FAQ: "What is CROSSPLAY"? and related word definitions

Archived Thread
Our site is currently being changed over to the new version. Everything you see is currently in read-only mode. Additionally, the layout and UI will not be complete until all sections have been re-enabled, so please ignore any layout issues (or bland-ness) at this time.
#1 Karisu-sama on 15 years ago

NOTE: This particular post is edited / updated as I see fit.

[b]"CROSSPLAY" is merely a subset of "cosplay".[/b] Cosplaying is a theatrical behavior, the definition of which follows below.

[b]NOTE!! The definitions below include "crossdressing". Both crossplaying and crossdressing-during-cosplay (separate things) are theatrical modes of behavior.[/b] This FAQ is [b]not[/b] meant to cover crossdressing outside of the theatrical mode, which is an entirely different topic suited for another board. Cosplay.com is a COSPLAY BOARD.

[u]Some basic definitions:[/u]
[b]Costume[/b] [i](noun)[/i] = clothing, props etc. worn to represent a character.
[b]Costume[/b] [i](verb)[/i] = to make a costume (noun) of a character.
[b]Costumer[/b] = the person who makes / puts together the costume. (Sometimes also used as a synonym for "cosplayer", meaning the person who wears the costume.)

[b]Cosplay[/b] - origins: a contraction by Nov (Nobuyuki) Takahashi (of Studio Hard) of the English-language words "costume play". He was inspired by hall and masquerade costuming (including anime!) at the 1984 Los Angeles SF Worldcon, and his enthusiastic reports of it in Japanese SF magazines sparked the Japanese cosplay movement. (Cosplay in the US is a RE-IMPORT, not a homegrown Japanese phenomenon. )
[b]Cosplay[/b] [i](noun)[/i] = the state of wearing of costumes, as in "he's involved with cosplay". Sometimes used as a synonym for "masquerade" at an anime con.
[b]Cosplay[/b] [i](verb)[/i] = to wear a costume of a character.
[b]Cosplayer[/b] = the person who wears the costume. (Often the same person as the costumer, but not always. Some cosplayers have their costumes made by another person; ie: my cosplayer kids wear costumes that I make.)

[b]Crossplay[/b] [i](verb)[/i] = a subset of cosplay: to wear a costume where the character in question is of the opposite sex as the cosplayer.
[b]Crossplayer[/b] = either a girl wearing a costume of a character who is a guy, or a guy wearing a costume of a character who is a girl.

[b]Crossdressing[/b] = wearing non-gender-neutral clothes considered to be appropriate to the opposite sex. A [i]character[/i] may be crossdressing, but this does not automatically mean that the [i]cosplayer[/i] wearing that costume is [u]cross[/u]playing. "Crossplay" has nothing to do with whether a character is actually crossDRESSING; it only refers to a difference between the sex of the character and that of the cosplayer.

A guy cosplaying Nuriko, Kamatari or Mana is NOT crossplaying, although he IS crossdressing.
A girl cosplaying Nuriko, Kamatari or Mana IS crossplaying, but is NOT crossdressing.
A guy cosplaying Utena or Sakura is both crossplaying AND crossdressing.
A girl cosplaying Kenshin or Vash is both crossplaying AND crossdressing. (Note: I am not referring to "femme versions" of costumes, but the costume designs as actually worn by the original male characters.)

When I cosplay Dilandau, I'm both crossplaying AND crossdressing. (The character himself is not crossdressing, just me.)

[b]Neither crossplaying nor crossdressing actually indicate anything about a person's sexual orientation.[/b] You CANNOT tell if a crossplayer is Gay, Het or Bi just by the fact that they crossplay. As for crossdressing, whether in cosplay or even in mundane life, it [b]may or may not[/b] indicate something about a person's gender identity, so NEVER ASSUME, because you could indeed be wrong.

[b]Why cosplay.com has a crossplay forum:[/b]
In order for cosplayers to discuss issues related to crossplay; from the basics of temporarily altering body shape (ie: chest binding for female crossplayers and creating fake boobs for male crossplayers) to dealing with the social aspects (ie: possibly disapproving parents, people mistakenly assuming that crossplayers are gay, etc.)

[b]Why do people crossplay?[/b]
The reasons vary. Occasionally one may see crossplay done as a form of satire / humorous behavior, but it appears that a large majority of crossplay occurs simply because:
1) a cosplayer likes a particular character,
2) they like the character enough that they want to cosplay as that character, and:
3) they do not feel that a simple difference in gender between themselves and the character should be a barrier to cosplaying that character.

#2 Sesshy_InuGirl on 15 years ago

thanks for clearing this up.Now I know the difference.

#3 Merle-kun on 15 years ago

And knowing is half the battle! GI Joe! =3

To add to your description.. the term cosplay was coined by Nov. Takahashi in a series of articles he wrote in 1982 for "My Anime" magazine. =3

#4 Karisu-sama on 15 years ago

[QUOTE=Merle-kun]To add to your description.. the term cosplay was coined by Nov. Takahashi in a series of articles he wrote in 1982 for "My Anime" magazine. =3[/QUOTE]
So recently?? Sheesh - then I (and some other anime cosplayers I knew at the time) were cosplaying before the word contraction was even created! Aie!! @[email protected]

(Shhhh - I did a very LAME-ass crossplay of Speed Racer once at an SF con back then - but it was really more a "femme version" because crossplay just wasn't done at the time.)

