Here’s my take on Harley Quinn from the first Suicide Squad film, which was my first cosplay ever.
I chose this to challenge myself because I’m asexual & transmasculine with a lot of trauma regarding being sexually objectified in a feminine way. Also, I’m afraid of cameras/performing/attention and such things so I started modelling as a way to work through these issues. I just did this for fun/therapeutic reasons, but it yielded monetary results, new friends, and rad experiences as well as a trip to Boston, put up in a hotel with my partner at the time, and access to a bunch of new games.
I’m glad I did it, but from that experience alone, I decided I didn’t want to be a professional cosplayer or model or streamer or basically anything like that. I kinda like to keep my work and play separated so that I never lose my inspiration to create because PDA makes it tough for me to do things that are obligatory, even if I enjoy the activity or find it rewarding or something. It’s just too draining for me otherwise cos of my chronic pain & fatigue issues.
Frankly, I was incredibly uncomfortable in this cosplay and whenever I’d wear it somewhere, I’d end up wrapping the jacket around my waist to try to “cover up” cos I didn’t like people staring at me, despite how very “LOOK AT ME” the outfit/cosplay screams. I think that’s sort of why I chose it. I like to challenge myself, but sometimes unpleasant consequences happen as a result.
I seriously love the Banner Saga games & cannot recommend them enough. The development team is a bunch of lovely, awesome people as well & I’m still friends with a few of them today.
It was a really cool experience meeting all of these really talented professional cosplayers, too. I felt like a total imposter around them cos my costumes were so simple compared to theirs. I was pretty in awe that I had the opportunity to work alongside such amazing people. I’ll always be grateful for this opportunity.
One of my favorite memories from this experience was the first time I was streaming the first Banner Saga game, the creative director of Stoic Studio, Arnie Jorgensen, turned up and was chatting with me while I played the game. I had no idea who he was, but one of my viewers was like, “Oh hey, are you ARNIE?” I felt really dumb, but then immediately super honored that he had taken the time to come check out my stream. I ended up having such a great time playing those games. They were seriously moving, gorgeous, and genuinely fun to play. Hands down, they’ll always be one of my favorite video game series.
I chose to be a Moon Godlike original character from the Pillars of Eternity game series because I thought they were so ethereal, otherworldly, and ominous. I chose to do extremes, exaggerating the features with extra dark skin coloring that’s unnatural and I added shimmer to make it iridescent in the light so I didn’t seem human. I chose to be darker than their character creation features allowed for because I always like to create characters that are “outsiders” for some reason, maybe because that’s always how I’ve felt.
People at PAX East got really stunned by this cosplay. They’d literally stop walking and stare at me and ask to take photos of me. They said it was REALLY creepy/intimidating, which was cool, but I could barely see with the white out contacts. Thankfully, my partner just led me around the convention through the throngs of people.
It was cool because I got to be Oddleif the first day and then my OC who I named Indulekha (Moon in Sanskrit) the second day and the people at the Versus Evil booth didn’t recognize me in the moon godlike costume. They were like WOAH when I said it was me. That was a really fun experience.
If I didn’t have to make my own costumes, I might be more into the idea of being a professional model or cosplayer, but only if I can do androgynous or masculine looks most of the time. I’m kinda over playing “feminine roles” since they don’t feel comfortable or natural to me. Regardless, it was still a great experience to get to appear as an image of someone I feel is way more badass than my real life self. That’s the beauty of roleplaying games, cosplay, and all that fun nerdy stuff I love to do, but preferably with less stress & more help as a disabled person with fine motor skill issues, demand avoidance, chronic fatigue, & executive dysfunction!