Arts & Entertainment
1 min

HallowQueen party is a must-go

Costume party to be an annual Pride fundraiser

NEW ADDITION TO THE QUEER CALENDAR: Halloween is the gay Christmas, with a big blow-out party in most big cities. Ottawa is now joining them with HallowQueen on Oct 28. Credit: Christina Riley

Too old for trick-or-treating? Think again. It’s time to celebrate the gayest day of the year!

HallowQueen is Ottawa’s queerest party and promises to be so much fun it’s, well, almost terrifying.

Glenn Crawford sees this as another way of helping the Pride Committee stay on their feet. “We want to keep up momentum,” says Crawford, who is organizing the event with a team of volunteers. Crawford is a huge fan of Halloween and sees it as a chance to explore his personality.

“I came out when I was 28 and that Halloween I was a Mountie. It was a riot,” says Crawford. His costume was very convincing, he recalls, even though he took off the official insignia. Another year he went as Mozart, then as a hippie, then as a punk rocker in a quilt. “I got a lot of attention that night,” Crawford says with a laugh.

“It’s about letting your inner freak shine. Be outrageous, be scary, sexy, gory, whatever.”

We’ve all got costume stories about Halloweens past. The gay communities in most gay cities throw the best party of the year for the occasion, and use it as a vital fundraiser for a local group – after all, Halloween is the gay Christmas. What better event for an annual fundraiser for the Pride Committee?

For decades, long before Stonewall, Halloween was a time for gay men to dress up – many of them in drag – and join with their lesbian sisters – many of them also in drag – and let loose. In times past, they’d often have to brave their way through crowds of violent homophobes throwing bricks and fists to show their disapproval.

Today, at least in most North American cities, we can let our hair down, and maybe fulfill a few fantasies while dressed up. How about we all really get imaginative with our costumes for HallowQueen?

The party, restricted to ages 19 and up, will feature DJ Jason Pelletier spinning everything from techcetera to freehouse. There will also be live performances throughout the night and prizes, as well as a tarot card reader.

Crawford says to “expect the unexpected.” And for those interested, there will be a photographer on hand to capture your special moment.

Crawford challenges people to come out and do something they normally wouldn’t. “HallowQueen is the perfect opportunity to explore, and it benefits Pride.”