Good eveninggggggg and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread!

Normally I hate how holidays now creep out months in advance and then seem to last for weeks but you know what? When it’s Halloween, I’m into it. Now that the actual weekend is here: Are you dressing up? Are your pets dressing up? Are you not dressing up but super into watching holiday classics like Scooby Doo and specific episodes of Buffy (all episodes of Buffy if we’re being honest) and Ghostbusters and any of the million actual scary things there are out there to consume that I’m not even going to list for you because I’m afraid of them but if you have favorites you should talk about them in the comments? Are you living that Halloween 365 life and over all these posers who only celebrate on the actual day? Are you just kinda not feeling it this year because even the highest of gay holidays can’t touch the darkness within your soul? (Or because it’s just not a thing where you are or whatever?)

Personally I don’t have a costume (yet???), I do have three different events to attend that all partly overlap the same few hours, I’ve watched What We Do In The Shadows one and a half times this week and I’m doing great. How’s work, how was that haircut, what’s new, what’s up with you?

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

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  1. I love Halloween! It’s also the date of mine and my boyfriend’s anniversary! 4 years! So much excitement!

    I’m going to visit my lil sister this weekend, carve pumpkins and watch Hocus Pocus. Potentially making some mini pumpkin pies?? Plans for actual Halloween involves my job of nannying a sweet 8 month old gal who will be wearing a pumpkin costume (squee!), and a chill anniversary dinner + shoving my face w/candy.

  2. I’m mentally preparing for the annual “when is Halloween” conversation with my parents.

    Since I left their country, obnoxious children with even more obnoxious parents have imposed this foreign holiday on their unsuspecting neighbours, who are now expected to put up with American-style trick or treating. The only problem is no one in the whole country seems to know what date Halloween actually falls on, least of all my parents, so every year I have to explain that it’s not actually the last Saturday in October, or the first Saturday in November, or whatever they think this year.

    Which is followed by the annual discussion about what date you celebrate All Saints’. Followed by the annual discussion about when All Saints’ Day stopped being a fixed date in their country.

    I don’t actually mind Halloween, I’ve gone to Halloween parties, but the way it’s forced on communities is disgusting. Throw a party. Don’t demand that your city throw one. Invite people over. Don’t invite yourself over to your neighbours and demand that they buy Bratley Jr. some candy.

  3. Hi y’all! My girl’s birthday was yesterday, so we’re having a crab boil for her birthday tomorrow. And our parents are meeting for the first time… eeeeeek! I was hoping a party with a bunch of people would make it less weird, but now I’m getting nervous. Trying to keep my cool for her sake though, because she just came out to her mom a few months ago and her mom was surprised by the info. (She’s 43, never had a boyfriend, she’s not a 100-footer, but NO ONE should have been surprised by her orientation.) So if anyone has any parents meeting for the first time tips, I’d love to have your advice.

    No plans to dress up, but we might go to a Siouxie and the Banshees dance party after the boil and get our goth on a bit. Also I got my “AWOOOOOO” t-shirt from Buffering the Vampire Slayer to wear to work on Halloween, so I’m really excited about that!

    Hope everyone has an awesome Halloween!

    • A Siouxie and the Banshee dance party sounds great. My favorite song of her’s is Halloween, which is timely. Good luck with the parents meet.

    • @meinola That’s so exciting! My main parents-meeting advice looks like:

      Give them talking points when you introduce them so it’s less awkward. (Kinda like “hi, gf’s parent, this is my parent, Name. She’s [her job or how she spends most of her time] and is really into [two hobbies or the thing she likes to talk about at parties or a show she was talking about earlier or whatever, ideally you will have an idea of what everyone’s parents are into and can pick things about which they might find common ground]. Parent, this is gf’s parent, Other Name. She’s [same things for her].”) Sounds dorky, helps strangers find immediate things to talk about so they can get on with liking each other.

      But don’t try to referee after that.

      And also don’t lie about something related to your relationship (when you met, how you met, etc.) or it will come up for the rest of your shared lives, and if you lied about this already for some reason, correct now or commit to the lie forever.

      Be okay with the fact it might be awkward at first or the whole time or for the first few times. Everyone’s an adult and should be able to handle themselves and it’s probably going to be fine and you’re going to do great.

  4. I love Halloween, both for costuming and spooky movies. This year I’m going as Amelia Earhart (the goggles I ordered literally just arrived while I was typing this) and I’m going to try to go see Rocky Horror when my friend is in the shadow cast. Gonna go carve pumpkins with my bff today! I’m also marathoning Halloween movies and TV and I made a bigass Halloween playlist on Spotify. I literally just like Halloween for the aesthetic, I don’t even eat that much candy anymore.

