David Frum: The gays created the modern Halloween

At least 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 — just as American Christians forget how much of the modern Christmas music they enjoy was written by Jews, starting with the most popular of them all, Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” The majority culture forgets what the minority culture has produced.

The “masked culture” first developed by the gays of San Francisco has reached across the lines of orientation — and now jumped across the boundaries between nations and languages. It’s not just a party. It’s an ideal of personal emancipation, self-expression and self-fulfillment — an ideal that loses none of its power when it takes the form of a sexy nurse’s outfit.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Quote Of The Day – David Frum

“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

Joe. My. God.

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Quote Of The Day – David Frum

“What is happening to the GOP? First our elected officials tire of bashing gays and now our pundits? Perhaps Republicans are beginning to see the writing on the wall. Public opinion is changing rapidly in favor of gay marriage rights. In just 10 years gay marriage has become legal in 10 countries, 5 U.S. States and the District of Columbia. A just released CNN poll found half of all U.S. citizens now support gay marriage and Columbia researcher Suzanne Goldberg reported on CNN that ‘research indicates younger people are beginning to see sexual orientation as a benign variation”. Even the Tea Party has generally sat on the sideline on social issues, preferring to focus on matters of economics and less government.

“The religious right may be having a conniption, but younger Republicans increasingly appear to believe that opposing gay equality is inconsistent with a belief in increased liberty and smaller government. Although the religious right will continue to be a strong presence in the GOP for years to come, changing demographics are not on the side of anti-gay forces and the GOP appears to be awakening to this reality.” – Conservative columnist David Frum, in an essay titled GOP Drops Fight Against Gay Rights.

The Freepers, of course, have already labeled their erstwhile hero a traitor. And as always in Freepistan, all things LGBT boil down to buttsecks.

-”Frum is all excited about our children being taught that anal sex is normal and natural. How will Frum feel when his son is in a hospital at age 35 or 40, unable to hold his own feces in anymore? Something for the GOP parents to look forward to I guess.”
-”Let’s not forget the painful hemorrhoids requiring painful surgery leading up to the rectal prolapse, the genital warts, and the genital, oral or anal cancers.”

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

PhoboQuotable – David Frum

“Bristol Palin is exactly the type of girl who would have been pushed into a shotgun marriage in 1964: Her parents were leading citizens first of their town, then their state, now the nation. Their position and reputation would have absolutely precluded an unwed mother in the family. Their friends and neighbors (and maybe more important, their daughter’s friends and neighbors) would have enforced the expectation: marriage first, children second.

“Not any more. Today, nobody expects it — quite the contrary, when Levi reveals himself to be a jerk again, every People magazine reader in the country fully sympathizes with Bristol chucking him out, again. Get married for the sake of the children? Unwed motherhood as a disgrace? What is this, the Middle Ages?

“[Judge Vaughn] Walker’s decision was a twist in a complex legal story that stretches back to the 1990s. Many more twists lie ahead. The judge’s decision will almost certainly be reversed on appeal. (Walker seems to know it, too: He suspended his own decision from going into effect until after the appellate court had its say.) But we don’t have to wait for the courts to finish their work to know the answer to the big question. The harm feared from same-sex marriage has already arrived: Whether same-sex marriage is accepted or not, opposite-sex marriage as a norm and expectation has already collapsed.” – Conservative columnist David Frum, writing for CNN.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright