On 'Hideous Bastard,' Oliver Sim mines horror

As Hideous Bastard begins, this is Oliver Sim at his worst.Over a serpentine bassline and large, weeping violins, Sim repeatedly asks, "Am I ugly?

to lance the sick wound of his self-esteem. He receives no response, but he comes to the following conclusion: "If radical honesty makes me ugly,

it may set me free." This is the main idea behind his first album as a solo artist, which is that we can get our power back if we embrace our worst traits.

Sim is not the first artist to use horror imagery to address queerness; horror has always contained an allegory for the queer experience,

populated by rejected experiments and boundary-pushing villains. From the rejection of same-sex relationships in Carmilla, one of the first vampire stories,

to the main character's refusal to believe in the supernatural in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and serial killer Buffalo Bill's gender

dysphoria in The Silence of the Lambs, queer horror fans have always seen themselves in these stories.