Overhaul from My Hero Academia / Cosplay by dat_ashe_cos
For me, cosplay was one of the few instances where I experienced gender euphoria. I get misgendered so frequently in my day-to-day life, no matter how much work I put into deepening my voice, wearing my binders, wearing suits and ties, I still get ma’am’d at my “normie” job and it hurts. Most days I feel like just disappearing, not going to lie.
Cosplay gave me one of my first instances of gender euphoria. I get gendered correctly 90% of the time and it feels incredible.
I will still never forget the time where, from over 15 meters away on stage, a comedian at a con asked my significant other if I was their boyfriend while I was in my Overhaul cosplay from My Hero Academia. The sheer elation I felt still makes me grin to this day and it will always be my favourite cosplay because of that. I am a guy, and cosplay helps me feel comfortable with my body, even when dysphoria is kicking me in the gut.
At a convention in Houston in August of 2021, I was on a panel with several other trans and nonbinary cosplayers and we were talking about our experiences as trans and nonbinary cosplayers during said panel. I will never forget how many people came up to us afterwards and spoke to us about how comforting it was to see cosplayers like us talk about our experiences.
I will never forget this 13yr old coming up to me and asking me for advice on binders and on coming out to his loved ones and, if his family didn’t accept him, if he would find a family in the cosplay community. We were both crying by the end of the conversation.
For any LGBTQ+ creators who may feel like their work passes under the radar. You matter. Representation matters. There are many cosplayers who never see themselves represented at cons. Become the representation you want to see and keep fighting to be seen. You’ll never know how much it means to someone that you exist.
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