How Included Should White People Be in Black or POC Events and Conventions?

If you are reading this article, I suspect that there is a 60% chance that you are reading this because you are a POC, and if you are, an 80% that your mind has been on the BlerdCon 2021 Cosplay Contest.  I have to admit that this was the main reason I wrote this article, but this matter has been on my mind. 

Before I get I get into that, I wanted to say something.  I’m sure that some of you may be wondering why Black or POC organisations/institutions are even a concept.  Rather than preaching to the those that know, you can click here, and see my handy dandy supplementary crash history course.  The rest of you, keep on reading.

The cosplayer that won the BlerdCon 2021 Cosplay Contest is a White cosplayer who is known as Knight @ princess dress sewing (knightshade94) on Twitter.  She went to BlerdCon 2021 with some friends who encouraged her to enter.  She was hesitant to, because she understood the nature of BlerdCon.  Despite this, she entered as the main protagonist from Cardcaptor Sakura, with a costume she claimed was at least 80% handmade.  She is shown below.

Photograph Courtesy of ManaKnight Photography

In an upset, Knight @ princess dress sewing won against her POC fellows.

Besides the very obvious controversy of a White person winning a contest in a convention meant to celebrate Black nerd culture, it was argued by many attendees that her “80%” handmade cosplay was not, and was completely store bought.  Upon looking at pictures, in my opinion, not only does it appear to be, but the quality is low, and the condition, wrinkled.

Here is the contestant that many attendees said should have won.

Here are some that were considered close competitors.  In regards to all pictures, you be the judge

 

 

When she won, Knight @ princess dress sewing had this to say about the audience’s reaction.

BlerdCon takes this position as to their objective or reason for it’s creation.

And this is how they feel about their cosplay contest.

From this, you can see that even if all races are allowed to enter, there was still a legitimate concern as to the winner’s eligibility if her costume was store bought. 

I don’t know if an investigation was made, and I do not know how much professional cosplay scrutiny was given before the contest.  From what I heard many of the judges did not even have any professional background in cosplay, so it may have not been as if Kamui Cosplay or Yaya Han had examined and stress tested the costumes and props, if that was the case.

I would like to know these things for sure, rather than say what I’ve read or heard, but there seems to be a blackout about this subject.

I have tried to ask people and parties that were there, even the winner, but nobody directly involved wants to talk. 

I have put up posts in many of my Black and POC geek/nerd/otaku/cosplay forums asking for attendees to let me know what happened for this article, and admins/mods either rejected or erased them. 

As a people, these are subjects that we would not have shied away from as few as 20 years ago, but I guess the few of us that have connections and/or make money in this business do not want to “rock the boat.”   

I know for a fact that I am not alone in getting silenced on the subject, and groups have put up pinned posts threatening action if this subject is discussed…

However…I have digressed from the overall subject of this article:  How included should White people be in Black and POC events and conventions?  I think the motivation and the passion behind the reasons that we make our spaces to share our creativity is the defining factor.  It is a the outcome of a combination and balance of many strong feelings and reasons. 

What are the factors?  It is our sense of frustration, anger, and offense at feeling the need to even have to create the space.  It is our sense of justice and revenge that we may feel for originally being excluded.  It is the sense of power of knowing that we can now do unto others as we feel has been done to us.

Then again, it is also tempered.  It is the healing from the satisfaction in being able to create something that others wish to be a part of.  It is any sympathy or mercy we might have earned in being the excluded, and not wanting others to feel the same way.  It is an aspiration to be better than the people that do exclude us.  It is the desire to erase old offenses, heal old wounds, and move on.

For the record, Knight @ princess dress sewing updated her position on her win.  I could not find out the motivation, as she would not respond.

How does this end?  I really don’t know.  The best I can do is tell you what I think, and that’s if an organisation has the need to create a space because of exclusion, while I don’t think other people shouldn’t be able to attend and enjoy it, I also don’t think they should be able to enter any competitions, either.

I think if the space grows to the the point that everyone of good nature wants to be a part of it, and the creators want everybody to fully participate, then I think that they need to change the name, objective(s), and purpose of that space.  Make it official.  In my opinion, anything else goes against the spirit of why that space was created.  It loses it’s purpose.  It’s just another convention.  There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s the natural evolution, but don’t stand up and proudly proclaim “We are a safe space for Black nerds” if in that same breath you continue “…and everybody else!”

If that’s the case, how are you any different from MomoCon or Anime Weekend Atlanta?  I’m sure if you call up any convention, they will promise all of the same things that BlerdCon does, now.  (I can personally vouch for the two that I mentioned.)  They will claim to be an all-embracing safe space for fans of all colour, orientations, creeds, and religion.  The only thing they won’t say is that they are not suggestively exclusive, just by name alone.

