Halloween is the highest of the Gay High Holy Days, or at least I'm told. Some say its gay because ancient pagan priests, who were often queer men, believed that the boundaries between Earth and the spirit world are thinnest on this day. Because gay people live in a place between the extremes of masculine and feminine, and a day the celebrates the thinning of the veil of between the extremes of physical and spiritual is a day we can claim as our own.
Some say it's gay because Halloween is really campy. Everything is exaggerated and not much is taken seriously. The drag queen is the modern incarnation of camp, and gay historians point to San Francisco's Halloween costume contests where drag queens would enter alongside straight folks as a turning point in October 31 becoming a big gay holiday.
While the history is important, I think Halloween belongs to us because it's a day we can safely express ourselves. Society tells us we have to look and act a certain way, and Halloween gives us a chance to be more authentic.
When I was in grade school, I went as half man, half woman one year. While that's not the right expression for me today, the time I took to plan that look and then express myself as somebody who sits between masculine and feminine was powerful. As an adult, my favorite costume has been a prison jumpsuit. I could have fun letting my slightly wicked side out. It gave me the opportunity to express a part of myself that doesn't often see the light of day.
Whether or not you put on a costume, take advantage of the opportunity to express yourself a little more freely today. All you need is a little imagination and the willingness to be campy.
I'm a gay father with gay sons. My mission is to work with the community to prepare them -- and other young gay men -- for a happy and successful life.