This is my obligatory Halloween article. I'm writing it a bit early because, to be honest, I want to remind people to start getting ready. Halloween is the best night of the year and half arsed costumes make me want to immolate people.

There's probably a few people out there wondering how I'm intending to link Halloween to Religion. There's more than likely a lot of you wondering what this has got to do with Queer. Well, to start off I'm going to talk a bit about what Halloween actually is. Do not worry, the ever elusive point will eventually turn up.

Halloween is a, nominally, Christian festival that marks the evening before "All Hallows Day". All Hallows Day is a Catholic celebration of all the saints, known or unknown, who've achieved union with God in heaven. The day afterwards, All Souls Day, is for those dead people who are in purgatory and still working their way up to Sainthood. These three dates mark the beginning of November, a month that is dedicated to those Catholics who have left the body on a permanent basis.

However, this is almost certainly not what the majority of celebrants are thinking of. Halloween for the majority is about dressing up, telling ghost stories and waging anonymous war on those old people who don't distribute candy. "Mischief" is enacted and we all dress like monsters, saints or celebrities. It's a time where people can be safely perverse, on the condition that they put that perverseness away at the end of the night. It's a similar type of thing to the Medieval Feast of Fools, Ancient Roman Saturnalia and Ancient Greek Dionysia. All of these festivals involved the poor mocking the rich, women mocking men and individual bucking at state. But, unlike these other festivals, Halloween isn't just an outlet for the oppressed. It's also an outlet for fear and the fear inducing.

I'm sure you can all see the link I'm trying to make here. Halloween is about the oppressed and the feared and queer people are sort of oppressed and feared. Big whoop. I'm sure neither of these things are particularly revelatory. But, I want to explore a bit further the way that queer action can be seen as monstrous and, god help you all, then go on to suggest what I think we should do with that knowledge.

If we want to talk about fear, a good place to start it Freud's concept of "the uncanny". Uncanniness is a quality belonging to an item that it both familiar and unfamiliar. Dolls, those staples of childhood horror stories and adult phobia, are uncanny because they seem both human and inhuman at the same time. Masks, a personal fear of my daddy, are uncanny for the same reason. They are not alive, but they can seems alive. And, for a lot of straight people, queer living is frightening for the same reason. We are males who are not men, women who are not wives. We wear the faces of human beings, but behind them we keep alien thoughts. To prove my point I want to show a brief selection of quotes that link gender deviance to the occult, death and *thunder rolls* the dark.

"Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

-Pat Robertson, vocal right wing "Christian".

"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of
marriage... It will destroy the Earth."

-James Dobson,

"You ask anybody that's investigated homosexual murders and without
question they are the most violent...even the sex act itself is violent
in homosexuals."
-Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council

"The perversion that follows homosexuality is bestiality and then human
sacrifice and cannibalism."
-Barbara Blewster, a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the Arizona State Legislature

"I have learned that the radical, perverted homosexuals and lesbians are
already promoting their '2000 Disney Gay Day'...they are timing it to occur in June -- right when children out of school will be flocking to Disney-owned parks! This proves the true intent of these homosexuals: they are after our children!!"
-Bonnie Mawyer, wife of Christian Action Network founder

"Homosexuality is Satan's diabolical attack upon the family that will.
not only have a corrupting influence upon our next generation, but it will also bring down the wrath of God upon America."
-Jerry Falwell

Well, I'm approaching the end of the article and I haven't actually got to my point yet. I'll continue my train of thought later in the month. For now, all I've really proved is that gay people are a bit like monsters, sortof. Next time I'll be discussing how to use that knowledge to undermine western thought, disrupt the family and spread HIV.

Or, if they want monsters, we can give them monsters.

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