Crossplaying: A Form of Self-Expression and a Way to Have Fun

A wonderful trend that people misunderstand.

At the college I attend, the majority of students are members of the LGBT community, myself included. There are some students who completely know who they are, while others are simply curious, and are experimenting. Either way, it is a very open-minded place.

Sadly, the world as a whole is not as open-minded a place, with some countries such as Russia continuing to be especially homophobic. Even in countries such as the United States, which claims to be a land of equal opportunity, people continue to face prejudice and discrimination for their sexual identity, and/or, their sexual preferences.

With these open minded thoughts in place, let's talk about cosplaying!

Cosplaying is both a great form of self-expression, as well as just being a way to have a lot of fun. It's something a lot of my friends and I do, and we always have a great time. However, as seems to be the case with any form of entertainment, there is a dark side to cosplaying.

Often, people, usually trolls, will come up to cosplayers, and point out everything wrong with how they look, or just make other rude comments.

Frequent victims of this verbal abuse are crossplayers. Crossplayers, for those unaware, are people who cosplay as characters who are of a different gender than them.

Both in person and online, I see crossplayers taking mountains of abuse just for dressing up as a character they love, who just happens to have different reproductive organs and hormones.

Something quite sad is that I've met a number of people who, while usually accepting of the LGBT community, still look down upon crossplayers.

Now, I am a member of the LGBT community, but not everyone who crossplays is. There are an abundance of crossplayers out there who don't care about gender at all, and just want to have some fun.

Sadly, a double standard seems to have been set. In more cases than not, I find that while the average male attending a convention will have no problem with a woman dressing as a male character, if a man has the audacity to dress as a female character, they'll receive disdainful looks and harsh remarks in response to their hard work.

Good cosplay require a lot of time, effort, and money. And for most of us, it's just a form of recreation. While I'm usually the first person to call this statement out as outdated, this is definitely one case of, "if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all."

The world is filled with problems, and unfortunately, wide spread homophobia isn't going to stop for many, many years. In my eyes, the very least we can do is allow crossplayers to enjoy themselves at conventions. Either way you look at it, when you're cosplaying, you're not really yourself anyway.

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For anyone curious, some of the cosplays I've done are of: Kazuma Kuabara from "Yu Yu Hakusho," Cassandra Cain from DC Comics, and I'm currently working on a cosplay of Kyoko Sakura from "Puella Magi Madoka Magica."

Published Jan. 15th 2017

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