My favourite day in the entire year. It almost wasn't. It's also the day I found out I have HIV a few years ago. But my love for what the day means to me overcame that.
I didn't have a costume this year. I wanted to be Astroboy. But I lost my bank card and my pay came through late this month. So I didn't have time to find what I needed. That sucks. But it didn't mean I didn't celebrate.
I get stupidly excited for Halloween. I go full in for it given the chance. People accuse me of being American in my attitude to it - as with so many things - because of how my enthusiasm comes across. That unfairly misunderstands why exactly I love this day.
The walk down to the tube station this evening proved to me exactly why - it's a night when everyone truly shows themselves. What they like, what makes them laugh, what they enjoy, how they see themselves, who what they want to be. What we find scary. What we find impressive. What we consider iconic. Some are zombies, some are doctors, some are princes and fairies, clowns and music stars, cartoon characters, comic book villains, it's an excuse to wear something outrageous and obnoxious and people will compliment you on it.
Going down to the tube there was a girl on crutches coming up the stairs. She was in costume. The costume kept getting in the way of the her crutches and she was struggling to get up the stairs. She was laughing about it. She doesn't care. She's determined to go out. To have fun. And she wants to look like this. So she does.
Wow, if only we had the strength to do that in life the other 364 days. For some reason we only consider it okay on this one night. New Years' enjoys a partial level of this societal acceptance of weirdness, but only partial.
You see the most interesting and unexpected things about people. Who the geeks and nerds are. Those who choose truly specific characters. Who takes pride in their outfit. The ones that wear a hoodie most days but make sure their costume's fastenings are historically accurate.
For the LGBT+ community it can take on a special difference - the chance to reveal a little of a side of you that might not be open to anyone yet. To be a bit more flamboyant and ostentatious. To wear the clothing you actually feel comfortable in. I was told recently that decades agos Halloween was the one night where police in San Francisco wouldn't harrass drag queens - where they were welcome in bars for one night only cause it was fun.
I admit, I see Halloween different to most people. And I don't think people are analysing their costume choices this closely. It's just some harmless fun. A chance to dress up. An excuse for drinking if you're an adult and indulging candy whatever age you are. But it reveals all these things if you make a habit of observing people's mannerisms. It's fantastic. I love it. I wish we all did it more. Embrace our fears and our idols. What could be wrong with that?