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Unread 01-14-2017, 10:44 AM   #1
Mochiko
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I'm afraid of going to conventions again.

Before reading or replying, please understand that the opinions expressed here are from my experience alone. Also, my experiences are real, and I did not embellish anything or make anything up. I am not here to start a debate or quarrel with people, I'm just looking for support and advice. If you absolutely must refute any of my opinions expressed here, then please do so in a polite and educated manner. Please do not judge me based on my entertainment preferences or any of my other interests, or what I have felt about any of the situations.

About six years ago, I swore off going to conventions. I know that sounds crazy to anyone but myself, but I have several reasons why. My first convention was Anime Central in 2006, I only attended for a few hours, on one day. It was fun, and I was the host of a few panels, along with some other people. I thought it would be more fun if I went more often...

After I got expelled from college in 2008, and getting into bad breakups with some people I thought were close friends the year after, I decided to seriously prepare for conventions to make myself feel better. I went back to the same convention in May 2009. YuGiOh was my favorite fandom back then, so I really wanted to cosplay as YuGiOh characters. It went relatively smoothly, despite the fact that I went as some characters who were hated in the fandom. I tend to like everything that everyone hates. I didn't really go to many panels, I just took pictures and went to the concert and the YuGiOh photoshoot.

And then I went to Bishie Con a few months later. It wasn't run that smoothly or professionally, and a lot of the other fans were loud and said stupid things. I got a prize for my Host Club cosplay the first day during the opening ceremony. There was someone who said something rude about the character I was cosplaying as from YuGiOh, but at the time overall, I thought it was okay. I won an award for Sweetest Short Fiction in the Fanfiction contest. I went through a lot of other negative stuff that year, so that made me feel a little better.

But I didn't think that conventions could take a sharp decline until the next year.

Before ACen 2010, I posted a thread that I thought would be for fun, but another poster jumped on me, totally judging me, and called me spoiled and ungrateful to my family. Only one other person actually stayed on topic. And then I got lectured by a mod after that. The forums in general were just full of little complaints about series, gossip about fans they don't like, causing drama about sensitive issues and you couldn't refute them without being accused of being oversensitive. I left 2011, and when I went back years later, the forums still had the same types of people who caused the same drama, but no one new.

In ACen 2010, I decided to host a panel about YuGiOh, because it didn't look like there was ever a panel about it before, and I was really active in the fandom at the time. I was nervous, and there was very little communication. I didn't have a presentation ready. When I went to get my badge and get to my hotel room to prepare, there was this one girl who was dressed in Lolita, sitting, with her arms crossed, giving me a dirty look and laughed at me because she thought I was another L cosplayer from Death Note. Except I wasn't cosplaying at all, I was being myself, after I tried to finish up my other cosplays, and college work, and I haven't even showered or eaten that day. I heard from someone else that Lolitas were all elitist snobs, but I didn't want it to be true.

And on the day of, I dropped my stuff everywhere in the middle of the road, which caused me to be late. And I even heard from someone on the way that the panel was canceled. But when I looked in the room, it was full of people. And there was this guy hosting the panel for me, even though I was listed as the only panelist. And that same guy kept getting facts wrong, and catering to the Abridged Series crowd. Although, the Abridged Series is popular, so I can't do anything about it. I was really nervous, and I could only get a few words in, so I didn't think I could reach the crowd. What's worse is that this prominent person in the fandom who showed up in the audience for the first part and left told the forums that the panelists kept getting information wrong, even though I thought what I said at least was accurate. She also had a complaint about the photoshoot not having a proper backdrop. It was a hotel convention center, so it was kind of hard to find any accurate backgrounds.

And after that panel, one of the people in the group had her friend drive us back to the convention center from somewhere. He drove like an absolute madman. He kept on stopping abruptly and speeding up. He said he was doing it to get back at the Anime Central staff by costing them money. I honestly thought he was endangering our lives before anything else. And then this person in our YuGiOh group talked about someone who was always getting raped, and saying it was all their fault because they acted like a slut. I couldn't say anything about it. I wish I did, but I didn't want to be yelled at by anybody, especially in my fan group.

I went to the Aural Vampire concert and there were perverted frat boys there. One of them even screamed, "YOU'RE F***ING HOT!" at her from the audience, which was just tasteless.

That night I went to Anime Hell. I was just curious about it, I'm not sure why. They had this big thing about people getting the f*** out if they're too sensitive or something. And then it said, "If you like your vampires sparkly, get the f*** out." And the crowd cheered. At this point, I felt a horrible twinge. Now, back in 2009, I hated Twilight. But, I never read the novels or watched the movies. I just heard that the fans were rabid, but that could be said for any fandom. I was very insecure in my writing abilities, and I didn't want to create a Mary Sue like the lead character. But somewhere along the way, I had begun to realize that the people who hate Twilight are going so far out of their way to bully the people who like it. And they do that in the mass media, too, which is even more disturbing to me. It's not just light teasing, it's an all-out war, with people tying their identities to hatred. And not once have I ever seen a Twilight fan bully a non-fan, at least not in real life. And I guess I have no sense of humor, because I didn't find any part of Anime Hell funny, just offensive and disturbing.

