Sex, Sadism, Killer Drag: Our 15 Favorite Queer Moments From TV’s ‘American Horror Story’
Fans of American Horror Story know that gay TV creator Ryan Murphy‘s horror anthology is more than a postmodern mashup of urban horror stories, filled with serial killers, evil ghosts and vengeful witches. It’s also one of the most queer-friendly shows on television, with male sex workers, murderous bisexuals, trans heroes and lots of openly gay actors. With the Season 8 premiere of American Horror Story quickly approaching, we wanted to take a second to look back at the top American Horror Story queer moments from all of the anthology’s previous seasons.
Here are the 15 top American Horror Story queer moments:
1. Patrick grabs Ben’s crotch in the bathroom (Season 1, Episode 4)
One of the top American Horror Story queer moments comes early into Murder House, unhappy modern-day couple Ben and Vivian don’t realize they live in a house full of insane and murderous ghosts. That’s why Vivian unwittingly welcomes Chad and Patrick, the ghostly gay couple haunting their house, into her home, mistaking them for interior designers.
When Ben injures his hand, Patrick is eager to help bandage it in the upstairs bathroom, where he then grab’s Ben’s crotch and offers him a blowjob. When Ben announces he’s not gay, Patrick says, “Neither was I until I got head from a guy.”
Ben ultimately declines, but before he leaves Patrick says that he and Ben are similar: Both men have cheated on their partners and tried to hide it. Who knew that adulterous gay and straight partners had so much in common?
2. Chad purchases that spooky “Rubber Man” suit (Season 1, Episode 8)
When Chad finally discovers that Patrick has been doing some kinky sexting with a guy named “JungleJim” online, Chad’s lady-friend suggests he try leaning into Patrick’s BDSM fetish to win him back.
So Chad visits his local sex shop, where the shopkeep shows him a spike-filled cockring and an anal lock, items that are a bit too extreme for Chad’s newbie tastes. Instead the shopkeeper suggests he purchase the full-body black latex suit suspended in the store’s corner.
When Chad shows up in the suit, Patrick is unimpressed, stating his preference for leather over latex. Supernaturally, the Rubber Man remains part of the Murder House, representing a violent sexuality that haunts, kills and even impregnates the house’s residents long after Chad and Patrick die.
3. Lana pukes during aversion therapy to turn her straight (Season 2, Episode 4)
Poor Lana Banana. The intrepid lesbian journalist was committed into the Asylum after she threatened to write an exposé on its horrendous treatment of patients.
Since it’s the 1950s, homosexuality is seen as a mental illness, and the asylum’s visiting psychologist Dr. Thredson tries to turn Lana into a heterosexual with some aversion therapy, showing her images of nude women while administering medication designed to make her vomit. Later on he brings in a male patient and tells Lana to sexually touch the patient and herself so she can associate pleasure with heterosexual intimacy.
It doesn’t work, of course, and when Thredson helps Lana escape the hospital she finds herself trapped in the home of a serial killer.
But while this top American Horror Story queer moment is scary, what’s even more frightening is the fact that so-called ex-gay therapists still use methods like these in real life, even though they’ve been widely debunked as harmful by professional psychological associations.
4. We meet Quentin, Leslie Jordan’s coven council warlock (Season 3, Episode 4)
After the coven’s Supreme witch Fiona kills Madison, a young witch in Miss Robichaux’s Academy, to prevent her from becoming the next Supreme, the coven’s council is summoned. They’re a group of three witches who mete out justice, and the council just happens to feature openly gay actor Leslie Jordan as Quentin, a warlock styled after queer British writer Quentin Crisp.
Dressed in a cloak and fedora with a purple and magenta feather in its brim, Quentin beams over Fiona. When Fiona asks why he never returns her phone calls, Quentin retorts, “Oh, my life is pure torment. One book signing after another. Travel, travel, travel. It’s like, ‘Get me off of the best-seller list already.’”
Sadly, things don’t go well for Quentin. After being deceived by Fiona into burning his fellow council member Myrtle Snow at the stake, she gets resurrected and exacts her revenge by paralyzing Quentin and harvesting his eyes to restore the sight of Fiona’s kind-hearted daughter.
5. A new music video for the Stevie Nicks track “Seven Wonders” (Season 3, Episode 13)
Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks is beloved for her witchy stage presence and style, so it made sense she’d be an actual witch who makes an appearance at Miss Robichaux’s Academy. This is one of the only top American Horror Story queer moments involving music.
