Cosplay: Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character).
Cosplay is often a fun way to express your fandom. It helps show others what you like, escape into a character, and bond with other fans be it characters from sci-fi, comic books, or anime.
I have cosplayed. My sons have as well. I have done Kensei Ma from Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple and Yuugo Tennouji , aka “Mr Braun” (Steins Gate). My son has done Kululu from Sgt. Frog.
It’s fun. And I have had nothing but good experiences, as has my son. In fact, earlier this year at Anime Milwaukee, my son got invited to participate in the Masquerade (Cosplay competition) where everyone was very welcoming and supportive to him.
This, however, is not everyone’s experience.
I became aware that bullying was a thing in the cosplay community last year at Anime Midwest while attending voice actor, Greg Ayres’s panel: “Why Your Fandom Sucks”. He told a few horror stories where some fans take things too far and ruin the experience for others. It was through Greg Ayres’s Facebook page that I became aware of the documentary: “Cosplay With Kindness”.
The film maker was inspired to do this documentary after attending Greg Ayre’s “It Gets Better” panel at Anime-Zap. It is to address, and hopefully combat, bullying in the cosplay and convention going community.
Please support this project if you are able.
Go like their Facebook page:
Or help support their gofundme:
And please visit their website to learn more:
Cosplay and conventions should be fun. I remember when I saw the “Why Your Fandom Sucks” panel Greg saying (and I paraphrase): “There is no wrong way to cosplay. If you are not the same size, race, or gender as the character that you are cosplaying as: Who cares? You are being a fan. If your outfit is not professionally perfect: It doesn’t matter. You are being a fan and sharing your love of something with others.”
That struck a chord with me. As a parent, and as a bit of an outcast myself, I appreciated this message. Support this project.
And more than anything else: Be kind!
-As a side note. It was my experience at Anime Midwest and seeing the Greg Ayres panel in 2014 that inspired me to start this blog.