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Also.Also.Also: How Halloween Became “Gay Christmas”

feature image by TheLux via Getty Images

I recently read the short story collection Every Drop Is a Man’s Nightmare by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto, and it’s so, so good, and there are multiple queer stories in it, too. Highly recommend!

Queer as in F*ck You

The Long History of How Halloween Became a Sacred Queer Holiday. If you, like me, are a Halloween gay, then you will love this deep-dive on the queer history of Halloween in Them, which goes all the way back to the Halloween balls thrown on Chicago’s South Side by Alfred Finnie in 1935. According to the piece:

“A lack of widespread queer press prior to the mid-20th century makes it hard to pinpoint the exact origins of queer Halloween celebrations, but as early as 1935, Alfred Finnie, a gay Black man in Chicago, was throwing glamorous Halloween balls on the city’s South Side. These events attracted hundreds of attendees, according to the late journalist Monica Roberts, whose archival research into Finnie’s Halloween drag balls uncovered extensive coverage of the events in magazines like Ebony and Jet.”

The full feature has lots of history, cultural context, and interesting connections between queer community and the upcoming holiday. It’s also a great read for LGBTQ+ History Month, which ends on Halloween.

Speaking of which: Before LGBTQ+ History Month Ends, Here’s Where You Can Learn About LA’s Queer Past and Present.

Trans People In Japan Will No Longer Have to Be Sterilized to Legally Change Gender.

Speaking of international stories, thank you to the reader who urged me to catch up on what’s happening in Saskatchewan for trans youth and their families. A bill passed that will require youth under 16 to get parental consent to change their pronouns at school. It’s a devastating blow, but here’s a story of resistance: ‘So Many People Care’: Hundreds Rally in Support of Trans Youth in Saskatoon.

Building a Queer Altar for Myself on the Day of the Dead.

Scholastic Will Not Silo “Diverse Titles” at Book Fairs After All.

A Year After the Tragic Mass Shooting, Club Q Announces Plans to Reopen. (Also, I know there’s another mass shooting in the news right now, and if you have been affected by the Maine shooting, my heart is with you.)

Saw This, Thought of You

The Palestine Double Standard. This piece by Hala Alyan is a very powerful read.

The latest Stop Cop City developments: Will Atlanta’s “Stop Cop City” Referendum Make It Onto the Ballot?

Florida’s Proposed Six-Week Abortion Ban Could Cut Access in Half.

Political Snacks

Court to Georgia Republicans: Try to Be a Little Less Blatantly Racist.

How “Stop the Steal” Republicans Could Take Over Virginia. As someone who grew up in Virginia, this is very concerning!

One More Thing

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 837 articles for us.


  1. Thank you for including the Saskatchewan article!

    The article doesn’t mention this, but it’s actually worse than just passing a bill. The bill was going to be put on pause by the courts until a full review could be done because it came to light that they didn’t actually consult anyone with expertise or stakeholders (like, ya know, trans kids) on this bill, Premier Moe basically woke up one day and decided he’d just terrorize trans kids. So once the courts ruled that it should be paused until further review Moe reconvened the legislature early so he could push it through by using the notwithstanding clause.

    The thing about the notwithstanding clause is that allows a government to override the parts of the charter that deal with equality and legal rights and fundamental freedoms and removes the ability of the courts from stopping it for five years. So when Premier Moe used the notwithstanding clause he was straight up saying, I recognize that this is trampling upon the rights of children and I do not care.

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