7 Slightly to Wildly Gay Purim Costume Ideas

From camp and tramp to butch and bizarre, let Haaretz help you pick what queer icon to be this Jewish Mardi Gras.

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Madonna performing at the Great Western Forum.
Madonna performing at the Great Western Forum.Credit: AP

Recently liberated from the closet? Proud Jewish mom of recently married gay son? Blatantly bicurious, or just an open-minded dress-up daredevil? No matter your orientation, here are seven suggestions of gay and lesbian characters you could be this Purim.

1. Truman Capote

Want to honor one of the most storied American writers of the twentieth century, and also the recent passing of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Truman Capote, for whose film portrayal Hoffman won an Oscar, was a deeply talented, tortured and eccentric literary giant. To play the part, it’s better if you’re short and fair. Irrespectively, make sure to get your hands on a fabulous fedora – those felt, pinched and sometimes creased hats that Capote loved. If you can’t find one, then a suggestively tilted sailor’s hat will do. As for your clothes: the brighter and odder the better, including incongruously patterned cardigans and other stylistically atrocious attire. Don’t forget to accessorize with a (hopefully fake or at least electronic) cigarette.

2. Gay Lord Baratheon

After something more feudal than retro, and frothing-at-the-mouth for the start of the next season of the "Game of Thrones?" Look no further than the hit series’ resident gay Lord Renly Baratheon of Storm’s End. Be sure to have dark hair, and don't forget to grow sufficient facial hair. For your attire, you’ll need to be creative, or splurge at an online Game of Thrones fan merchandise site. Your basics are medieval-style armor, a royal-looking cape, tights that ooze princely homoeroticism, all topped off with a deer-like crown and either a sword or a big long jousting stick (both for show only!) For further effect, print out the House of Baratheon’s coat of arms poster-size, and draw on another crowned stag mounting the first.

3. Queen of Queerdom

Rather dress up as a female royal and also honor the heroine of the Purim story? Madonna, a.k.a. Esther, is a global gay icon who offers decades of provocative costumes to choose from. Feeling iconoclastic? Wear white lacy laundry with “boy toy” gloves and optional bride’s veil from her Like A Virgin tour (note to men: wax everywhere beforehand). More deviant? Consider the zipper-heavy, black leather one piece from Who’s That Girl. Any Madonnian masterpiece can be accessorized with a piece of red string or other Kabbalistic amulet around your wrist.

4. A big bad bear

On the very opposite end of the spectrum is your wax-free, tummy-heavy alternative. To impersonate someone from the butch bear brotherhood convincingly, you’ll need to first and foremost make sure you grow your facial and chest hair well in advance. It may be too late by the time you read this, but stubble-faced bears are passable – barely. As for what to do with a bare chest – whip out your credit card and Google “chest wigs” (yes, they exist!). Having said that, and since a core value of Beardom is bodily authenticity, you’re better off wearing a closed T-Shirt that shows off your hopefully beefy pectorals while hiding your grossly effeminate lack of chest carpet. As a rule, black, leather or denim are musts, with chained vests, and bikie jackets particularly smiled upon. For down below, get your hands on a pair of chaps, or just a pair of old sullied jeans will do. Throw in a dog tag and you’re good to go.

5. Married with children

Who doesn't love the Pritchett-Dunphy clan from the TV series Modern Family? To play the part of gay son, husband and dad Mitchell, you’ll need a knitted vest, a purple, pink or bright green collared smart-casual shirt, or anything else that strikes the right gay nerdy lawyer note. Grow at least some facial hair, and dye both your hair and chin grass orange.

6. Ties and lipstick

Liking the dress-up duo idea but not a Modern Family fan? Two lesbian-obsessed straight guys secure enough in themselves to cross-dress? Or just a couple of best girl friends who want to show their undying platonic love for each other? Look no further than Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, the First Lesbians of the United States. Stock up on the peroxide, and Portia, you wear your hair longer, while Ellen, you cut yours short and spiky. Then, find contrasting though still somewhat cohesive outfits.

7. A stereotypically hot Israeli soldier

Finally, your Zionist option is to dress up as a smoking Israeli warrior. Make sure your olive green pants hug your backside tightly, and smear blue and pink war paint across your face or unbuttoned chest. Like for #4, dog tags are encouraged. For those of you who don’t do green, there’s Air Force blues, not to mention a whole treasure chest of jackets, hats, stripes, straps and handcuffs (though no whips) from the IDF’s myriad other divisions and units. Or rather hit your Purim parties as a woman? Try a female combat soldier with a big fat (toy) machine gun, complimented by battle-chipped nails.

Whatever costume you ultimately pick, and whether you’re gay, bi, straight, Jewish or an asexual Zoroastrian vegan, Haaretz wishes you a fun-and-freedom-filled Purim 2014!

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