This gay Gwinnett couple is winning pandemic-era Halloween

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Ben Ku and his fiancé are using YouTube, supplies from the hardware store and inspiration from a popular video game to make Halloween safe and special this year.

Ku, the first openly LGBTQ member of the Gwinnett County Commission, and Heath Hall built a 10-foot-long candy chute with PVC pipe to deliver candy in a socially distant way to trick-or-treaters outside their Tucker home. Halloween is Saturday.

“With COVID, we were thinking what are we gonna do?” Ku told Project Q Atlanta. “We get a lot of trick-or-treaters. Given that Halloween is on a Saturday, and if the weather holds up, we may get a lot of trick-or-treaters who may not get the memo that trick-or-treating is discouraged by the governor and the CDC.”

They assembled the homemade candy chute with the help of a YouTube video.

“If people come by, we can protect them and protect ourselves by keeping that distance,” Ku said. “If nobody shows up, nobody shows up. We had a good time making it, and we can definitely use it in future years.”

The couple found out they weren’t the first locals to utilize the candy chute idea after visiting the hardware store for supplies.

“While we were there and getting the main pipe there was another dad with his kids who was literally doing the same thing,” Ku said.

Hall came up with the idea for the couple to dress up as Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Brothers.

“So we painted the pipe bright green,” Ku said. “There’s cardboard that will go in front like a brick wall, so it’s very much a Super Mario theme.”

“The costumes have gloves built in, and we have masks that have Mario and Luigi’s faces with mustaches on them. I thought it was clever to integrate the masks into the costume,” he added.

Earlier this month, Ku proposed to Hall in Piedmont Park.

“We had met in Piedmont Park so I took him down there for a picnic,” he said.

Ku took office in 2018 and also became the first Asian-American member of the county commission. He led the charge to add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to Gwinnett’s nondiscrimination policy in June.

This story is made possible by a grant from Facebook Journalism Project’s COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund.

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