What Cosplay Taught Me

I’ll never forget my first cosplay.

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Photo by Quincy Masters.
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2013

This year, I was in a snarky mode. I wanted to cosplay characters who took no shit, but I was also discovering new layers of myself. I found myself drawn to characters who were damaged yet adorable. At the conclusion of this year, I would realize that I’d been in an abusive relationship. Looking back, I can see the pain I felt expressed through my cosplays: Columbia from Rocky Horror, Ramona from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass. From the comments I received, I learned that men at Dragon*Con can be pigs, but I also found a new sense of empowerment, even if my costumes still needed work.

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As Ramona, Columbia, and Hit-Girl.

2015

This year, I’d discovered a new love of puppetry through my now-husband, and after watching The Dark Crystal for the first time, I just had to do a gelfling cosplay. Despite my happy relationship, I also was still reeling from the abusive one, so I chose characters who had experienced profound loss or loneliness. In addition to Kira, I cosplayed the Corpse Bride and learned that the Georgia humidity is unforgiving to special makeup.

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2016

This was the year that I discovered both burlesque and circus. I had a strong sense of mischief as I sought to launch my own business and recover my life. So, I cosplayed as characters who had a bit of a dark streak along with a sense of fun: Arya, Lorne from “Angel,” and Delphini from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. For some bizarre reason, I took almost no photos this year, but someone did capture my Lorne cosplay, which I femmed up in the style of the “Lornettes” from Lorne’s Vegas stint.

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2018

I was feeling like a badass this year, but also a touch of imposter syndrome. I chose characters who were strong but thrust into situations beyond their control. My cosplays included Ruby Roundhouse, a Buffy/Wonder Woman mashup, and Princess Bean. I particularly enjoying toting around my Luci puppet and drinking in character.

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Written by

Writer by day, circus artist by night. I write about art, media, culture, health, science, and where they all meet. Join my list: http://eepurl.com/gD53QP

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