Hallowinning! 27 People Who Are So Doing Halloween Right

Apparently it is still Halloween! Actually, it is not yet even Halloween! Can you believe it? It seems like it’s been Halloween since back when we used to have white presidents. In the years when the Halloween season lasts for weeks, Thanksgiving season tends to shrink, driving us straight into the naughty/nice capitalist bonanza that is Christmas. There’s probably a metaphor about gratitude over greed in there somewhere, but I’m just mostly concerned that I won’t get enough sweet potato pie and stuffing.

Anyway, this Halloween month has been a little rocky, hasn’t it? What with people suddenly getting confused about how whether it’s okay to put on blackface or portray murdered teens (for the record, nope. Sorry. Not at this time.) And I wrote about it a bit here but I started this blog to write about things that make me laugh or make me happy or make me think. And Scandal. I like to write about Scandal. I want to highlight things that are better rather than things that are problematic.

So, without further ado, here’s 27 people (and one dog) who are TOTALLY winning at Halloween. Hallowinning, as it were!

image: Huffington Post

image: Huffington Post

This guy, Brett, actually lives in my neighborhood. But I’ve never met him. I saw him near the Chinese place once. And I know his name because we have a mutual Facebook friend. This already sounds stalker-y.

Anyway, the other day I saw him on The Huffington Post in this winning get-up. So… now he’s on my blog. Hi neighbor! Also, I love Wario chillin in the background there.

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Race Or Whatever

Oprah Winifred Sanderson

I left two costume mashups off of my post 14 Halloween Costumes That Prove You’re the Smartest Person At the Party.  One of them was Oprah Winifred Sanderson, a combo of the true Queen of All Media and Bette Midler’s character from Hocus Pocus. Believe me, I tried to make this work. I adore Oprah; I adore Bette but… I’ve never seen Hocus Pocus.


Stop judging me!

I’ve never seen it. Sorry. I’ve never seen The Goonies either. Or Labyrinth. I’ve seen All Dogs Go to Heaven like 20 times and I hate that movie, but Hocus Pocus, no. I grew up in a God-fearing home and we didn’t like witches and we didn’t like Halloween. We loved Beaches though. Sweet Jesus, we did.

I’m still not really into Halloween. The only reason I celebrate it is because it’s also known as Gay Christmas and so I get a loophole. I didn’t know about this loophole until adulthood. I hated Halloween as a kid; I guess because I didn’t know there was an opportunity to be witty/slutty. It’s just as well. Kids are generally bad at wit. And sluttiness, actually.

These days, I participate in Halloween/Gay Christmas but I don’t get into scares or ghosts or anything like that. I just invest a lot of creative energy into coming up with totally revealing costumes based on plays on words and pop culture puns in an increasingly futile attempt to get people to have sex with my personality.

Last year, I was Phyllis Thriller: white fright wig, long cigarette holder, red leather jacket. Yup, Phyllis Diller/Michael Jackson. Hello boys. Welcome to the yard!

Anyway, Oprah Winifred Sanderson was out. That left only one choice:

Large framed glassesurkel1a


High waisted pants


Ninja swords

Costume: Teenage Mutant Ninja Urkel.

::hold for applause::

I went to a party last night thrown by gay couple I adore. One of the two works in theatre like I do, so it was full of queers and theatre people and theatre queers, at least six performances of “The Hot Honey Rag” and a prolonged debate about who would play whom when we all dress as the mid-nineties Queen Latifah sitcom Living Single. It was also a Comic-Con-themed party, so everyone was dressed a superhero. That means, of course, a sea of flaccid penises barely concealed behind low-hanging spandex. gleeAnd if free-balling in a Sonic the Hedgehog bodysuit isn’t what the founding fathers meant by “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, I’ll eat that A I got in AP History. Actually, I think I dropped AP History after a couple of weeks. I did take AP Statistics, though, so I’m still qualified here. Just calm down. Calm down. Sir, please lower your voice.

It was also a Housewarming party because gays are lost if there aren’t at least 3 themes to every event. How can we ironically engage while also judging and rejecting if the party planners don’t take the Lido deck approach to programming? I was once at a brunch that was also an engagement party, a board meeting, an intervention and a gospel drag show.

