Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cosplayer, crossplayer, neutraplayer...

I'm a lady. I think there is no way I could be mistaken as a boy, but still my cosplay history is dominated by male characters. Not the most masculine men in the world, but still male. During the time I have been cosplaying, I have not used word “crossplay” to describe my hobby more than few times in the beginning. Particular term has just dropped from my vocabulary. There is an discussion on Finnish cosplay forum at, which gave me the spark to write about the matter. “Cosplay or crossplay” is the topic, where people explain why they prefer one over the other. Cosplay. com has a own section for crossplaying for international tastes.

I see crossplay as a sub category for cosplay. As a term it defines that cosplayer and her character differ gender. If someone asked me if I see myself as a cosplayer or a crossplayer, I would answer that I'm a cosplayer. I have no need or will to highlight the gender difference between me and the character I’m portraying. So somehow I'm unable to comprehend why the term crossplay is sometimes such an issue.

I’m at the age, when parents don’t really care how I present myself. Or maybe they care, but also trust that as an adult I know what I’m doing. I’ve read that some of the younger cosplayers suffer from narrow minded parents, who don’t let them dress as a member of the opposite sex. Some in these cases there might be fear of “un-normal sexuality”, which is a rather twisted idea.

I think that crossplay doesn’t create anything that isn’t there already. Crossplay might be a supporting matter or way of self-expression of sexual orientation or usually neither of these. I know many people who dress as a member of the other gender while cosplaying and sexuality plays no part at all on their hobby. Cosplayers normally understand this, but sometimes the public doesn’t and I think that is something the parents fears the most. Being labeled isn’t nice and being bullied because people’s ignorance is horrible. I bet that is something what parents have in mind, when they ban crossplaying from their young ones.

To avoid negative commentary from parents or any other direction enlarging matter doesn’t help it. Crossplay can be thrilling. Also for some it is just cosplay. People have different types of bodies and sometimes they bend better to female silhouette and sometimes male. Sometimes the favorite character just happens to be male. When you cosplay, it’s all and only about a character. Cosplay isn’t reality, which sometimes seems to be forgotten. It’s just like theater, acting a role of somebody else than you. That is why I see the term crossplay as a descriptive word, not as an competing hobby next to cosplay.

As a side note, I need to add that sometimes I just love the term, because mind games are fun! For example, one time I saw a cosplay, where a girl crossplayed a boy who was crossplaying a girl. I only have cosplayed a girl who crossdressed as a boy.

No comments:

Post a Comment