9 Queers Share Why Halloween is Important to Them

For many of us, Halloween is the one refuge when we can truly express ourselves free from judgement.

Find out why Halloween is important to us as we hear from queers below (including myself!)

For too long, Halloween was the only time I felt safe to present as male. Everyone perceived it as a costume. I knew, in my heart and soul and brain, that the male part of what I was wearing was true and only the leather jacket and jeans were the costume (that year I was dressing as Fonzie!).

Now I’ve transitioned and live my life being perceived as the man I am. I’m grateful for that opportunity.

I’m also grateful I got those glimpses of comfort in my presentation on Halloween (and Purim) as a kid. It was a relief!
— Avi Serenity

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Avi Serenity

Avi Serenity

Doreen, DapperPenniless

Doreen, DapperPenniless

This will be my first year dressing up for Halloween! Growing up in a really religious household, it was frowned upon and generally outlawed so it makes me happy to try it for myself! Halloween to me, like other things I’m finally getting to participate in, signify a sense of liberation. I’m making my own choices. I’m super excited to join a host of creative people, especially my fellow queer folk in dressing up and standing out for that reason...our creativity. For one night, we’re all just a bunch of amazing human beings playing dress up with everyone else!
— Doreen Alexus-Marie Pierre (DapperPenniless)
I celebrate a more traditional version of Halloween which is know as the pagan sabbat samhain. Which is seen as time to let go and prepare for the harsher time of the year through getting closer with nature and self. I feel deeply that it is a helpful time for queer witchs and pagans like myself to be able to embrace ourselves and forgive the inner hatred forced upon us. By letting go at celebration of samhain when gathering with likeminded people. Allowing us to transform ourselves to represent who we wish to be through our actions and decision. With positive affirmations of what we call rites or spells.
— Tyler Roze

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Tyler doing Tarrot Cards at Qwear's Femme Desire show at the ICA. Photo by Jaypix

Tyler doing Tarrot Cards at Qwear's Femme Desire show at the ICA. Photo by Jaypix

Al Rivel i as Britney vma performance from slave 4 u

Al Rivel i as Britney vma performance from slave 4 u

Halloween is the only time of the year I feel like I can bring out a part of myself that is a fierce drag queen and not be judged for it.
— Al Rivel
Halloween is important for me because for one day out of the whole year, it is okay to be your deepest desire.
— Mojo Disco

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Mojo Disco as Bonita Appplebum

Mojo Disco as Bonita Appplebum

Halloween represents the chance to subvert heteronormativity and express sides of yourself which otherwise might be rigorously socially policed. It’s a change to collectively queer the fuck up without the social ramifications we, as a community, might otherwise face in our day-to-day. hands down my favorite holiday.
— Sarah Champagne

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I was the shy, reclusive, nerdy type as a little one— dubbed “four eyes” and “reject” by some of the jerky members of the popular crowd at the time. Thus, Halloween, as soon as I was properly introduced to it, became a source of refuge. It was the time of the year I could let my wild side shine— the time of the year the weirdo in me was actually celebrated. I often walked away with the prize for best costume (some of the most memorable being Cleopatra and “the devil”).

Through the years, I found the courage to allow the symbolism of the masks I wore on Halloween to penetrate the core of my daily existence — to own these characters as elements of myself, to grow with me as I blossomed into the human I was meant to become. The confidence I gained through adopting these characters as part of my true self allowed me to accept every part of who I am — including my queerness. Halloween provided the opportunity to express myself in ways I could not otherwise — for example, if I decided to don a costume that was traditionally male-oriented, it was totally cool. I was able to accept the masculine elements of my spirit while my peers applauded my creativity.

Now, thanks to this holiday (the most wonderful time of the year), I don’t give a rat’s ass what people think. I feel free to express myself in whatever ways feel most comfortable to me on a regular basis — to let my freak flag fly. LONG LIVE HALLOWEEN.
— Sarah Rose

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Halloween is the one time of the year when I’m free to express myself as (what is my per usual) queer over-the-top epic femme without my femmeness being questioned as ‘too much.’ This year as a femme fatale, not only did I want to wear fangs and have fun, but I also wanted to be a very visible strong femme in a world that tries to downplay femininity. I may look sweet and pretty, but I pack just as much bite.
— Madeleine Unstraight

See Madeleine's Band's Website

On Halloween growing up, I often chose male or genderless costumes without giving it a second thought. It was in those moments that I felt so myself that I was finally free. I remember one year in high school dressing as Danny Zuko and feeling like I could actually walk differently. Like when I walked across the room, I was just effortlessly gliding.
— Sonny Oram

I'm also on Instagram.

Me age 17 as Danny Zukko

Me age 17 as Danny Zukko

 

Got any costumes to share? Tag yourself #qwearhalloween16 on Instagram to enter our contest!

 

As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.