Other than all that, the convention itself was kind of boring, and there was drama all around me. Not between my roommates, but in general.

And then I went to Kollision Con that November. It was boring and poorly run. When I found out that my YuGiOh panel was approved, they didn't even let me write the description. It just said in the program book that you didn't have to know anything about the series or even watch the series. I honestly thought that was a big insult to me and the fandom, and it implied that it was only for the people who wanted to say Abridged Series quotes.

There was another person who said something not so subtle and extremely rude about the character I was cosplaying, and then at the end, when I asked for constructive criticism (because this was only my second panel), this guy lectured me about how much he hated the dub, and how it ruined everything, and that the panel was too small, and it was bad that I was the only panelist. Um...there were only like, 5-7 people in the audience. And I asked around for help in multiple forums, but I only got one reply, and no one showed up. And it's not like I was praising the dub. After all, I had this thing where I read the meanings of the dub names. But I was a panelist. I had to be an impartial party. I understand how people feel, but I didn't want to cater to only one type of person. I really don't think that a licensed and edited dub is the end of the world. Besides, there was a little kid in the audience, and you're bashing the dub in front of him.

But at least I got to try voice acting, and the Hetalia group I hung out with was cool, even if they were mostly younger than me. I don't know why the guests needed to make Nickleback hate jokes in the masquerade, though.

I honestly thought that the Hetalia fandom would be just as nice when I went to Bishie Con in December 2010, but I was proven wrong. I should've known this when they kept on saying offensive things in the forums. The chairperson, who was also the administrator of the forums even changed my post to some stupid thing when I talked about my situation at home. I honestly thought I was being on topic... But I guess I offended her moral sensibilities.

When I hosted the YuGiOh panel the first day, people seemed to be uninterested in anything I had to say. The only time the very small audience even seemed to be interested was when I showed them the slideshow. One of them said something rude about the character I was cosplaying as, because they're a very hated character in the fandom. There were also some angry dub bashing from them. And by the way, most of these people were adults (because I checked their IDs in the second half of the panel).

When I went to this group of people after that, I explained what happened at the panel I just hosted, and what happened at Kollision Con, and this one person said I should have just hurt them. Then she kept on rambling about how we should all just hurt people but the laws are in the way because they label them as assault. And then I left.

And I was crying because my panel was a failure, and I lost my glasses in the room. I didn't get them out until after the party that went on after my panel was over. Seriously, no one else cries at conventions. (cont.)
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Dream cosplays:

Hatsune Miku (Cendrillon) - Vocaloid
Akiza Izinski/Izayoi Aki - YuGiOh 5D's
Aurora (blue version) - Sleeping Beauty
Yazawa Nico - Love Live! School Idol Project
Koyama Mitsuki - Full Moon wo Sagashite
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Unread 01-14-2017, 10:51 AM   #2
Mochiko
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And the next morning, I overheard the same group of people ranting about the things they hate. They were really venomous about Twilight, but it most of what they were talking about was appearance-related, and not really anything to do with the plot. And then they started ranting about the possibility of the Death Note movie in America, even though it never really happened. And then it turned into serious vitriol against the actor. But I know I shouldn't have done this, but I stepped in and calmly told them that it wasn't right that they were bashing, it was wasting their time and energy. I wasn't trying to insult them. And then they all gave me blank stares. And then this one person made a gender-based joke about what I said. These were supposed to be yaoi fans, and adults (college-age, but still). Aren't they supposed to be supportive of the LGBT community, and not resort to this? But yaoi is only entertainment, and many of the fans have formed ideas about gender which aren't necessarily true.

I went to the date auction, and I actually won a popular character. So, we went to a small room in the hotel restaurant and I thought it would be all right, until someone started shouting how much they hated America because of their pop music, and a lot of artist-bashing. I have no idea what prompted that, but it was worse when my date started laughing along with them.

I went to karaoke later, and most of the people were singing Avenue Q songs, and not really putting any effort into it. But, almost all the people who sang Avenue Q songs won awards, and they were mostly friends or family members of the chairperson (because I noticed they had the same last name).

And it was the same thing with the fanfiction contest. Most of the stories were from the same series, and written by friends or family members of the chairperson. But at least I won third place in the 18+ category. That was the only highlight of the convention.

