Scroll To Top
Halloween

8 Historical LGBTQ+ People to Dress Up As for Halloween

8 Historical LGBTQ+ People to Dress Up As for Halloween

8 Historical LGBT People to Dress Up As for Halloween
Wikimedia Commons

In need of some historical Halloween?

Basil_Soper


Looking for a Halloween costume?

8 Historical LGBT People to Dress Up As for Halloween

Wikimedia Commons

If you're in need of a Halloween costume and looking to pay homage to some of the legendary people who laid the path for LGBTQ+ culture, here are 8 people you should consider!

Alan Turing

Alan Turing

Wikimedia Commons

Alan Turing was a brilliant mathemetician often credited for founding artificial intelligence and computer science. He played a major role in World War II and helped break several German codes.

Unfortunately, he confessed to having homosexual relations in the '50s, causing him to be arrested and chemically castrated. Ultimately, he died in 1954 from cyanide poisoning.

The look:

  • Sleek hair combed to the right with an even part
  • Grey tweed jacket
  • White shirt
  • Blue vest and blue tie

James Baldwin

James Baldwin

Wikimedia Commons

James Baldwin published the groundbreaking novel Giovanni's Room in 1956, which is often considered a classic in LGBTQ+ literature. He often wrote books and essays with LGBTQ+ and African-American characters, shining a light on minorities in a time when they were most ostracized. He was a social critic known for his eloquent writings dealing with racial and social issues in the United States.

The look:

  • Solid black shirt
  • Long gold necklace hanging toward or past your chest
  • A cigarette
  • A pen and paper

Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen

Wikimedia Commons

​Christine Jorgensen -- born as George -- was one of the first people to publicly come out as transgender. She jumped at a chance to meet with a doctor performing gender reassignment surgery in Copenhagen and became an overnight celebrity in the US as the media became obsessed with her physical transformation.

The look:

  • Finger wave hair style
  • Black velvet hat with a diamond flower
  • Fur coat
  • Black gloves and black high heels.

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Wikimedia Commons

Billie Holiday, or Lady Day, was a jazz singer famous for songs about straight breakups. Lyrically she rarely toyed with queer material. However, she was bisexual and dated a number of women.

The most famous lover she took was actress Tallulah Bankhead. She usually wore neutral colors, which helped create her eternally elegant persona. She accessorized with pearl necklaces, bold chandelier earrings, the occasional turban, and flashes of dark lipstick.

The look:

  • 1950s strapless gown like something from her closet
  • Billie's trademark gardenia hair clip
  • Long satin fingerless gloves
  • Pearl necklace and earring set

Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk

Wikimedia Commons

Harvey Milk became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States in 1977, when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was assassinated the following year. He was a pioneer for LGBT rights and would be ecstatic to see how far we’ve advanced toward equality today.

The look:

  • A Harvey Milk Campain button (bonus points if you make enough to pass out!)
  • Grey or blue tweed suit
  • Vintage necktie
  • Protest sign

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Wikimedia Commons

Frida Kahlo was a renowned Mexican painter. She was also openly bisexual. Her work was noted for nationalist and feminist themes along with vivid colors.

Her paintings have commanded higher prices than those of any other female artist. She was not only queer, fierce, and a genius, but she made the unibrow sexy.

The look:

  • Peasant-style blouse
  • Flowers for your hair (aim for fresh if you can!)
  • Full-length solid-colored tiered skirt.
  • Unibrow

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Wikimedia Commons

Virginia Woolf met fellow writer Vita Sackville-West in the early 1920s, and the women had a love affair that lasted for several years. Vita was in an open marriage, and her husband at the time was also bisexual.

One of Woolf’s most famous novels, Orlando, spans 500 years and traces the life and loves of Orlando, a cis man who transforms into a female overnight and experiences the joys and sorrows of living as both genders.

  • Vintage white early 20th-century dress
  • The "Woolf do," hair swooped behind your ears, ending in a low not, flyaways staying in place
  • Vintage necklace hanging past your collarbone
  • Boots

Leonardo DaVinci

Leonardo da Vinci

Wikimedia Commons


We may think we know all there is to know about the famed Renaissance painter and genius responsible for the Mona Lisa, but many don’t realize that Leonardo da Vinci was gay.

When he was 24-years-old, he was arrested on charges of sodomy. The charges were dropped, but Leonardo may have feared for his life. In 15th-century Florence, sodomy was a crime punishable by death.

The look:

  • Sleeved cape
  • White beard and wig
  • Black, gray, green, or brown tights
  • Floppy beret

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Basil Soper

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.

author avatar

Andrew J. Stillman

Contributing Writer for Pride.com

Andrew J. Stillman is a freelance writer and yoga instructor exploring the world. Check him out at andrewjstillman.com or follow him @andrewjstillman on all the things.

Andrew J. Stillman is a freelance writer and yoga instructor exploring the world. Check him out at andrewjstillman.com or follow him @andrewjstillman on all the things.