'The Mind of Aaron Hernandez' Relies Heavily on Gay Stereotypes to Make Its Case

aaron hernandez netflix documentary

Netflix recently dropped their new true-crime docuseries Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez about the NFL player’s multiple murders.

If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t bother. The three-episode series is incredibly boring. If Hernandez hadn’t been a Patriots player, there would be nothing noteworthy about his crimes.

The series spends the majority of the time trying to nitpick Hernandez’s life, trying to find some small clue as to what led him to become a murderer.

One major reason they come up with is that he is a closeted gay man who felt mental anguish from holding in such a huge secret.

However, the evidence that he is, in fact, gay is pretty much non-existent. Their only primary source is Hernandez’s childhood friend Dennis SanSoucie, who describes having a sexual relationship with him in high school. He says in the series,

“Aaron and I had an on-and-off relationship from the seventh grade to the junior year of high school. Aaron participated with many people. I was a small piece of Aaron’s sexual activity.”

He adds,

“If I look at it now in the year we’re in, yes, we were in a relationship back then, but at the time, you don’t look at it like that.”

aaron hernandez netflix docuseries
Aaron’s childhood friend Dennis SanSoucie

The only other piece of “evidence” they present is that Hernandez expressed interest in becoming a cheerleader as a child after seeing his female cousin cheerleading. (Because all male cheerleaders are automatically gay, right?)

After that, the documentary decides that every little thing that Hernandez did was to cover up the fact that he was gay. His tattoos and weight gain were all to make him look more traditionally masculine and his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins was his beard.

To back up these wild assumptions, they interview former Patriots offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan, who describes going through life as a closeted NFL player. He recalls how he gained weight to look as though he didn’t care about his appearance and how hiding such a huge secret while playing in the NFL took a mental toll on him.

To be clear, O’Callaghan did not know Hernandez so all of his interviews in the documentary are purely about his own experience as a closeted gay man in the NFL.

But the implications are clear: being secretly gay created such an inner turmoil in Hernandez that it was one of the factors that led to him becoming a murderer.

Of course, this is absolutely ridiculous. To say the producers are grasping at straws would be an understatement. They propose a number of ridiculous theories but this has to be the most absurd, not to mention the most offensive.

All of their assumptions rely on crude stereotypes of what they think a closeted gay man would look like or act like. Everything that he did had to be a part of a much larger narrative of his closeted life. There’s never once the suggestion that Hernandez got tattoos because he actually liked them or that he gained weight purely for football.

Not to mention that they never even consider the idea that Hernandez could be bisexual. The docuseries acts as if the only sexual orientations are gay and straight and if Aaron hooked up with a guy then he must be gay. They insist that his fiancée must be his beard because god forbid he actually likes both men and women.

The most offensive part of all has to be that they actually included this in the docuseries at all. Whether Hernandez was gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, or anything in between has absolutely nothing to do with the crimes in question. And their constant insistence that it must have been part of what made him a murderer is insulting.

Nearly everything they present in Killer Inside is pure speculation and gossip and there was absolutely no reason to include it other than to stir up drama where there was none. Going forward, all media coverage of Aaron Hernandez needs to think twice before labeling his sexuality when it truly is none of their business.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.