Woody’s manager Dean Odorico has dubbed Halloween ‘gay Christmas,’ and he should know. In honour of the occasion Drew Rowsome contacted 20 of the gayest ghouls on the scene and quizzed them about their Halloween kinks and quirks.
Horrifying or hot?
David Wooten believes that with costumes, “scary works best,” but he fondly remembers being a “scarecrow because I wore overalls and no underwear.” DJ Aural “bought a drugstore nurse costume and topped it with a giant Afro wig and huge balloon boobs.” It was his most erotic Halloween ever, with “straight guys feel- ing up my fake nurse titties.”
Scooter McCreight had an accidently sexy costume: “I was dressed as Hulk Hogan, and by the end of the night I had lost all parts of my costume except my Speedo. I got asked, ‘Are you dressed as a Speedo?’” His most erotic Halloween moment? “A four-way kiss between me, two zombies and Ted from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
.” He also has fond memories of “the year I dressed up as Terry Fox. Limping across the subway platform in shorts and wearing an artificial leg I made myself is equally hilarious and offensive.”
Matt Barker struck out one year. “I dressed up as Anne Frank. It got embarrassing when I met up with my friend: he was dressed as a Nazi zombie.” Another year was better: “I was a slutty detention schoolgirl. My boyfriend at the time was employed as a high school teacher. Shit went down when he came home.”
“My Hooters girl outfit was pretty sexy,” says Jade Elektra. “Those must have been the short- est shorts I ever wore.” They must have worked. “I believe I was visited by the ghost of early ’90s pornstar Joey Stefano.” Mikey Black Eagle scores with “a good old-fashioned sailor suit. I like men in uniform and I like being in one my- self. Sexiness is obviously the most important thing. Duh. If you end up looking freakish you can always pretend that was your intention.” Fay Slift had real supernatural experiences when she worked in a haunted group home in Etobicoke. “It freaked me the fuck out,” says the usually unflappable fashion plate. But she has also had erotic Halloweens. “One year I kept all the bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and ate them. And my favourite Halloween will be when I’m finally prom queen and a gallon of gravy is poured all over me and I use my powers to lock all the gym doors . . .” Judy Virago’s only supernatural sexual experience was “jerking off over Devon Sawa as Casper the Friendly Ghost. That counts, right?” Donnarama got off at “a screening of Friday the 13th Part 3
in 3D at the Bloor Cinema. The audience was nuts, tossing around a fake severed head like a volleyball from one aisle to the other.” Not everyone has fond memories.
“Even though I worked at Value Village at the time,” says David Phillips, “the most creative thing I came up with was cutting a hole in a square piece of cardboard, tying it to my face and calling myself a glory hole.” And some are traumatic. “When I was five,” says Kris Steeves, “I dressed as Cookie Monster. I wore the costume for the whole week leading up to Hal- loween in anticipation. On the way to trick-or-treating I got my costume caught in the car door and ripped the lower half of it off. I was Cookie Monster from the waist up and devastated.” Also devastated was Amy Lewis: “I wore a white slip with pictures of Freud attached to it. A Freudian slip. No one got it.
Most respondents agree with Donnarama’s advice: “I like what Dollarama
has to offer for the season. It’s easy to modify and a great price.” The Dollaramas near the Village have great selections of accessories as well as inexpensive, and reasonably solid-looking, home décor items. However, it takes a bit of imagination and some seamstress skills to concoct a full costume.
Laughing Stuff (510 Yonge St) is a mad jumble of masks, accessories, wigs, costumes and props that Fay Slift and Dale Carriere have been known to haunt.
Slift is also a fan of Value Village
, as are Kris Steeves and many others. While VV stocks actual costumes, the real finds are in the racks, where a vintage suit or an abandoned ball gown can be the leaping-off point for a spectacular original. Mickey Black Eagle is a VV fan but adds, “One year I got a surprisingly awesome Elvis mask at the Rexall at Church and Wellesley. If you’re looking for something with more sex appeal, try Northbound Leather
or an army surplus store.”