The last day, I hosted an Unpopular Pairings panel, and it had very few people. One of them went out to just loudly fangirl with her friends, and it disrupted the whole panel. During the closing ceremony, there was this dumb contest about telling the best gay joke. And even though the rules specifically stated that nobody can preform "yaoi" acts in the convention in public, but they had this contest for best yaoi position. I think it was a staff member who got the most attention. I ended up ripping up my badge during the closing ceremony, because I did not travel two states in the cold for this.

And the last convention I have ever been to was ACen in 2011. I was extremely nervous about going because of what happened during the previous conventions. Luckily, I had the same roommates as I did before. I had so much trouble getting someone to help me with my stuff, and my friend didn't come until much later due to traffic. I didn't really like the rest of the community there because I talked with this one person who said she had sex with a guy much older without knowing his name. And this one person kind of forced me to take a picture of him even though I didn't know his character.

The next day, I went to the panel with Trevor Muller, Christopher Smith, and some other guy who I forgot. I was in there from the beginning. It got really boring, and I didn't like their advice on making comics using techniques without practicing drawing, so I left in the middle of the panel. I only came back because the bishie panel was full. I came in time for question time, and the only thing I asked was about having similarities to another author's work. Because people started cosplaying a series with a theme and a plot extremely similar to mine, and he just gave a simple answer, something that I heard before. And then someone asked about criticism of your story. They started saying stuff that I heard before, but then Trevor Muller took the opportunity to mention a comment he got on one of his comics, which only had the purpose of bashing movies he hated. He sort of built it up, saying it was about a movie he never watched, based on a book he never read, and vampire with sparkly skin. And then he asked if anyone ever heard of Twilight, and the audience roared booing. If he never read it or watched it, then how could he even give a review, other than repeating what everybody else said? It wasn't even on the topic of constructive criticism anymore. He just made fun of a fan who retaliated against him. It would have been better if he just deleted the comment and ignored it. At that point, I didn't think it was right anymore, and I said that vampires aren't even real. And the entire audience unanimously laughed at me. And then the panelists just sat there smiling to themselves. I couldn't get a word in after that, because he kept on talking, and it was toward the end of the panel. But no matter what anyone's opinion (even the mass media's, or Jesus's), I thought it was just immature and unprofessional to scapegoat the series and the fans like that. I couldn't make a complaint on the forums because guest bashing was not tolerated. And to add yet another insult, I kept on seeing this one guy wearing his Twilight bashing shirt for all three days of the convention. His statement was more important than changing his clothes. It already bothers me when people wear the same cosplay for more than one day.

And then I finally watched Twilight in the beginning of 2015, as a New Years resolution. I found out that while the beginning was kind of cheesy, I really liked the plot. I was really afraid of the haters being right and having to agree with them. I'm only a casual fan, but I'm still afraid that I'll lose friendships based on that alone. Or I'll just have fake friends who will bully me about it, and blame me for being oversensitive.

I tried going to Anime Midwest in 2015, just so I could go with my long distance boyfriend. But he couldn't make it because he had to start a new job, and he had to move. I was really nervous to find that Trevor Muller was hosting panels there. He wasn't a guest of honor, though. In the end, I couldn't go anyway, because the cleaners closed early on the day the convention started, and all my Lolita clothes were still in there.(cont.)
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Dream cosplays:

Hatsune Miku (Cendrillon) - Vocaloid
Akiza Izinski/Izayoi Aki - YuGiOh 5D's
Aurora (blue version) - Sleeping Beauty
Yazawa Nico - Love Live! School Idol Project
Koyama Mitsuki - Full Moon wo Sagashite
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Unread 01-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #3
Mochiko
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And worst of all, a week later, I was hospitalized for two weeks. And when I went back home, everything I bought was misplaced or just missing, and now my relationship with my father is even worse, and I have to replace everything. I was told by him, and many other people that I have no right to my opinion, and when I tried to present facts, I get scoffed at. I couldn't even move away from him until now, and I still don't trust him.

My boyfriend has been so amazing... I finally got to meet him in person in November 2015, over our three year anniversary, and he's been the most supportive person in my life. And now I'm single again because he has no way of communicating with me, and he's moving to another state, so there's no point in bringing him anywhere.

So, what made me change my mind? Well, I have all this stuff I bought in preparation to see my boyfriend from this year. I thought that maybe there could be another opportunity for me to use it this time. Not just for anyone, but for me.

I used to avoid Vocaloid like the plague six years ago, until something inspired me to watch the videos again. And I saw the Cendrillon PV, and fell in love with Miku's dress, and so I had to do anything I can to wear it. I just hope that the other Vocaloid fans aren't elitist and exclude me for liking American music. I remember the YouTube fans waged an all-out war against American popular music, even if it has nothing to do with Vocaloid, and if any American musician uses Yamaha instruments in their songs, then they are also supporting Vocaloid. Still, it doesn't stop them from making stupid memes and thinking that Vocaloid is superior to America, and thinking people who don't like it are idiots. I never really watch YouTube videos other than music or makeup tutorials now. Also there's this huge backlash against Vocaloid from the same type of music elitists who only listen to one genre of music, who claim that they know how to make music themselves and they know all about the industry, and that all mainstream fans are idiots. Those are the same type of people who bullied me for all four years of high school. They were mostly metalheads and delinquents who thought it was funny to make gay jokes and shout insults at me. My body type and skin color doesn't fit Miku's original design at all, and at best, I'm going to be totally ignored. But I fear that I'll just be bullied for cosplaying a popular character, and unless I lose weight really fast, my body type will make it worse.

