A comic con can be exciting and overwhelming if you’ve never been to one before, or don’t visit frequently. The costumes, the atmosphere, the activities,… It’s a godsend for a fan of movies, series, games & comics and it’s ideal for an unforgettable day with a camera.
However, it is important to not to go overboard. Every person in cosplay is exactly just that: a person with their own feelings, wishes and boundaries, who just happens to wear a costume.
So it is very important to lay down some ground rules for interactions with cosplayers and other FACTS fans in the form of the #CosplayIsNotConsent concept, so that everyone can have a great, care-free time together. We’ve broken it down into an easy to remember set of guidelines.
safe harbor coordinator
We prioritize the safety of all visitors. Sensing trouble? Feel threatened?
Then alert our safe harbor coordinator at this number: +32 (0)474/84.68.21
Our team will provide assistance, including contacting law enforcement, providing escort or offering a safe space to anyone who is uncomfortable or experiencing harassment.
FACTS' Cosplay Guidelines: do's and don'ts
Don’t just go taking pictures from a distance without the permission of the cosplayer. It’s not a very polite thing to do. Wait your turn and ask for consent as well. Besides, if you allow them to strike a cool pose, the picture will be infinitely better anyway!
No means no. If a cosplayer is not in the mood for a picture, then don’t keep asking. Maybe later! Also, not all cosplayers come to the show for pictures. Some just want to enjoy the comic con in costume without being bothered. And that’s OK too.
Always respect a cosplayer’s personal space. You probably won’t apppreciate having a total stranger wrapping an arm around you without consent. And neither do cosplayers. Plus, inappropriate touching will always be punished by security.
Cosplayers have worked weeks or maybe even months on a costume, sword, bow, axe or other prop. So don’t just go taking or touching it without permission. It’s good to admire the craftsmanship, but be considerate as well!
Please don’t take cosplay photos that are inappropriate or catch the cosplayer in a weird moment. If cosplayers are eating, doing an activity or taking a rest, let them be and come back later. The picture will not be worth it when they’re not at their best anyway.
Don’t crush the confidence or spoil the fun of a cosplayer. If you don’t like the costume, then keep that opinion to yourself. Many cosplayers start out with just a bit of courage and a lot of effort, and grow every edition. So be supportive and help create a safe environment in which new talents can bloom!
Don't hate, educate!
FACTS has always fought hard to maintain a respectful and safe environment for cosplayers. With the geeky universes becoming more and more mainstream, we welcome new recruits to the fandom legion, who may or may not be knowledgeable in the field of cosplay. But that is not always ill will.
So let’s not hate, but educate! Spread the word, talk to the newbies and make sure that they’re aware. The FACTS organisation has been campaigning for years, for example with a massive display of ‘Cosplay is Not Consent’ posters every edition, of which you can see some below.
Together, we can make sure that FACTS stays the safe haven for all cosplayers and fans. At FACTS, you’re never a geek, always a specialist. At FACTS, you’re never a nerd, always a bon vivant. At FACTS, you’re never a freak, always a companion. We hope to see you in the comic con family soon!