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Unread 06-27-2015, 05:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Should I start genderbending instead of crossplaying?

So, I crossplayed as Wirt from Over the Garden Wall this May, and I think my mom and nana (grandma) kinda got weirded out because I wanted to cosplay as a boy and not a girl, but I reassured them that i love being a girl, cause it's true, and I was just cosplaying him and didn't feel a need to change his gender to fit mine, they both made faces but didn't say anything mean or offensive, but I don't know, it made me feel both uncomfortable and mad about their reactions, and I don't want them to feel more weirded out if I plan to do it more in the future, and I'm kinda thinking about it, I plan to cosplay some female characters too, but idk, should I just change all my cosplays to fit a female from now on? Thanks
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Unread 06-27-2015, 06:04 PM   #2
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Awww, I love Over the Garden Wall! And to be honest, that's actually a character I see more girls cosplay than guys for some weird reason (Of course, that's just my own experience).

I don't crossplay myself, but that's a personal preference on my behalf. I actually prefer genderbending because I just find it more fun to build a cosplay around a concept. But that's just what makes me feel comfortable. My philosophy, and the attitude of a lot of cosplayers in this community, is that it doesn't matter who you're cosplaying as long as you both enjoy the character and feel comfortable cosplaying the character (ie: showing the amount of skin that you feel comfortable with, being comfortable with your skill level when constructing the cosplay if you choose to make it yourself, etc.)

My question to you is, do you enjoy the character? Do YOU personally feel comfortable AS the character (and let's pretend that your mother and grandmother are out of the equation for just a moment)? If so, then go for it!
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Unread 06-27-2015, 09:04 PM   #3
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You do you. If you are happiest crossplaying rather than genderbending, then do it! Cosplay is YOUR hobby and passion, not theirs. Don't shy away from doing something just because others judge you for it. I know it's difficult since they're people who are very close to you but as people who should love you and support you regardless they should at least accept your decision to do so, whether they agree or not. You'll be a much happier person living for yourself rather than others, or at least that's what I believe. I know it's hard though, my mom severely disapproves of my sister and my obsession with anime/cosplaying/video games and all the money we spend on it. But in the end it's our lives and we should spend our time doing what makes us happy.
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Unread 06-27-2015, 10:47 PM   #4
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I agree with Yujin. Cosplay should always be about yourself, not what others will do and think about you. If you wanna crossplay, go for it! Your family members are important, but you should do what makes you happy, not what you think will make them happy. If their relationship with you is healthy, they'll just be happy that you've found something that makes you so happy.

I cosplay and crossplay, and while it obviously weirds out my family, they also are proud of the craftsmanship and hard work I put into it and are happy that I've found something I enjoy. Hell, my mom posted pictures of me in cosplay on her Facebook (despite me asking her not to... :/) and while my extended family didn't really understand why I was dressed up all crazy, they were glad I was having fun. Also, they enjoyed pointing out that I looked like Andy Warhol in my Kaneki costume.
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Unread 06-27-2015, 11:12 PM   #5
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It really depends on your personal preference and what you're comfortable with. Do you want to crossplay or genderbend? You don't have to do one all the time for every character. If you want to crossplay one character, but genderbend another one, that's fine. It's whatever your personal preference is.
Myself, I crossplay rather than genderbend, but that's just my personal preference. My nana has a similar reaction as your nana and mom when I talk about crossplaying. She doesn't really understand why I want to crossplay as a guy, or why I cosplay at all. Some people just don't understand it, and that may be the case with your nana and mom. Don't let others affect who and how you want to cosplay. Do what makes you comfortable and what is fun to you.
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Unread 06-28-2015, 09:56 PM   #6
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Don't worry. If your favourite character is male then crossplay them and if they are a female cosplay them.
I had this problem when I first tried to cosplay and the first character I wanted to do was male. My dad was worried I wanted to be a guy. He didn't understand why I wanted to dress as a guy. I explained it to him in as simple terms that I could think of.
In theatre often a girl will play male roles but they dont want to be a man, they are just playing the role. I explained to my father I was basically doing the same thing. The character I was playing was male, so of course I did him as a male.

I'm not a fan of genderbending (my own preference) so I wasn't going to make my favourite characters female just because someone thought I wanted to be a guy - which is the farthest thing from the truth. He accepted it and that was back in 2011. I have still only cosplayed males to this day and he has no problem with it.
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Unread 06-28-2015, 10:21 PM   #7
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Just tell them that you don't see a problem with crossplaying, and the majority of other cosplayers don't. Do what you want and they'll come around to the idea eventually.
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Unread 06-28-2015, 10:21 PM   #8
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I don't think you should change a character's gender unless you want to.
Accuracy is my metric for success for cosplay, and that involves the original character. I can still apply the metric to a crossplay, but a genderbend changes the original reference, so I am less interested in viewing a genderbend than a crossplay.
I'm also absolutely terrible at crossing genders, so I leave it to people who are more skilled than I am.

As much as I want to encourage you to disregard their reactions and follow your heart with devotion and pride, I know that they're your family. It would be just as hard for me to live with their discomfort and know I caused it. So instead, I hope that you will not change a costume plan to suit them, but rather select a different cosplay if you must.

But please be yourself. It makes you someone outstanding, and we have enough forgettable, mediocre people in the world already.
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Unread 06-29-2015, 08:29 AM   #9
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My parents were weirded out by me wanting to crossplay at first too but they were also weirded out by cosplay in general to start with. While cosplay is getting more and more mainstream, it's still a bit strange and there will be parts people who aren't used to it wont understand, all you can do is explain and hope they understand or at least, eventually get used to it.
As has been said many times in the thread, cosplay is for you. I would never genderbend a character because I like dressing as a dude on occasion, others would never crossplay and prefer to genderbend cause crossdressing isn't for them, it's all just us fulfilling our personal urges to spend hundreds of dollars dressing like a fictional character for a day or two. Make yourself happy.
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Unread 06-29-2015, 01:26 PM   #10
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Ignore the haters. Do what you want.
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