Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cosplay is NOT Consent

Instead of writing about the events of today's Comic-Con, I'd like to focus on a single encounter that essentially defined my day.

After successfully picking up some swag from the Plants vs. Zombies booth, I was approached by a woman. The conversation went like this:

Woman: You know EVERYONE can see down your top.

Me: Excuse me? I am wearing a shirt under my corset.

Woman: Doesn't matter. EVERYONE can see down your top.

Me: I don't see what the problem is. I am covered up.

Woman: It doesn't mater. [At this point, I believe she says] It makes it seem like you have something that you don't.

The woman and I walked away from each other, and I was left in shock. My cosplay outfit of the day consisted of a sleeveless shirt with lace shoulders, a long black bustle skirt, and an overbust corset on top of the shirt. I did not feel my cosplay was inappropriate in any way. Moreover, why did it matter what I was wearing? Why did it bother her so much that she took the effort to approach me?

Conventions are one of the few times people can come out of their shell and dress in unique ways. For me, cosplay is one of the big reasons I attend conventions, and I take pride in the outfits I put together. I strongly believe that wearing cosplay does NOT give others consent to harass or make unwanted advances. There should be no place for such negativity in an environment where everyone is simply trying to have fun.

This is not the first time I've been victimized by sexual harassment at a convention. While dressed up as Pinkie Pie during FanimeCon, an individual made negative comments about what I was wearing. I realize that I probably should have brushed off these comments, but at both Comic-Con and FanimeCon they bothered me enough that I went back to my hotel and changed.

I share my story because I want to prevent other con-goers from experiencing the shame and self-consciousness that I felt today. Harassment can ruin someone's convention experience, so please be respectful and keep your mouth shut if someone's dress does not please your personal aesthetic. Let's keep Comic-Con and other conventions a safe place for self-expression and creativity.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Comic-Con 2013 Begins!

Hello! I apologize for the lack of updates, but between FanimeCon, working, and completely unplanned family trips to Hearst Castle and Catalina Island, I haven't had much time to blog these past few months. I will write about my trips eventually, but for now I will my shift focus to Comic-Con!

The road leading to Comic-Con definitely had some bumps. In fact, here's a list of situations I've encountered the past two weeks:
-The seamstress who was supposed to make my Star Trek uniform didn't quite work out, so I had to mail the fabric across the country. The uniform is being shipped back to my friend in San Diego, who will hopefully get it to me by tomorrow. I just hope it fits.
-My car was broken into, back window smashed, and my purse stolen from the trunk. Fortunately, no credit cards or ID cards were taken.
-I had issues trying to keep my luggage under the Megabus weight limit. Cosplay (especially boots) can be heavy!
-My printer ran out of colored ink and refused to print anything. Fortunately, I figured out how to get it to print in black and white only.
-My Comic-Con barcodes printed out as outlines of barcodes instead of the actual barcodes themselves. I found a way around this.
-Lugging my suitcase around L.A. Union Station was more difficult than anticipated. Once again, I blame heavy cosplay.
-My camera's SD card stopped working. Fortunately I have a spare, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to save the pictures on the corrupted card.
-Back in January, I booked an Amtrak train from the Bay Area to San Diego. When I managed to get a Megabus ticket to Los Angeles Union Station for $1, I canceled the train trip and rebooked it for LA to SD instead. This morning, I received an e-mail from Amtrak telling me I missed my train. When I called Amtrak, they told me that the original trip was never canceled. Fortunately, they refunded me my money or I would be out $130+ right now.
-I've probably averaged 4-5 hours of sleep this past week. Hopefully I can get some rest tonight before the big action starts tomorrow.
-Shortly after the Amtrak train left Union Station, the person next to me stated that he was from a city north of Los Angeles. I misheard it as him saying he was headed there. This nearly made my heart stop as I thought I had gotten on the wrong train. Thankfully, I am now relaxing on the correct train and typing this post.

I can only hope that it's relatively smooth sailing from here. Hoping that the hostel is a nice one, that I have fun roommates, and that Comic-Con is more fun than stressful. I declare that the fun starts now!

Not sure what I'll be doing tonight after I check into the hostel. Given that my train arrives in San Diego at 7pm, it might be too late to make the SDCCBlog Party. I'll probably swing by to see how the lines are and if they're too long I'll just get dinner. After the past few days my goal should be to get sleep tonight!

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to blog during Comic-Con, but I'll definitely be posting updates on my twitter account: @TPumpkins. I will also be carrying my Nintendo 3DS around so see if you get a Street Pass from me!

To everyone going to Comic-Con, I wish you a safe an enjoyable time!