    My coven moved away a few years back so I haven’t done much for Samhain in a while. My friend was always the best at protection and wards and stuff, and there was a murder-suicide in my neighborhood last year so I’m not going to risk it in case there’s still some nasty energy around. I do love Samhain so I’m always disappointed, but I never really learned how to be a solitary practitioner. :/ I’ll probably just leave out some offerings instead of doing a ritual.

  5. School has been a mutherfreaking rollercoaster. Queer meditation at Bag Lady wasn’t bad. Apparently someone tweeted about it?!? But I was getting some homophobic vibes from the employee who was there to supervise the meditation.

    I’ve got an interview with Kohls!!! I am not a retail gal, but this job is seasonal so if it sucks I never have to go back. Get a little cash in mah pocket maybe a few discounted bras.

    I accidentally ordered a peperomia because it was labeled rubber tree. I wanted a ficus elastica which is also called rubber tree. So I just ordered an actual ficus elastica. Look at them Latin names people! #plantprobs so now I will be receiving a fiddle leaf fig, rubber tree, and variegated pepporomia. Yay! Also thankfully I do get some side cash because I babysit. I have been great with budgeting, but I have a plant problem omg.

    All of the paperwork went through for Throughout! Finally. I am so excited.

  6. Picture (which I promise is semi-worth it) needs some context, so.

    I’ve only planned out one “real” Halloween costume this year (The Nightman from It’s Always Sunny as part of a group costume), but my friend was hosting a party last night. My girlfriend and I were brainstorming some easy couple costumes we could whip up, and we (publicly) announced that she was going to go as the dean of our college and I was going to go as our college’s largest benefactor (niche, I know, but we’re strange people).

    But then *later* I was like “It would actually be 100 percent funnier if we dressed up as our straight friends and didn’t tell them.” So, we met our unassuming friends at the office that we all work in to walk to the party…priceless reactions. Really weird looks while walking down the street.

    (Girlfriend and I are in the center…lame straight friends didn’t dress up because they had to work all day so he was a “lumberjack” and she was just…herself)

  7. I am currently sitting around, bored, counting the minutes until I don’t have to feel guilty about leaving the office hours no one is showing up for today. The room I’m in is unbearably hot. I’m on no sleep, basically, and this job is mostly just me wasting my own time, and I don’t really have enough of that to spare. But I finally managed to do the adulting necessary that I should actually get paid for this next week, so there’s that.

    I’m not planning on doing halloween this year. No one I know is organizing anything, slash, don’t have a good, easy, queer(ish)/genre/lady costume in mind this year (previous examples: Scully, Holtzman).

    I just read a long, depressing article about the Cuban Missile Crisis and US imperialism is the fucking worst.

  8. I have to run and get my costume this weekend. I’m gonna be a character that only few outside of work will understand…which is good because I am only dressing up for work!

    Other than that I don’t have a voice so tea has been my new bestie. Maybe this is the sign that I should stop drinking coffee…

  9. So I had the sort of week where things just go wrong, people cancel plans, you don’t get any work actually done, etc. But THEN yesterday afternoon this magical, wonderful person posted on my school forum they had a free ticket to the Tegan & Sara concert last night and couldn’t go. I assumed it had long been claimed, but ended up being the first to reply and got it! I’d never been able to see them live before, and omg it was sooo good! I really like The Con but I LOVE the way they sung it last night, not very different but slightly since its been so long and their voices have changed a bit, it was SOO GOOD! I just feel so lucky that I got to experience that! It completely changed how I felt about this week! I was going to be listening to all halloween music for the next few days but now I just want to listen to all their albums over and over haha

  10. My dear queer friends decided to throw a tiki party/belated housewarming on the Saturday before Halloween and insist that it won’t be spooky themed in the least so I’ve decided to carve a pineapple like a jack-o-lantern and then draw a tiki mask on a pumpkin and fill it with booze (a la the watermelon keg) so we’ve at least got some representation. Which means my costume won’t get to debut until actual Halloween.

    I decided months ago to be Hey Arnold because all I had to buy was a doll-sized baseball cap and I was already planning to bleach my hair. I don’t know why the idea of being Hey Arnold is so hilarious to me but every time I clip on that tiny hat I can’t stop laughing. It seems appropriately androgynous/queer and the newly bleached hair will be a shocker to all my friends. I hope people recognize who I’m supposed to be!

