First name and last initial: UnyQuee O.
Where are you from originally, or where do you reside currently? I currently reside in New York.
How long have you been cosplaying? I’ve been cosplaying in public for about 6 yrs, and I’ve been sewing and making things for 16+ yrs now.
What characters have you cosplayed? The main character I cosplay is Storm from Marvel’s X-Men. I cosplay Marvel characters a lot. I only try to cosplay characters I know, with personality traits that I can bring to life such as the Scarlet Witch, Polaris, Blackfire, Maleficent, and Buttercup of the Powerpuff Girls. I’ve even created my own ethereal being cosplays.
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I guess one of the things that it came from was an obsession I have with fashion and comic books/superheroes. I’ve always had a really “outside the box” type style. I never really give “trends” much attention. Any opportunity, that would call for “dress up” I lived for. I remember begging my mom to let me do extravagant looks for Halloween. I took it pretty seriously when October came around.
What do you do when you are not cosplaying? This is a tough question, since I cosplay so much. I’m usually at home on my sewing machine. Crafting, making my own clothes or playing video games. I used to be a professional ballerina, I have my own dance troupe. I train my dancers in various styles and techniques.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Cosplay characters that you know you’re passionate about. If you don’t have any skills to make your own cosplays, there’s information everywhere. There so many creative liberties when you’re drafting ideas. You really get a confidence boost, knowing that you crafted what you’re wearing. A lot of people say they don’t know how, but there’s too much information out there (for free) for that to be an excuse.
Why do you feel that #28DaysofBlackCosplay is important? Representation matters.
So much of being a nerd and being into Geek culture, is usually at the center of whiteness, not just the events/cons. A plethora of characters that were created by big named comic houses are often white and are the main focus of whatever plot or narrative.
#28DaysofBlackCosplay is super important because we (black folx) need to see black & brown faces, exist in spaces where we think it’s not possible. Seeing other PoC folx doing cool nerdy/geek things we didn’t think or see possible for ourselves.
What is one thing the PoC cosplay community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other as well as non PoCs? Holding people to account for their transgressions. Not allowing certain cosplayers to get away with something they did wrong, regardless if they’ve got a large following or not.
Cosplayers as whole, need to recognize that colourism largely effects PoC folx. It needs to be addressed, and dealt with when it happens, just like when blackfacing happens.
PoCs shouldn’t excuse any cosplayer as it relates to blackface. Non PoCs need to stop telling PoC folx that it’s a “black version” of a cosplay; that’s seriously problematic. We just want to live our best nerdy lives, and be great at things we do!