HARRY’S HALLOWEEN HIJINKS
I have two favorite Halloween treats, neither of which is the “fun size” version of a candy bar. First up are the costumes of the kids in my neighborhood. Ava, age two, buzzed down the stairs last Saturday as a bumblebee. Three-year-old Kai next door chose Thomas the Train this year. And I get a real kick out of the little ones who pick super hero costumes and wear their capes for a full week before trick-or-treating.
The holiday also lasts a week for my grown child Harry, but that’s due to an extensive Halloween party schedule. So my Treat No. 2 comes late in the afternoon on November 1st, when I ask to see the photos of Harry’s five different looks. No repeat costumes for my kid.
The looks build in degree of elaborateness, of course. This is Harry, aka Amber Alert, we’re talking about. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a quick scroll. Hermione Granger, of Harry Potter fame, kicked off Halloweek.
Next up was the honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I think Harry did her justice, and nicely timed, too, with the recent release of her biography, Notorious RBG.
I only vaguely recall Harry’s look number three, the villainess Sour Grapes from the Strawberry Shortcake television series of the early 2000s.
Harry still has a figurine of the Strawberry Land evildoer and her accomplice Purple Pieman on one of the bookshelves in their room at their dad’s house.
Straight off the set of Sunset Boulevard, was Harry’s take on faded silent film star Norma Desmond, gold turban and all.
But the costume pièce de résistance was Jem, lead singer of the band Jem and the Holograms. pictured up top. Before Harry explained Jem and the Holograms was an animated TV series in the late eighties, I thought for sure this look was an exploding cotton candy machine.
The headpiece Harry made with two pink wigs, lots of pink weave and zip ties, just couldn’t be captured in a selfie. So my gratitude to photographer Bryan De La Garza for fitting all of Harry’s hair into the frame of his Polaroid camera.
Nobody I know does Halloween like Harry, and I have to admit that a little of my kid’s exuberance has rubbed off on me. Wednesday night, before heading to the “Channel 69” salute to Linda Simpson’s “The Drag Explosion,” at Howl! Happening art gallery, we stopped at the Patricia Field store. One of the fabulous wigs on display there inspired the idea for my next Halloween costume.
“Now you sound like me, Mom,” Harry said, laughing.
I smiled, remembering how the day after Halloween, Harry as a kid always knew what she wanted to be the following year. But whatever Harry has planned, it’ll be 2016 before I can post the latest Halloween photo gallery.
THE GLORY OF GLORIA
An unexpected treat and real thrill for me last week was Gloria Steinem’s visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The writer, social activist, feminist organizer, lecturer and inspiring leader came to read from her new book, My Life on the Road, an account of how her early years led her to live an on-the-road kind of life: traveling, listening to people, learning and creating change.
Steinem related the story of her own growth in tandem with the growth of an ongoing movement for equality – demonstrating how an open, observing, on-the-road state of mind can make an active difference in the way we understand others, our times and ourselves. She inspired me, as she always does, with her perspective.
“If we can remember that everything we do matters, there’s no stopping us.”
I got excited thinking about the opportunities I’ll have on my book tour next year to connect with new people, hear their stories and learn what they’re doing to gain understanding, respect and equality for gender expansive children and LGBTQ youth. I believe as fully as Gloria Steinem does that — whatever future we envision, whatever cause we champion — what we do counts.
“When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years,” Steinem said, “I always say: Because I travel.”
I sure hope to see you when I hit the road next year as a writer and human rights advocate.
50 SHADES OF GAY
I got an email from Harry yesterday alerting me of his director friend Jill Salvino’s plans for a feature film documentary. In a series of stories, Between the Shades will explore the different shades of LGBTQ lives by exploring what connects us all: love. Jill plans to start conversations with 50 different people to look at the many shades of gender and identity.
There was urgency in Harry’s email, because just four days remain on the Kickstarter campaign Jill launched to fund the documentary. And as it goes with Kickstarter, a project must reach its goal to realize any of the money raised. At this writing, the Between the Shades campaign has raised $34,489 of its $46,000 goal.
Jill posted a video on the documentary’s Kickstarter campaign page that details the project. Please consider being a part of documenting lives with big-screen impact for all of us.
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