Anyway, it was a fantastic time, dicks abounded, and nobody but nobody felt the need to paint their face black.

And I’m sorry. This is a dramedy blog; I’m not here to talk about, you know, whatever. Plus, everyone has some really interesting opinions, including the fantastic and very popular Katherine Fritz of I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog. So read them. I got nothing to say…


Okay, so I put the following up on Facebook when I first read about Julianne Hough’s Crazy Eyes costume:

My actual face.

My actual face.

Sorry, but no.
Bantu knots, sure. Face paint, absolutely not.

Really? Are you new? Are you an alien visitor from a far away land? Bienvenue! Welcome! Wash your face!

I Just! Don’t! Have! Time to explain how it’s totally fine to dress as someone of a different race and yet it’s totally not okay to paint your skin like them (exceptions are as follows: The Joker. Pennywise. Elphaba.). I just don’t have time. Should there be a mass e-mail? Would that be helpful? What if I wrote it on a cake? I will write it on a cake. That’s what I will do. A cake. I’ll write it on a cake.

And I started baking cakes. But then I got like real hungry and I ate all the cakes. And then I forgot all about it because, you know, this shit happens. It keeps happening. Some people get it, some people don’t. Except…

People in the comments section (I feel like that should be capitalized. For as many times as I’ve been incited to rage by people in the comments section, I feel they deserve their own defined category.) Anyway, People in the Comments Section keeps writing “I don’t see what the big deal is. She wasn’t trying to make fun.” or “Oh, here come the PC police.” Which, first of all, shut it down. All the way down. I’m going to need you to log off the computer, go to your living room and take any seat available. Second of all, you not seeing what the big deal is doesn’t actually change anything. (I’m sorry to be kicking you in your privilege so early this morning.)

I’m sure it would be nice if one could just declare, “Guys! I don’t get why this is a thing!” and everyone else could suddenly carry on about their lives having been given the NBD decree from high above, but alas! You not understanding the complexity of a situation doesn’t make the situation not complex.


If you think that it does, that line of thought is probably not your fault, but it doesn’t make it true. I’m not trying to black-splain anything to you. I’m just saying, I don’t get astrophysics but that doesn’t make space travel not a thing. Have you seen Gravity? That shit is real!

When you put on a costume, you are highlighting the most easily identifiable aspects of a character or persona. The essence. If you feel the need to darken your skin to portray another person then you are showing the limitations of your thinking. You are saying, “I only see, or primarily see, this person’s skin color” not their distinctive style of dress, their signature props, their robot hands, their talking car, whatever. That is what you are saying every time you paint your skin.

This man is a Ninja Turtle, also, even though he is white. Shocking.

This man is a Ninja Turtle, also, even though he is white. Shocking.

When the “PC Police” show up people start talking like their freedoms are being infringed upon. Like they’re losing the right to dress up however they want or to yell epithets in public or to fire someone for who they love. Just like when the real police show up, I’m pretty sure that you never lost that freedom; you just might have to face a consequence for exercising it. I mean, I did get a B in AP Statistics; I know what I’m talking about.

Look, this is why I love Gay Christmas: you get to step outside yourself for a night. You get to engage in the fantasy that the boxes that hem us in–race and gender and body type and what not–don’t have control. And if you’re a big black boy and you want to be Miley Cyrus, go with God, my friend. And if you’re a petite white woman and you want to be Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black, tie your hair up in knots, toss on a jumpsuit, grab a throwing pie, crazy up them eyes and go. For a night you’re free from the constraints of believability and the exigencies of identity. And you don’t have to touch your skin. You’re free, baby. You’re free.


14 Halloween Costumes That Will Prove You’re The Smartest Person At the Party

Sometimes it’s not enough to just be the sluttiest bumblebee or the tongueist Miley Cyrus at a Halloween party. Sometimes you hunger for a little je ne sais quois in your masquerade apparel. Sometimes you like to use je ne sais quois in casual conversation. Maybe you’re an asshat, or maybe you’re just too cool for school. Regardless, here’s 14 costumes that will ensure that everyone you encounter on Halloween will know that you have a liberal arts degree and you’re not afraid to use it.


