Dissecting Halloween Costumes

Drag Queens
    You have to be mindful that you’re dressing up as someone who is very vulnerable. The drag queen community often overlaps with the LGBTQ community and thus is very easy to hurt. When dressing up as a drag queen you have to first make sure you’re not wearing black/brown face because that’s always a no, make sure you’re doing it not to make fun of anyone but as a show of respect, and make sure you’re actually dressing up as a drag queen who is either an original character of yours or someone who isn’t problematic to other drag queens.

    Most people have dressed up as an animal for Halloween at one time or another. Most of the time it’s okay and socially acceptable, but it’s been harder to tell in more recent years with the growing population of furries.³ My thoughts are; as long as you’re not doing anything to harm an actual animal, you’re okay. That means, no beastiality and don’t wear real fur. Frog guy above is an example of an appropriate animal costume.¹

Characters of a Different Race

    I can’t really speak on this because I’m white but I will say that I never dress up as a person of color because there’s no real way to know if you’re being offensive or not. So just don’t.

    If you’re a teenager or an adult dressing up as a kid, say the girl from Wreck It Ralph, don’t hypersexualize the character. Just wear as close to what the character was actually wearing. That way no one can really get mad.

Sexy Costumes
    Go for it. Just keep in mind that you should always:

  • Not sexualize minors
  • Don’t make fun of people, especially if they’re part of an oppressed group
  • And races aren’t costumes (“Polynesian Princess”, “Witch Doctor”,etc.)
  • Also, be mindful of people’s comfort levels and laws. In other words, cover bathing suit parts.
Military Characters
    It’s generally not polite to dress up as a member of the military whether you’re dressing up as someone in the air force, army, or navy. However, it is my understanding that you are absolutely allowed to dress up as people from movies. The idea is that by dressing up as Ice Man you aren’t actually reflecting how naval aviators look or act, but if you’re just dressing up as the blanket idea of a naval aviator, it’s generally frowned upon by the military. Example of this is Mini-Maverick featured below.²

    Of course, all of these are up for discussion and my word is not the final one. I’m always open to new ideas and opinions. And again, I can’t be the judge of whether your costume is racist or not, but you can normally use common sense to make sure you’re not offending anyone based on race.

¹ https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41CpeiYyAUL._SX342_.jpg

² https://images.halloweencostumes.com/products/11616/1-1/teen-top-gun-costume.jpg

³ https://www.google.com/search?q=furry+definition&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&safe=active&
noun: furry; plural noun: furries
1. an enthusiast for animal characters with human characteristics, in particular a person who dresses up in costume as such a character or uses one as an avatar online.