Daily Briefs
7 min

Gay cosplay

Some of the gayer aspects of costume play

When I was at Snakes & Lattes with my boyfriend and my fellow History Boy just recently, I was wearing a T-shirt with a big Welcome to Night Vale podcast logo. A young woman stopped at our table when she caught sight of it, and we took a moment to expound on how much we love the nerdy sci-fi/horror podcast. M’colleague, Jeremy Willard, made a sardonic though pleasing comment about how I am “King of the Nerds.”

Another guy fist-bumped me later that evening after recognizing the T-shirt. A couple of weeks before, wearing a different WTNV shirt (yes, I have a couple) and my big, dorky glasses, a student on campus at Ryerson told me I ressembled what she imagined the main character of WTNV to look like.

I consider myself a nerdy T-shirt aficionado, and it’s always a thrill to have them recognized. I would even go so far as to say it’s the same feeling you get when a stranger you’re meeting for the first time drops in hints about their queer or trans identity.

I may not have the time or patience of cosplayers, but especially after watching this funny and strange little PBS documentary, I can certainly empathize.

The documentary paints a bit-too-rosy picture of cosplaying, because, like any kind of culture, it has its own problems. Over the past year, I’ve read a handful of writings by cosplayers challenging the sexual harassment that occurs when they’re in costume.

On the positive side, I can certainly understand how cosplay is empowering and even a positively sexy experience! I may fall a little heavily on the guy side of things in this matter, but I’d just like to point out that a Tumblr exists for anything you can imagine, even Hot Cosplay Guys. Canada is blessed with some incredibly nerdy and hot cosplaying talents, including the likes of Michael Hamm and Nathan DeLuca (who I covered for Xtra recently).

The Toronto Gaymers have also been marching in the Pride parade in costume over the past few years. Puts another spin on being a proud nerd!