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~ modernised celebrations of samhain involve the trick-or-treating, costumed parties and spirit world abandon of halloween; beneath all the body paint and glitter, the celebration of halloween by the LGBT community has roots in queer-ifyed samhain traditions and magick ~ 

halloween: a more history-focussed article from 2011, discussing both samhain and its modernised festival of halloween, in relation to the LGBT community

” … halloween is an annual folk event held on or around October 31 for celebrating masquerade, fantasy, and horror.  Originally a Celtic pagan observance of deeply serious intent signifying a time when the dead visit the living, Halloween was co-opted by early Christian missionaries to Northwestern Europe.  Having lost most of its terrifying aura, Halloween became principally identified as a festival for youth and young adults.  But in recent decades, Gay people and their allies have made Halloween a Gay festival as well, when individuals in LGBTQ venues are free to perform alternative personas, drag is the norm, and elaborate costume displays are taken into the streets without fear of harassment.” 

halloween, the gay high holy day: another recent (2011) article on the modern celebration of samhain, as the trick-or-treating night of halloween, and the spiritual meaning it holds in parallel with the LGBT community

” … LGBT writers, such as poet Judy Grahn, have written of Halloween as a “great gay holiday.” Grahn wrote in her history of gay culture, Another Mother Tongue, that Halloween came to be observed by gay people as their special night because LGBT people had served as priests, witches, shamans, healers and intermediaries between living and spiritual worlds in many societies throughout history. The Druids dressed up in elaborate costumes and interacted with spirits as part of their Samhain celebrations, according to Grahn.”

halloween, the gay great holiday: a 2010 article discussing the freedoms of expression that halloween brings, and how a celebration of the dead can have a deeper meaning for those in the LGBT community

” … Rich Wandel, an openly gay high priest of Wicca, told the authors of The Gay Almanac that “Samhain is a time of connection to those who have gone before us and will return again. It is my favorite ritual, and is one we never let the students lead. We do it ourselves, because it is important, particularly in terms of the many friends that all of us in our communities have lost.”

~ in addition to a magickal night where the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest and ghosts cross over to spend time with loved ones, samhain (as halloween) has become a night where fantasy and freedom abound ~

halloween is gay holy grail: although an older article from 2007, this mentions the view on the celebration of halloween in the gay community as a night to embrace the queerness in all of us

” … halloween is a night when you can let go and immerse yourself in abandon and fantasy.  It’s like moving through an altered state, travelling the light fantastic, where everything seems beautifully dreamlike.  There’s every colour imaginable: sparkling rhinestones galore, encrusted jewels, and intricate beading on lavish ball gowns worn by bewitching boys, with feathers here, there, and everywhere.  Gay Halloween has it all.  It’s a showcase of how our lost souls are no longer lost. Moreover, there is no evidence of indignity, disrespect, shame, prejudice, hate, or oppression on this truly special and magical night.”

halloween, america’s gay holiday: an article from 2011 discussing halloween and the LGBT community, as well as homophobia seen in some of the early hell houses

” … ‘it has been the Gay community that has most flamboyantly exploited Halloween’s potential as a transgressive festival, as one that operates outside or on the margins of orthodox time, space, and hierarchy. Indeed, it is the Gay community that has been arguably most responsible for Halloween’s adult rejuvenation.’  Halloween allows many LGBTQ Americans at least one night annually, Oct. 31, of safely being out and “unmasked” while remaining closeted.”

anoka halloween parade rejects gay-lesbian youth group: a LGBT youth group was one of the groups denied the request to march in the halloween parade in anoka, minnesota (october 2012)

” … the Anoka Halloween committee finds itself in a dust-up for doing what it says it always does: reject groups that want to march in its annual parade.  This year, though, officials’ silence about why a group of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual kids were turned away has some questioning its selection criteria.”

halloween fit for a queen: an article from this month (october 2012) listing five LGBT halloween parties, festivals and haunts in the united states

” … you know the (mostly true) stereotype: Gay Christmas takes form in Halloween. We’re all a little drag-curious, and we’ve outdone 19-year-old sorority girls in taking Halloween’s dress-up aspect to an obsessive and borderline-inappropriate level.”

halloween costumes-inspired by LGBT television, media and celebrity:  after ellen’s lez celebrate halloween, and autostraddle’s best halloween costumes inspired by gays are two blog posts from 2009 that list several ideas for halloween costumes