Silence of the Lambs

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Buffalo Bill's nipple piercing
Buffalo Bill's stigmata tattoo

The fictional serial killer Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb (played by Ted Levine), very loosely based on the real killers Ed Gein and Gary Heidnik and immortalized in the movie Silence of the Lambs (1991), was the first person on which many people in mainstream America saw a nipple piercing. While it was very common to include tattoos on "evil" characters, this was one of the first times that body piercing was included in that look — this and other factors contributed to the criticism that the movie was anti-gay (or at least "anti-trans") because of its portrayal of a serial killer who exhibited stereotypically gay mannerisms as well as being driven to skin women to wear their flesh.

ISBN: B00005LINC (Find this at
Left: boxcover art for Silence of the Lambs, Right: Ted Levine as Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb


As well as having a nipple piercing, Buffalo Bill was also tattooed with stigmata-type wounds.

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