I have mixed feeling about going out “dressed” on Halloween. As a kid, I remember my Davey Crockett outfit - coonskin hat included and old sheets with holes cut for eyes. The rest unmemorable. Did I want to be a princess, a ballerina – sure, but fear of being caught either looking too good or enjoying it too much prevented me from even asking for that costume. “I must keep my secret – I know it will go away”.
Halloween is the patron holiday of drag. I use drag in this context, because everyone knows you are a guy wearing a dress; performance. A cross-gendered costume is about looking like a parody of someone of the other gender and is the opposite of trying to pass. “What an attention-grabbing witch costume – OMG – you are a guy, how bold you are”.
So, when a woman gets dress every day to go to work in her power suit and another wears a beautiful sundress to have lunch with her girlfriends is she putting on a costume? I say no because both are expressing their personality, her style and choices. In the same context, we as transgender individuals, express our real self, personality, style and personal choices. We are not putting on a costume.
There are many times when an outfit/style does express a real self. Just like the cowboy who wears his hat, jeans and boots to the airport, he is saying to the world, "These clothes reflect who I am, a culture that I belong to, a philosophy that I adhere too, and a vocation that I perform."
Therefore, when I go to my closet to choose what I will be wearing to a dinner with girlfriends tonight, I am not choosing a costume. I am expressing my sense of style. Some will call it true self. I want to look nice, feminine and well put together. Some may recognize that I may not be 100% what I represent, but will still see a person - Not a parody.
Delia Melody over at Huffpost described Halloween this way:
It's easy to say it's "just a costume," and at the end of the night, take it off. But we can't take off our transness.
All of us have taken advantage of Halloween to prefect our look, get help with makeup, and extend our world past the closet. But, do not let Halloween be your only excursion into the real world and there is no need to wait for another year to get out again and be yourself.