Dear Night Vale Citizens,
If you think skin color and racial identity should be a hot-button issue in a fandom where the entire premise involves image taking a backseat to imagination then you really need to go fuck yourself.
I’ve received my fair share of shit for my skin color and my heritage. Being half white and half Colombian isn’t a walk in the fucking park. I’ve gotten shit from the most ignorant of both sides, and you know what pisses me off most? Someone being made to feel like they can’t do something that makes them happy because of the body they were born in.
I just literally scrolled through a tumblr post of a great Carlos cosplay by a girl who said she wishes her skin wasn’t so light, because then maybe she could actually take that cosplay to a con.
Miss, if you happen to be reading this, then don’t let your race stop you from being the best Carlos you can be. Go to all the fucking cons and never allow anyone to guilt you out of expressing yourself.
One of my favorite regulars at AnimeNEXT is an african-american male who cosplays as Inu-Yasha(He, as well as the majority of AnimeNEXT regulars lovingly refer to him as Nigger-Yasha).
Would my white side have felt offended if he came to the con with lightened skin to better fit the canon appearance? No, although it would have probably looked way off and I would prefer he just do it the way he always has. Do I feel like the thought may have ever crossed his mind that his cosplay wouldn’t have been accepted because of his skin color? I’m sure at one point it had and he chose to do it anyway.
Imagine if female crossplayers got shit from men everytime they bound their breasts or wore makeup resembling facial hair for a cosplay?
Imagine all the plus size cosplayers who get shit for going to a con as a skinnier character because they don’t feel like limiting themselves to cosplaying as one of the handful of fat characters in games/anime/movies/tv shows.
You may shout “No, this is different.” It is not. You are showing these people the same discrimination that scars your past and present.
Have you ever thought about how people envision their cosplay before they set out to make it a reality? How they might be thinking, “This could be the most beautiful perfect Carlos anyone at any con may ever see. If only I could make this happen.”?
It’s quite different to smearing one’s face with shoe polish and playing a banjo while singing Alabammy Mammy, in an attempt to make the people they’re impersonating look ignorant and inferior.
Drag queens don’t impersonate women to slander them, they do it out of admiration for female beauty, among many more flattering reasons. Just because they have not faced the trials and troubles that your everyday average female faces, does not mean that they have no right to put the wig on and be fucking fabulous fierce bitches.
Blackface is dead, and even if it isn’t, it is not seeing a new renaissance in this nor any fandom. The only prejudice I see from where I stand is from the outraged “PoC”s. Yeah, seriously that shit is fucking old. These white boys and girls are not your enemies. They didn’t buy slaves, or make racist propaganda cartoons or make you drink from a different fountain in the 1950’s. They’ve done nothing except try to love the same thing you do in the same way you might. And you’ve told them that they can’t.
Well pardon me if that doesn’t sound racist.
Seriously, you guys are more fucked than the clocks.
-Carlos S. K.
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