And despite meeting that other Lolita, I read the Tumblr blog Lolita-Tips a few years ago, because I was trying to do research on how to make Lolita accessories for money because my situation at home was desperate. It was there I learned that not all Lolitas are bad people, and the Lolita themes and aesthetic actually match my personality. They have this tea party at the convention I wanted to go to. But I wasted money because I wasn't able to attend.

It hurts so much recounting everything that happened up until this point. I know I'm just setting myself up for failure by trying again. I know you probably think I'm just posting this for attention, and to start drama, and that I'm too old to feel this way. No one has ever taken me seriously before, and everybody misconstrues everything I say, or pushes their opinions on me. But I'm looking for the only one person who does care, and who is actually willing to give serious advice. Even if it's just fleeting, generic advice that I heard before.

So, I'm wondering what I should do about all this. What I really want is to host a panel promoting kindness, and sharing negative experiences from fandom and conventions and healing from them. I tried submitting an anti-bullying in fandom panel, but I found out there was a similar panel on bullying, not related to fandom, hosted by Greg Ayers. I don't think there's any other way I can make friends other than panels or forums, but not that it matters, because I have been badly burned many times. I don't really want to go to panels anyway because I learned that the main requirement of a panelist is "kiss the fans' asses."

I wanted to go to the formal ball, but I don't have a date now. If I go to the auction, I hope it won't be like last time. I wanted to go to karaoke, because I remember practicing for the idol competition back when Anime Central had it, but they cancelled it.

I know that Anime Midwest doesn't tolerate harassment, but there are still some things that will slip through the cracks. I can't shake the feeling that I deserve to be bullied because I don't share the same opinions as the Weaboo Wagon. It's like the nerds are turning into the same bullies who made fun of them. When you take away the things that are popular to hate, there's nothing for me to talk about. I never fit in, not anywhere, I'm always going to have anxiety and low self esteem. My cultural and political ideologies clash with the Japanese...and America's. I'm living proof that it does not get better after high school...at least not for me.

I do apologize for the length of this post.
__________________
Dream cosplays:

Hatsune Miku (Cendrillon) - Vocaloid
Akiza Izinski/Izayoi Aki - YuGiOh 5D's
Aurora (blue version) - Sleeping Beauty
Yazawa Nico - Love Live! School Idol Project
Koyama Mitsuki - Full Moon wo Sagashite
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Unread 01-14-2017, 01:59 PM   #4
Miss Mace
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I'm sorry you had some bad experiences (though it sounds like you've had some good ones to, and that's important to remember). Unfortunately opinions are like butts and everyone has them, so you can't really expect to go anywhere in costume and not hear opinions, but definitely making sure you only attend cons with anti-harassment policies should help.

Other people are still going to have opinions, and how they react to them is their choice. Personally, I hate Twilight, but that doesn't mean I have to bash people that like it. Other people, even adults won't make a mature choice about it. Sometimes you just have to be the mature one and walk away. But if they're following you around, that's harassment, and you should go find con staff to help you.

I think another thing to remember is that you are yourself, and feel the way you do. No one can tell you, you didn't feel the things you did when these things happened, and no one can tell you what to like or dislike. The majority of cosplayers are dressed as children's characters anyways.

If you like to play characters that are generally disliked by fans, remember the dislike is at the character, not you personally. One way to deal with it is to own it, when they comment on their dislike react as the character would (within reason, because some chars might assault people).

I wouldn't want to discourage you from being a character you like, but if you're feeling super sensitive right now, it might be better to find a char who's closer to you in appearance so that you don't have to worry about potential for racist comments.
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Unread 01-15-2017, 01:15 AM   #5
FaustPrime
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It sucks that you've had a lot of bad experiences. I'm sure it helps just getting them off your chest.

That said, it's sometimes easy just to look only at the negative things. What about the good things that have happened? The friends and experiences you encountered. The same hobby of con-going that brings you down is the same that makes you feel happy (at least at times I'm assuming). Make a list of these things and if the negatives still outweigh the positives then you are right to stop going to cons, at least in the short term.

I have friends that get stressed out and have drama with conventions. I advise them to get back to basics. Panels, while fun, seem to be a cause of a lot of your issues. Focus on cosplays, focus on hanging out with your true friends, focus on the more lighthearted stuff like artist alleys/dealer's room. Don't give others the power over you to spoil your con experience. Fandom conflicts are a joke to me. We're all a bunch of geeks. People will have opinions of you if you like or dislike a fandom so just do you. Go and have fun doing what you like.

