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Let the ghoul times roll: Your guide to a spooky, safe Halloween 2021

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Photo courtesy of Queerks
Photo courtesy of Queerks

Moonlit parties and the freedom of costumes make Halloween a favorite holiday in the LGBTQ+ community, whether you're out or not. No matter how festive you feel amidst COVID-19 on this beloved nighttime occasion, there are options to get in the spirit of All Hallows' Eve. (And no, not by dressing up as the coronavirus this time, please.)

Costumes: alone, together
On Halloween, costumes themselves are a source of cheer — or fright, to some people's delight. In the company of your partner(s), immediate household, or the internet, one of the safest ways to get spooky is dressing up to stay in. And why not, if there's already an excuse? If you haven't decided your costume yet, we've got you covered with some on-trend ideas.

If you're too independent to be Buttercup with two Powerpuff besties, pull out your fishnet and leather, because you deserve attention. Some "main character" energy could be your ticket, perhaps by emulating Jon Snow of Game of Thrones or Catwoman, who is also already masked. In fact, the entire DC franchise might pique your interest, with its irreverent villains and Superman's recent coming out as bisexual. We've also been blessed with a Cruella movie in the last year, a costume bound to be popular so long as those furs are faux.

May I add that even a pre-gendered costume can be free of binary shackles? Gender-bending on Halloween predates the modern holiday's traditions, as do LGBTQ identities.

Lastly, blood-thirsty singles, don't forget your chance to express your admiration for healthcare workers this year with the classic nurse minidress. Just make sure you're vaccinated, so you don't get fired!

At this point in the pandemic, you might also feel the urge to match or coordinate your costume with literally anyone. Couples costumes that made their first mark in 2020 included iconic duos like Gay Frog and Toad, Scooby Doo's Velma and Daphne, or Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

This year, Teen Titans' BeastBoy and Raven cosplayers went viral in late August, Timothée Chalamet was announced as Wonka, and Brett Rockman became the first Gay man on the cover of Playboy. If that isn't out of the box enough for just yourself or you and someone else, consider planning something grander, household-wide or with close friends Take your best shot at group costumes from movies and music, such as The Breakfast Club, Black Panther's leading ladies, the Spice Girls, or Ghostbusters.

Alternatively, simple ensembles like jack-o-lantern heads, ghosts, or black cats are plain ideas ready for your unique spin on them, and can be scaled from a solo act to large groups.

Tried and true: do the Monster Mash in a mask
Unlike last year, Seattle's nightlife scene is open this Halloween for the brave drag fanatics with any dollar bills left in their pockets, vaccine doses in their arms, and masks aface.

While staying at home is the safest option, if you do plan to go out, Washington's Department of Health released a statement earlier this month providing guidelines for your safety.

"This holiday, along with most of our holidays, will look and feel a bit different," said Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19 Lacy Fehrenbach. "The good news is that with some changes, we can find meaningful and fun ways to celebrate while still working to reduce COVID-19 transmission in our state."

The page includes trick-or-treating guidelines as well https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/HalloweenTips.pdf

According to King County's latest mandate, all bars and restaurants will be required to ask their patrons for proof of vaccination or negative PCR test within 72 hours as of October 25.

To meet these requirements, those going out should make sure to bring valid documents as well as their ID. Once arriving at a venue, patrons should make sure to keep a well-fitting mask above the nose and mouth, avoid venues with poor ventilation, and avoid hosting or attending gatherings while experiencing symptoms.

If you're going out: LGBTQ+ events

"Beautyboiz Go Boo, Seven Deadly Sins" 7th annual Halloween Costume Dance Party at Supernova, October 31, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. https://tickets.forwardflux.com/products/beautyboiz-go-boo-7-deadly-sins

"Seattle Gaymers Annual Halloween Party," October 31, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Features a costume contest with money prizes. https://www.facebook.com/events/194078519517517

"The Atomic Bombshells...Put a Spell on You!" Burlesque in the West Hall of the Oddfellows Building, October 31, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows. https://www.strangertickets.com/events/114608326/the-atomic-bombshells-put-a-spell-on-you