10 Gay Things to Do to Warm-Up For Halloween

Yesterday, August 29th, it happened: The Spirit Halloween opened up in my neighborhood in an old Rite Aid. (Have you ever noticed that Spirit Halloweens always set up shop in the spookiest abandoned establishments? I bet there’s Spirit Halloweens in actual haunted houses somewhere in Massachusetts.) Now, some of us aren’t as young as we used to be, which means some of us need to stretch before we do basically anything, including standing up off the floor. Below I have provided you with a helpful list of things you can do to warm-up for Halloween so you don’t pull a muscle celebrating the holiday of our people.

1. Begin researching your gay costume

Autostraddle Managing Editor Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya recently wondered: If you don’t have your Halloween costume chosen by the end of August, are you even gay? It’s a good question because there’s so many factors to consider! Couples costume or solo costume? Buy it or DIY it? Something classically queer or current pop culturally relevant? To help get your mind percolating, look for inspiration in Kayla’s DIY costumes for Yellowjackets and A League of Their Own (RIP).

How to DIY a “Yellowjackets” Halloween Costume

How to DIY an “A League of Their Own” Halloween Costume

2. Begin purchasing costumes (plural) for your pets

When it comes to humans, you only get one or two chances to wear a Halloween costume per year — but your pet can model dozens of different costumes on your various socials or just out on neighborhood walks. One of my cats, Beth March, has a Halloween sweater that is her absolute favorite out of all her clothes (she loves clothes) and she starts wearing it as soon as there’s a nip in the air. Get started with Dacry’s and Riese’s lists of gay Halloween costumes for your dog!

10 Gay Halloween Costumes for Your Dog

10 Halloween Couples Costume Ideas For You and My Dog

3. Refamiliarize yourself with the Fright Dyke curriculum

Kayla’s Halloween altar ego is Fright Dyke, and with good reason! Last year, she ran a whole series called Horror Is So Gay. If you missed it, now’s your chance to get the scoop on queer spooks! If you already read it, I bet you one full-size Snickers bar that you’ll find something to love all over again when you revisit it.

Horror Is So Gay

4. Buy your decorations so you don’t have to get into a fist fight at Target

Even the nicest people I know seem to turn into actual monsters when they’re shopping for Halloween decorations. Probably all the vampire pheromones hanging around in that section of the store. So, shop early this year and save yourself from ending up on TikTok screaming at some woman named Ethel who took the last four paper-mache jack-o-lanterns. Also, some costumes will need accessories from a variety of departments, so the sooner you can start shopping, the better!

Halloween Costumes That Double as Hot Role Play Costumes

5. Send out a Doodle for your party

You are absolutely not the only gay having a Halloween party, so go ahead and get yours on the calendar so your friends can plan around it. And while you’re at it, start planning your menu and your playlists so your party isn’t just first, but also: best!

The Hunt for the Perfect Baked Pumpkin Treat

Let Me DJ Your Gay Halloween Party

6. Make your scary movie/TV marathon list

Lucky for you, we have SO MANY scary movie/TV lists already curated for you!

25 of the Silliest, Spookiest Plotlines From “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Ranked by Absurdity

10 Twisted, Gory Horror Films to Watch With Your Mean Femme Date

10 Low-Key Horror Movies to Watch With Your Sensitive Butch Date

Rating Villains, Monsters, and Cryptids on a Scale of Sexiness

7. Dust off your Ouija board

I’ve never used a Ouija board, but based on TV and movies I know that they are always found in dusty, cobwebbed attics and crawl-spaces. They’re never stored in a nice box in a closet. So it’s probably best if you go ahead and start digging around for the one that’s inevitably hidden in your house, so you can get it cleaned up in time for The Big Day. If you don’t have a Ouija board, that’s okay — there’s an app for that.

I Used an App To Communicate With the Ghost in My House

8. Adopt a black cat

Black cats are always in need of adoption because, to this day, people consider them unlucky, when actually, they’re the absolute best. Some shelters also don’t adopt out black cats near Halloween because people are terrible. So go ahead and make your life about a billion times better by adopting a black cat today! I’ve got two and they are my perfect baby angel sweetie cinnamon roll darlings. You can also start thinking about the coming cold weather and how you can help the feral cats in your neighborhood!

Save a Feral Cat’s Life With a $15 DIY Winter Shelter

9. Prepare your “well, actually” Halloween facts

For example, did you know our current idea about what witches look like is informed by the ale wives the church tried to destroy before the Witch Trials even started? It’s true! There’s so many feminist facts about Halloween lore and there’s nothing quite like haunting a man for the rest of his life by “well, actually-ing” him in front of his friends while he’s dressed up like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

Alewives: The Women Who Crafted Beer and Split Hell Wide Open

10. Test the best candy

How else are you going to know if it’s the best? You don’t want to end up giving out Reese’s with the wrong peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio like the goddam Easter Bunny, do you?

I Will Always Steal These 10 Candies From My Kid’s Trick or Treat Bucket

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.

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