Toronto’s annual Comic Con is taking place this weekend and, just like every year, it’s guaranteed to be packed to the gills with enthusiastic fans, large crowds and talented cosplayers showing off their amazing outfits.
It’s important to remember that just because someone is dressed up, there is no excuse to touch or photograph them without their express consent. Sexual harassment is a big issue in the cosplay community, as convention-goers tend to disrespect boundaries and personal space.
Many conventions—including Toronto Comic Con—are promoting the ‘Cosplay is Not Consent’ campaign, which aims to make people more aware of respectful etiquette. Conventions should be a safe space to have fun and show appreciation for the things you love, not an event where you should fear unwanted contact or photography.
The mistreatment and abuse of cosplayers extends to online contact as well. Many have to put up with crude comments and sexual harassment even within the comfort of their own home.
If you want to learn more about the issue, check out this RSJ Radio podcast published around the time of Toronto Comic Con last year. Though it was recorded in 2017, the points made are still as relevant as ever.