Monday, October 31, 2011

Little Boy Witches

via HuffPost Gay Voices, by Jeffery Self

Halloween brings out a lot of upsetting news stories: stories of psychotic people poisoning trick-or-treat candy, Barbara Walters co-hosting an entire episode of The View as Marilyn Monroe, and parents further forcing gender stereotypes on their kids.

The "you can't be a princess, you're a boy" dilemma is as old as princesses themselves.

For every Dracula costume worn this year, there's likely just as many boys who wanted to be a witch instead.

What's crazy to me is the idea of a parent telling their kid they can't be something they want to be.

I grew up in Rome, Georgia, a fairly conservative town, in a family that became very into Halloween thanks to the infectious holiday spirit given off by the Roseanne Halloween episodes.

Like a lot of kids, my sister and I were obsessed with The Wizard of Oz growing up. In her pre-teen years, my sister once claimed she thought she might have actually been Dorothy Gale herself in a past life, which was ironic because as an adult, I've met a lot of guys who think they might have spent their past lives as Judy Garland.

In first grade I knew exactly who I wanted to be for Halloween: the Wicked Witch of the West. Upon telling my mom this news months before Halloween, she immediately enlisted my grandmother to make my costume and took me shopping for green make-up, a wig, a hat, and a broom.

She found her old pair of pointy-toed black boots that were way too big for me, and she stuffed them full of toilet paper. I remember feeling like the most glamorous boy in the world for getting my own mother's shoes.

My grandmother finished my costume weeks before the actual Halloween deadline, and I practiced wearing the costume in the countless nights leading up to Halloween.

It had come together perfectly. I was the Wicked Witch of the West.

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