Halloween has always been at the top of the list when it comes
to good reasons for gays and lesbians to dress up and party.
For years it's been a favorite holiday in the LGBT community
- probably because of the aspects of sheer abandon and creativity.
How clever or comedic can you get with a costume? How risque?
Do you wanna be scary? Maybe you want to make a political statement
with your choice of costume or perhaps you'd just like to pretend
you're somebody famous.
Whatever the case, we came up with a list that provides an opportunity
for everybody to have a little fun.
Tippi Hedren in "The Birds"
I've encountered this costume twice in my lifetime and on both
ocassions I was sufficiently amused to want to include it here.
You don't actually have to look like Tippi Hedren to pull this
off but there are some easy things you can do to get close.
Start off with a tailored knee-length woman's skirt suit in
just about any color and a few drops of fake blood on your forehead
and legs. Using a hot glue gun attach a few of those decorative
birds florists use (try Michael's craft shops) at strategic
points on your suit (fake blood is good around those points
as well). Top it all off with a blond wig (you can add a bird
or two there if you like) and you'll look just like you walked
off the set of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest flick.
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory
Go to any nearby Sears or K-Mart and pick out a button down
shirt in light blue or yellow, a pair of khaki trousers and
a standard blue blazer. Soap opera actor brown dye #3 will easily
capture McCrory's cutting edge coiffure. Top it all off with
a pair of medium-sized rimless glasses and you've got the look
of Charlotte's anti-gay right-wing mayor down pat (no pun intended).
Tips for really pulling it off: if you're hosting the party
yourself start off the evening as a Democrat and change to a
Republican about 15 minutes into your soiree. Welcome your guests
openly at the evening's onset but midway through the event tell
them you don't think they're appropiate for the venue.
There are so many looks to choose from here! If you're a brown
or darker skinned African-American individual go for the "Thriller"
period with a red leather jacket, high arched eyebrows, one
sequin glove and a mullet-cut Jheri Curl wig. To capture the
current style of the King of Pop (or the queen of whine) you'll
need palest pale foundation, lots of contouring around the nose,
red lipstick and a blunt-cut, medium length black wig. For clothes,
the options are endless. Try a bright red shirt with epaulets,
black slacks, white socks and dress shoes. If you're going for
the "Michael on trial" look a simple business suit
with an armband and a pair of silver wire-rim glasses will work
nicely (for extra fun try adding a surgical mask and hire a
Nation of Islam member to carry an umbrella for you). To be
even more convincing - if you have kids (or can borrow some),
slap 'em in colorful berkas and bring 'em along for the fun
as they pretend to be Prince Michael Jackson Jr., Prince Michael
Jackson, II (also known as "Blanket") and Paris Michael
Katherine Jackson. Remember to speak in distraught, whispered
tones at all times.
Easy drag for the manly man. Okay - you do have to shave your
face for this one but the rest of it shouldn't be too hard.
Once again, the thrift store is your friend! Go to the womens'
section and look for solid or print dresses with large buttons
and large spillover collars (doily collars are favored by Grandma
Bush) and check out one of many Asian-owned wig shops in your
area for an inexspensive white or silver short wig. Add a dash
of pale pink lipstick, some low-rise Benjamin Franklin heels
and a pair of droopy panty hose and you're good to go.
S.C. Rep. John Graham Altman
Wanna dress up as one of the yee-haw good ol' boys? Why not
consider South Carolina's most nefariously anti-gay Republican
State Rep. John Graham Altman? Altman's lived long and hard
to achieve his monstrously good looks. For you to achieve that
goal start off with a trip to the Big & Tall Men's Shop
for the standard businessman's suit - either in brown, blue
or black. You could capture Altman's handsome mug by sloughing
on a few layers of face putty, but we recommend the quick and
easy route: off to the costume shop for a rubber Richard Nixon
face mask (yes, they still make those and the similarities between
Altman's handsome as hell good looks and a rubber representation
of the late Republican president are quite striking).Tips for
really pulling it off: Wander around the party or nightclub
of your choice spouting off such amazing parables of wisdom
as: "Gay people just want to get married because they want
to bugger each other" and "Don't waste your time outing
people in power, society doesn't like that kind of behavior."
Marvel at your own wisdom, then amble on. Your performance art
portrayal of Altman will leave other party-goers white-knuckled
Of course, not everybody can pull this one off. But if you can,
you're sure to have fun. Cher is the quintessential queer icon.
