On Saturday, June 18, several cosplayers gathered at a park in San Jose. Food was prepared, music played, and prizes raffled, with one goal in mind: help stomp out bullying.
The gathering was hosted by friends of G33k-HQ, the Dynamic Cosplay Couple. In spite of the multiple competing events that weekend, there were plenty of cosplayers eager to attend, many of whom lent their time and energy to help make it a success.
Lani Basset, who organized everything, explained that “Cosplay is a part of our lives because it allows us to be exactly who we want to be – regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc.” While organizing the gathering, she recruited several featured cosplayers of all types to join in, who brought their own tales of dealing with bullies, and why they feel it’s important to help raise awareness and education for stopping bullying.
While there was no entrance fee to the gathering, there were a few tables with food and drinks that accepted donations, as well as a raffle full of donated prizes. All of the money raised went to Stomp Out Bullying, a non-profit organization that helps teach children how to identify bullying behavior and respond appropriately, as well as towards victims of the recent shooting in Orlando.
There’s nothing cosplayers like more than a gathering and a good cause, so there were plenty in attendance. Disney characters played games with children in the park, even those who weren’t there for the gathering but wanted to meet their favorite princesses. Power Rangers and Mandalorians mingled with fur-suited werewolves and foxes, while Crystal Gems (cosplayed by drag performers KaiKai Bee Michaels, Frankie Ramos, and Rock M. Sakura) hung out with InuYasha.
All were there with one goal in mind: help fight bullying. Well, that and to have a good time. On both counts, the gathering succeeded wonderfully.
If you couldn’t make it to the gathering, but still want to contribute, check out stompoutbullying.org, and weareorlando.org. We may be a bunch of geeks who love dressing up in costumes, but when we come together, like so many did at this gathering, we can make a difference.