Monday, October 5, 2009

Falling for Orlando or Why I Love October

I love the fall. 

Of course, I live in Orlando currently, which means the fall is more of a feeling I have inside me than a season. But I try to create the mood in my apartment. I have decorated for Halloween and I am burning a pumpkin spice candle as I write this and pretending that it is cool outside and not 90 degrees. The fall is the number one thing I miss from living in the north, but even with the heat it is still my favorite time of the year and October one of my favorite months. 

This weekend kicked off the Halloween season here in Orlando. I love Halloween and especially living in a place that loves to celebrate things to the fullest. While I've always loved the fall, I just recently fell for Halloween and that has a lot to do with living here and being in such a gay city. For those who don't know Halloween is like the gay Christmas and until I moved here last year I never really experienced the kind of Halloween I had always longed for or seen in the movies. 

Growing up we celebrated Halloween, but my parents and family were never really into it. My mom always made us great homemade costumes as kids (I was always a dinosaur of some kind) and we always went trick-or-treating, but we never had big parties or anything of the kind and after I stopped dressing up I basically didn't celebrate it. 

Then when I met Dustin in college I really wanted us to have a fun (read: gay) Halloween, because I realized Halloween is a lot better when you are grown up and out of the closet. I convinced Dustin to go to a gay club for the night. This was our very first trip to a gay club. Now I have to explain that we went to college in rural Indiana in a town of a couple thousand people. The closest city was Louisville, Kentucky, which was about 40 minutes away, and they had a gay club called Connections. 

In preparation we headed to the Wal-Mart, basically the only option, and Dustin bought a child's firefighter outfit that he somehow stretched into. I think it was supposed to be a coat but was a shirt on him and extremely cute. I bought some purple fairy wings and glitter. Oh and we bought these terrible fake eyelashes. Regardless we got in our car on Halloween night and drove to Louisville to our very first gay club. It seems fitting that my first experience with a gay club was on Halloween. I think the gay community latches on to the holiday because it's all about blurring lines, fantasies, and becoming anything you want to become. In the end it wasn't the best night of our lives, but it was a moment and a Halloween I won't ever forget. 

Of course we have now become those gays that go to the club a few times a week. This past weekend we kicked things off by attending Parliament House's Hallow Scream, which basically just meant they put up all their Halloween decorations, had caged male dancers, and the queens did Halloween-like numbers. It was a perfect way to get into the mood. We got so in the mood that we spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night dancing and drinking at Parliament House (and at Epcot Sunday afternoon). 

It was a really great weekend that made me appreciate this time of year here in Orlando. We might not have changing leaves, cool weather, or corn mazes, but we know how to party and how to celebrate Halloween the right way. 

This year we have lots of events planned: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a party of our own at our place, Parliament House on Halloween and maybe the Friday before too, and then to top it off next weekend is Orlando Pride. What better time to celebrate Gay Pride than in October. 

I guess I'm saying I complain a lot about living here: the tourists, the Disney crazies, the lack of actual seasons, but this weekend I didn't want to be any place else.

-Stephen (Falling)

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