I love anime cons. Where else can you swelter with 10-50,000 other nerds in bulky costumes (Otakon) or skimpy ones (Katsu)?
I swear, guys, this was totally a good idea at the time.
Unfortunately, cons are also a ton of people navigating small spaces, with little sense of personal space. Today's story is less about my blindness as it is about the cause- my albinism.
Now, if you look at me normally, you'd never know. My eyes "look" brown, and my hair flutters between brown and rust, occasionally black. The former is due to me having ocular albinism, which means I lack pigment in my eyes but have just enough to color them; if you shine a flashlight at them you'll see that there are patches of brown only, with plenty of translucent space in between.
Remind me again why I'm not in that image over here? Just because I can't shoot laser beams out of 'em...
The latter is a bit less exciting- I dye my hair.
So aside from having skin that puts dullahans to shame, you'd probably never know.
Bot hot darn, does it make it easy to cosplay! So many pale skinned characters!
So, oblivious idiot I was, I decided to cosplay Hitsugaya in college, at Otakon. I did (and still do) kendo, so I just copied my gi and hakama to make my costume, got a white wig, stopped dying my eyebrows for two weeks, put on like ten pounds of makeup to darken my skin a bit, and wore it to Otakon.
Not bad for a first costume, I supposed. WRONG. VERY BAD. I mean, aside from the fact that all of my photos ended up with terrible red-eye.
See, I didn't realize there was such a thing as "fangirls". And being on the high school weightlifting team, college kendo, having a gender unknown name to most Americans (Shalomet, by the way, is like Gertrude in Hebrew, definitely female and very old-fashioned), and a relatively deep voice, I was mistaken for male.
I didn't think I passed, nor was I trying to (someone with better eyes than me- do I even look remotely like a dude in the picture?). Yet, girls were all over me at the con. One jumped on my back, hard enough to break my prop sword in two. I was tugged in multiple directions, and even asked out.
But the icing on the cake is one Matsumoto cosplayer I will never forget. Remember, I'm blind, and more so sans my glasses. I had a friend covering for me in the halls, but even he didn't see this woman coming. She ran through the crowd, towards a group of us BLEACH cosplayers, and grabbed my head and does the thing Matsumoto is known for (FYI, its called 'motorboating', but does not require a captain's licence).
I did not report to con security, because that-lady-who-didn't-understand-personal-bubbles learned her lesson very quickly. I yelped and stumbled back, in a particularly high-pitched scream. She was close enough that I could see her eyes go wide.
"You're. A. GIRL?!?!"
I never cosplayed Hitsugaya again.
ALL OF MY "NOPE".