Joe Blow scours “Value Village, Dollarama or other people’s garbage. This year I had to stop at Home Depot. Come to Trash to find out why.” Mahogany Browne likes super-sized sex shop Seduction
(577 Yonge St). Manager Chantal notes that Seductions carries high-heeled shoes up to size 15. And, she says, “Men can try on the women’s costumes. We carry them in large sizes and there are some smaller guys out there. Two guys tried on the Twice Bitten women’s vampire costume. Women hate them because they have no shape,” but they were skimpy on the men in just the right way.
Kyle Albert browses the racks at the Stag Shop
(currently at 449 Church St, it’s moving into the old Reither’s space but won’t be there in time for Halloween). They have a selection of firemen and policemen costumes and masses of hot underwear. And, of course, one also needs lube, poppers and sex toys at Halloween.
David Wooten and Amy Lewis favour It’s My Party
(423 Danforth Ave). Clerk Maya says male superhero cos- tumes are hot this year, and skeletons, novelty skulls and spider webs are flying off the shelves. The store has a large selection of frightening items, and the zombie wigs are available in “grave,” “creature,” “wild” and “noxious.”
John Wotta doesn’t mess around and heads to Amazing Party & Costume
(923 Oxford St). Not only is it the largest Halloween supply store in Canada — more than 3,000 costumes stored in 20 shipping containers stacked two high out back — but the wares are available year-round at amazingpartystore.com
. “People come in and wander for hours,” says manager Lydia (above right), who is also an in-demand makeup artist if anyone needs help with the details. Morbid Enterprises provides a full line of terrifying decorations, including the Up & Down Ghost and a Face Off Clown. The fountains that burble blood from headless necks are particularly nice.
David Phillips sets a different example. Born on Oct 31, he’s always felt cheated in the birthday department and shops at “my friends’ closets and Shoppers Drug Mart. I’m really last minute.”
A gay ol’ time
“Halloween plays a significant part in our history of coming out to the world,” says David Wooten. “Thanks again to our community’s senior drag artists, who started it all.” Kaleb Robertson concurs: “For a lot of people it’s the first acceptable time to explore gender, dress-up and general fabulousness.”
Alessandro explains, “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in cos- tumes and beg for candy. In the gay world, Halloween is the one night a year when a fag can dress like a total slut and no other fags can say anything about it.” Mikey Black Eagle disagrees: “I think Boxing Day is more important to a lot of gays, actually.”
I want candy!
Most respondents say their favourite Halloween candy is mini-chocolate bars, while the least favourite is the traditional taffy kiss. John Wotta says, “They’ve been around for decades and that’s pretty much how they taste.” Lisa Bangs, however, both likes and dislikes the distinctive orange-and-black wrapped treats: “They almost pull out your teeth. It’s a love/hate thing.”
David Wooten likes them “because of the wrapper design — it makes me think of Halloween as a kid.” Alessandro favours mini-Mr Big chocolate bars “for obvious reasons.” Mikey Black Eagle loves gummy bears “because they’re stretchy like rubber and they’re bears” and hates “anything vanilla.” Matt Barker dislikes “apples with razor blades in them — the cuts take forever to heal."
Kaleb Robertson dislikes Thrills: “Come on — soap gum?” while Judy Virago thinks Glossettes “look like rabbit poop.” Jade Elektra relates to Sweet Tarts because, like herself, “they are sweet and tart at the same time.” Donnarama is a Smarties fan: “I like it when my tongue is green and blue from something other than gon- orrhea.” Heroine Marks shudders over “those Bible scripture cards I received as a kid from a crazy cat-lady neighbour. They tasted awful without hot sauce.”
Mahogany Browne’s most terrifying Halloween experience was “Halloween Haunt
at Canada’s Wonderland. The mazes scared the crap out of me.” The park is packed with killer clowns, rampaging zombies and sundry demons, not to mention state-of-the-art roller coasters. (Visit fabmagazine.com for a full review of Halloween Haunt.)
Alessandro got a fright at another spine-chilling establishment. “My first —andlast—time that I went to Screemers
as a teen, I screeched to Mariah Carey decibels.” Screemers, a family enterprise in its 15th year, has significantly upped its game in the few years since Alessandro was a teen. The Slasher Wax Museum, where iconic horror film characters come to life with murder on their minds, or the Haunted House, filled with dysfunctional, rotting family members, would pitch his shrieks into Céline Dion territory. Zafi, who is responsible for hiring and managing the character actors, runs a tight ship, and no detail is missed in squeezing the maximum amount of fear out of guests.
