I’ll have to say about a week and a half ago could be considered a low point in my life in my year. During that week, I had to deal with my Grandmother giving me grief about my life, the anniversary of my mother’s passing, and people trying to get me to goto a convention that my ex-girlfriend goes too, and usually staffs. And during that, I had a meltdown with a couple of people on twitter. I’m not excusing myself for what I did, nor am I making excuses for it. I own up to my tweets. It was just a bad day altogether. So, let me give you some insight as to what brought all this down.
Several months ago, a cosplayer posted an article about how she dealt with trolls. Evidently, these people saw her Sailor Venus cosplay and pretty much insulted her. But that goes without saying, in the aspect of we all get insulted. It happens. But what upset her was the derogatory slurs that was said to her. I’ll give you a hint, it’s starts with the letter “n” and ends with the letter “r”. She wrote this article stating that she would not let these people stop her and will continue her cosplay. She pretty much told them to fuck off and that they can’t stop her. I agree with all of that except for the last sentence.
I have been marked for being a black cosplayer. I’ve heard it all. But to be honest with you, I’ve heard all kinds of insults. People have said some real outlandish things to me. I shrug and move on. I’ve learned over time that words and simply words. I do my best to not let the meanings and connotations behind these words get to me. I’ve built up a tough skin over time. It somewhat helps… Somewhat.
Everything was all well and good until that meltdown on Thursday.
Said cosplayer went on a tirade of sorts about her Captain America cosplay being canon and legit. Alright, cool. So I went and looked at her cosplay. Her Captain America isn’t relevant at all. Wearing boots, thigh highs, blue mini-dress, red hair wig and helmet DOES NOT make it relevant. What you did was your interpretation of Captain America. If your Capt was to be on spot, you have had the correct shield, and blue outfit. See my point in the photos below:
Now, before anyone accuses me of throwing shade… I’m drinking tea. The point is that her Captain America is an interpretation, her vision. It’s not female Captain. Hell, as you can see, she compared hers to Falcon as Captain America, not Steve Rogers. Again, here’s another photo that proves my point.
By now, you’re probably going, “You’re a black cosplayer, how can you?!” Because I’m reasonable. Whenever she would tweet about this, I’d ask legit questions, and she would in turn look at me like I’m the bad guy. I’m not. My problem with the black cosplayer community is that a lot of black cosplayers use their skin color as a crutch or an excuse as to why their cosplays are never featured. It’s not that at all. It’s just that either someone did it better than you or there’s so many of X cosplay at the con. There have been times where I’ve walked around conventions and my picture was never taken. Then again, some of my cosplays I’ve done have been lost in the sea of other people doing the same cosplays.
To be honest, I have some respect for her as a cosplayer. I’ve lost a lot of respect for her because of her using her skin color as a crutch or excuse. Most “people of color” don’t even feel that or let alone act like that. Hell, most minority cosplayers will say that the issue is people being discriminatory against plus size cosplayers, which is a story for another time.
I understand that there’s racism in the cosplay community. I also know that most of the shade from that re coming from people of that race. I’ve never really experienced it, and if I did, I never paid too much attention to it. I’ve come to learn that words are words, and they’re being said just to get a rise out of you. I’ve read other accounts on racism, from other cosplayers, con-goers, and anons. A part of me was shocked about what I read happened. I never would have guessed, but I’m not surprised. But the majority of these cosplayers have handled these haters with tact and grace… Something that I preach on regular basis. For what it’s worth, I’m guilty of not doing that at times, but no one’s perfect.
So, for future reference my minority cosplayers, if anyone gives you shit for your cosplays, fuck em. Shrug and move on. Only getting upset about and firing back hard will only cause more anons to antagonize you. I mean, look at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. MLK preached a nonviolence method. Malcolm X said, “By any means necessary.” Just remember, in the end Malcolm X was assassinated by his own people for his brash and irrational antics.