Let's Be Hallowqueens

It’s time for all of us who wear fangs, tails or cosplay year round to sit and enjoy the annual night of acceptance. Weather you greet it with a touch of resentment for hypocrisy or join in celebrating the thinning of the veil, Halloween is the day where abnormalities get to shine without backlash. While abnormal is simply the parallel to normal, which has been constructed from ideals in group minds in various societies, there are a couple norms that we’re still aware of getting “broken.” In the LGBT+ community, there are many norms that get broken with transgender or genderqueer persons, those who like drag and those who crossdressing. Donning what is called a halloween costume is a perfect way to be vibrantly queer when you normally might not feel safe enough or confident to play with your own identity. 

As the years roll on, modern culture has accepted crossdressing through things like drag and expanding our understanding of gender identity. Still, that doesn’t mean those who want to portray another gender or wear clothes associated with such always have a safe space to do so. Crossdressing is not to be confused with someone portraying their actual gender. While some might expect gender and sex to align, a man who has what one might call female breasts wearing a suit is not crossdressing. Furthermore, there are those who don’t believe clothing (that suit, for example) has an assigned gender. So for them, the term crossdressing doesn't apply. For those who prefer to identify through gender and enjoy clothing to assist in their display, crossdressing is defined as wearing the clothes of the opposite gender. Crossdressers are not necessarily LGBT+. An LGBT+ person may crossdress, but there are plenty of heterosexual people who do it too! 

An example of crossdressing in costume might be a man as Spidergwen or Ladypool. You might be thinking a man in a wig and heels is drag, not crossdressing, but there is a difference (definition 7a). While crossdressing is used to accent femininity and display identity, one who crossdresses isn’t taking on another persona. This persona taken on in drag, of course, is a part of the person's identity, but this persona is usually exaggerated and used to perform. While a man or woman can dress in drag in their daily life, it’s a lot more work than crossdressing because drag involves dramatic representations of either male or female aspects that require big wigs, artistic facial hair and large body proportions. The reason everything is exaggerated is because the personas are used to perform on stage. Sometimes the performance is comedic and sometimes it’s sultry, but in every theme, this over the top visage is enhanced for an audience to be able to see. These personas usually have stage names, some of which are commonplace now, like Bianca Del Rio from her film acting and work on “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” 

For those transgender and genderqueer folks who are shy or even closeted, Halloween can be a safe space as well. On this night, they can avoid the, “Why are you dressed in [x] clothes?” or “Isn’t that for a [x]?” And let’s not forget, “Where is/are your [x]?” when someone binds or tucks. No matter your gender identity, if you want to bend the usual gender you portray, express yourself in a way you’ve been afraid to or if you just want to cosplay,-I mean wear a costume of someone you adore and don’t care what gender they are, this is the time. Be confident now without the pressure of potential judgement, and I hope the liberation boosts your confidence for every other day of the year. Now, excuse me while I find some grenade bracers and red contacts.