Recently, my wife and her friends have been really getting into cosplay. They’re super-talented craftspeople, so they’re having a blast creating these killer costumes and going to conventions, letting their nerd flag fly. I’m a big Star Wars fan myself, so I get it.
There’s been all kinds of posts about how accepting the cosplay is to all kinds of people. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like: if you’ve got a cardboard box, some tool, and a bit of imagination, you’re in.
Only, that’s not entirely true. I just listened to an interview with top cosplayer, Yaya Han. If anyone knows anything about the scene, it’s her. And she the first one to attest that there’s all kinds of judgements going on in that weird and wonderful world. The ones that most fit the bill get harassed by photographers and fans (say it with me: “Cosplay is NOT CONSENT!”), and the ones that are just starting out get judged for not quite looking the part.
It’s unfortunate, but I understand.
You see, I’m a Christian. I’ve been one for a long time. When you first join the faith, everything is all love and “everybody’s welcome.” Then you get in the doors and you see all kinds of messed up stuff. Stuffed shirts and pew trolls lurking among those just trying to do their best for the Big Man Upstairs.
That said, if you’re looking for the perfect place, you’ll probably never find it- mostly, cuz there are people there… and you’re one of them. But both groups have a lot to offer, if you stick around long enough to find out. So, stop searching. Drop anchor, engage, and make a difference.
Side note: Relevant Magazine also posted a lovely article this morning comparing geek and church cultures. Definitely worth a gander!