Cosplay at Dragon Con 2017

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By: Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

More than 80,000 people attended Dragon Con’s 31st anniversary over Labor Day weekend this year, with fans taking part in panels, signings, and even a parade honoring the accomplishments of cosplayers and the embarrassment of riches therein. It was impossible to turn around without seeing costumes everywhere, and it seemed like more attendees were dressed up than not.

Dragon Con seems to place an importance on cosplay more so than other cons. It’s a place to celebrate diversity in fandom and connects fans from all nerdy genres under one banner, welcoming participants from all walks of life into a community without fear or judgment.

Here are just a few of the cosplays from Dragon Con 2017.

Disney Princesses (and Prince!)

(from right) Rayn, 27, Poision Ivy Cinderella


What does being a nerd mean to you? Being free to do whatever you want and not giving a crap what other people think. Nerds have more fun!

Natasha, 22, Harley Quinn Sleeping Beauty


What is your favorite part about cosplay? Being able to be that character and other people acknowledging you as that character. I love being cheeky and causing mayhem. It’s so fun being the character you dress up as.

Tara, 32, Esmerelda


What does being a nerd mean to you? Being your authentic self and following your passions. The ability to explore what you’re passionate about with other people who are like-minded. Being unabashedly yourself.

Erin, 26, Ariel


What does being a nerd mean to you? I don’t know anything different because I’ve been one my entire life!

Jake, 27, Eric


What is your favorite part about cosplay? Seeing other peoples’ reactions. When other people love what you love, you find your people.

Doc Oc

Erika Sarai, 19


What was the hardest part about putting your cosplay together? The arms. They took a lot of time. You can’t see, but there’s pool noodles and light and copper in there.

Dumbledore

Rich, declined to answer age


What does being a nerd mean to you? I’ve been a nerd my whole life. I worked in the IT industry for 48 years, so this is a chance to be someone else for four days.

Finn and Kylo Ren

Joshua, 27, Finn


What is your favorite part about cosplay? Seeing others that are cosplaying from the same series. I get excited, especially with the ones you don’t see often. I don’t see many Finns. I saw some yesterday and got excited like, “There’s another Finn here!”

Drew, 26, Kylo Ren


What was the hardest part about putting your cosplay together? A friend of mine made it and she said putting the pleats in was the hardest part.

Flynn Rider

Ryan, 40


What is your favorite part about cosplay? Getting into character and having fun with that. I can be jovial or an ass or completely disinterested depending on character and I love the reactions I get. When people love the character, they get giddy and excited you brought that character to life.

The Ladies of GLOW

(from right)Adrienne, 32, Zoya the Destroya


What is your favorite part about cosplay? When we came up with the costumes, we didn’t know what characters we were going to be. The parts spoke to us. You find the one piece like a silver swimsuit and then it comes to you and you have to figure it a way to use it.

Jen, 38, Melrose


What does being a nerd mean to you? Accepting that you don’t have to try to act in a socially-prescribed way and that you can dig deep into the things you love.

Deb, 44, Liberty Belle


What is your favorite part about cosplay? Dressing up as a character you enjoy and getting to meet new people.

Jareth the Goblin King

Tom, 55


What was the hardest part about putting your cosplay together? Trying to find the right material. It took me about four years because they quit making the right taffeta!

Mantis

Amy, 34


What does being a nerd mean to you? Having a large community that I’m automatically a part of. I love that I can walk around a convention and automatically make friends. Everyone here is a friend I haven’t met yet.

Maui

John, 30


What was the hardest part about putting your cosplay together? Drawing the chest. I’m not artistic. I wore the suit and someone outlined it, then I bought the doll and did the filling in by hand.

Wonder Woman and Superman

Bryan, 35, Superman


What does being a nerd mean to you? Having a passion for pop culture, sci-fi, and comics and however you choose to express that passion. Cosplay is no different than guys who go to football games and paint their chests, it’s just another form of artistic expression.

Jennifer, 34, Wonder Woman


What is your favorite part about cosplay? It gives us a break from realty. You can be whoever you want to be. You also emulate whatever you’re cosplaying. We dress up as superheroes to embody strength and power.

Yondu Poppins

Cash, 35


What does being a nerd mean to you? It’s something that so many of us got called 20, 30 years ago, so we formed our own community. Cosplay gives everyone a creative outlet. I mean, if we’re going to be honest, I’m a 35-year-old man dressed up in drag!


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