These Queer Sports Figures Nail Halloween

Tuesday November 2, 2021
Originally published on November 2, 2021

This past weekend, NBC News wondered why Halloween is such a big holiday for queer people. To get the answer, the news outlet asked a number of academics to find the answer.

"As for why LGBT people were so drawn to the holiday, I think it picks up on those older traditions that Halloween's a time for transgressing all sorts of social boundaries," said Marc Stein, a professor of history at San Francisco State University, and author of "City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves." "So, it had a particular set of meanings for people who were basically living a straight life and saw Halloween as an opportunity to express their genders and sexualities."

Michael Bronski, a professor of women and gender studies at Harvard University and author of "A Queer History of the United States for Young People" agreed, saying that Halloween allowed many in the queer community to dress in drag without retribution. "If you wanted to cross-dress because of your identity, on Halloween you were safe to do it."

"Halloween is called 'gay Christmas' in some circles, given how popular the holiday is for so many in the LGBTQ community. More gay parties pop up around Halloween than any other weekend, maybe excluding New Year's Eve," OutSports said in their round-up of sports celebrities who celebrated, including Olympians Tom Daley and Adam Rippon.


Rippon may have had the funniest and bawdiest — a costume based on Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend (now a meme) who Minaj said on Twitter had swollen testicles after getting the Covid vaccine,


"I'm Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend. The swelling is going down so that's good!," he wrote.


Another Olympian, Nicola Adams scored with a great Devil.


Former American soccer star Robbie Rogers shared a Halloween family pic with his husband, producer/director/writer Greg Berlanti ("Riverdale," the upcoming HBO Max series "The Green Lantern").


But the sweetest family pic came from British Olympian Tom Daley who went out as Robin to his 3-year old son's Batman.


Devin Ibañez, the 27-year-old New England Jacks professional Rugby player, posted a pic of himself as Nintendo's Bowser with his bf, Fergus Wade as Princess Peach.


Canadian ice skater Kaitlyn Weaver, who came out as queer this past June, paid tribute to the great Catherine O'Hara as she evoked her "Schitt's Creek" character Moira Rose.


Bisexual British swimmer Michael Gunning made a striking Black Panther.