We had pretty high expectations walking into the annual Wicked Manors block party this past weekend. Let's face it, gay Halloween parties are far superior to traditional, nonqueer ones. It's just a fact. It's like science.
The costumes are more ornate, the parties are over-the-top, and the vibe is just completely different. Everyone walks around Wilton Manors admiring other costumes, chatting with people they might normally not even approach. While there's still your typical drunken holiday debauchery, it's not as "in your face" as in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It's relaxed yet fabulous.
This year's "Freak Show" theme was taken very seriously by attendees, with nightmare-inducing clowns aplenty. When we first arrived, we spotted two men in drag dressed as conjoined twin sisters. They were terrifying, and we loved them.
We saw roughly ten Twisty the Clown costumes, a nod to the new season of American Horror Story. Sadly, there were no Jessica Langes in sight.
Like any Halloween party, though, there was bound to be overly sexualized versions of iconic characters we've come to love. Yes, there was a "sexy" Batman. And Superman. And Phantom of the Opera (our favorite). But who cares? If women parade around in "sexy" nurse costumes, men should too. We're sure the women wouldn't complain.
Another trend among those in costume was old-fashioned prison attire. We don't know why this was a thing, but it really was. When we asked a group (of eight) why they were wearing them, a fairly inebriated jailbird shrugged and said, "It was the only group costume we could find at the costume store." Practical and fashionable.
Considering the neighborhood is predominantly gay, one might assume that the crowd would be the same. But just as the event expands each year, so does the demographic. We noticed a sizable influx of heterosexual partygoers, but what really stood out were all of the children.
Everywhere, there were gaybies. Behind every drag queen was a family of four. It was both endearing and awkward, considering it is a block party with a lot of alcohol. We applaud the parents for teaching their children about diversity and equality, but we aren't sold on the idea of it taking place at a raging block party.