I posted this last night on Facebook, so I figured I’d share it here, too.
I will NOT be attending NYCC. I hate to make this call - especially since I was lucky enough to snag a pass, and I haven’t been in a couple years - but it’s necessary. It’s just not a great time for me right now, financially and emotionally.
Even if it was a plentiful time monetarily, the convention has had a dark cloud hovering over it for a few months now since I was threatened. A man who didn’t like me saying that I cosplay for myself, not for other people, threatened extreme physical violence against me if I went to NYCC. He even went so far as to brag about his SO being in the NYPD, so he’d ‘get away with it’. My local authorities shrugged and told me there was nothing they could do (even though I tracked down the man’s name and home address). The NYPD gave me a run-around on the phone that resulted in nothing but wasted time. ReedPop refused to answer any concerned emails I sent them. So, while I don’t want to back down and let a bully win, I’m not exactly wanting to be knocked out and raped (his threats) either.
So! I hope everyone who goes has a great time! Be good to each other!
A couple hours later, I wrote this in response to the comments I was receiving:
~ I’ve received an email from a ReedPop representative, expressing concern for the harassment I received and asking where I sent the emails to. Given that I sent the emails through their automated email form on their website, asking that the messages be forwarded to someone who might assist me, it might have been overlooked or not received. So I could have tried harder to reach a real person.
~ RE: FBI. Friends of mine (cosplayers who have had similar threats/stalker issues) who have tried to involve the FBI regarding online threats/harassment have had extremely little luck in being taken seriously. For one friend it took over a year to get a simple restraining order. I dealt with a lot of anxiety when this was happening, and I didn’t have the time or energy to be put through another fruitless run-around. Needless to say, I’m extremely jaded regarding the justice system.
~ That said, ‘justice’ dealt by the people (ex: ‘outing’ the man by releasing name and address) is something I’ve been dissuaded from. When I approached the authorities regarding this, they told me not to rally people against this person, or I could be charged with organized harassment. Sadly, that’s how the system seems to work, and if (gods forbid) something did happen to me, I’d want nothing a court or jury could use in his favor.
~ Those who are encouraging me to attend anyway… This is a ‘better safe than sorry’ situation. We live in a world where ‘she was asking for it’ is still used as an excuse to sexual assault when a woman is wearing tight/revealing clothing. You know that if something happened to me, while wearing one of my costumes, that’s exactly what people would say. The blame would be placed on me, for what I was wearing, rather than on the assailant. We saw it just a couple months ago, when a young woman was assaulted at SDCC. It’s wrong, it’s something society desperately needs to fix, but it’s an unfortunate truth…and it would destroy me.
Again, if you’re going, enjoy yourself, watch out for yourself and your friends, and be excellent to one another!