OutOxford will host a Code Pink, LGBTQ-friendly event this Halloween at Proud Larry’s called “The Babadook Ball” featuring a drag performance.
OutOxford is a nonprofit organization that connects the active LGBTQ community with the university and the town of Oxford. OutOxford works through community service and hosts events geared toward Oxford’s queer community while also creating safe spaces for those who identify as LGBTQ. Founded in 2017, it has hosted many Code Pink events this semester.
“We’re a very loving community,” OutOxford co-director Blake Summers said. “It’s sad that people don’t want to listen first, so we have to find ways to let them get to know us and reestablish their learning of what it means to be gay.”
For those who aren’t familiar with the meme, the Babadook-inspired party may seem a bit strange, but the Babadook humorously became the face of the gay community over the past year. It’s not uncommon to see the Babadook’s face on a poster at pride parades and other LGBTQ events.
Code Pink is an LBGTQ dance night in Oxford and is hosted in various places around town to allow gay communities and straight communities to unite in a night full of dancing, music and performances. Code Pink is an affiliate of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender studies, and OutOxford also works to produce these Code Pink events. Campus support from the Isom Center and other campus organizations helped establish OutOxford as an organization.
“(The Isom Center) worked very hard and did really build me up as a professional from scratch. Campus support was the pulse we needed to start a future nonprofit,” Summers said. “Their existence helped a continuation of hope for our community.”
Oxford doesn’t have any specific gay bars, so Code Pink events allow the gay community to have an exciting night and meet others within the community in a safe and fun atmosphere.
“Proud Larry’s and the other places we’ve hosted Code Pink events have been awesome. They’re always incredibly supportive, and they acknowledge the importance of having these fun and safe spaces for our community,” Summers said.
Summers is not only the co-director of OutOxford but is also a queer performer himself. Summers is a dancer and has been organizing the halftime show performance that will be performed during The Babadook Ball. The theme of the halftime show is called “NIGHT LIGHT” and will begin at 11:11 p.m. The “NIGHT LIGHT” half-time show will include a light show theme, rave music and drag queen performers and group dances to “dazzle your gay or supportive socks off.”
“We try to incorporate positive messages and satire in our performances,” Summers said. “It’s not only a party but a platform where I can help reeducate the community on LGBT+ issues. It’s a party with a political twist.”
The Babadook Ball is open to anyone 18 and up, and it costs $5 to attend. It offers a safe space for everyone to celebrate Halloween and diversity with an exciting night on the Square. The doors open at 9 p.m. at Proud Larry’s, so be sure to wear your best costume and be ready to get “babashook.” All proceeds will go toward OutOxford and will go back into helping the entire community through the organizaion’s community service projects.
“The bottom line is I just want people to feel loved, and that’s what this is,” Summers said. “Celebrate your existence, no matter who or what you are, and that’s what Code Pink is, one night where you can be yourself and feel safe.”