The world of journalism can be a dog-eat-dog world, but one voice that has risen above the competitive arena has been that of Lindsey Romain. Just as talented as she is fiercely outspoken, Lindsey has been a source of inspiration for me as she continuously and successfully grinds against the overflowing sea of male voices.
For Women In Horror Month, I had the chance to speak with Lindsey where we discussed everything from how she got into journalism, her love for the horror genre, and who she looks to for inspiration.
Thank you so much for speaking with us, Lindsey! To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Lindsey Romain: I’m currently a staff writer for Nerdist. Before that, I was a full-time freelance writer with a focus on pop culture. I still occasionally write for other sites, like /Film and Thrillist, and have been published by Teen Vogue, Marie Clare, Ebert Voices, Birth.Movies.Death, and many more.
How did you get into writing? Was it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
LR: I’ve been writing since I was a child, first as illustrated storybooks and later as short stories and poems. I started winning local awards for my writing in about 4th grade and continued entering contests through high school. I struggled with knowing the exact path I wanted to take after graduation, wanting to get into creative stuff, but the practical side of me won out and I majored in journalism at Columbia College Chicago. That’s when I really got the bug, and thanks to a film minor, is where I first realize I could pair my journalistic writing with my love of movies.
When did you first get exposed to horror and what is it about the genre that you love so much?
LR: Horror has always been my favorite genre because I loved the danger that came with it. I had a hard childhood coupled with a strict upbringing, so there was always an element of chaos in my life, and I liked how horror mimicked that feeling of unease. My first real memory of horror was watching Poltergeist through the window of my dollhouse while my dad had it on TV in the next room. It terrified me, but it also excited me. That combination has always been highly seductive to me.
What are some of the struggles you’ve faced being in the field of journalism, especially in regards to horror?
LR: I don’t strictly write about horror, so I don’t know that I’ve faced the same level of condescending attitudes a lot of women more engrossed in the genre have. I’d say the hardest part of my career, in general, is getting access. Our industry is a boy’s club, and there’s a lot of fear of growth and change, and a lot of gatekeeping. I have strong opinions and am a harsh critic, and I realize that ostracizes me from the “cool girl” vibe a lot of horror dudes desire out of women in this lane. I try not to let that stop me but it can be exhausting trying to juggle a persona that appeals to male editors and is still your most authentic self.
What changes would you like to see in the industry to help elevate women in a way in which their voices are heard and are equal to that of their male counterparts?
LR: It sounds simple, but I think it’s on male editors to actually seek out other voices. I see a lot of men in the horror community – and in film journalism in general – say they want female or POC or non-binary contributors, and then continue to publish work solely by white men. It gets touchy because when we call for diversity, it’s not an effort to silence those already established male voices. It’s to meet those numbers with folks who have different experiences they can stir into the conversation. I think things are getting better – with publications like Fangoria signing on a lot of female contributors, and producing documentaries like Horror Noire – but there’s, as ever, a long way to go.
What women within the industry do you look to for inspiration?
LR: I’m really obsessed with the Faculty of Horror podcast, and its hosts Andrea Subissati and Alex West. I’ve been listening for years and their super progressive feminist read on horror has exposed me to so many great films and discussions. And this might be cheating since they are both friends of mine, but I’m endlessly inspired by Angelica Jade Bastién of Vulture and Haleigh Foutch of Collider. Angelica for digging deep into how horror treats race, and Haleigh for being on top of every new horror project and providing an excellent window into the genre.
To keep up-to-date with Lindsey and her writing, make sure to follow her on Twitter at @lindseyromain.