The Monster Club
Not many people in British society would still condemn sexual and gender minorities as monsters that warrant imprisonment or execution or forced "cures", but it is not that many years since mainstream society condemned us as such ~ and, of course, in many nations and religious subcultures around the world this is still very much the case. So there we were, monsters dressed as monsters, and enjoying the fact. Whatever its Catholic origins, modern Halloween has become a festival to celebrate the frightening and grotesque - mostly, but not entirely, from the cinematic world. Dressing up as vampires, zombies and the like does make the monstrous more palatable, less scary. Which is partly the point, of course; Halloween as a way of dealing with that which frightens us and getting a handle on dangers both symbolic (werewolves), metaphorical (Grim Reapers), and somewhat more worldly (serial killers). Yet it can also be a way to confront those rather more immediate worries many people have about sexual and gender ambiguity, mental disturbance (as various supermarkets found to their cost), and violence.