I was recently featured on The Daily Dot as one of 5 cosplayers from Dragon Con to follow on Instagram. It is enormously flattering to be picked out of the thousands of costumes at such a huge convention filled with incredible skill and talent. While I was prancing about in my fame-based reverie, though, someone pointed out there were some similarities between the five that showed up on the list.
Now I’m not going to call foul on the Dot. It’s not that any of the people on that short list didn’t deserve to be there. They’re all brilliant and skilled and worthy of recognition. However, their list implies a lack of diversity in cosplay that just doesn’t exist.
Cosplayers at conventions are one of the most eclectic groups of people you will ever encounter. They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, colours and abilities. However, a casual search online would make you believe that the only people to put on a costume are young, white, conventionally attractive women. Hell, it looks like I only made the list by dressing as a princess and standing next to an attractive woman.
As I have been given a momentary podium from which to shout, I feel obliged to draw your attention to some other cosplayers from Dragon Con 2016 at least as worthy of your attention. It is by no means a comprehensive or even carefully curated list, it’s just people that I happened to encounter at Dragon Con that fell a little outside mainstream coverage.
Camille is a brilliant cosplayer. She plays with a variety of materials and styles and is both brilliant and delightful in person.
Jay is a formidable costumer. Clever, versatile, and outspoken, she may already be too famous for this list, but it would be shameful not to include her.
Brandon the Shapeshifter
Brandon the aptly named Shapeshifter is a delight every time I run across him at Dragon Con. He is all-in on every costume I’ve ever seen him in, and hugely varied in what he tries.
Queen Nyota Cosplay
There’s nothing I like more than a cosplayer with range. Nyota jumps genres, crossplays and genderbends, and her costumes are always impeccable.
Dahshan Aka Myami Royale
I ran into Dashan at the X-Men photoshoot and he had a show-stealing Sunspot costume. Dug him up on Instagram and there’s much more to his costuming portfolio. It turns out I ran into him three times in different costumes.