News / USA

Washington DC Halloween Race Features High Heels, Drag Queens

Washington DC Halloween Race Features High Heels, Drag Queensi
X
October 31, 2013 2:28 PM
Halloween is one of America’s most popular holidays. Trick or treating, going to haunted houses and gathering around fires are all part of the routine. But dressing up is probably the most famous tradition and the one Americans take most seriously. VOA’s Tala Hadavi reports on one rather unusual Halloween event.
Tala Hadavi
Halloween is one of America’s most popular holidays. Trick or treating, visiting haunted houses and gathering around fires are all part of the routine. But dressing up is probably the most famous tradition and the one Americans take most seriously. 

October 29 was not an average Tuesday for Felicia, Beth, and La Vita Dolce. It was the last Tuesday before Halloween…meaning time for the “DC High Heel race”.

“It’s a Halloween tradition for pretty much everyone who is gay in DC. They will either come see it or they’ll run it,” Felicia said.
 
But this is no ordinary feat. A lot of planning goes into the evening. A professional make-up artist is hired. And one must plan one's costume carefully.

“I know someone that literally works on his costume all year around,” race participant La Dolce Vita confided.

“This is my padding. It goes right here," said Felicia, as she showed the elements of her costume. "It creates the illusion of bigger hips and a little bit of a butt. This is the dress I’ll be wearing. And this is the wig with the red top hat and feathers.”

For the male participants, dressing up as women is a creative outlet.

“Growing up through school and college there was always an avenue to express yourself…and once I entered the traditional workforce, I felt like that part of my brain was slowly atrophying," Felicia explained.  "And the ability to transform yourself is a really creative venture.”

It is a venture many Washington D.C. area boyfriends, colleagues and family support whole-heartedly.

“Before, I used to be nervous about telling people but now I just figured it’s really not a terrible thing," admitted racer Beth. "Certainly for some people they might not like it but at the end of the day it’s your life and what you wanna do. “

“For us I know that we see ourselves as male," Felicia. "It’s just a fun way to interact and there’s no shame in that. It’s really rewarding.”

  • A dog dressed as Zoltar the fortune teller takes part in the 23rd annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York, Oct. 26, 2013.
  • A participant marches in the annual Halloween parade in New York, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • A man dressed as an ice queen smokes a cigarette during the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval, which attracts nearly 500,000 people annually in West Hollywood, California, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • Young people in costume take part in the "Evil spirits Parade" flash mob as they celebrate Halloween in the center of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Oct. 31, 2012. Around hundred people took part in the flash mob which was organised on social networks.
  • David Nickerson, 28, competes dressed as artist Bob Ross during the ZJ Boarding House Halloween Surf Contest in Santa Monica, California, Oct. 26, 2013.
  • A family walks along Venice Boardwalk in their Halloween costumes in Venice, Los Angeles, California, Oct.  31, 2013.
  • A woman who drew part of a face on her cheek, stands among the crowd at a costume party to celebrate Halloween in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • Che Ereftheriou, 12, skateboards in his Gingerbread Man Halloween costume in Santa Monica, California, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • Erin Kunse dresses up as the Mona Lisa painting at the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval, West Hollywood, California, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • The South Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C. decorated for Halloween, Oct. 30, 2013.
  • Betty Dillow helps her grandson with his pumpkin carving in Bristol, Virginia.
  • A diver in a skeleton costume dives during a media opportunity to mark Halloween at the Sea Life aquarium in Berlin, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • Children dressed in costumes take part in Manila's Ocean Park annual Trick or Treat event, Philippines.

  • A couple dressed in costumes ride a motorbike during the "Moto Halloween Party 2013" in Cali, Colombia,  Oct. 30, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama (center left) and first lady Michelle Obama (center right) give Halloween treats to visiting children at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2013.
  • An actress in a "good witch" costume walks around ahead of a Halloween reception for children on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2013.

Participants say the race is also about mingling with familiar faces. The DC drag community is a very tightknit one.

“I wouldn’t trade the people I met through doing drag for anyone else cause I’ve met wonderful friends,” Beth said.

The high heel race has brightened Dupont Circle, one of D.C.'s most dynamic neighborhoods for 27 years.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid