By Brittany Berger
It’s time to fall into some family-friendly inclusive activities. What a fantastic season when people of every age and gender celebrate by dressing up in every way from Fandom, to Drag, to Cosplay, to fantasy, to scary. This is the season where Queer families should be able to shine in glory and not have to worry about stigma. Yet last year 60 Encinitas parents threw a fit and protested the only event in San Diego geared toward Queer families after the Encinitas Unified School District posted an advertisement for the event on their community web page. The poster for last year’s first ever “Boo Bash” read, “The Queerest free Halloween party for youth and families”. The school district eventually removed the post from its community page and exclaimed that it was an accidental posting and offered an apology. This uproar made local, state, and national news. The party went on in Hillcrest attracting a massive turnout of over 1200 people.
This year, the Boo Bash returns to Hillcrest in all of its glory to offer a safe place for Queer kids and Queer parents to celebrate the spooky season in a safe, fun, and inclusive way. There will be games, activities, a costume contest, a Drag show, a trick-or-treat trail, and even a sensory area! They will also be offering a free snack and food trucks to purchase from. It will be held on October 28th, from 11am – 2pm, @ 1500 University Ave. San Diego, CA 92103. The event is hosted by Trans Family Support Services and is FREE. However, consider making a donation so that they can keep this event going! Registration for the event is required online at https://transfamilysos.org/boobash/
I am so grateful to Trans Family Support Services for putting on this event. It saddens me that events like these are lacking in North County, where support for inclusive festivities is likely to be protested and safety can be questionable. Some planning needs to be done to ensure that all LGBTQ+ youth are being reached with inclusive events that help them feel safe and celebrated. Who is brave enough to stand up to the potential protesters and who has the backing needed to host a safe and free event for our youth? Whether you’re a Queer parent or have Queer kiddos, you deserve to have a place to go where you can safely be yourself, or dress fabulous in Drag. It’s not us making it weird, it’s the anti-Trans protestors. I say we need more LGBTQ+ family-friendly events for all reasons to celebrate. We should put them at the same time as non-inclusive events adjacent to theirs and have people protesting the anti-Trans events. Well, that won’t happen because we have too much respect to do that to their children. We know what it feels like to have something that should just be fun, and innocent taken away or be disrupted from protests.
Part of the problem I see with Halloween celebrations in the LGBTQ+ community all over the nation is that they are almost all geared toward adults and offer a level of sex-appeal or otherwise non-kid friendly environments. Any search for Queer Halloween or LGBTQ+ Halloween will get you to something more on the naughty side. No wonder the anti-Trans movement took advantage of a Queer family-friendly Halloween Party to pick on. If we are going to make changes and improve tolerance and acceptance, we need to find a balance. I know what you’re thinking, straight people indulge in sexual Halloween fantasies all the time too. It’s a night of “sin” and wickedness. Halloween costumes for adults can be skimpy and slutty, but Queer families trying to have good clean fun are the problem, yeah, I’m not buying it. It’s really the same old anti-LGBTQ+ argument just from another perspective. So, let’s prove them wrong and show them how classy us Queer families can be, how supportive of children’s needs we can be, how absolutely spectacular our parties can be. It’s disgraceful that the one event like this last year found itself at the center of protests and I hope that the children and families that attended didn’t have an impact on their fun.
To all the Queer parents and children planning to celebrate this Halloween, I hope you enjoy a safe and spooky time wherever you land. I hope you find an inclusive place to dress how you want to dress and that there are no groups of people protesting your existence and desire for your child to feel included. You are beautiful people raising beautiful children.