WELL, THAT HAPPENED: Hallow-weenies

By on September 15, 2015

What your choice in costume may say about you

Please, fellas, refrain from a Caitlyn Jenner  ensemble this Halloween. (Photo: Anytimecostumes.com/Vanity Fair)

Please, fellas, refrain from a Caitlyn Jenner ensemble this Halloween. (Photo: Anytimecostumes.com/Vanity Fair)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – The weather is crappier! The leaves are changing! Tourists are… still here. And Kmart has reminded us that Halloween and Christmas and Valentine’s Day are just around the corner.

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and I’m really bummed that I’m not going to be in the country when it goes down. Yes, I’ll miss answering the door to early trick-or-treaters and I’ll miss partying with my friends, but I think the one aspect of this upcoming Halloween that I’ll regret the most is that I won’t be around to witness the men in dresses calling themselves Caitlyn Jenner.

There has been a surge of mockery towards Bruce Jenner’s recent transition into Caitlyn Jenner and it’s not just the talking heads of the media. This summer when I brought some out-of-towners to the Bar J Chuckwagon, one of the wranglers, Bryan Humphrey, did his same old “Rinder-cella” routine and dressed up as a character named Granny. This involved putting on a dress, wearing a wig and donning some crooked teeth for good measure.

This year, he added the line, “I look just as good as Caitlyn Jenner,” which received raucous applause from the tourists in attendance.

Now, I am all for drag. Some of my most successful Halloween costumes have included me dressing up as female characters from TV, and I’ve been in two productions of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” So men in women’s clothes is not something shocking to me. The culture of men dressing up in women’s clothing dates back centuries to the time of Shakespeare and Romantic-era opera. But off the stage, for a man to dress like a woman in public was — and continues to be seen as — effeminate and weak.

Every Halloween you’re going to see fit, attractive straight men put on dresses and wigs, maybe a little makeup, and call it a costume. Whether they are exploring their own drag desires or they are just trying to be dicks is not for me to judge. But I will admit that there is something about men dressing up like Caitlyn Jenner specifically that unsettles me, and makes me wonder how long it will take for the country to bypass its transphobia. If we see Caitlyn Jenner as a person rather than a celebrity, she is someone who lived her life as a man and is now much more comfortable living life as a woman.

If you were to go to a costume website and search for the Caitlyn Jenner costume, you’ll find it filed under men’s costumes. Not only that, but you might even find it paired with the aptly-named “Miss-Ter Olympic Wig,” a simple brown wig atop the scalp of a hideous man with makeup. The fact that Caitlyn no longer identifies as male makes the costume pretty damn tasteless. A Caitlyn costume wouldn’t really bother me if it was promoted for women. (Ladies, there’s your head-turning costume idea: dress up like a beautiful woman and wear a sash that says, “Call me Cait.”)

I know some more conservative people are groaning and saying, “Ugh, what ELSE do we have to accept?” but there are tasteful costumes and some that clearly miss the mark, such as dressing up in a bloody hoodie and calling yourself Trayvon Martin (it’s been done). At the end of the day, if you’re a guy dressing up like a formerly male celebrity struggling with gender identity who no longer wants to be seen as male, you’re being kind of a dick.

Kim Davis, the bigoted Kentucky clerk, on the other hand, is up for grabs. Have at it, fellas. PJH

About Andrew Munz

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