Now that I’m on an ableism-education spree, I might want to add this to the list.
To all able-bodied cosplayers:
Let me make clear, first and foremost, that cosplaying as disabled characters as an able-bodied person is okay. Just like cosplaying white characters when you’re POC or vice versa, is completely fine.
What is not okay, though, is using devices to aid these disabilities for your costume. If your desired character is in a wheelchair, please don’t use a wheelchair if you’re able-bodied. Because you’ll take up unnecessary space and get special treatment that you do not need from other people. I don’t care if the wheelchair is essential to the character. If you are able-bodied, don’t use one. Just walk.
If your desired character uses a cane, make sure you only use it for pictures and walk normally in public any other time.
Let me try to see if this metaphor works: If you’re white, it’s not okay to change your skintone to match a POC character (blackface ain’t cool yo), so please do not pretend to be disabled just to accurately cosplay a character, either.
Our disabilities are not a costume, they are cold, harsh realities. And our devices to help aid these disabilities are not props for your entertainment.