Tokyo Comic-Con bans cross-dressing male cosplayers

It’s almost time for the first ever Tokyo Comic-Con, only there is a strange rule: men cannot dress as female characters.

The news has been blazing down the internet grapeview that Tokyo Comic Con in December at Makuhari Messe will be banning cross-dressing men from attending if they dare to arrive in costumes of female characters.

This is a move that would surely disappoint the likes of Ladybeard, Sailor Fuku Ojisan, and the legions of otoko no ko cross-dressing cosplayers out there.

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Needless to say, the announcement has caused something of an uproar because so much of cosplay blurs boundaries between gender, race and genre. The idea that men cannot dress up as female characters is against the very principles of cosplay. (And that’s before we even open that whole can of worms that is cross-dressing in traditional culture such as kabuki, or even mainstream pop culture, such as the likes of Matsuko Deluxe.)

Comic-Con promptly reversed the ban on October 27th, so guys dressed as girls can now attend without fear of being thrown out.

We hope that Comiket would surely never consider imposing such a rule, so perhaps this is due to the fact that Comic-Con is originally an American event? Not so, since the American counterpart has no such rule.

Moreover, there was no mention of banning women from dressing as men. The wording was “josou”, which means men cross-dressing as women. It seems this may have been an over-zealous attempt to ensure that men don’t go into women’s dressing rooms and cause trouble.

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