Breaks from con going can always be therapeutic as well - never is a long time and it's best not to deal in absolutes.
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My upcoming cons: Animazement 2017 (May), A-Kon 2017? (Jun), Otakon 2017 (Aug)

Boyfriend and I typically go to cons in and around NC with yearly pilgrimage to Otakon - say hello!

Last edited by FaustPrime : 01-15-2017 at 01:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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Unread 01-15-2017, 05:30 AM   #6
Syon
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I'll make it short, I'll make it simple: Ask yourself, if the chance of having fun and good experiances overweight the statistical risk, that something bad could happen at your next convention.

Also about the panel concept you are having in mind...it dosen't sound like a good idea. If you want to host a panel, maybe consider doing it without a fandom background. Because that has seemed to be the main source for anything bad that has happened to you in relation to panels in the past. And hosting a panel about bullying, if you yourself have not yet overcome your past experiances is maybe also not the best idea. But if you are interested in the topic and want to do a similar panel in the future: Why not go to that anti-bullying panel they have already planned to have? That panel might be helpful and you still meet likeminded people, while you reduce the risk for yourself to a minimum.
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Unread 01-15-2017, 06:21 AM   #7
SamuriSmurfX
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I'm only going to chime in with a little simple suggestion.

Go to other cons, depending on your interest outside of anime I could suggest others. But one thing I'm seeing here is Acen being an issue. I raise this because I've been to hundreds of conventions, from east to west and across the world. Acen, is the only convention I outright recommend people avoid. It's the coldest, uneventful, negative event I've ever been a part of.

Even when I was based in Chicago I wouldn't go to Acen because it, compared to other conventions, is just a miserable time.

Go to other conventions, go at least twice to it, get the vibe of it and then consider panels at the conventions you mesh with and remember to know your audience.
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Unread 01-15-2017, 10:35 AM   #8
gules
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Mace View Post
Unfortunately opinions are like butts and everyone has them...
Not to be off-topic, but this the most accurate way I've ever heard this expressed.

For the rest of it-- Yeah, ANY experience can be wildly varied, and revolve a lot around what you're dealing with at the time and how other people are versus your moral code or level of comfortability. The best thing I can do is reiterate that you should weigh the pros and cons. Is the possibility of dealing with all of that worth the possibility that you could have a good time and meet a few more people?

I have mad depression and anxiety, though not the same set of experiences and circumstances as you (no one can, since we're all individuals). What I CAN say is that I thought about giving up as well, since I'd get super stressed out and go back home or to the car or hotel and burst into tears. In the end, I adjusted what I wanted out of a con. If I didn't get a cosplay done in time, I resigned myself to either using one I already had, wearing something in my closet (I have some loli stuff I bought), or just going plainclothes. Even in cosplay, I'd bring comfy stuff to wear in case I got emotionally tired and needed a break. And if I felt SUPER uncomfortable in a situation, I'd just leave it. There's no reason to prolong suffering for something as fleeting as a con.

I'd strongly recommend against doing a panel if your confidence is low. I did one once on relationships of all kinds. I was feeling relatively good and it was STILL brutal. In the end, I feel like I gave some interesting information, although I don't think it was what most people were looking for. I did have a heckler or two, but I just kind of addressed them once or twice and said I'd get back to that. Someone asked me if it was just going to be able sex, so I changed tack and talked about how friendship is also a relationship, and how to put yourself out there more. It was still hard not to feel like a total failure, even when some of my audience stuck around to ask more personalized questions.

As for conflict of opinions... This is going to sound harsh, but I don't mean it to be, ok? But sometimes it's better just to leave it all alone and not get involved at all. That's if you're not the one being directly attacked, I mean. If people are bashing something and you don't like it, if you don't want to risk becoming the focus of negative attention, it's best to just remove yourself from the situation. You're all entitled to your opinions, even if you find theirs offensive. If you have the confidence and fortitude to stand up to that, then good for you! I'm not saying NOT to stand up for what you believe in. What I AM saying is that it's not worth your mental health. There's a point where the strength of your belief eclipses the anxiety of people naysaying you, and that's when you can brace yourself. Until then, just tell yourself that they're petty assholes and walk away. That does NOT go for if YOU are being harassed, or if someone else seems to be in danger. PLEASE find an authority if you feel anyone is in danger. If you want to dive in and save someone who can't defend themselves, I'm sure they will appreciate it. But if it's a friendly argument or even a bashing session that doesn't have DIRECTLY to do with you, the best thing you can do is just leave.