Nicks’ name and music both pop up at several points throughout the season. At one point she even serenades the coven by piano as the head witch weeps self-pityingly on a nearby couch.
But Nicks weaves an especially witchy spell over the season finale when she plays the Fleetwood Mac song “Seven Wonders” over a music video montage of the coven’s young initiates preparing for the Seven Wonders, a life-or-death series of trials to determine which will be the coven’s next Supreme. Let’s just say not everyone survives the final exam, despite Nicks’ final line in the new music video: “Good luck, girls!”
6. Stanley reveals his largeness during a gay motel hookup (Season 4, Episode 3)
Stanley fancies himself a murderous con-man who specializes in selling the preserved bodies of dead “freaks” to a Philadelphia museum of morbid curiosities. But when the museum rejects his obviously fake “Sasquatch fetus,” Stanley realizes he’ll have to find a genuine specimen to make some cash.
Thus he and his cohort Maggie head down to Florida to befriend the performers of Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities freak show and, hopefully, sell off their corpses.
But to blow off some steam while Maggie seduces the lobster boy, Stanley hooks up with a guy at a local motel, dressing him as Thor in a horned viking helmet.
When Thor says he needs a sword or hammer, Stanley laughs and tells his trick to remove his pants, knowing the real hammer is inside. Thor looks amazed. Only later on do we learn that Stanley has a 13-inch penis, something he proudly lords over his male lovers and rivals.
7. A deadly love triangle: the strongman, his lover and the local serial killer (Season 4, Episode 5)
This is one of the most violent top American Horror Story queer moments.
Andy is tired of being Dell’s side piece, so when Dell visits him, he rejects Dell’s pleas to stay with him. Immediately after, Andy finds himself lured by a $100 offer from Dandy, a rich kid emulating a local serial killer known as Twisty the Clown.
Andy goes back to Dandy’s creepy van in the woods, all while Dandy insists he’s not actually gay. The two strip naked, standing back-to-back, and when Andy turns around Dandy stabs him and begins dismembering him to dissolve his limbs in acid. Andy begs for death, but Dandy sadistically refuses. This is why it pays to pre-screen your hookups, guys.
It’s also worth stating (as a bonus) that Freak Show also features trans model Erika Ervin as Amazon Eve, a tall exotic woman who performs in Fräulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
8. Lady Gaga’s bloody penthouse foursome (Season 5, Episode 1)
In Hotel, the vampiric countess Elizabeth played by Lady Gaga, and Donovan, her vampire lover, occasionally prowl the night, picking up male-female couples for sexy fun back in their room. When the two pick up an attractive couple during a nighttime film screening at the Hollywood Cemetery, a hot night seems in store. Little does the mortal couple realize they’re seen more as food than friends.
After a brief (and very hot) makeout scene, the vampires start feasting on their young lovers’ blood, eventually laying in bliss among the red-stained sheets. The entire scene plays out beautifully (and wordlessly) to “I Wanna Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge, a haunting rock song that mixes danger and desire.
Of all the top American Horror Story queer moments, this is undoubtedly one of the hottest.
9. Tristan kills his hunky bearded hookup (Season 5, Episode 2)
Devil-may-care fashion model Tristan has a naughty streak a mile wide. Not only does he disrupt Hotel Cortez’s fashion show with his drug-fueled antics — forcibly kissing a woman and nearly slicing her angry boyfriend with a shattered champaign glass — but he’s also all too happy to let Elizabeth turn him into a vampire so he can stay young and beautiful forever.
Under Elizabeth’s tutelage Tristan lures a hunky bearded hookup into the hotel. The two kiss passionately in the elevator — Tristan even draws blood by biting his beau’s lip — and next they enter the bedroom of the penthouse suite.
Based on the first episode, you know what happens next. Just as the bearded hunk starts to mount Tristan, Elizabeth distracts him and Tristan slits his throat so they can both enjoy his blood. They then start making out on top of his corpse. Worst. Hookup. Ever.
10. Tristan and Will get dangerously hot and heavy (Season 5, Episode 3)
By this point you’d think no one would want to get with Tristan, but alas, he’s young, edgy and has interesting fashion sense. Thus Will, new owner of the Hotel Cortez, finds himself drawn to Tristan. Will has also been poring over the hotel’s blueprints and is slowly learning that it’s hiding a series of chambers and passageways.