 

Please be sure to Like our main page, too.  Just click here.  -HERETICPRIME

Convention Flirting (A How-to Guide by Erocosplayer Gumiho Hannya)

A while back I wrote a full Up and Coming Cosplayer feature on Gumiho Hannya, an erocosplayer.  In the process, I think we have developed an internet acquaintance, so I asked her if she would like to write for the site.  She expressed concern at having time to do so, which is no surprise as she has constant shooting, costuming, and Patreon obligations for her international following.  She did, however ask me that if she somehow could write one article for All Cool Things™, what would it be about.  I immediately suggested, “How to Hit on Cosplayers without Being a Fuckboi,” and she said that she liked it…Imagine my surprised when a couple of weeks later she said she wrote the article!

Now, Gumi is not staff, and does not have an account here, but she did write the article below, not me, HERETICPRIME.  I just uploaded it, added some pictures, and minimally edited it, and by that I mean that I changed a “TM” to “™.” All spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, I left as is, because I think that she is just so darn cute, and I that it’s a part of her charm…even the weird half upside quotation marks that her word processor uses.

Well, enough of me.  I’m sure you want to learn how one of the sexiest, nicest, most fanservicing erocosplayers personally tells YOU how to let a cosplayer know that you like her. (Oh, if there are any male cosplayers that would like to make one for the ladies, <Yeah, like they need it!> please contact us!  We’d love to publish it!)

Oh yeah, and if you liked the pictures used in this article, each and every one, and many more were in Gumiho’s Cosplayer Score Card, Interview, and Pictorial.  Check them out if you haven’t already!

So I was asked to write about the topic, and I quote „What’s the best way to hit on a cosplayer at the con, and not be a total fuckboi?“ and I thought the topic was interesting to write about, so here we gooo:

As in all situations where you might think „hey this person there seems interesting, I wanna try my luck“ you need to consider the following: 1. Does the context of the situation allow flirting? 2. Does the person wants to be flirted with. 3. Would I want to be hit on by myself? I’m gonna ellaborate these, don’t worry. And if I sound like I’m about to write an essay for school, yeah that’s pretty much the last time I wrote, but I promise I’ll try to make it less dull.

So, if you’re at a convention (yes those things that existed ages ago and in my dreams they will exist again one day IRL), the chance that a cosplayer wants to be flirted with, is already pretty low. They are not zero and in some cases you might even meet your player number 2 but they are low. Why?

Well for instance, most cosplayers don’t want to be crushed on based on their cosplay. Let’s say, you’re cosplaying Tifa and there’s this really cute guy who hits on you at a convention. Is he hitting on you cause he dreams of having the snu snu with his childhood waifu (most cosplayers do NOT want to fulfill you that fantasy) or does he actually want to talk to YOU, the real person? Hard to tell.

And also, let me tell you right now, if your plan actually includes having the snu snu with your childhood/anime crush waifu, drop it right now. Unless you’re in a longterm relationship with a cosplayer who does cosplay porn, there’s no way any cosplayer would have sex in their expensive cosplay and potentially ruin it.

But as mentioned earlier, the chances AREN’T zero. Especially if you’re actually looking for something long term. I mean, the overall context is probably even in your favor. If you’re both at a convention, the chances that you have at least one anime in common you can talk about, is high. Or that you’re both into the same game or movie show.

So, you actually talked to that cute girl over there sipping on some bubble tea. Now let’s talk about consent and genuine interest.

Is she smiling when talking to you, touching her hair, asking you questions back, moving a little closer?

→ You can continue talking to her. She might also just be nice though. Don’t get angry when you confused basic politeness with flirting please.

Is she answering in very short sentences, or even moving a bit back from you?

→ Respect that she’s not into you, say goodbye politely and move on. She might already be seeing someone, or she doesn’t want to date anyone right now or is simply not interested. All of these possibilities are very much real and you can be the most friendly and handsome dude there is, and there’s still gonna be girls out there who just aren’t into you, same as there’s always gonna be guys who don’t like Megan Fox. (idk if that’s true actually but you get my point) And that’s okay.

What do most people like? Talking about themselves. Yes, there I said it. Asking people questions is a great way of both showing your (hopefully genuine) interest and giving you sympathy points. Avoid talking a lot about yourself or giving unsolicied advice. Also, if you find out you’re both playing the same video game, don’t offer to boost her, it’s lowkey insulting. Instead ask if you can play together sometime.

