episode that brought us vibes.
Evan Peters playing Edward Mott not only looked the part of a camp nobleman, but it was also revealed that he was having sex with a male servant, sending temperatures rising. This wasn’t enough to secure Roanoke a higher spot on the list though.
8. Double Feature
Double Feature had a more unusual format than other seasons of AHS, with the series split in two parts, each telling a different story. While the first half is set in Provincetown, known as a gay resort, the fact that the show takes place during the off-season means that LGBTQ+ representation is, again, fairly thin on the ground.
There was a comment about bear week and some hustlers hanging by the dock, as well as Macaulay Culkin – 18 years on from flashing his arse in Party Monster – playing gay character Mickey. The queer representation is there but there are much stronger entrants than season 10.
7. Freak Show
There’s a lot to unpack in here and while the vast majority of it wasn’t super queer, there were a huge number of camp moments that means season four deserves at least a middling position on this list. From Dandy flexing his muscles to Jessica Lange delivering David Bowie vibes, we can almost forgive Freak Show for the Twisty-the-clown-induced nightmares.
Not only did AHS: Cult have strong anti-Trump vibes, it was also one of only a few AHS seasons to feature an out queer character. It also delivered some truly memorable moments, including the shower masturbation scene (side-eye emoji) and the very loud sex session between Jack, played by Colton Haynes, and Harrison (Billy Eichner). However, season seven skipped some of the camp charm that we’ve come to love and expect.
Witches, Leslie Jordan and Fleetwood Mac legend Stevie Nicks made Coven the undeniable camp queen when it comes to AHS, so you might be asking why it’s not at the top of the list. Well, despite the fact that season three was a cinematic masterpiece in so many ways, the lack of queer characters meant it can’t be placed any higher in this ranking.
That doesn’t stop it from being a common favourite among LGBTQ+ viewers, although, sorry, that’s not enough to persuade us.
The classic 80’s horror movie vibes of AHS: 1984 instantly gives it a cult-classic feel. It delivers all the slasher-flick style that horror fans would expect – alongside big hair, colourful spandex and some musical bangers of the decade.
A lot of the queer representation in season nine was subtle, but still valid. Montana is bisexual but it’s not her whole personality or plot point, it’s just who she is. The same goes for the other bi characters in the series.
Lady Gaga, vampires, Matt Bomer and a bloody orgy – could it get any queerer? American Horror Story: Hotel wasn’t only a super sexy offering, it also showcased a whole lot of sexual fluidity, not to mention Denis O’Hare’s stunning performance as trans bartender Liz Taylor.
Not only were all of Liz’s looks to die for, the character also added a brilliant human element among all the sex and gore in season five.
Asylum came pretty close to snatching the crown, but it has to settle for the runner-up’s spot. While it didn’t have as many LGBTQ+ characters as others, the queer experience was central to the plot.
Through Sarah Paulson’s character, Lana, season two took us through very real LGBTQ+ struggles, including horrific aversion therapy techniques. Despite the challenges, her overall story was one of endurance, with the star delivering a top-notch performance.
AHS: NYC really came for Asylum’s crown and boy did it deliver on LGBTQ+ representation. Another 80’s offering, season 11 focused on the mass murders of queer people who were just trying to live their lives, while dealing with the emergence of a new virus.
The season delivered a poignant message about how marginalised communities are silenced. It also featured Patti LuPone singing “Fever” in a New York city bathhouse while men were having sex, making it the queerest season of American Horror Story yet. Will season 12 overtake it? We certainly hope so.
American Horror Story: Delicate airs on FX in the US from (20 September). It is expected to stream on Disney Plus in the UK at a later date.
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