I need some Cliff Notes
New York Times story about Dr. Horrible contains the following: "As a Web project, “Dr. Horrible” rates up there with R. Kelly’s 22-chapter musical melodrama “Trapped in the Closet,” with which it shares an over-the-top sensibility and a prominent gay subtext. (Mr. Fillion serenades his own muscles; Ms. Day sings to Mr. Harris, “So keep your head up, Billy ... buddy”)."
Huh? Gay subtext? And he didn't even quote the ""It's curtains for you, Dr. Horrible. Lacy, gently wafting curtains." Which, as long as we're arguing subtext, is all about prison rape.
The Captain Hammer serenade is obviously about his vanity -- no subtext needed, it's all text.
The Billy Buddy is slightly different, though it took a bit of work on my part so "prominent" is a vast overstatement. I'm assuming Mike Hale is equating "Billy Buddy" with Herman Melville's Billy Budd. Someone much more familiar with this than me makes the Melville comparison: "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog seems to reverse the roles a little, but stays true to the themes, of Billy Budd." Now if you Google Billy Budd homosexual, this does reveal a not insignificant amount of scholarship investigating the homosexual nature of Billy Budd. For example, Flesh in the Word: Billy Budd, Sailor, Compulsory Homosociality, and the Uses of Queer Desire. Quoted:
Melville's thesis in Billy Budd (and works like "The Paradise of Bachelors," "Bartleby," Moby Dick, and Pierre, as well) is that all-male worlds are always already doomed. In my view, Billy Budd is the culmination of Melville's ongoing critique of the homosocial--his bitterest and most unflinching assault on the compulsory fraternity of American life. For some, this will be a disquieting thesis--but I think that without a nuanced understanding of Melville's ongoing project, we cannot understand Melville's oeuvre. Because Billy Budd, determinedly constructed as a sexually inviolate and unavailable male, incites male utopia, we must consider the source--the source of his power, and his power as a source, for male utopia.
Where does this leave us (me) with respect to Dr. Horrible? Looks like plenty of people discuss a gay subtext to Billy Budd. And though for pop culture, or even high culture, Melville isn't that prominent and Billy Budd less so, it's hard not to think Melville when Penny sings "Billy Buddy." But I'm still not seeing an argument for a gay subtext to Dr. Horrible and absent other examples, I'm more willing to back Strange Wind's argument.