Written by Briona: @StitchesAndSpells
I’m going to say it again – own your quirks. It’s no fun to dim your light to blend in with everyone else. Your voice is unique, quirky, and that’s great. And it took me years to realize that through how I shared my interests, obsessions and hobbies with other people.
I used to be pretty low-key about my love of Harry Potter and Star Wars, dressing in costumes and my dark decor obsession. People kind of knew I liked that stuff, but they really didn’t know how hard I went in on it. I didn’t want to deal with being judged for my passions. But what I didn’t realize was how that suppressed my creativity and likely caused me to miss out on some amazing connections with other passionate fans also waiting for a kindred spirit. I’ve since shared more of my interests with others in person and online, and I’ve also found that niche fandom communities need more Black voices.
Searching within a hashtag is a great way to discover new creatives, but many times I have to dig for a while to find who and what I’m looking for in representation. Whenever I’m researching for a cosplay or technique, Black creatives aren’t easy for me to find in common searches, whether it’s related to cosplay, historical costuming, sewing, Wizarding World or Disney. A lot of Black creators exist in online spaces, and their work is phenomenal. So spaces like Afros and Pixie Dust, Black Girl Disney and any other blog or IG account that creates visible space where Black creators can shine is fantastic. To me, it illustrates how special it can be when Black creators own their quirks and share their interests to connect and thrive.