Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-01-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOMBIAN A very queer Halloween
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Dana Rudolph
2017-10-24

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Halloween is almost here, which—for many of us—means trips to the store to purchase overpriced costumes or hours spent sewing and hot-gluing homemade versions, both for our kids and for ourselves. October is also, however, LGBTQ History Month and the month of National Coming Out Day, making Halloween's topics of heroes and hidden identities relevant in multiple ways. Here are some things that Halloween offers to support and sustain our multifaceted queer selves.

The chance to explore our gender identities and expression: For some queer people, Halloween offers yet another occasion to don drag costumes, often with more public acceptance than at other times of year. For others, it gives us the chance to explore different ways of expressing gender—say, as a pirate princess, butch fairy, or pink-clad construction worker.

Don't confuse any of that with being transgender, however. For trans people, I refer you to Meredith Talusan's October 2015 BuzzFeed piece, "Why Trans Women Have Complicated Relationships With Halloween," where she offers perspectives from a number of trans women and observes, "Halloween is the one day of the year when those assigned male are allowed to dress as women in public…. It has a significant place in the lives of many trans women and non-binary femmes." At the same time, her article reminds us that Halloween may reinforce the misconception that being transgender is the same as simply putting on a costume.

We can apply these learnings with young people as well. In recent years, I have seen numerous stories of children assigned male at birth who want to be princesses for Halloween. For some, this may simply be a matter of being temporarily attracted to a particular costume. It may allow children to explore and stretch the bounds of their gender expression. For others, though, it may be a first step towards manifesting their true gender identities. The same goes for children assigned female at birth who want to dress up as male heroes. Kudos to the parents, teachers, and friends in all cases who let the children be themselves.

The chance to honor our heroes, real or imagined: I predict many children and adults will be Wonder Women this year, after the movie gave us a rare instance of a female superhero lead character ( who in the paper comics is canonically bisexual ). For real-life queer icons, check lgbthistorymonth.com for ideas. Remember, however, that we shouldn't change our skin color with makeup or wear clothing or symbols of another culture, as that can reinforce racist stereotypes or disrespect sacred symbols. Similarly, it bears repeating that dressing up as a trans person if you're not trans can convey the damaging idea that being trans equals wearing a costume. Even if you mean the costume respectfully, it may not be seen as such. There are plenty of other options out there. If all else fails, find some friends and go as the colors of a Pride flag. Or cut two holes in a sheet and go as the Ghost of Pride Month Past. What would you say to your Scrooge?

The chance to confront our fears: Whether it's taking our kiddies to a "haunted" corn maze or watching a scary movie, it can sometimes feel therapeutic to confront and overcome our fears, especially in an era when intolerance, inequity, violence, and natural disasters are all too real. We can practice on a small scale how to brace ourselves, support others, and find the support we need. Will this make real fears less scary? No, but it may help us better cope with them.

The chance to talk about gender, culture, race, and religion: Many commercial Halloween costumes aimed at women and even young girls are oversexualized or gendered to exaggeration with short skirts and glitter, including ones like "police officer" and "firefighter." If we encounter them at the store with our children, we can explain that they are based on old-fashioned views that said women couldn't "really" do these jobs and thus didn't need practical clothing for them. With older children, we can introduce and explain the dangerous idea of women as sex objects. We can also discuss why it is inappropriate to dress up as someone of another race or culture. See Teaching Tolerance's article "What Do Halloween Costumes Say?" for ways of approaching these topics with children. ( Visit tolerance.org and search for the title. )

Additionally, we can introduce the concept that more observant families of some religions may not even celebrate Halloween, which started as a Christian observance. Take the opportunity to learn and teach your children about Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, or Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which also occur around the same time.

The chance to eat treats—but also to be thoughtful about what we eat and serve to others: Halloween, of course, tends to be a candy gorge-fest. Be aware, though, of those who for reasons of allergies, diabetes, gluten intolerance, or other medical conditions can't indulge the same way as others. Many supermarkets now stock diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, and peanut-free treats, so it's easy to offer those, too.

Taking care with candy and costumes might seem to be dampening the fun of Halloween, but really, these are small efforts that can make the holiday more fun for everyone. After all, if Halloween is a very queer holiday, what's more queer than supporting the ideas of inclusion and community? It's the opposite that is truly scary.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( Mombian.com ), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN I Don't Mind Your Asking 2018-01-17 - This question, again, was asked of me recently. Good naturedly, with love, and with sincere caring ... but always unexpected. It caused me, ...


Gay News

King's dream of 'the beloved community' extends to yours, too 2018-01-17 - KThis year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's a painful and necessary anniversary ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Putting it to the test, 23andMe 2018-01-10 - More than 2 million people have taken part in genetic testing by 23andMe, a company founded in 2006 by CEO Anne Wojcicki. The ...


Gay News

VIEWS Words have consequences 2018-01-03 - Words matter in science—and in politics. We recently heard deeply troubling stories about the possible censorship of words at the Centers for Disease ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN 2017: Good news, bad news for LGBTQ families 2018-01-03 - Was 2017 a good year for LGBTQ parents and our children? The political situation in the United States was grim, but we also ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Are you tired of male sexual privilege? #metoo 2017-12-27 - In 1978, I left Temple University's PhD program after I had an interaction with a professor on my orals committee. "I want to ...


Gay News

For Black women, being Dems' 'backbone' is no compliment 2017-12-27 - Black women voters in the recent Alabama U.S. Senate race are being thanked for "saving" the state from Republican candidate Roy Moore, a ...


Gay News

The fairy gardener 2017-12-26 - There was snow on the ground here in Chicago in early December. Did you get all your bulbs in? If not, pot them ...


Gay News

VIEWPIONTS The New Jim Crow targets LGBTQ Americans, too 2017-12-20 - Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case—which has many of ...


Gay News

A Different World: Why We Owe the Cosby Accusers an Apology 2017-12-15 - "The sins of the fathers. They just fucked it all up. We had the best family. We had it all. We had it ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.