I am permanently disabled and have been for many years.
I am also a costumer and cosplayer.
Sometimes I use my mobility aids in my costumes. Sometimes I don’t. People forget that when you see a photo of a cosplayer it is just a split second in time. You can’t judge that person by that photo. You have no idea what they’re dealing with on a regular basis. You don’t know their life.
There is such a thing as an invisible disability. There is no way to tell how sick or in how much pain someone may be in by looking. You should never tell someone who tells you that they are disabled ‘But you look fine to me! You NEVER seem sick!’ We are very good at hiding our pain to avoid stressing other people out. We also want to live our lives without constantly having to reassure others that we are okay. We HAVE to fight the pain just to accomplish our goals. Sometimes we may need help, but let us ask you first.
Disabled people do not exist to provide inspiration for able bodied people. It’s nice for your work to be appreciated for what it is, but it is demeaning to be told by an able bodied person that my every day life of dealing with pain that they will never experience, inspires them to do something creatively. Let my work inspire you. My body and illness is not your inspiration.
Other people’s medical history is NOT your business. You don’t have the right to demand someone’s diagnosis just because you are curious. If it is important to that person for you to know, they will tell you.
I’m posting this because people were asking about my health and disability status. And that is okay! What’s not okay is insisting that I never seem sick, when you don’t know me outside of a few moments at a convention, or off the photos you see on the internet. Cosplay photos are not real life. This should be obvious, but just in case some folks did not realize it, here it is. MESSAGE!
Coming from a fellow disabled person, I’m inspired by the respect you have for others, and for yourself. You use your obvious intelligence in a productive, kind, and unfortunately rare way. Thank you for that.
Also, I’m interested in hearing a bit more about incorporating mobility aids into cosplays. As it stands, I’ve been subconsciously limiting myself to characters with canes/wheelchairs, or right-leg amputees.
I enjoy seeing your work on my dash, because you’re a very talented person. Your work is incredible.
Thank you very much! I tried sending you an ask but it seems your inbox is closed. You asked me about incorporating mobility aids into costumes.
I give a character some sort of staff or long weapon even if they don’t usually have one, just so that I have something to lean on. Or I work a fancy cane into the costume, or just use my regular cane even if the character didn’t have one in the show/book/movie. I don’t think it’s worth the stress of being without a mobility aid if you need one, and I don’t think it takes away from the costume if the person wearing it has a visible disability. I completely understand the decision to only cosplay as disabled characters if that makes you more comfortable.
I’m looking forward to using my wheelchair in a costume next month. Being at conventions is stressful enough as it is, we should all be able to enjoy our hobby without adding to the anxiety by prioritizing how other people may see us, over our own comfort.