Sickening white trench coat
Elbow-length sharkskin gloves
“I Love Pawnee” button
Weave laid like gold and silver.

Costume: Olivia Knope

My friend Thomas wrote on Facebook that this costume should also come with a stack of waffles and anyone wearing it should constantly shout “These waffles are handled!”


Red polka dot dressAndy is SHOCKED!
“I Love Pawnee” button
Shoeshine kit
White puffy gloves

Costume: Minnie Mouserat

Maggie Smith wig
Edwardian gown
Surly expression
Bottle of Rid

Costume: Downton Crabby

Too far?


White cape
White wig with an orchid in it
Sarong with X-Men logo
Mai Tai

Costume: Tropical Storm

I was going to put a picture of Halle Berry here but I can’t even. I just… I just can’t. I can’t. Even.


Print out pictures of kidneys, livers, and hearts with green dots in the corner and orange borders that read “100ft away”.disapprove

Costume: Organ Grindr

Get it?! Organ Grindr!


Duck lips darkwing
Black mask and cape
Wide brimmed black “Andie McDowell in 4 Wedding and a Funeral” hat
Insane white birther beard
Cammo pants

Costume: Darkwing Duck Dynasty




Colorful bear costume
404 error
Zero Right-wing support
John Boehner’s balls in a vice

Costume: Obamacarebear


Blonde ringlet curls
An ill-fitting half-shirt
A gay pig named Glitzy
Go-Go juice
Scout’s life in your hands
A quiet dignity
A mockingbird

Costume: Honey Boo Boo Radley

This is the saddest costume of all.


Orange prison jumpsuit
A rogue chicken
Vampire teeth
Barbecue sauce on your titties

Costume: Orange is the New Blacula


Orange prison jumpsuitzack-morris
A rogue chicken
Gigantic cell phone
Barbecue sauce on Slater’s titties

Costume: Orange is the New Zack Morris

“I threw my pie for Kelly Kapowski”


Fairy wings
Pixie dust
A copy of Feminism Theory
Zero time for the patriarchy

Costume: Tinker bell hooks

This costume also doubles as a Masters thesis


Huge wigandy
Heels kicked off
Wind beneath your wings
A copy of Feminism Theory
A New Anti-racism Attitude

Costume: Patti Labelle hooks


A stack of books, including Feminism Theory 
A dying rose
A French accent
A rich prince-turned-Beast who is very aware of his privilege

Costume: Belle hooks


Starfleet ensign’s uniform with a collegiate W on it
Pajama pants
An expensive Philosophy degree

Costume: Wesleyan Crusher

A couple years ago, on Halloween, I dressed as Elton John. But because I’m black everyone thought I was Prince. I decided to change it up the next day (Halloween that year fell on a Thursday, a Friday, a Saturday, a Sunday and the following Saturday. It was like Hanukkah). I added a black bob wig to the costume and went as Willy Wonka. Everyone thought I was Prince. It’s hard to be a black person on Halloween, a holiday devoted to pop culture references and inappropriate amounts of skin-baring. You have to be zeitgeist-y and of-the-moment, but if the particular cultural moment doesn’t have a lot of black newsmakers it can be tricky. Community has a great running gag about this: Shirley, a black woman, dresses as Harry Potter and everyone thinks she’s Urkel. The next year she dresses as Glinda, but everyone thinks she’s Miss Piggy (this may also be a size joke, but I’m not here for that).

Last year I saw a black woman dressed as Snow White and I’m sorry, but I just have to put my foot down. The defining characteristics of Snow White are: fairest of them all, unhealthy love of apples, cult of little people and… skin as white as snow. If you’re a black woman with a black bob hairdo, cap sleeves and you’re holding produce, you’re not Snow White. You might be Michelle Obama, but you’re not Snow White. That’s like me shaving my head and putting on a suit and saying I’m Lex Luther. Baby, you ain’t Lex Luther; you’re Kareem Adbul-Jabar.

But this post isn’t even about race; this post is about costumes. And these costumes, hallelujah, will fight the tools of oppression! Because even if people don’t know who you’re supposed to be, once you explain it to them, they’ll be sufficiently chastened by your superior wit to point out that your Leelo Dallas get-up actually looks more like Lisa Left-Eye Lopes.