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December 28, 2017



The West Hollywood Halloween Carnival crept up on me this year. A week into it, and my ass did not have a costume idea—at least not one that was cohesive with costumes I have done in the past–meaning something that was half-naked for a kicky-guy-on-a-Halloween-stroll-from-the-word-go.

I thought about doing a sexy shower getup with plastic bubbles attached to my body, a rubber ducky wrapped around my wrist and a shower curtain hanging over my shoulders, but I figured that would require an explanation, and I absolutely detest having to explain myself.

I decided to represent for the city I love and let them HAVE IT with a viking costume instead.  I purchased a horned viking helmet on Ebay for starters.  The rest of the costume came together thanks to my friend Dan, who donated his old genuine beaver fur coat for me to cut up and alter to my heart’s desire.  The coat had the name Bertha ornately stitched to the inside lining, which is how they did it back in the 80’s–sorry Bertie–SNIP, SNIP!

My sister-in-law Wendy helped spray paint my helmet and added a fur lining to make it one-of-kind, cuz that’s the only way I roll.  She turned the coat’s sleeves into fur boots and she cut that coat up to make a perfect fur vest.  I took care of the loincloth and all the trimmings and VOILA…I was good to go on a pillaging rampage all over WeHo’s Boystown.




On the night of the Halloween carnival, I met up with my friend Aberto, like I do every year.  He went nuts this year with his masks and dragons that he made out of papier-mâché for himself and an entourage of his friend, (visit, beastmasktermaker.com to see what I mean). He asked me be part of the group and pose as some sort of Viking dragon slayer.  He wanted to spray my body with some neon paint, but I was like, umm…yeah…I’d rather not be a team player.  Thank you though.

The beauty of having a WeHo address is the prime parking on nights like this.  We all gathered at my place to get ready. During my metamorphosis, I realized I forgot my fur vest at the house I share with my partner on 18th street in L.A.—FUCK ME!!! It’s so damn typical of me to forget the most vital piece of my costume. Sure, I could walk out like a complete slut bucket in a loincloth and viking horns, but like hello–the vest was made of genuine beaver fur (vintage fur people, VINTAGE)! The fur vest made the difference between something semi-slutty and a complete total and utter slut bag.  I have been partnered to the same man for 4 years now.  I can’t do full slut (…anymore).

Lucky for me, my partner was sooo damn grateful I didn’t force him to go to the carnival with me, that he would have driven to San Diego to drop off whatever I wanted, as long as he got to stay home on Halloween night. So yes, he saved the night by re-uniting me with my fur vest.

Onward with the show.


We stepped out into the street and there were some serious wardrobe dysfunctions with the crowd of dragon creatures I was hanging out with from the get go.  They couldn’t see, they were bumping into things and getting snagged to each other.  I was in no mood to play a dragon handler all night long.  My plan was to ditch these bitches as soon as I found a friend to hang out with—however I ended up losing them prematurely.  I don’t know what happened.  I turned left, and they turned right, and then I found myself standing in the middle of a crowded street…completely…alone.  I lost my entourage the minute we hit the boulevard.

I was like, “Oh no. I’m not about to have a shitty Halloween walking around aimlessly by myself.”

The night was off to a bad start.

I had no phone reception, because of all the slut rags in WeHo were on Scruff/Grindr that night–shutting down all lines of communication.

And that’s when it started to rain…

It didn’t rain too hard, or for too long, but there was enough water to make eyeliner run and enough moisture to make my costume stink like a wet beaver the entire night.  I got my first whiff, and it occurred to me that Bertha’s fur coat (may she rest in peace) had probably not been washed since the 80’s.  The shit stunk, but it still looked cute, so moving along.

The forces of darkness finally conspire in my favor.  The night sky cleared, the temperature was perfectly cool, and I met up with my friend Mike who dressed up as road kill, which was hilarious, and I later ran into my friend Rick, who has been doing gigs all over Los Angeles as an undertaker.

Is it me, or was it not unbearably crowded at the carnival this year, unlike previous years? We were able to walk for a few blocks without getting trampled. I’m not sure if people stayed away because of the threat of rain, or if I’ve learned to maneuver around a Halloween crowd after 20 years, but I didn’t feel like I was suffocating until we were close to Santa Monica Blvd and San Vicente Blvd, near the main stage.  Then it was nuts-to-butts out-of-control crowded.


The costumes were too many things.  I saw a giant white dinosaur skeleton made of gallons of milk and other recyclables.  you had your Ebola jokes, political jokes, superheroes, zombies, freaks from Freak Show and other creatures. There were the usual tired numbers where guys wore a thong and called it a costume.  You had your glow-in-the-dark umbrellas to represent jellyfish, which is like oh-so many years ago.  You had inappropriate cos play, where white people dressed up as American Indians, skinny people dressed up as fat people, flabby people dressed up in muscle suits and lots of men dressed up as slutty women—and speaking of tired…the hateful “God Hates Fags” straight assholes showed up on the boulevard this year. People confused them for a bunch of homos sporting some sort of ironical hate group costume, so everyone wanted a picture with them, which defeated their purpose. I laughed. Really hard.

IMG_2314IMG_2529 IMG_2319 IMG_2329 IMG_2334 IMG_2340 IMG_2342 IMG_2347 IMG_2354 IMG_2367 IMG_2374 IMG_2390 IMG_2392 IMG_2398 IMG_2399 IMG_2407 IMG_2415 IMG_2419 IMG_2422 IMG_2424 IMG_2433 IMG_2437 IMG_2439 IMG_2443 IMG_2445 IMG_2451 IMG_2465 IMG_2506 IMG_2507 IMG_2515 IMG_2577 IMG_2581 IMG_2585 IMG_2588 IMG_2592 IMG_2612 Paulo Murillo

And me? My costume was well received. Huge hit! HUGE!!!

There were no celebrity live acts this year. At least none that I’m familiar with.  The girls of Chico’s Angels were on the old school stage, which was jumping.  The top celebrity name on visitwesthollywood.com was reality TV person, Lisa Vanderpump.  That woman was first in line at the AIDS WALK this year and apparently she was the big name on the Medusa main stage which was the theme of the night for this year’s carnival.


Then the clock struck 11 p.m. and the music stopped.  I was like, good luck getting people off the street on a Friday night during Halloween.

Then it started to rain. Really hard. And it kept raining. No joke.

Mascara ran everywhere. There were wet clumps of synthetic hair on the street and the sound of heels clacking ungracefully all over the place.  It was frightening.

The party continued in WeHo’s gay bar scene, of course, but that pretty much concludes the Halloween Carnival for yours truly in 2014.

I had a lot fun. It’s my favorite time of the year.

Till next year my darrrlinks.






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About Paulo Murillo,

Paulo has been writing for the gay media for over 16 years. He made his debut as a columnist for FAB! Newspaper. He has written for LA Health News, IN Los Angeles, Frontiers and The Fight Magazine. He has been featured in The Bay Area Reporter, XY Magazine, Bay Windows, Windy Times, and Press Pass Q, He has been quoted in the pages of Edge Magazine, Gay & Lesbian Times, Seattle Gay News, Fuges, and in a shitload of online news outlets and blogs, thanks in large part to Rex Wocker’s Quote on Quote – Wockner Wire.

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