#5 Igniz on 15 years ago

thanks for the the info, Karisu-sama :)
I didn't knew what means crossplay

#6 Michela on 15 years ago

[B]A character may be crossdressing, but this does not automatically mean that the cosplayer wearing that costume is crossplaying. "Crossplay" has nothing to do with whether a character is actually crossDRESSING; it only refers to a difference between the sex of the character and that of the cosplayer.

A guy cosplaying Nuriko, Kamatari or Mana is NOT crossplaying, although he IS crossdressing.[/B]

THANK YOU for mentioning that... (you're woderful! :) ) often, when I mention the exact same thing, others believe I'm mistaken. -_- It's interesting to know how different "costumer" was from "cosplayer..." I guess I should begin to call myself a "costumer" rather than a mere "cosplayer" now ^_~

#7 Hakaider on 15 years ago

In the past, some people are confused as to what the differences are between a transexual, transvestite and a crossplayer.

I hope these definitions would also help clear up some confusions.

Here are the definitions as defined by Psychologists:

Herotosexual-"Straight" or one who prefers the opposite gender.

Homosexual-"Gay", "Lesbian" or one who prefers the same gender.

Bisexual-One who prefers both sexes.

Transvestite-One who wears clothes of the opposite gender as a fetish.

Transexual- One who is mentally female but male physically or male mentally and female physically.

Note: Transexuals are not homosexuals because they see themselves as the same gender of their gender psychologically and mentally. To Transexuals, they are not crossdressing but are wearing what is normal attire for the specific gender. They see themselves as herotosexuals.

Hermaphrodites-Who has the same physical characteristics (Including genitals) of both male and female. Hermaphrodites and Transexuals are often lumped into the same category.


Note: Psychologists do not have crossplay or cosplay in their official vocabulary.


Crossplayer- A subset of cosplay.

A crossplayer IS a cosplayer.

There are many reasons why cosplayers crossplay.

Among them are:

1. They admire the characters and doesn't let their gender stop them from cosplaying the character.

2. They do it for laughs or comedy.

3. They do it for shock value.

4. They love to cosplay.

5. They see it as a challenge.

It is a common myth and misconception for some people to naturally assume that crossplayers are all homosexuals or transvestites. Many crossplayers are straight and lead normal lives outside of cosplay. There are cosplayers who are also gay and do a wonderful job of cosplaying. When it comes to cosplay, it should bear no significance if they are straight or gay.

There are NO straight or gay cosplayers.

There are only COSPLAYERS.

#8 Fault on 15 years ago

*cough* And since some transexuals are in fact gay of bisexual, it's best to point out that Gender is a completely separate concept from Sexuality.

To summarise: Gender is who you are, sexuality is who you want to be with.

I agree with Hakaider, cosplay is cosplay. Gender and sexuality are trifling concerns compared with what series, what character and whether the safety pins will hold.

#9 RoboGundam6 on 15 years ago

COOL! I was wondering myself, but kinda knew it by the word-play. I'm a crossplayer, cuz I love Iori Yagami...sigh....what? You didn't see that!
<_< NM. But I crossplay him ^^! Now for Setsuna form Last Blade, what a hottie ^^

#10 Souma Mitsuko on 15 years ago

Heheh, so, I was crossplaying on Halloween... cool! XDDD *was Miroku*

#11 ThatYaoiBoy on 15 years ago

[QUOTE=Hakaider]

Transexual- One who is mentally female but male physically or male mentally and female physically.

Note: Transexuals are not homosexuals because they see themselves as the same gender of their gender psychologically and mentally. To Transexuals, they are not crossdressing but are wearing what is normal attire for the specific gender. They see themselves as herotosexuals.[/QUOTE]

Actually, a transexual can be homosexual, bi or straight. If you are FtM and prefer males sexually, you are homosexual. If you prefer women, you're straight and if you prefer both, you're bisexual. For MtF (male to female) if you prefer females, then you're homosexual, if you prefer males you're straight and if you prefer both, you're bisexual. However for both FtM and MtF If you prefer male, female, adrogynous (sp?), transexuals, hermaphrodites you are Pansexual :D

#12 Karisu-sama on 15 years ago

[QUOTE=ThatYaoiBoy]Actually, a transexual can be homosexual, bi or straight.[/QUOTE]
Quite true. I know a post-op FtM who prefers women - he's what one would call straight (although when he was a she, she identified as lesbian.) I know a MtF who prefers woman - she's a lesbian. And yet another MtF whom I know likes both - she's bi.

Yes, it can be very confusing. But what one sex one perceives oneself to ought to be (and may even get surgery to physically become) is not related to one's sexual orientation toward others.

#13 dani on 15 years ago

[QUOTE=Karisu-sama]Yes, it can be very confusing. But what one sex one perceives oneself to ought to be (and may even get surgery to physically become) is not related to one's sexual orientation toward others.[/QUOTE]

The way I look at it:

- There is your anatomy (man, woman)

- There is who you feel you are (male, female)

- There is who you want to be with in a relashionship (gay straight, bi...)

- There is how you want to look (masculine, femenine, androgynous...)

And regardless of what society expects those four things are NOT necesarily related to one another.

Seeyou

Dani

#14 Belmont on 15 years ago

[QUOTE=dani]There is who you feel you are (male, female)[/QUOTE]

Speaking for myself, I would also add "ungendered/androgynous/neuter" to this category. I just never really identified myself strongly in any gender role...

- Belmont
(In Real Life: bishounen get no love!)

#15 dani on 15 years ago

[QUOTE=Belmont]Speaking for myself, I would also add "ungendered/androgynous/neuter" to this category. I just never really identified myself strongly in any gender role...
[/QUOTE]

Yes. My intention was just to name the different categories or levels, not to list the options within each one.

Cheers

Dani