Costumes are not consent! I’ll be posting these signs at my table at upcoming cons, and hopefully they’ll start people thinking and talking about con harassment.
As someone who’s been going to cons since she was a young teenager, I’ve seen some terrible stuff. I think everyone has at least one story of feeling harassed, catcalled, followed, touched inappropriately, or made to feel uncomfortable by their fellow congoers — and it only gets worse for cosplayers.
When I was thirteen (thirteen!!), I was asked to sit on a middle-aged man’s lap. He was a vendor at all the local cons, well-known for being a bit of a cad. I did it because he was charismatic and I was thirteen and convinced of my own invulnerability, but I look back on it now and remember that sick feeling of something not being right at all. I wish I’d told him what he could do with himself and his room parties, but I didn’t know I could. I hope this sign helps remind someone that they have the right to be treated with respect, and to not be embarrassed to tell someone they’re being inappropriate.
Serious issues aside, SFU Summerfest is tomorrow! I also got a last-minute table at Anime Revolution, at the Vancouver Convention Centre August 17-19. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!
[edit: I forgot to add, though I had intended to when I posted this, that the original idea for ‘costumes are not consent!’ is from a very wonderful group of people over at CONvergence Con!]