If your confidence is low, you really might be better off choosing a cosplay better suited to your body type, at least. I never knock skin color or gender (assuming it's done well), and I think that anyone who does is pretty much not cool. Still want to do a Vocaloid? Maybe don't do Miku since she's a dime a dozen and there will be a million comparisons. Also steer clear of shiny and stretchy fabrics. I don't know why people use these, because you need like a supermodel figure to pull it off. No matter how tempting, AVOID unless you're cool with any and all flaws of your body on display. There's nothing wrong with wearing your loli stuff, especially if it makes you feel good. You might find some people in the community who are friendly and want to talk about it, especially if you make some of your own things.

Also, if you have a bad overall experience at a con (like, chronic problems, especially with the staff), please just don't go anymore. You can't fix that crap, and it's not worth it. I don't go to Anime Weekend Atlanta anymore because a volunteer left his post where he was supposed to be carding people, then yelled at me when I went in. He tried to grab me to get me out of the room and ended up touching my boobs. I'm NOT okay with that. I filed a report that they ignored, and when I complained on the forum the HEAD OF SECURITY basically told me to f*** off. Excuse me? Train your volunteers better than that. Touching any guest is a giant NO in the first place. Touching them inappropriately, even by accident? In a dark room, no less? If I wasn't such a nice person, I would have screamed bloody murder and found one of the cops in the place to report assault, and my friends would have backed me since they were right beside me and actually saw it. So, no AWA for me, and none of my friends go either, male or female. I'm not putting up with that crap.

You don't need a date for a formal ball. I went stag and ended up dancing for hours with strangers, even before a friend of mine showed up and found me. Go with the expectation of looking pretty and having some fun, and don't be afraid to ask people who look like they WISH they were dancing to come dance with you. I'm a straight female and would have happily danced with another woman, though coincidentally I ended up dancing mostly with men. Probably because the distribution was uneven.

I hope that if you go, your next experience is a good one. It's easy to focus on the negatives when you're feeling down or overwhelmed, so maybe write down the fun stuff that happened so you can focus more on those?

And I also apologize for the length of this, haha.
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Unread 01-16-2017, 05:29 AM   #9
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Hopefully that crowd you were with at those cons has matured a bit in the past few years and doesn't act like that anymore.

SamuriSmurfX mentioned Acen being a problem con above, which I found kind of interesting because you also mentioned Bishie Con. (I assume you're talking about the one that was in St. Louis.) It no longer exists, and I hear it was due to low turnout, so you probably weren't the only one there who had a shitty experience.

I'd recommend against doing a panel for now, especially since you're not too confident about cons. I think for now you should focus on having a good time at the con, stressing over a panel could get in the way of that. Plus this will give you an opportunity to go to more panels, you can learn what works/doesn't work, is fun/boring, is popular/unpopular, etc. from other people's panels, so you can create more successful ones in the future.
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Unread 01-17-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
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i really wish i could take youre pain and make it mines so you can be happy again

everything you posted is what i dispise about fandoms i hope you get youre confidance back and enjoy conventions again
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Unread 01-17-2017, 10:47 PM   #11
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Well, I thought about the panel, and I think it's going to give me a lot more stress than I need. I used to be able to do them with people, and I pretty much done them just for a free badge. Now they don't give you a free badge unless you host 2-4 panels, depending on which convention you go to. But I also wanted to share things that I love with other people. Maybe I should just make a YouTube video, blog or Facebook post...actually, that's even worse, because complete strangers will spew unwarranted vitriol that can be a lot worse than anything anyone can say in real life.

I asked someone else for advice and they said that a convention that bullies people isn't really a convention because they're meant for people to congregate together, not keep them apart. They also said that that's why they attend larger mainstream cons like Comic Con and Anime Expo. But with larger conventions comes the increased risk of bullying and harassment. And I heard from the Anime Expo reviews that people there are cliquish. I learned that I shouldn't go to a new convention or a convention that is less than 5 years old. And I don't want to go to a convention that is geared toward a small audience like Bishie Con. I still love BL and yaoi, but the fans can get loud, annoying, and detached from reality.

I already don't want to go to Anime Central anymore. It's one of the top 3 anime conventions in the US, so it's definitely not a small con. There's five stars on their Facebook page, but there is so much schaudenfreude, unprofessionalism, hypocrisy (yaoi is banned from the Masquerade, but they can have all the het innuendo they want?!) in that convention. They seem not to care about harassment, and most people have a big problem with security. But most of the regulars who go there just go there because they see ACen as their "home", but they don't do anything to improve it. I will say that Anime Central has good musical guests, though. I have considered going back only for the concerts, but I really shouldn't give them any more revenue.

I already bought the Anime Midwest badge, which was refundable until the 15th, so I guess I'm stuck now. I thought about buying the platinum registration, but no con is worth that much. It has a lower rating than Anime Central, and it seems that people have a lot of problems with security. Thankfully, it has a zero tolerance harassment policy, but while the old bullies have matured, there will always be new ones popping up. Some of them never change.