    Oh and my cat Harold is being a cephalopod and my cat Maude is being a punk rocker.

  11. Halloween is my most wonderful time of the year.
    I am a horror movie type of person thus my problem that humbly request help for.

    I’m doing an evaluation(dragging tbh) of a Nicholas Sparks movie under the premise classic romance is a man attracted woman’s power fantasy. She tames him, he is her prize.The story is from her perspective, he’s the supporting character.

    I don’t know romance movies at all. Not even historical drama romances. Historical drama that happen to have a romance maybe.
    Any body got non-queer romance movie recommendations?
    Because all got for support is the works of Jane Austen and the Brontë Classic Jane Eyre.
    And those are books.

  12. I don’t have any real plans for the weekend yet, and if I do I’ll just wear the prison jumpsuit I own and go as a different trans extra on OITNB. Maybe one with a hook hand? I am also close enough to West Hollywood I could walk the 20 minutes to there in costume and see if I run into people I know on Tuesday.

    How is everyone? It’s been over or near 100 degrees all week so it feels more like summer in the Valley than October. It’s kind of messing with me as I just want to beach day it all day. Does a costume one can wear in the ocean exist? Would it just be a decorative swimsuit one can buy at Macy’s Atlantis or in my case Macy’s Pacific Ocean? Beside the weather the rest of my week has been fairly good. I’ve been chatting with people on the friend making app for women Vina and it so far has been going okay. I am using the LGBTQI section, and not surprisingly some of the people are straight(two of them told me so), but the rest are in the community and I think trans inclusive. I may over the weekend meet up with some off the app who just recently came out. Yay to making more friends!

    Sunday I spent time at LACMA with a friend and we had a delightful time as they had the work of modern(re 70-00s) artist Sarah Charlesworth. It was pretty cool as some if it is photos, others are like cutouts on silk, and other such stuff. I think she was straight, but she definitely was an ally(her work was described as feminist), and my friend agreed. It in one of her work a woman had her hand on lower back(but above the butt) of another woman) and it looked to be portraying the early 1900’s.
    Tuesday I had a evening exploring the city. Started off with a nice spicy Mexican Chocolate vegan shake, then walked to the Planet(Cuties coffee) for Hocus Pocus movie & craft night. I had tea and donuts met up with some friends. Our view of the movie wasn’t the best and we were enjoying our time chatting and doing Halloween art(well they were). Half way through hunger set in and we went for vegan food in Silverlake area. At some point there was talks of a witches house, and I replied, “I think I know which one you are talking about, it’s in my area.” Turns out it was Spadena House, which is my area. The neighborhood when I was pre-teen-teen was known as the place to be for trick or treating.

    It know as the Spadena House aka Witches house in Beverly Hills, California. If I remember correctly no one lives there, and I think it’s always for sale, cause of some weird curse; but, I could be wrong here.

    Almost doubted why I brought my camera Tuesday, but these came out alright, I think.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a safe, & fun weekend and a queer & tasty Halloween!

  13. happy halloween everyone!! i hope everyone has a spooky great time. i’m planning on hitting up six or eight different parties because college.
    speaking of college, i officially got approval to enroll in a grad seminar as an undergrad. (!!!) it’s called “queer biospheres” and “tackles the interface between thinking about queer kinship, sex acts, and affect in relation to the biological theories of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries.” doesn’t that sound neat as hell? i’m scared because it’s like 300 or 400 pages of reading *per week*, holy shit, but i’m stoked.

    • That sounds scaryyyyy. I am so done with college atm. I can write 50-70 pages a week, but I couldn’t read that many. How would you have time to process all of that? I guess it depends how often the class is and what you are reading. When I am not interested I barely get by.

  14. I haven’t been organized enough this year to hit all my Halloween faves (pumpkin patch trip, pumpkin carving, Hocus Pocus, eat fresh pumpkin chocolate chip baked goods that I don’t have to bake), but, as of tonight, I will have seen all the seasonally offered horror movies at my local theater (in seat F13 every time, even on Friday the 13th), and that feels like a victory.

    I’ve got a wedding and a rugby game and all the joy that comes with moving and dealing with landlords and stuff, so no costume this year, but (hopefully) here’s the Halloween look I’m still proudest of:

    (2015. Lesbian icon Velma Dinkley, but with more melanin)

    • I wonder how your image URLs are getting munged? I’ll give it a try.

