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An Open Letter To The People Who Make Couples Costumes

Heteronormativity and Halloween

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I'm writing today because I wanted to inquire about the plug and socket costume. Additionally, I wanted to talk a little about heteronormativity in society and popular culture.

Rasta Imposta / Via

Mostly, I'm wondering why there is no option to purchase either of these pieces individually, or, more to the point, to purchase a set that is two outlets or two plugs. While I understand why the plug and the outlet/socket seem to be the natural fit to "go together," I also think it's pretty clear why these two things were chosen to create a set for a "couples costume."

That is, this is a very purposeful allusion to sexual penetration, where the outlet costume is meant for the female-bodied partner, and the plug is meant for the male-bodied partner. As a reinforcement of this assumption, each picture of any of the variety of these costumes features the male (presenting) partner in the plug and the female (presenting) partner wearing the socket.

Rasta Imposta / Via

However, we live in a world that is much more nuanced and where relationships between people of all sexes, genders, and sexualities exist. We, those who fail to fit into the molds that heteronormativity has created for us, just want our identities and relationships to be accepted, and to be able to participate in the world just as our heterosexual counterparts do.

This desire, of course, extends to the reaches of government-recognized marriages and partnerships, with all the practical, social, and economic benefits this right holds. We yearn, too, for fair treatment and protection from discrimination in employment, in education, and in housing. It's vital that we see ourselves represented in entertainment and the media, that our existence not be pushed aside from the public eye or ignored altogether. And, not to be melodramatic, this longing for full participation in the world extends to Halloween.

Rasta Imposta / Via

Yes, of course, the gays can still participate in Halloween even if no one is making specifically homosexual couples costumes. I'm not here to argue that in any way we've been oppressed from participation in Halloween, or any other costume-related event. However, I would like to ask you to at least consider the possibility that you rethink the way you sell couples costumes. Take a look at the reasons they are sold the way they are today, and ask whether you could sell them in a way that perhaps reflects the diversity of all the couples who might want to wear your costumes.

My Facebook Photos: American University Queer & Allies Halloween Party, October 2013 / Via

This is not just about being able to see myself represented in packaging, but also about the economic ramifications of having to constantly participate in a world that was not built for me. In order for a homosexual couple to dress up in the electric costume that accurately reflects their bodies, they'd have to purchase two of these costume sets, ultimately spending twice the money that a heterosexual couple would be required to. Additionally, two costume pieces would then go entirely to waste in this scenario.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter and to consider my request. If you do decide to make these costumes available for purchase as either individual pieces or in same-electrical-appliance-sets, please let me know. My girlfriend and I would love to be outlets this Halloween.

Sincerely and Queerly,


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