Cosplayer Luna Lanie Sheds Light on Con Harassment
There are only a few places where you can get your picture with Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and Officer Caitlyn from League of Legends in the same day; it’s supposed to be our celebratory party of our geekdom/fandom, of course we’re talking about conventions. The special time where we get to rub elbows with our favorite artists, hang out with thousands of people that share similar interests and get to take pictures of/with our favorite cosplayers. Those are the people that spend dozens upon dozens of hours perfecting their cosplay to celebrate their favorite characters or even those that buy them and excitedly show off their love for a franchise/character. It’s all about celebrating what we love, which is a shame when certain individuals quickly ruin it.
It’s weird that we even have to talk about such a thing as “con-etiquette,” as if we are in some magical world where our morals from the real world don’t carry over. It’s as if paying a handful of cash to get a wristband allows you free-reign in making decisions that wouldn’t fly in the real world. It clearly doesn’t make any sense, but it happens time and time again. Certain overzealous fans decide to look with their hands, instead of their eyes, putting a serious black eye on our celebration of fandom. But, from the cons I’ve attended, San Diego Comic Con and Stan Lee’s Comikaze, the staff has seemingly done a decent job at curtailing this as best as possible, and I feel that those touchy-feely types are indeed the minority. But, having said that, it still shouldn’t ever happen.
This past weekend our cosplaying friend Luna Lanie (check out her FB page here) attended MomoCon, which is a con that is for “Fans of Japanese Anime, American Animation, Comics, Video Games, and Tabletop Games,” as stated on the MomoCon web site. What should be a fun exciting con to show off the Officer Caiitlyn cosplay she created, turned sour due to the act of fellow con-goers. Luna was allegedly sexually harassed at the con and didn’t receive any form of retribution from the con staff. In her YouTube video, she explains that people were, “feeling, fondling, groping my face and body and places you shouldn’t do that if you do not have consent.” While the con can’t anticipate these acts, they do have the power to quell them and, if they do occur, can take action against those individuals. A simple poster can do wonders to remind people that their dumb decision won’t go unnoticed. I’m sure you’ve seen the, “Con does not mean consent” posters that have become quite popular, which many believe have done a great job to remedy the situation, could have been employed here to stop this from occurring in the first place. The con staff further, allegedly, “victim-blaming” Luna for her choice of costume is little more than disgusting.
As with any convention, it only takes a few people to turn a celebration into a toxic gathering. By being an actual human being, we can keep conventions about our fandom and not have to be forced to focus on such negativity. For those that haven’t gone to cons and want a picture of/with a cosplayer, ASK THEM. Seriously, they are there because they love the character, and so are you. In almost all cases, they’d love to get a picture with you. Just ask. It really is simple. And to all the cosplayers out there, thank you for bringing our favorite characters to life. Check out her explanation of what happened below.