There, you made a human connection. It’s up to your evolving interpersonal relationship how things will develop. The most vital advice I can give is: Don’t be a nice guy™. What’s a nice guy™? A guy who thinks „being nice“ is a personality trait and that being a „good friend“ (aka only being „friends“ with someone cause you’re hoping to get some) should be rewarded with snu snu and in the end, often turns out to be the opposite of nice when facing a rejection. Being rejected is part of life, happens to everyone.

Remember how I said at the start you should ask yourself if you’d want to be hit on by yourself? Yeah, I meant that. It goes for both looks and personality. See something in the mirror you don’t like? Everyone can look decent with a little effort. Get a haircut, a nicely trimmed beard or clean shave, skin care, buy a gym membership and some good clothes. Learn to like yourself, and you will radiate confidence. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Confidence is sexy. Just don’t be an arrogant douchebag.

Do you have more than one hobby? Stuff you can talk about? Ambitions? Ambitions are crazy hot to have, and this is not a joke, repeat, not a joke. Something you’re passionate about, that you’re working and aiming for in life. And obviously, don’t be an asshole. Practice speaking loud and clearly. Yes, works wonders.

Okay and there’s one more thing and I’ll shut up I swear: Every person is DIFFERENT. Yes, there is no definite guide to talking to women/cosplayers whatever. Sure, some things, like, don’t be an asshole are good general rules, but in reality, there is no magic key that will make every person fall in love with you or even make them like you. If that were the case, everyone would know about it already. You gotta get out there and treat everyone slightly different based on what you find out/recognize about them.

Okay, actually, I take that back, don’t go out there RIGHT NOW. You know, stay inside, stay safe, stay sane if possible and let’s pray conventions will happen at some point in our lives again, preferably before I turn fifty, hope this essay/text/guide??/thingie??? was helpful or at least somewhat entertaining to read,

Your Gumi

PS: English isn’t my native language so if you find any grammar errors or typos…s-sorry?

Keep them b-baka!

PPS: I am not in any way AT ALL trying to say that my opinion is perfect or „right“, other people might disagree with what I have to say and that’s okay, take it all with a grain of salt please.

 

Please be sure to Like our main page, too.  Just click here.  -HERETICPRIME

Momocon Officially Canceled.

Momocon 2020

Earlier today, Momocon’s officials have canceled this year’s event. The annual cosplay convention, which celebrates gaming, anime, and other nerd culture, will miss its first event since its conception in 2005. Held in Atlanta, GA, Momocon takes place every year at the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Hotel.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the convention will be canceled until next year. While Momocon previously announced the event would be postponed, this update outlines the full cancellation. If you signed up for the event or registered for anything, please refer to it for any refunds.

Momocon has brought forth a wide-variety of events, including panels and gaming tournaments. The convention also hosts a massive game room. Among its tournaments include various competitive titles, like fighting games, but perhaps its most prominent claim to fame is its series of Super Smash Bros. tournaments. Beginning in 2015, the Super Smash Bros. Wii U tournament, won by Fatality, would eventually bring in more players. Each year, Momocon would pay out pot bonuses for the Top 8 players. From 2016 onward, Momocon would be attended regularly by top players, such as Nairo. This year, Momocon would have hosted a $10k pot bonus.

Smash Tournaments

In particular, Momocon has a history of hosting iconic moments in the Smash community. In 2017, Nairo faced Fatality in grand finals as both players won in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Nairo would win and become double-champion. Fatality, prior to the match, also defeated ranked #1 player ZeRo in bracket.

Nairo and Fatality would face each other once more at Momocon 2018.

Momocon 2019 also became the first S-Tier tournament in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With over 1,000 entrants, Momocon would receive the largest turnout in their own Smash history as well. The tournament would be won by MKLeo, the currently ranked #1 player, showcasing his Joker and continuing his reign of dominance.

Known as a Smash major tournament and Georgia’s largest Smash tournament, Momocon adds to a growing list of canceled tournaments. Due to its handling of multiple events, Momocon’s cancellation deals a blow to competitive gamers as well as anime fans and cosplayers looking forward to panels. Its unique focus on esports, anime, and cosplay focus brought in a record attendance of nearly 40,000 people last year. Unfortunately, as with many others, Momocon followed suit and canceled this year’s event.

Please make sure you follow procedures, stay indoors, and stay safe from possible contagions. In the meantime, continue following our news for updates on upcoming Smash tournaments, southeast cons, and updates on the Coronavirus. We’ll update you once gaming events are up and running again. We look forward to returning to conventions as much as all of you.

We’d like to hear your thoughts. If you’ve attended Momocon in the past, when did you start going? What brings you to Momocon and did you have plans to attend this year?