“Halloween is overwhelmingly an adult holiday. This year, for example, Americans spent an estimated 0 million on costumes for children, billion on costumes for adults. Where did that adult dress-up party begin? As best we can tell: in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood. In the 1970s, that neighborhood emerged as the heart of a new home-owning, bourgeois, coupled gay community. A local variety store had long sponsored a Halloween street festival for kids. In the 1970s, the street festival transitioned into an adult party of lavish costumed theatricality. The ‘Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ — a troupe of transvestite nuns — got their start here.
“The Castro Halloween party spread to other gay neighborhoods in the 1980s: Greenwich Village, West Hollywood, Key West, Florida. In 1994, University of Florida anthropologist Jerry Kugelmass published a book on the new trend, Masked Culture, describing Halloween as an emerging gay ‘high holiday.’ And after a while — the straights imitated. From the spread of disco in the 1970s — to the habit of paying money for sparkling waters such as Perrier — culminating in Halloween, gays have incubated and developed major cultural trends. Straights adopt, and then ungratefully forget whom they are adopting from.” – Conservative columnist David Frum, writing for CNN.com
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