I know I shouldn't have gotten so involved with others' opinions on stuff, especially if it's between separate people (no matter how loud they can be). But I was six years younger and less experienced in conventions. I will still say that Trevor Muller's behavior as a guest of honor was unprofessional, and maybe I should have worded it that way. I don't think he would have listened either way, though. He didn't even experience the source material on his own, just went along with whatever the rest of the world was saying, just to get the audience riled up. And a lot of other panelists , even guests of honor are like this, too. Panels are treated as personal venting spaces, and you have to agree with the audience at all times. You can't be impartial. I prefer to be neutral because there's always at least one person who doesn't have the same views as the rest of the Weaboo Wagon, but they're really hard to find. Look, I hate One Piece, Naruto, DBZ (but I used to love it), Ace Attorney, Sword Art Online, Durarara, mainstream superhero comics, and Frozen, but that's because I tried those things. I'm not trying to be elitist, and even if all the things that I hate were just as popular to hate too, then that won't change the fact that I formed my own opinions about them by myself, by experiencing the source material on my own free will, with an open mind. And I certainly don't scapegoat the fans or send death threats to the creators. And I hate Steven Universe and Homestuck because it looks like they stole an idea for a web comic I really wanted to do, and they gave it an unappealing plot, and I know I'm going to see cosplayers from all those series. But that doesn't mean that I say mean things to them or attack them. If I do see them or they approach me, I would try to keep my mouth shut, or make something up that I like about their cosplay.

If I could only cosplay as characters close to my own image, then who would I be? Quasimodo? Eric Cartman? All other fictional characters in the world who resemble me are stereotyped to oblivion because of their race and body type (not to mention given obnoxious traits), so they're not even worth doing. They're not meant to be celebrated, they're meant to be laughed at, and I don't want that kind of attention anymore. I already paid for half of the commission and I already bought some of the cosmetics, so I guess I'm stuck cosplaying as Miku. I know she's extremely popular, but I'm going to cosplay her dress from the Cendrillon video, which isn't done as often as her normal outfit, or the Magnet version. And I'm pretty much going to wear it for only one event, for about three hours. I may not have a lot of experience, but I cosplayed quite a few times before. I'm really, really busty, so I mostly cosplay feminine characters. But I'm also very short and most people say I look up to half my age. So, I mostly cosplay as cute, small characters, or characters whose personalities I identify with. I mostly stay away from bishies and sexy women because I just don't feel comfortable showing off. But the Cendrillon dress is one of my dream cosplays. I tend to like with the princess characters, and I've always wanted to be one of them.

I watched some videos about bullying at conventions and plus size cosplay, to make me feel better about all this. I'm trying to remember all the good things that happened, but I just can't get over how I was badly burned. I just can't get over shit like normal people can. I've got six months until then, but I'm not sure what else to do...
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Unread 01-18-2017, 10:29 AM   #12
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Do you do boardgames at all? There are two conventions nearish with lovely communities if you do. Cosplay is encouraged, and at least one has a significant anime section.
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Unread 01-19-2017, 01:43 AM   #13
Mochiko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuriSmurfX View Post
Do you do boardgames at all? There are two conventions nearish with lovely communities if you do. Cosplay is encouraged, and at least one has a significant anime section.
Not really. I sort of grew out of them. If I go to one of those conventions just because I want to escape the anime community, then I would just be poisoning the atmosphere.

I remember going to the informative and instructional panels were better. They were more interactive so that people were less talkative, and more mature. But then I remember looking at the Anime Midwest program for 2015, and Trevor Mueller hosted all the instructional comic panels. Ah shit. Sorry to anyone who likes him, but he was the reason why I left conventions in the first place.

However, I looked up a lot of plus size cosplay, and maybe I can pull off Miku, since I'm probably not the first plus size person or person of color to cosplay her. I'll just try not to seek out other Vocaloid fans because I know that the fandom is not just elitist, it's explosive!
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Unread 01-19-2017, 06:11 AM   #14
division-ten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochiko View Post
Not really. I sort of grew out of them. If I go to one of those conventions just because I want to escape the anime community, then I would just be poisoning the atmosphere.

I remember going to the informative and instructional panels were better. They were more interactive so that people were less talkative, and more mature. But then I remember looking at the Anime Midwest program for 2015, and Trevor Mueller hosted all the instructional comic panels. Ah shit. Sorry to anyone who likes him, but he was the reason why I left conventions in the first place.

However, I looked up a lot of plus size cosplay, and maybe I can pull off Miku, since I'm probably not the first plus size person or person of color to cosplay her. I'll just try not to seek out other Vocaloid fans because I know that the fandom is not just elitist, it's explosive!
Im a plus sized cosplayer. I've gotten a few insults over the years but my normal reply is- I made this. What have you done with your life recently other than be an asshole?- and that shuts them up real quick. Usually people who are insulting you have -20 self esteem and they get off on making others miserable. Don't give it to them.

