October’s Meetup celebrated Halloween early as we discussed Halloween costumes and how they have been shaped over time, especially by the LGBTQIA+ community. As fun as Halloween is to many, it’s not fun when your culture is mocked and degraded by someone who has no context. This meetup addressed the cultural appropriation in costumes and then turned to our community to share their Sacred Seams.
Lili Stiefel and Ariel Bastida began the meetup with an insightful video representing a diverse range of perspectives about common store-bought Halloween costumes. This helped set the stage for an overall discussion about the rich culture and history behind Halloween, and which costumes could be classified as cultural appropriation.
Before moving on and gaining more perspective from our community, we took our moment of silence to honor the significance of clothing from various cultures and backgrounds, as well as the gay community’s contributions to Halloween. In the chat, Lili mentioned taking a moment of silence for “all the folks involved with producing clothing today who work in inhumane and toxic conditions... [and] folks historically who were part of the global trade of cloth, materials and textures that has led to sacred seams around the world.” Philip Odango wanted to honor “all the missing and murdered Indigenous women” with his moment of silence.
In unpacking the history of Halloween, we landed on asking if “Halloween is basically a national LGBTQIA+ holiday” because of the heavy influence the queer community had on adults dressing up for Halloween. The discussion continued as we focused more on the costumes in mainstream media, also showing how many times celebrities have done it wrong - TOO many.