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Luna (Ocean City, NJ)

As a kid I used to make little costumes for the dolls. My parents would always help me make my Halloween costumes from scratch. So I was really crafty from day one. I was energetic and a handful but my parents have always supported my hobbies and choices in life. So when I got into cosplay in middle school they even took me to the fabric shops and asked friends to help me learn how to make what I wanted. Even my father would make me a sword from wood if I needed it.

I have earned so much about myself through cosplay. I was so weak and had such a lack of confidence growing up that at times it hurt me just to wake up in the morning. When I started to cosplay It really helped me meet new people and open up. It was like the costume gave me that little something extra I needed to be myself. If it wasn’t for cosplay I honestly don’t know what my life would be like right now. Its held me back in ways from advancing forward in my life but at the same time its kept me afloat for so many years. cosplay for me is very much a part of my core being.

To me, a convention is family. At times I’ll find a high balcony or overlooking pass and just people watch. I’ll be so happy that everyone is there, just enjoying it. That everyone is being, for a weekend, anything they want to be. To me it is the one of the only times I get to see most of my friends, and I cherish those weekend the most.

At NYCC one year the guy I thought Id marry soon left me for someone else via Facebook. but I got over it and still made my video shoot at 8 am that same day about an hour away. Honestly if it wasn’t for the con and all my friends there helping I would have been a mess but I refused to let anyone stop me from débuting Galacta. Maybe It sounds cold but I had better things to do that day than deal with that break up. And I’m forever grateful to the friends at the convention who helped me champ it through the day even celebrating the con at night.

Today the problem I see is that its just getting so big and unmanageable. I’m happy that more kids feel safe and comfortable coming to events and that theres a big mixing of genres lately. But when you bring so many different people into one place theres bound to be problems. Cosplay shaming because you’re black, chubby, skinny, short, whatever. Its been happening more and more lately. And I don’t see it stopping. Now that cosplay is becoming a slightly mainstream concept, were open to all kinds of hatred. I just hope the we can eventually all come together and realize “oh yeah that’s right were all her for the same thing” as far as the increasing outside influences goes, who knows what will happen.

– Luna Rahzel (Ocean City, NJ)

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