A Queer’s Guide to Fall

A Queer’s Guide to Fall

By Sondra Morris

Trader Joe’s is bursting with pumpkin-themed goodies, grocery stores are covered in cinnamon scented pine cones, and #PSL is dominating social media which can only mean one thing: fall is upon us. As we slip into shorter days, longer nights, colder weather, and darker colors, seasonal events and goodies will start to pop up around every turn. In order to make sure you have a head start on the essentials, I created a guide to the season’s six most import F’s: fashion, furnishings, flavors, films, frights, and fun. Let’s get to it!


First up, let’s talk autumn fashion. Stylistically, fall is my favorite season because it encourages layers, which makes it easy to mix patterns and play with less-gendered looks. There are a few items that work for every body and every gender expression: boots, leather (and vegan-leather!) jackets, white t-shirts, ripped jeans, sweaters, and flannel shirts. Femmes: throw on a leather jacket or tie a flannel shirt around your waist to edge up any super-feminine outfit. Bois: add a crew-cut sweater over a button up to create a more linear silhouette.

Aiming for an androgynous look? Start with the classic jeans and a white tee, then layer on a flannel and a jacket or blazer to create a gender-neutral physique. Details are key here: for example, you can rock a handful of bling with a ring on each finger or cuff the flannel’s sleeves outside of the jacket. If a more masculine look is your thing, I stand by a good hat. Aim for what feels true to you: beanies and fedoras both achieve the same effect in very different ways. Puffer jackets in dark colors and well-tailored trousers also offer a more masculine feel.


Now that you’re all dolled up for the season, we need to get your home to match. Whether you live in an apartment with six roommates or have a house and full creative control, you’ve got options! A wreath on the door or a themed doormat make for a simple and creative entrance space on a budget. A well-placed skull can provide a little macabre vibe if you’re trying to Halloween it up. Check out bargain stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls for cheap seasonal tchotchkes. Jack-o-lanterns are fun to carve with friends or lovers and look cute on a porch or balcony at night.

Guarantee you get all the fall smells with candles like pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, orange clove, or smoky pine. For people who can’t burn candles, cinnamon pine-cones and brooms are available at most grocery stores or wax melts can offer the same delicious scents. Mrs. Meyers even offers fall scented cleaning products!  This is also one of the few times it’s fashionable to leave your groceries sitting around: gourds, pumpkins, and squash are all considered traditional fall decor, so consider placing them on the dining table in a glass bowl until you plan to use them.



Fall cuisine is all about butternut squash, apples and cinnamon, citrus and cloves, turkey, cranberries, and–the star of the season–pumpkin! As mentioned earlier, Trader Joe’s is the one stop shop for all things pumpkin: from spice mix to milk substitutes to alfredo sauce. If you aren’t sure how these ingredients combine into a meal, Pinterest can walk you through a million recipes. Don’t feel limited to entrees! Part of fall’s appeal is holiday parties and you can use Pinterest to find recipes for fall-centric party dishes, desserts, and drinks (alcoholic and virgin!) More into going out? FourSquare has a list of restaurants across the LA metro area that offer pumpkin-themed dishes just in time for the season.

Take our quis to find out what queer city you belong in this fall!


You’ve got so many options for fall movie nights! For those of you who love horror or witchy themes, you’re in luck as Halloween dominates this sphere all season. Network television will be flooded with classics such as Hocus Pocus, John Carpenter’s Halloween, The Shining, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and every single Harry Potter film. For something more LGTBQ+ oriented, try Mania, Lyle, Paranorman, You’re Killing Me, or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon are rife with so-bad-they’re-good campy horror flicks for a cute night in. If the lure of buttery popcorn is calling you to the cinema, you have the option of seeing new thrillers such as Bad Times at the El Royale, Halloween (a newer addition to the neverending franchise,) Suspiria, Ride, and Killer Kate! or the classics screening in theatres all month long.


For those of you who love being scared silly, autumn is your season! Suburbs become rife with haunted houses and scare mazes and theme parks do everything they can to create a good fright. In SoCal, Universal Studios offers Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s transforms into a Scary Farm, Disneyland keeps it family-friendly with Halloween Time, and Six Flags aims for fear with Fright Fest. Most parks amend their vendor carts to have fall sweets on hand, so you can usually grab a candy apple or kettle corn to enjoy as you wait in line. Don’t forget to check out area landmarks that transform for the season: Queen Mary becomes home to Dark Harbor, the Warner Bros. Studio offers a Halloween-themed tour, and Paramount offers a creepy studio tour (with champagne and candy!) that also includes a stroll through Hollywood Forever Cemetery.


Fear not your thing? You can always just have some clean fall fun! Get outside and breathe in that chilly fall air any one of the pumpkin patches that pop up all over the nation or find a farm and go apple picking. Both usually include cute add-on options like hayrides or apple cider. Street festivals pop up in neighborhoods all throughout LA: The LA Korean Festival, The Sherman Oaks Street Festival, and NoHo’s Vegan Sunday weekly food market are just a few. The San Gabriel Valley is even hosting a free LGBTQ pride festival this October!

While most Americans associate fall with only two holidays–Halloween and Thanksgiving–in SoCal, many residents celebrate Dia de los Muertos as well. Hollywood Forever and Olvera Street both host annual events for this Mexican holiday. Both are open to the public for celebration and respectful parties looking to learn more about the holiday.

And don’t forget music! Fall music is customizable: acoustics are good for chilly morning focus, rock ‘n roll is perfect for sexy dark vibes, and musicals are the best for car singalongs. If you don’t know where to start, soundtracks to fall films are great because they do the work of pre-mixing options for you. Or search Spotify for playlists: here is a creepy one and one that crosses genres to start with!  

This list is just a taste of all the goodness fall has to offer, so consider it a starting point and stay open to all the other options that pop up once you start exploring. Before you know it, you’ll be all pumpkin-spiced out and we’ll be back here discussing how to snuggle into winter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.