There are lots of great plus sized cosplayers of color who SLAY. Stephanie Faye is a friend and one of the 2014 NYCC craftsmanship finalists. Just remember to get clothes that fit- a good cur(wether you order it, comission,or make yourself) makes a world of difference.
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Unread 01-19-2017, 08:47 AM   #15
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It seems like a lot of your experiences are so bad because you've encountered all the wrong people at conventions, which always ruins everything.
Not everyone in fandoms is bad, no, but not everyone is good, either, as I know you have discovered.
The one thing you have to remember is that everyone is going to have an opinion no matter what you do.
You could sit and have the world's nicest panel about positive things and kindness in the cosplay community and there will always be that one rotten apple that finds something to complain about.

But people aren't always super interested in panels like that at conventions, if you want to have a good panel experience, wrap it around something that people currently really like that you also really enjoy! While I am not saying that you shouldn't try it, I am saying that the panel may not do well, which would only waste your time and only do more harm than good.

If you ever feel a lack of confidence about your weight, look at the person that division-ten mentioned! There are so many cosplayers that rock the world despite being considered "overweight," and the people that comment about stuff like that in a negative way are just assholes and eventually you learn how to let that stuff slide off of you.
You also just have to know how to make your cosplay work for your body type, know where your curves sit, what you can enhance with your costume, etc.!

Elitist behavior ruins everything, point blank.
Also, behavior at conventions can be quite over the top but given what anime conventions are about and also just conventions in general, it all makes sense.
It's just a giant building filled to the brim with people that don't always get to go out and excitedly talk about what they enjoy, so the energy tends to cause ridiculousness, especially at panels like Anime Hell, haha. Those panels are just naturally high-energy.
You also have to take into consideration the age range of people that attend conventions and panels, the people that are absolutely bonkers and loud are typically younger("younger" as in in their teen years) because conventions are just naturally a high-energy place. I am forever jittery at conventions and when I see people I know or get really excited, I scream. A lot. Not always on purpose, but the feelings build up and eventually escape in the sound of me banshee screeching. I know that bothers people sometimes but it can't be helped!

Find a convention that is local to you that isn't poorly run and is considered a "bigger" one! A good convention experience always picks me up off my feet and after seeing how disastrous our local, smaller conventions can be, I tend to try and avoid them like death itself. Past experiences make me hesitant to attend them(like all of your past experiences has done for you) because while I know how bad they can be, I wanna give them another chance at some point!

I think you just need a really good convention to go to to give yourself a good experience to look back on.

I almost ruined Animazement for myself one year just from sheer heartbroken-ness and boredom. I think it was 3 yeas ago now(?) but I went as Howl from Howl's Moving Castle and the costume was pretty effortless considering I already had most of the items and at the time(granted the items were accurate), I was going with my mom(she loves the environment) and I barely touched makeup.
My idea with my colored contacts totally fell through the floor because at the time I didn't quite have a grasp on how to get colored contacts for myself outside of what atrocious colors they have at the optometrist so, I was in my costume with a black wig(I figured I would use a black one since at the time, I thought blond was ugly against my skin and I didn't know of Arda) and my dark, dark brown eyes.
So really, the only thing that made me even almost recognizable was my jacket and the necklace I made.(And the rings but they weren't easily seen!)

Granted, I got a few really good, excited responses from people but since that was the first year I put forth some(what I considered) "real effort" into my costume, I just didn't feel...good. So I ended up leaving the convention after only being there for like an hour and a half and made the two and a half hour drive back home with my mom.
And of course, after the weekend was gone, I started seeing all of the awesome costumes that I missed and so on and so forth.

After that I kind of realized that with conventions, you just kinda have to dip your toes in the water and feel your way through the darkness a lot of the times. You aren't always going to have a good time but you can always try again or look up other conventions that have activities that you're interested in! I know you've had a lot of negative experiences with conventions and circumstances of life and I am so sorry to hear that you have but just know you've got support here!

You have to remember that not everyone in the fandom you are cosplaying from is bad. Of course, there are some rude people or just really awkward/stand-offish people but you've got to try at some point or you're just going to be super isolated and bored at a convention. Yes, the Vocaloid fandom can be quite fervent in their expressions of opinions but that could also be said about the Homestuck fandom, the Supernatural fandom, the Dr. Who fandom, etc., etc., you get what I'm saying. Your hesitance is totally understandable, yes, but don't be afraid to try at some point, you may even get a really good response from people!
You're not always going to have a perfect convention experience but I hope you're able to build good memories!

I hope that you will continue attending conventions and having new, good experiences at them!
unfortunately we don't live in the same state or I'd try to give recommendations!
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