I adore Halloween. It exhausts the people around me to endure my year-round affinity for the macabre, old school horror movies and costume ideas. I love all things ghoulish, witchy, anything gratuitously bloody and wear my orange pumpkin t-shirt year-round with pride. and of course, I am not alone. But is there are particular LGBT+ leaning towards Halloween? In a celebration of Camp Kitsch, costumes and the macabre, it might not be out of the question.
Many believe Halloween does have an inherently queer angle to it, with some tracing this back to San Francisco In 1979, where the ghost of Castro Halloween, as it came to be called, lived on under the leadership of the drag performance group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The San Francisco LGBT community partied in the Castro almost every Halloween in the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, as did the Greenwich Village Halloween parades.
With LGBT+ communities enduring so much adversity throughout the last 40 years, perhaps Halloween can be seen as a night of revelry that the community deserved. Anyone can be whoever or whatever they want for a night and are encouraged to shock, repulse and have fun. Samantha Allen suggests that on Halloween, “straight people shed their inhibitions, dress up in ridiculous outfits, and join us queer folk in the gleeful dissection of popular culture that we find so sustaining.”
ITS ONE NIGHT WHERE THE MACABRE, CREATIVITY AND FLUID IDENTITY ARE AT THE FOREFRONT
When I was little, thinking of and executing my Halloween costume was as much fun as the night itself, and this has remained with me ever since. Am I perhaps at an age now that is socially unacceptable to celebrate Halloween? Perhaps…but I feel I’m owed it, partly because I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but mostly because it’s one night where the macabre, creativity and fluid identity are at the forefront. Why shouldn’t we indulge in the spooky once in a while?
On that note, we have compiled everything you will need to make this the gayest of gay Halloweens, whether you take your terror to the streets or are setting up a séance in the comfort of your own crypt.
There are a whole host of queer – friendly club nights and events to sink your teeth into this Halloween. Aside from the host of events run by Glasgow’s finest gay clubs like Polo, AXM and Delmonica’s, the Grosvenor Cinema is hosting a special screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a sing-along celebration led by the amazing Mothertucker queens. Anyone even remotely familiar with Rocky Horror nights knows that dressing up is essential, and I would personally recommend a revision viewing earlier in the month to remind yourself of when to use your props! The event is held on Halloween night and tables can be booked at email@example.com.
MAKE SURE YOUR COSTUME IS UP TO SCRATCH. NO ONESIES WELCOME
My personal highlight of Halloween events, however, comes in the shape of Heels of Hell, an all-star
ast of RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni bring their very best Halloween performances. We are lucky enough to be joined by unofficial bearded lady Willam, season 4 and All Star legend Latrice Royale, Brooklyn’s finest Aja, season 5 winner and Broadway queen Jinkx Monsoon and hidden gem Ivy Winters, the planet Glamtron’s very own Alaska Thunderf**k, and the official Queen of Halloween Sharon Needles. You couldn’t pick a better night to see these queens, especially with Sharon’s $100,000-winning spooky shtick and Alaska’s affinity for turning trash into treasure. So channel your inner Lil Poundcake and be sure to stop off at Party City before heading to O2 Academy on Monday 29th October.
Some of you, however, may want to give the explicitly spooky a miss and prefer something mellower. In which case, there are a number of horror classics showing throughout the city, such as The Fog at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Halloween night. And excitingly, GFT is showing Frankenweenie, an underrated Tim Burton favourite about a young boy who reanimates his beloved pet dog. I sobbed like a baby watching it for the first time. And Cineworld is screening one of my all-time favourites Evil Dead on Halloween night. The Sam Raimi-directed classic follows Ash and his friends as they hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun night away. There they find an old book whose text reawakens the dead when it’s read aloud. The friends inadvertently release a flood of evil and must fight for their lives. Not gay at all: just very important that you know its happening. I have my ticket booked.
And wherever you decide to haunt, make sure your costume is up to scratch. No onesies welcome. Better still, there are a whole host of LGBT+ friendly costume ideas, for if you’re flying solo, have a partner or a whole gang of ghouls. If you’re a comic fan, Batwoman, Mystique, Deadpool and Midnighter are all amazing characters that full under the LGBT+ umbrella, while there are a ton of team costumes to think about. For example, a gender-swapping Team Rocket, Patsy and Eddie from Absolutely Fabulous for the trashy and fabulous among you, Willow from Buffy (or anyone from Buffy) and Daria and Jane as a throwback.
Oh, and Cher. In fact, everyone just go as Cher.
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