DJ Aural once encountered the ghost that haunts Buddies. Or at least “I kept sensing someone behind me while I was DJing. But every time I turned around, thinking it was someone with a request, there was never any- body there. Creeped me out.”
Lisa Bangs had a house-party guest turn fearful: “He was super intoxicated and forgot to do up the front flap to his pants and assumed underwear was over-rated. He continued to hit on guests with his junk hanging out and never realized it. Funny but scary; it was not a pretty penis.” Scott Dagostino was “cornered by some chatty person in a mask, and slowly, horrifyingly I realized it was an evil ex. Run!” Joe Blow still shakes when recounting a childhood Halloween: “I was once robbed of a whole pillow sack of candy. I ran home and actually called 911.” Judy Virago comes close to tears as she recalls a particularly bad Halloween: “One year nobody took a photo of my outfit.” Heroine Marks sobs, “I was sharing food backstage at last year’s Halloween show with Devine Darlin and Carlotta Carlisle. I almost lost a limb reaching for a chicken wing."
Whitney Houston is the diva respondents would most like to return from the dead. Michael Jackson was a close second. Marilyn Monroe also scored high because Kyle Albert is too young to have ever seen her perform and Heroine Marks would like to see her “bitch slap Lindsay Lohan for recreating those famous photo shoots.” Touchingly, David Phillips would resurrect Will Munro “because Halloween was his favourite holiday.” On a bitchier note, it was stated that Sharon Needles and Matt Sims should be brought back from the grave.
Trick or Treat?
Most respondents want “both” or chided us for suggesting there had to be a choice. Or, as DJ Aural says, “The best treat on Halloween is a trick.”
Party people: who they are and the parties they're werkin'
, bartender/promoter - So You Think You Can Strip on Tues, Oct 26 and Remington’s Halloween party on Wed, Oct 31
, DJ/promoter - Pop Machine at WAYLA on Sat, Oct 27
, DJ/promoter - Drag ball for U of T’s sexual diversity students
, Bangout promoter - Church St on Wed, Oct 31
, promoter - fly on Sat, Oct 27 and College Night at Church on Wed, Oct 31
Mikey Black Eagle
, aka The Robotic Kid, DJ/promoter - Midway to Hell at the Black Eagle on Sat, Oct 27
, DJ/promoter - Trash at the Henhouse on Sat, Oct 27
, star - Drag You to Hell at Club120 on Fri, Oct 26
, promoter - Shag-o-ween at WAYLA on Fri, Oct 26
, Glad Day Bookshop manager - Buddies on Sat, Oct 27
, star - Peroni’s Queen of Halloween on Wed, Oct 24 and Three Big-Ass Halloween Shows on Sun, Oct 28, both at Woody’s
, star/DJ/promoter - Top Star at Statlers on Tues, Oct 30
, 2011 Queer Idol winner - Spectra Showcase on Church St on Wed, Oct 31
, star/promoter - Hallomania: Death Becomes Her at Crews & Tangos on Wed, Oct 31
, DJ/Cub Camp promoter - Break and Enter at the Soho House on Sat, Oct 27
, promoter - Aftershock at The Beaver on Wed, Oct 31
, Yes Yes Y’all DJ - “Going with the flow”
, star/DJ/ Gladstone promoter - Drag You to Hell at Club120 on Fri, Oct 26
, star - Fuck U Friday at Buddies on Fri, Oct 26
, DJ/Fit promoter - Break and Enter at the Soho House on Sat, Oct 27
, star - Drag You to Hell at Club120 and Fuck U Friday at Buddies on Fri, Oct 26
, promoter - Ax Halloween 2012 at the Courthouse on Fri, Oct 26
, Church WellesleyVillage BIA manager - Church St Block Party on Wed, Oct 31
Halloween is on Wed, Oct 31, but the parties are nonstop before and after. Find them all at fabmagazine.com/agenda
Photos by Raul Da Silva