Tettelles Cosplay

(Photo : IantheFifth)

My name is Tettelle. I am a 21 year old black nonbinary (he/him) cosplayer. Although my history with cosplay is not deep, I am actively opening new chapters as each year passes. Cosplay has become a coping strategy for me.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder (MDD) and later misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Recently, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Living with these conditions isn’t easy, to say the least, but they haven’t stopped me from pursuing my goals. I used to actively draw when I was around 10 years old, and as my depression worsened, as did my drive to illustrate. For years, I haven’t picked up a pencil with the intention of drawing.

After discovering cosplay, I finally have a way to all my pent up creativity in new and innovative ways through fabric, foam, and passion. I believe that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change. Wishing isn’t going to do anything. Action is power. I want to contribute to the communities that I am apart of, such as the black community and the LGBT community.

Last year, I felt a surge of inspiration and started hosting group photoshoots for black and African-American cosplayers at conventions such as Momocon and Anime Weekend Atlanta. The frustration I had with the lack of black representation in the cosplay community triggered it. I plan on continuing to support my fellow cosplayers, no matter what race, gender, or sexuality they are.

My first convention was Momocon 2017. The first day of the convention was right after my high school graduation. That day was pretty rough for me. My father would not be attending the ceremony because he was out of state for work. His lack of care broke my heart. The only thread that kept me hanging was my first ever convention. I attend with the person that I was currently dating along with a few friends. I remember cosplaying as Kishibe Rohan and getting asked for about two pictures. That experience was so unique and liberating; I couldn’t wait to go to future conventions. And what would happen during future conventions would help me cope.

I feel as if cosplay discovered me and not the other way around. I barely knew anything about cosplay when I first started cosplaying, in all honesty. I just went to Goodwill and Walmart, slapped together some clothes and called it a cosplay. Now, I’ve expanded my horizons, and have started teaching myself how to sow. I’m still not perfect at cosplay, and I probably never will be. There’s always something new to learn and improve on, but the mission isn’t perfection. The goal is to enjoy myself and I’m having one hell of a time.