Worried that Will might discover Elizabeth’s secret dungeons and hideaways, Tristan distracts Will by seducing him, letting Will suck on his nipple while Tristan prepares to stab him in the neck. (It’s his signature sex move, after all.)
Luckily for Will, Elizabeth knows what Tristan is up to. She suddenly appears in the doorway, signaling her disapproval to Tristan, much to Tristan’s frustration. She later reveals that she only wanted to keep Will alive so she can marry him, murder him and then inherit all his money — yeesh.
11. Pretty much anytime Liz Taylor appears on-screen (Season 5)
Here’s a top American Horror Story queer moment that lasted all season long.
While it was cool seeing Lady Gaga vamp out in Hotel, true AHS fans know the season’s best character was actually O’Hare playing the unapologetically fierce trans character Liz Taylor. And it’s not just because of her bald head and killer dresses — it’s all about her attitude and approach to love.
Over the season she proves herself as one of the kindest and most loyal AHS characters of all time, reconnecting with his estranged son, befriending the depressed hotel manager and even breaking through Tristan’s bad boy façade to really love him.
12. Edward gets steamy with his slave (Season 6, Episode 10)
While delivering a history of the Roanoke farmhouse, we learn the cursed estate’s first resident was Edward Philipe Mott, a wealthy man who left his Philadelphia family to live in the countryside with a house full of servants and his beloved paintings. Mott was also sleeping with his man-slave Guinness, even passionately kissing him within plain view of the other servants.
This being a horror series, their romance ends badly. After taking a steamy bath together, in which Mott proclaims he loves his art more than Guinness, Mott later discovers all of his beloved paintings have been destroyed.
His servants swear that they didn’t destroy them, blaming shadowy figures they saw stalking into the woods. Disbelieving them, Mott locks all of his servants naked in the cellar and dismisses Guinness.
Later those shadowy figures come back, impale Mott and burn him alive. When Guinness escapes on horseback, he’s captured by police and thrown in jail, leaving the naked servants to starve in the cellar, only to be discovered years later.
13. Trixie Mattel hosts a horror fan love fest (Season 6, Episode 10)
The final episode of Roanoke starts with Trixie Mattel, contestant on Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and winner of All Stars 3, hosting a Q&A with the cast of My Roanoke Nightmare, the horror reality series that underlies the entire season.
It’s one of the top American Horror Story queer moments because it’s the first time we caught a real-life drag queen making an appearance on AHS .And seeing how much Mattel loves geek culture and fandoms in real-life, his appearance as the host of a horror fan event made perfect sense. And Mattel seemed weirdly at home in big, blonde hair and a pink dress surrounded by screaming fans wearing pig masks and waving around bloody plastic machetes.
14. Jack and Harrison do it while the neighbor watches (Season 7, Episode 6)
After Trump’s election, Green Party voter Ally finds herself beset with all sorts of terrible phobias and suspicions, including suspecting her neighbor of possible involvement with a violent cult. When Ally learns that Meadow, the wife of her next-door neighbor, has been trapped and locked up by the cult, she grabs a knife and mace and sneaks into her neighbors’ house to grab the keys and set her free.
Except when Ally enters she accidentally sees her neighbor (played by Billy Eichner) engaged in a noisy sex session with Detective Jack Samuels (Colton Haynes). That’s what happens when you drop by unannounced!
Let this top American Horror Story queer moment be a lesson to you all: When you swing by unannounced, you may see gay sex!
15. Jack and Kai in “the Devil’s threesome” (Season 7, Episode 8)
You’ve heard of the “Devil’s Threesome,” right? It’s the disparaging term, definitely thought up by a hetero guy, for a threesome involving two men and a woman. But considering the weirdness of the threesome between Detective Samuels, cult leader Kai and Kai’s sister Winter, the term fits in this case.
Kai decides to hold an informal sexual ceremony complete with a bunch of lit candles, creepy robes and the cheesy 1994 All-4-One love ballad “I Swear” playing on his cell phone.
He tells Samuels to mount his sister so they can impregnate her with the Messiah, but in order for it to work, Kai has to penetrate Samuels while Samuels penetrates Winter. If the whole thing sounds weird, it’s probably because (as Winter reveals) Kai made up the ritual at lunchtime.