Hello there. My name is Samantha Lee, and I suffer from a cursed disease: not liking Halloween.

Yes, it’s true. I find little to no enjoyment in dressing up, masks scare me, and I don’t like the dark. The best part of Halloween for me has always been before the festivities really begin, when I get to eat chili on the couch and everybody is so busy with preparations that nobody speaks to me.

As you all have probably noticed from the copious Target displays and tweet-storms, spooky season is upon us once again. And, once again, I am just not into it.

I can’t help but feel like, in this day and age, Halloween-haters are acutely persecuted. There is nobody who likes Halloween, I have found. There are the people like me, scared into silence, who don’t like it, and then there are the people who absolutely love it. There is no spectrum here. It’s a real “you’re either with us or against us” situation with Halloween – you either begin the Halloween countdown in May or you stay silent on the subject, lest you incur the wrath of the Halloween fanatics.

While we’re on the subject, actually, I have a few things to say about those people who replace their blood with pumpkin innards as soon as October 1 hits. I have met a few benign Halloween fans, which gives me hope that maybe most of the faction is nonviolent. But there is a group of them somewhere out there that is militant. These are the people who just can’t believe anybody would not want to walk miles in the dark wearing an uncomfortable costume surrounded by scary strangers on a weeknight. These are the people who would sell their souls for a fog machine and punch in a plastic cauldron. These are the people who will relentlessly berate anybody who doesn’t feel the same.

These are the people who make mean Halloween lovers seem like a huge and mighty group capable of actual murder and the Halloween haters seem like a tiny collective that will be squashed like a bug as soon as we voice our dissent. But this is not true! Halloween haters, we are valid! This is my rally to action – speak your mind! Admit that you are afraid of the dark! Admit that Halloween costumes are overpriced and overrated! Admit that pumpkins taste bad!

Yes, Halloween haters. For too long we have hidden in the shadows (figuratively, of course – I personally despise shadows, they remind me too much of horror movies). For too long we have silenced our voices in fear of being branded “uncool” or “a buzzkill” or “the other.” But now, my brothers and sisters and gender non-conformative, now I call on you! Together, together we have the power to enact change! Together we can abolish the stigma surrounding disliking Halloween. Together we can wear normal clothes on October 31st. Together we can normalize staying home!

We have a long road ahead of us, Halloween haters. There will be obstacles; we will be beaten and bruised by Halloween worshippers. But we must not give up. It may not happen this year, it may not happen next year, but one day my grandchildren will say “Halloween isn’t that great,” and nobody will pretend to faint from shock.

And if you become discouraged along the way, just remember: Thanksgiving is coming up, and that’s the best holiday of the year.