In the wake of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Flame Con has altered its cosplay policy regarding replica weapons.
Flame Con is America’s largest queer comic con. It is billed as a “comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom.” As the con returns for its second year, the organizers have decided that no guns of any kind will be allowed at the convention.
The general cosplay guidelines for conventions indicate that a toy gun is allowed as part of a costume, provided that it is obviously a toy. Replica weapons that look too real are usually forbidden, so as not to cause concern. This year, however, the organizers behind Flame Con are asking attendees to leave even the toy guns at home. This is out respect for the 49 members of the LGBTQIA+ community who were killed at Pulse and anyone else who has been the victim of homophobic violence.
Because guns are not toys. Guns are not accessories that can be flaunted in public without inherently making light of their intended use—while simultaneously making many people deeply uncomfortable.
If you plan on attending Flame Con and intend to cosplay, please be aware that you will not be permitted to bring any of the following:
- Any weapon of any kind—bladed or projectile—that looks or feels real
- Any kind of gun or simulacrum of a firearm, no matter how fake it looks
- Any prop that is heavy, hard, or sharp enough to injure a person
The organizers are determined that everyone who attends this year’s convention feel safe, both physically and emotionally. In addition to the new cosplay policy, venue staff and local law enforcement are working with the organizers to bolster security at the event.
Personally, I would consider this a golden opportunity for cosplayers to get creative (more so than they already are). I mean, how Deadpool would it be if instead of guns, you brandished a chimichanga at someone? Perhaps Black Widow’s weapon of choice could be the spider after which she is named? The Doctor seemed to do all right with a banana and a screwdriver.
This year’s Flame Con will be held August 20th and 21st in Brooklyn, New York. After the success of last year’s con, which boasted more than 2,000 attendees, the event was expanded from one to two days and moved to a different venue in anticipation of an even larger turnout and more exciting guests. Some of the guests this year include Cecil Baldwin, David Levithan, and Jill Pantozzi. It should be a fun, fantastic weekend, and we hope to see you there!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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