What’s not to love about Halloween?
My love for Halloween began long before I knew that it used to be considered the high holy days of queers everywhere. Which was true at least since the 1920s until the straights co-opted it for Heteroween2. But I recognize that at least some of the reasons I loved Halloween back then are the same reason the holiday appealed to queer people for so long:
- it was a day I could dress up as silly or weird as I wished without getting strange looks from people;
- it was a day where other people would show off bits of their personality that weren’t obvious the rest of the year;
- being closeted cultivated an ability to find humor in the absurdities and misfortunes of life;
- trying to get along as a queer child in a straight world means that embracing make-believe and pretending to be what we aren’t a survival trait;
…which fits right in with Halloween!
Of course, when I say I could dress as silly as I wished, that wasn’t entirely true. I remember, for instance, the year that I really wanted to dress up as the character of Witchie-Poo from the Saturday morning live action show, H.R. Pufnstuf. Mom didn’t act appalled, but she argued with me until I gave in and let her buy me the really tacky H.R. Pufnstuf costume. Pufnstuf was supposed to be a dragon who was the Mayor of the enchanted island where the show’s action took place, but the store-bought costume was just a weird shaped green mask and a generic green onesie that had a picture of the character printed on the chest. My sister mentioned that I had wanted to dress up as Witchie-Poo within earshot of my dad and I got yelled at quite seriously about how boys don’t dress up as witches!
It wasn’t even that the character of Witchie-Poo appealed to me that much3. My recollection is that the store-bought costume for her had a magic wand prop, and I really wanted the magic wand. Of course, she was the villain of the show and I quite frequently find myself sympathizing with the villains.
Our friends that have been hosting a Halloween party almost every year for about 30 years are skipping this year. So I don’t think either of us will be making a costume. And although they gave us plenty of warning that we could have opted to host our own party, all of the years of going to their themed and wonderfully decorated parties casts a more-than-slightly intimidating shadow over the notion.
Maybe we’ll just try to get together with some people on the Saturday before.
But I have been working on my new Halloween playlist. I spent a lot of the last week listening to every single Halloween playlist I have made in the past4 as I decide what kind of list to put together this year. I have one assembled, I just haven’t decided if it is finished or still needs some tweaking.
Whether there is a party of not, or any dressing up, I still intend to enjoy myself, getting my spook on in various ways for the rest of the month.
Let’s have fun!
1. My husband and I don’t believe in handing out so-called “fun size” candy. We usually get a few cases of full sized bars in hopes that we will get lots of kids.
2. But that’s okay. Straights need a socially sanctioned night to dress up as sexy nurses or sexy firemen. They’re so reppressed the rest of the year!
3. I mean, I thought she was hilarious, but…
4. Fifteen such lists in my iTunes library, by the way.
About fontfollyI've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.
I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.