      Did you have any others of the Scooby Doo troupe with you that time? Looked great anyhow. ^_^

      • In a strange turn of events, while i was drunkenly trying to find my (non Scooby) friends in a club that year, I met a Fred and Daphne who didn’t have a shaggy, Velma, or Scooby. We high fived. It was nice

  15. Hey, I was wondering if it would be okay if I shared a link to a gofundme I’m thinking of creating for my mom here. Normally I would just post something like that on Facebook, but it’s a sensitive situation where there’s another family member that I don’t want knowing I’m doing this so I’m mostly going to have to rely on the kindness of strangers.

    I did a quick read through the comment policy and didn’t see anything saying I couldn’t post a link like that, but I just wanted to make sure before I violated any rules.


    P.S. Happy Halloween! In the immortal words of Kevin McCallister, I’ll be “eating junk and watching rubbish” with a couple of friends.

  16. Not Halloween related, but I’m going to use this space to share the best thing that happened to me this week.

    I was at work and a Britney Spears song came on and one girl quietly asked to her friend “is this Britney?” so I whipped my head around and said “It’s Britney, bitch.” and honestly? I think I’ve peaked.

  17. Hello Halloween critters!

    Last FOT I dropped in on I was like “we’re gonna go have a baby!” And then we had a baby! Her name is Astrid! She is real sweet and sleeps all the time except for her disco queen hours between midnight and four am!

    I like Halloween okay but am kinda not good at costume parties, though I like when other people do. I don’t know if it’s a Seattle thing, we don’t wear costumes and we don’t dance at shows and we wait until the walk signal comes on to cross the street, idk? I have these curly bug antennae I’ve worn for the last four Halloweens and been like, various iterations of a bug. Baby will be a pumpkin (gma bought a costume and requires pictures) and may debut as Ruth baby Ginsburg. Girlfriend often moonlights as Wallace from Wallace and gromit. Tbd. Her sweater vest game is fairly on point. We are planning on hanging out with my mom and giving out candy at her house bc she actually gets trick or treaters, as opposed to the dark wooded dead end we live in.

    We watched hocus pocus a couple weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to watch the craft but haven’t gotten around to it yet!
    Also I started that movie the love witch which I know is supposed to be a whole feminist spin on 60s sexploitation films- certainly a bunch of men die, the aesthetics are really impressive and the occult stuff is really well-curated, but I couldn’t really get into it! I think I don’t sit through two hour high concept films, I rewatch great British bake off seasons until I regain a sense of temporary safety and equilibrium, tbh.

    Also having a baby is a really interesting social experiment- a lot of folks have been really sweet, including our families, and honestly for me I feel closer to my family than I have in years because they’re being so sweet to my kid, but that comes with a certain pressure to go along to get along, in a way that I normally fight that pretty hard. That feels pretty complicated, but girlfriend and I have done a lot of talking about ways that boundaries and expectations can get set in ways that are really low key and grounded and not from a place of escalation, because that can really productively shape the conversations we’re gonna need to have.

    Anyhow, hope y’all have safe and pleasant and spooky Halloween’s! Hope it’s full of candy and witchy stuff and fun, and you get to be as low key or amped up as you want! I hope you feel cute in your costume and that you get kissed if that’s what you want or just have a fun rumpus with your friends if that’s what you want or a quiet night watching Elvira and going to bed early! Btw Elvira is fucking incredible if you’ve never seen it. Total femme goals.

    Take care! Xoxoxo

    • Congrats and welcome to Astrid Teerexington! I loved the Ruth baby Ginsburg idea. Mash it up with the disco queen thing. (Now I am imagining Justice Ginsburg, in full robes and lace jabot of course, gettin’ down and funky under a disco ball as part of delivering an opinion. If I were in charge of the Supreme Court, it’d be way more awesome.)

  18. I don’t drink and I’m 49 years old so Halloween is “that day I’m expected to be nice to kids that come to my door”. My sister and I simply make a reservation at a nice hotel out of town. We order room service and watch movies. This year we’re headed up to the mountains. We’re leaving early, having a fall picnic beside a waterfall, taking a short hike, and then headed to the hotel.

    I got a pamphlet in the mail this week from my Congresswoman. Virginia Foxx, and I think she is a horrible person, but she said she wanted to help me with my needs. She specifically mentioned arm forces academy recommendations and stuff like that. She’s an extreme conservative so, obviously I’m going to ask her to help me get legislation passed that protects housing and job discrimination in North Carolina for the LGTBQ community. I’m going to invite her to come to my gay wedding, if that ever happens, to show my appreciation.

