By. Samurai Millo
There has been growing awareness about harassment problems at conventions, with the Internet spearheading campaigns such as Cosplay Is Not Consent. I figured that I would do my part by writing a series of guidelines. That way, the average convention attendee can stay out of trouble when it comes to interacting and taking photos of cosplayers.
The following is a series of tips I’ve adapted from several websites that contain articles with codes of conduct that people attending conventions should follow. This is my way of offering advice for the best way to behave at conventions, especially when it comes to interacting with a cosplayer. The thousands of people who annually attend conventions and similar events in Puerto Rico can avoid bad or awkward moments with these suggestions.
• Always ask for permission from the cosplayer before taking a photo in a courteous and respectful manner.
• Avoid blocking hallways and corridors (both inside the building and outside) with makeshift photo sessions. Move to the sides so you don’t hinder or bother anyone.
• If a cosplayer is eating, talking on the phone, or occupied in any way, don’t disturb him/her. Leave the person alone and try again when they’re not this busy.
• If another photographer is already taking a shot of a cosplayer, don’t get in the middle to steal their shot. Wait for your turn.
• The cosplayers are also people. Do not be offended if they don’t want you to take a photo. He/she might not be feeling well, or he/she can be in a hurry because of a personal situation.
• Respect personal space. There are cosplayers who don't like to be touched or to have their cosplay touched.
• Do not "glomp", hug, or push to the floor a cosplayer without his/her previous permission. Doing so could damage the cosplay, or seriously injure the cosplayer and yourself. Unwarranted physical contact is never acceptable.
• Keep in mind that any kind of harassment in any convention isn’t tolerated, either to a cosplayer or to the attendees. If they catch you doing that, they’ll kick you out.
• Rude or lascivious comments are never acceptable.
• If you want to take a picture of a cosplayer outside of the convention area, ask politely. If the cosplayer says no, respect his/her wishes.
• Nonconstructive remarks about the quality of someone's cosplay should be avoided. Express yourself in a positive and respectful manner.
• And finally, no means NO. Always respect the wishes of others.