We’re in October and I should be incredibly happy because this is Gay Christmas Month for the LGBTQ+ community. What? You don’t know what Gay Christmas is? Well, it’s Halloween you silly thing! And in any other year I would be ecstatic, excited, and exhilarated about October 31. But this is the year 2020 and, as we already know, 2020 is a fuckery year. But before I get into that, let me clarify something.
I say that Halloween is Gay Christmas to the LGBTQ+ community. I am generalizing, of course. Halloween has never been officially proclaimed as the “Gay Christmas” of the LGBTQ+ community. I think it is safer to say that for most members of the LGBTQ+ community Halloween has become a “Christmas Day” because of the traditions and practices Halloween allows the LGBTQ+ members and, society in general, to do.
What am I talking about? If you are a young person trying to figure out who you are, trying to figure out who you are attractive to, what your sexual preference is, what your gender identity is, etcetera, Halloween becomes a great opportunity to explore such curiosities. I know friends now who I never thought to be gay, or bisexual, or transexual when we were young. Yet, these friends used Halloween to explore their desires to wear makeup, to wear women’s clothing, to wear eccentric outfits and camp it out.
When having a conversation with one of my friends, he told that he wore makeup for the first time in Halloween. And while everyone enjoyed his Halloween costume, as much as he did, he was also discovering that wearing makeup was something he enjoyed doing. Another friend used Halloween to dress in drag and everyone, including him, enjoyed the experience. It was this experience that allow him to discover his desire to wear women’s clothing, something, he says, may have never happened if it wouldn’t be for “Gay Christmas.”
Queer culture is made up of so many different elements, and many of those elements and practices, can also be found in Halloween. I mean, Queer culture embraces the dramatic and the camp, just look at RuPaul’s Drag Race. It is by nature campy and, boy is it dramatic. Queer culture combines the gothic with the tragic. I mean, “hello leather daddies” and hello Selena! Queer culture allows us to honor cultural icons that provide us with strength, solace, and entertainment. Cultural icons like Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga, Walter Mercado, Juanga, Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, George Michael, Ricky Martin, Judy Garland, Madonna, and oh, the list can go on, and on, and on. And our gay Icons are not limited to musicians and artists but also to politicians, writers, filmmakers, TV and film actors, activists, photographers, poets, and any person that, through an artistic, political, or educational stand, negotiates our subcultural identities within the mainstream world.
For these reasons, and probably many others, many members of the LGBTQ+ community, including myself, say that Halloween is Gay Christmas. And now that I have explained it, I need to go back to the moment I said, “In any other year I would be ecstatic, excited, and exhilarated about October 31. But this is the year 2020 and, as we already know, 2020 is a fuckery year.”
Why am I saying this? It’s 2020 and this year is a bitch, queeridos. I could spend some time listing the reasons, but I think we are all aware of the shenanigans happening all around us. For example, the pandemic. The pandemic has already made life incredibly challenging for everyone, and a complete emotional destruction for many, especially for People of Color. One factor of the pandemic is that it has forced us to stay at home and when stepping outside, to wear a mask. It has also forced us to be constantly cleaning, washing our hands, and avoiding contact with people within six feet.
Now, tell me, how are we supposed to have a Gay Christmas with such restrictions? First of all, for those gay parents with children, you are not going to be able to take them out trick-o-treating. Yes, you can set up an alternate “trick-or-treat” adventure for your child/children but really, is that ever the same as going door to door collecting candy and then having to count all the candy you accumulated? Not at all. For us, queers who want to go out and celebrate with the rest of the deviants of the world, are we going to dress up and simply wave from the living room window to the empty streets outside? And just having a “Halloween Bubble Party” for your six closest friends is not the same. Let’s face it, your bubble party members are already sick and tired of seeing each other since this “bubble party” business started, anyway.
It seems to me, then, that Gay Christmas is canceled this year, queeridos. But do not fret, this too shall pass, and we will made up for everything we have lost when the time comes!