What can I say? I had a blast. Though parts of it was really stressful.
I didn’t totally finish my costume, actually I had an emotional breakdown the morning of because of not finishing everything I wanted to. I stressed myself out, made myself sick. And I cried. For a good 10 minutes, I cried. My friends were so confused and didn’t know how to react. I was miserable because no ones costume was finished and everyone was so stressed. I just wanted to dress up and have fun with my friends. I got so caught up that I forgot why I cosplay in the first place.
I walked to the convention. Eyes red, mother on the phone trying to cheer me up, heart in my stomach feeling like things were just going to get worse. Some of the volunteers actually saw how miserable I was, I explained the situation and they understood wholeheartedly. They’d all been there before.
About an hour went by and the con was in full swing. And people started recognizing who I was cosplaying as. I was met with smiles and sweet comments on quite a few occasions. Though there were multiple times throughout the convention that parts of my costume broke….
Then the most memorable moment of my cosplay career happened. I was about to leave the con, to go and get ready for my performance in the Vagina Monologues, when one of the volunteers caught my attention. They told me that someone had been looking for me, talking about me a lot. It caught me off guard, I already ran into everyone I knew. Who else would be looking for me? With further explanation, it became clear. They were looking for me because they were a fan of RWBY, the series that the character I was cosplaying as was from. I agreed to come along, figuring they just want a picture or they were just going to be let down because of some self deprecating reason. To my surprise, when I entered the room I was met with a boy who was sitting on the floor, his hands on his face, a huge smile appeared, his eyes lit up with joy, the purest expression of awe. He exclaimed that he was so happy that he got to see me, I was the first Ruby cosplayer he’d seen. He was overjoyed (and of course asked for a picture, which I was ok with). I couldn’t believe it. He said he wanted to cosplay another character but wasn’t able to make the costume in time, didn’t have the money for it. I understood and decided to make him a promise.
“How about I cosplay Ruby again next year? That way you can make Jaune, and we can take a picture together.”
He was ecstatic, agreeing to it in a heartbeat. I smiled, nodded, then told him to not forget and have a good rest of con. I quickly used the hot glue gun and left. I just kept running the scenario over and over again in my head. I still couldn’t believe it. It didn’t matter that I was black, it didn’t matter that my costume wasn’t complete, just seeing that I cosplayed that character made him that happy. I felt like crying tears of joy (but of course I couldn’t, wearing makeup and all that jazz), for years I had gotten backlash for cosplaying characters that weren’t my skin tone or my body type. But this boy didn’t care about any of that. I was dressed like her, acted like her, and that’s all that matter. And you know what? I had fun.
That’s what I had forgotten earlier that day. I cosplay to have fun, to bring joy to other fans, to pay homage to the series. I don’t do it to be accurate, I don’t do it to please elitist. I will try my best to never forget this again. And if I do, I will look back to this post.
4632 people showed up, but one person made my entire day.