She's been around for almost 60 years and she's managed to look
somewhere around 30 for most of that time. Not much direction
needed here - but this effort's going to be a bit more pricey
than the others included on this list. The most easily recognizable
Cher look is the long black wig and some kind of dramatic evening
wear you'll probably need to borrow from your bestest drag queen
friend. Hopefully, she'll be able to do your face, as well.
Go rent "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy
Dean," "Suspect," "Mermaids" and watch
a few episodes of the old "Sonny & Cher" show
to get some examples of this diva in action.
He's our favorite '80s retro pop-diva/drag queen/Brit rocker
and boy did he leave us with a legacy of looks to choose from.
We'll go for the most obvious and easy: a black bowler with
multi-colored braids attached around the inside of the hat and
ribbons on the end of every other braid or so. Makeup: heavy
on the lips, heavy on the eyes, heavy on the foundation (check
the internet for reference photos - there's a ton out there).
For clothing, an oversized bathrobe in bright red, blue or yellow
works well (if you can snag an asian print you're over the top).
With some billowey pants and a pair of genie slippers you've
got the early '80s Boy George look complete.
Sissy Spacek as "Carrie"
Here's a fun and easy trip down retro-horror flick lane. Any
nearby thrift store will most certainly have a light-colored
evening gown (with straps, preferably) that will easily hold
splatters of red food coloring to create the illusion of blood.
For skin and wig you're going to need to make a trip to the
costume shop for some fake blood. Inexpensive long blond wigs
from the children's costume section are perfect to top the outfit
off and not much conversation required at all! Just walk around
the entire night with a blank, zombie-like stare.
This one's a bit more complicated. If you're not planning on
speaking the entire evening a pair of wax lips will easily capture
the look of La Wildenstein's soup-coolin' fatties. For those
who want to interact with others, use a lip liner and draw your
lips on well above the natural line to the most rapacious extreme
you can achieve (think Ronald McDonald) and simply fill in with
a dark red lipstick. If you go for option #2, when you do speak,
do so in a nebulous eastern European accent and throw out words
like "darling" and "fabulous" with frequency.
For clothing, check out Goodwill or Value Village for any "Dynasty"
era evening outfits in satin or metallic. For Wildenstein's
signature eyes, shadow going up and out from beneath brow's
end and towards the hairline can create a cat-like look. If
you're trying for a more realistic interpretation (or unrealistic,
depending on your perspective) of Wildenstein, then a bit of
clear surgical adhesive tape at the outer edges of your cheek
bone, stretched up and tight and concealed with heavy foundation
and a curly brown wig will have everyone convinced you're the
queen of botched plastic surgery.
Mecklenburg County Commissioner
A good one for all the hefty guys out there. If you prefer
drag, however, you should be easily interchangeable with Barbara
Bush (see above). From all outward appearances, Mecklenburg
County Commissioner Bill James seems to have a propensity for
beige, brown and dark blue. Try the Big and Tall Men's Shop
for the standard business suit in any of the aforementioned
colors. Seal the look with a left-side combover from just above
the ear. Tips for really pulling it off: Throughout the evening
pepper your speech with words like "moral sewer,"
"sodomites" and "feces." Glib rhyming phrases
like "homos and lesbos" will be sure to convince everyone
your Charlotte's scariest county commisioner.
Always an easy one - think "Village People"
Get a red plastic rain coat, an axe and fireman's hat from
the costume shop and you're set.
Bride of Frankenstein
A flat white bed sheet with three holes for your head and
arms, ace bandages to wrap up your arms from wrist to shoulder,
an afro wig combed up and back (think promoter Don King),
clown white for your face and black lipstick (which also actually
works well around your eyes, too). Don't forget the spray-on
gray for the silver stripes on either side of your wig.
Another easy one - think "Village People"
Any costume shop will have you covered on this one.
Sailor or soldier
Visit your local Army/Navy surplus store or check out costume
and thrift shops.
Doctor or Nurse
Scary drag queen nurses are always a hit at Halloween parties.
Try your local costume shop or uniforms outlet.
Wear whatever you want, just rip a few strategic holes here
and there and go to town with the fake blood.
Roller Disco Queen
You can do this as a twinky gay boy or in drag with a pair
of daisy dukes, a tight T-shirt and a pair of old roller skates.
For extra-added authenticity throw some glitter or sequins
on the t-shirt and your body.
Middle eastern woman in a Berka
You can order these online and you'll be covered head to toe.
No one will ever recognize you through your eye slits! Drinking
or smoking may prove to be a challenge, however.
Flannel shirt, hard hat, worn out jeans, industrial boots.
How easy can you get?