Cosplayer Kelcium Chloride explained how people can stay safe and have fun at conventions like Comic Con.
“You need to be smart when attending conventions. Not everybody is always going to have you interest as their best interest,” she explained. “There is sometimes, sadly, a lot of harassment that goes on at conventions.”
A 2014 survey found that 25% of cosplayers of all genders experienced sexual harassment in the comic industry, 13% experienced unwanted sexual comments, and 8% reported being groped, assaulted, of raped at a convention.
Kelsey, of Kelcium Chloride is a Twitch stream and cosplayer. She started her professional career in 2018, has attended more than 15 conventions and garnered 30,000 followers on Instagram. She was inspired to start cosplaying after she saw a woman dressed as Black Star from the TV show “Soul Eater.” Since attending conventions, she says she’s experienced quite a bit of harassment.
“Make sure that other people know your boundaries and if someone ever crosses your boundaries, tell someone, speak up, say something,” she said. “If someone ever bothers you or says something weird to you, tell a volunteer. Tell somebody who’s working the convention.”
Activists have also raised awareness about harassment at conventions suing phrases like, “Cosplay Is Not Consent.” Major conventions like New York Comic Con have zero-tolerance anti-harassment policies, which ban actions like bathroom stalking and non-consensual photography.