I was asked to write an editorial about our devotion to equality, to “woke” culture. The powers that be wanted me to come out and say we are going to make a concerted effort to feature more diverse voices.
I have no problem with this. I encourage this kind of openness and inclusivity. Maybe it is because I am a cis white woman, but I don’t like the idea of having to make a big deal out of it. We shouldn’t have to have a letter like this. We should have a variety of voices. All outlets should. I don’t want to hire queer writers because they are queer; I want to hire good writers who happen to be queer, or black, or Latinx, or Muslim, or whatever.
I have always found the horror community to be the most accepting group of film fans. When I first started covering horror journalism over a decade ago, I remember one of my first press events, for a Stuart Gordon film called Stuck. There were a dozen guys there, and me, the only girl. As soon as I started talking about horror films, proving my bona fides, I could feel the room shift. Everyone accepted me. Not because I was a chick; not for any gentlemanly reason. It was for professional reasons. They knew I was a true fan, not there to fill a quota, and they accepted me.
That is what I want for Dread Central. I want true, dedicated horror fans working for this site. Skilled writers who have a different opinion, or a point of view I may not have thought about. Of course I want a variety of voices, and I hope to have representation of underserved demographics of at least 50%. I want to make sure those who might not have a forum can be heard. So if you are a writer, a horror fan, and want to address an issue in horror that you don’t see discussed enough, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, even if you are a straight white male. I told you: we are all about equality.
That said, I certainly don’t want social issues to overshadow the horror. Just because you are a black writer doesn’t mean you have to write about black horror cinema. Dread Central is not about “lecturing” readers. There is still room for torture porn, rape/revenge, slashers, mondo, cannibals, nunsploitation, and all other forms of extreme horror. We are all adults; we know the difference between reality and fantasy. And while we’re at it, let’s keep those comment sections clean. Opinions can differ, but let’s leave the trolling and bullying behind.
So, to recap: We want horror fanatics who are good writers, have an opinion, and a voice that needs to be heard.