Scroll To Top

The Real Reason Gays Go Gaga for Halloween

A cluster of Richard Simmonses in West Hollywood by Miguel Angel Reyes

It's about more than wearing heels and skintight clothes one night a year.

Give me your fearsome ghouls and your flaming gays, your slutty zombies and your zany queens, for it is time for Halloween.

Halloween isn't just a holiday for LGBT people; it's an institution, but why? Sure, there are the obvious parallels. A gay person grew up wearing masks, and to many of us, every day was Halloween until we opened those closet doors. We are highly trained at hiding our true selves, so the celebration of costume and disguise is a natural marriage for us. But for today's generation, where "gay" is hardly the terrifying pronunciation that it once was, this explanation doesn't hold much weight.

I guess you could make the connection of queers delighting in the chance to express themselves in ways that society usually deems lewd and inappropriate. This holiday is one that praises all the frights and fetishes that we are told to cover up. But then again, that is what Gay Pride is all about. The gay community is a requiem for sexual liberation, so for many, Halloween is just another Saturday night at the club.

No, Halloween is the national gay holiday for the fact being LGBT is an extension of expressing who you want to be, regardless of who is scared of it. Regardless how liberal the community you live in may be, the global reality is that being gay is still considered a perversion, a subversion, and even an abomination. Some of us may rarely have to address this reality, living in progressive hubs where gay is practically the norm. But others know all too well what a healthy group of people in the U.S. thinks about your "lifestyle."

Living in Dallas, even I forget just how odd I am to some people simply because I am gay. And for a minute here and there, I might even convince myself that my life, my relationship, and my sex are now just the boring norm. But just a few miles outside of my bubble, and the sometimes-painful realization that I am an "other" swiftly reminds me of my alternative position in society. And this is a good thing ...

Being gay isn't a fetish. But for many, it is a fantasy. For gay people, the fear of exploring your fantasies, which, in turn, become reality, can almost be second nature. So when Halloween comes around, people on the LGBT spectrum aren't afraid to revel in their proclivities, whether they are ghoulish, garish, or slutty as hell, because in the eyes of the judgmental peanut gallery, we represent those things every day.


At some point in a gay person's life, you realize that you will always be a freak to some. Trying to change yourself is impossible, so eventually you relish in your freakdom and wait as the onlookers creep closer to your side of the line.

Halloween is one time of year when everyone is allowed to be whoever he or she wants to be. But for gay people, it isn't as much of a stretch.

So throw on those hooker heels and paint those faces a fright, because soon, very soon, it will be Halloween night ...

TYLER CURRYTYLER CURRY is an activist and the author of A Peacock Among Pigeons, a new children's book that celebrates diversity. Get your copy at

Photos courtesy of Miguel Angel Reyes. See more at his Facebook page.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Tyler Curry