IWD: Celebrate the women in your life

photo by CT Photography

Cover image by CTgraphy

So it’s international women’s day and while there’s a whole lot to unpackage about that (Including intersectionality, white feminism vs Women of Colour, etc) I want to focus today on something that I’ve touched on once or twice before.

Thank you to all the amazing, smart, funny, caring ladies who I’ve met since 2012.

Cosplay has allowed me to find a sisterhood of sorts that I’d never really had before. With my nerdy interests growing up I had female friends but they weren’t necessarily friends who stuck around through thick and thin. As time passed we’d grow apart and I’d make new friends only for the cycle to repeat. There’s one exception to this, but over all I always felt like an outsider even within my own group of friends.

My high school years and first couple years of University were all highly competitive, which meant all friendships were sort of tinged with the competition aspect of things. Then I switched into IT which… well. While there are wonderful women within IT, it’s a smaller pool of us, and the pipeline is leaky as fuck with all the sexist bullshit.

But, getting to know the women in cosplay that I have, I’ve been able to build relationships out of both shared interest and mutual support. I have friends who offer to drop food off if I’m not feeling well, a roommate who is wonderful and put up with me sleeping through the fall, a friend who I can share concerns with about health and ‘how much sleep is too much’ (Answer: 12+ hrs) and other friends who I don’t know as well yet but are happy to talk to me about construction, worbla burns, or the latest game series.

We’re all so different, but that’s what makes things so great. We’re individuals and comfortable in our different-ness to share what we love with each other.

Cosplay’s allowed me to express my feminine side as WELL as my geeky tomboy side and alongside friends who do the same. It’s introduced me to friends who I’d never have met otherwise, and without whom I’d have struggled to make it through the last two years.

Thank you to my friends.

Thank you to those who are long-term or just-met, close by or far away, those in costume or behind the scenes.

Thank you for celebrating our achievements with each other and offering comfort when things get rough.

Thank you for remembering to remind us to eat, to drink or to sleep. Thank you for helping us hand sew in the hotel room at the last minute, and thank you for sharing your knowledge.

And finally, thank you to everyone who’s welcomed me into the community, despite the fact I make terrible puns, worse jokes and tend to sleep through all the con parties.

There are so many wonderful ladies that I’ve met that I can’t possibly hope to list them all, but a special thank you to the following:

Melting Mirror – For bringing me back into the world of cosplay after so many years away. For being a friend for the past ten years and being unflinchingly driven, you inspire me.

Kurumasha – for being there whenever I need you before I need to ask. For the gifts of tea or coffee on a particularly rough day and a shoulder when things hurt too much to be happy. And thank you for taking a chance on me as a first-time MC for Ottawa Comic Con, I hope I lived up to your desperate pleas the week before the event to ‘Please be funny‘.

Miss Messy Mia – For quickly becoming someone important in my life and managing not to kill me when I nap instead of do the dishes. You know hear as many of my best/worst ideas as Kurumasha. I’m sorry-not-sorry.

VickybunnyAngel – For not even questioning who this weird goat girl was at Costume Con and being a warm, down to earth person who is ridiculously good at organizing shoots or fabric purchases.

Shushuwafflez – Despite having a level of skill that is jaw-dropping, you’re one of the sweetest and most helpful people I know. From advice on building Pluto’s puff sleeves to talking about life situations, you’re amazing and important to me.

Elemental Sight/Photography – Having a fellow spoonie friend that I can just vent to means so much. Even if it’s to swap stories about sleep studies or Undertale and Dragon Age fandom. Thank you.

Jayuna – I met you at a rough point, and I remember not being sure how someone could be relentlessly cheerful. I know you’re far away, but you encouraged me to let go of grumpiness and enjoy the small things. Also STEM ladies in cosplay <3

Nomadic-Goldfish – Drift partner, life’s been rough. It shouldn’t be but it is. I don’t see you or Angelica cosplay enough but when I do, it feels like I’ve known you for much longer than I have.

Dex Cosplay – I can’t keep up to you with all your activities and things, but it means a lot that you still invite me to events that I have to turn down.

Kudrel – Shared love of kaiju and bad horror movies and wine aside, you are ridiculous in the best ways possible. From goat screams to running around in kigus in hotel hallways, you brighten everyone’s day and are just plain wonderful.

Lexi – My smol cohost who’s a bundle of fire and rolls with the punches on stage. You make being funny easy, and you helped make my first hosting gig easy, and the second easier still.

My readers – I’m still boggled that there’s a) more than just my mom reading this b) that you support the articles I write and share them out so freely. Thank you <3

There’s more of you amazing ladies, so many more, and I appreciate each of you. You’ve all helped make this community supportive and caring. While I hear of drama, I’ve never run into it with you all. We have road-bumps but you’ve been wonderful and helped smooth them all out. To the friends I haven’t gotten to know as well yet, I look forward to discovering what makes each of you different and amazing.

We are wonderful, creative and strong women. We are cosplayers.

xox Calamity