  19. I just got back from going to a Fright Night at Bristol Zoo! We saw a horror film and then there was a scare tour which was really fun. I actually had at least one big jump which I was worried I wouldn’t! Then me and my friend got burgers and ate them in her car and now I am in bed. I also watched the Carmilla movie yesterday which I count as Halloweeny!

  20. Hi I called in sad to work two days in a row and then slept all day and I want to crawl into a cave and stay there forever over returning on monday and I hate everything

  21. Honestly the scariest thing about me right now is the number of bruises and marks on my body (even trying to explain to NY doctor I’m bruising waaaay note easily than usual his response was “well you are very white” so thanks for that….) but I have huge bruises from a rope workshop last weekend and a literal rope burn, huge bruises from playing drums and doing an intense drum workshop this week, and bruises from my usual bumping in to things without realising…..

    This evening we had a party for my drum band and wow it was super gay and I loved it. Also, having a life size Ruby Rose cutout in a room full of lesbians leads to some interesting pictures ?

    I’m going out on Halloween and my costume is “Work Bitch Britney”

    I’m Very excited, but I’m also gonna try do some kind of energy cleanse before Halloween because I’m studying a lot right now and I’m giving a lot of energy to my friends to help them through shit although I’m going through my own shit, and I’m really tired tbh and it’s manifesting in really bad nightmares. So hopefully a bit of cleansing and grounding will do me the world of good before the Witches’ new year!

    Happy Halloween/happy weekend/samhain blessings!

  22. My family’s quarterly party is this weekend and because of the proximity to Halloween, I managed to talk the parents into making it a costume party. And I’m a cosplayer!

    I’m not expecting any trick-or-treaters on the actual day, because not only am I in New Zealand where uptake is spotty, but my door is at the back of the property, so even delivery people have trouble finding me without instructions. But I work on a hospital ward where a longstaying patient has decorated their room and has invited me to partake of their candy, so I’m trying to figure out a worksafe costume.

  23. I’m thinking of skipping the Halloween party I said I’d go to tomorrow because of too many social activities this week, since it’s the most investment time- and transportation-wise, but Tuesday I’m planning to go to work as Holtzmann in one of her more formal/less “I pulled this outfit from the family laundry hamper” getups so that I can still make it through meetings with important people.

    In other news I’ve been following Kayla’s tinder advice (, with varying degrees of success but tremendous amounts of fun.

  24. Well uh Buffy is no longer carried by netflix so my tradition of watching “Fear, Itself” is out. I will be dressed as AoU Wanda Maximoff all day. I might subject a pet to a costume if we go on our evening walk.

    My super fun activity for the evening I have planned is eating special donuts that won’t make me sick

    Listening to these two songs on repeat :P

    And preparing things for All Saints Day.
    I’m still not sure what I’m going to do, one year I did puto (steamed rice cakes) as one of my grandparents was filipino. It’s okay if I don’t make anything.
    But one goal is to be face to face with my great-grandparents grave, I found the cemetery just their hours prevented me from getting to them last year.

    Have a Happy,safe Halloween y’all.
    And a Blessed Samhain or Vetrnaetr.

  25. Happy Halloween weekend everyone! It’s not a huge thing here in Australia admittedly. But I went to a queer party last night and hooked up with this cute girl so that was great! My friend is having a Halloween party on Tuesday night. I was thinking of going as Chloe Price or Carmilla. Decisions! Anyway it should be lots of fun. I think I’ll probably stay home and watch Hocus Pocus tonight. Haven’t seen it in years! A super scary thing that has been happening at the moment is still this ridiculous and awful postal survey for marriage equality. I’ve been helping the Yes campaign so much and people suck and are awful and I really hope we win and it becomes a thing in Australia. Have a great weekend!

  26. This year I’m throwing my second annual “autumn potluck and ritual patriarchy cleansing” bash. The first edition was a hit, but I think this one is going to be even better. I made a special personality quiz for all my guests so they could figure out what kind of potlucker they are, including many illustrative L Word pics.

    I am also wearing an outfit that I call “Stevie Nicks meets Virginia Woolf” and includes a full length velvet skirt, lace turtleneck, and blue glitter corset.

    Any recommendations for patriarchy smashing party games, cocktails, or rituals welcome!

  27. So I know it’s Saturday now but I have to share something that happened during my shift last night:

    A drunk guy at my bar started saying some really transphobic stuff to the dude next to him and the guy promptly and quietly shut this transphobe tf up! A cis guy surrounded by cis guys semi drunk at a bar having a good time stood up for a trans woman he didn’t know to another cis guy, and really it have me so much hope y’all.

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