When I was a younger, dumber version of myself, I thought cosplay was stupid. “Why dress up as something?” I wondered. “The coolest kids wear cargo shorts and sandals.” As I grew up, I realized that cosplay is brilliant. What I want, more than anything, is to celebrate my fandom of various TV shows, games, movies, toys, comics, and whatever else. But at the same time, I can feel painfully awkward in social settings. From being at ACen, I learned that cosplay gives you an easy and immediate visual cue as to who likes what. It was a whole network of people who openly advertised their fandom, like if Facebook wasn’t full of dirty liars.