This may be long, so please forgive me. If you're not into a long-ish post, please skip. But if you'd like to take a peek inside my brain/soul, please keep reading.
/steps up to soapbox/
At Dragon*CON 2015, I was *asked* to be the lead photographer for the "Harley Flash Mob" photo-shoot.
If any of you know me, this should pop up warning signs. Big, flashing, neon warning signs. This was a very difficult thing for me to do as: 1) I'm more of a gonzo/fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of photographer (get in, compose my shots, bing-bang-boom, done, and gone); 2) while I'm flamboyant as a cosplayer, and confident in my skill sets, I prefer to be behind the scenes helping things along (I'm actually quite shy) (you can stop laughing now) (no, really, you can stop now); and 3) I've recently discovered something about myself that I've never dealt with before - I have a HUGE thing for Harley Quinn. And I have absolutely no friggin' idea why or why this character. This could be just a fan-boy crush, perhaps be a kink/fetish I was unaware of (which is a brand new facet to my psyche), or possibly be an obsession, dunno which one it is.
I see an attractive HQ and I get... stupid. I say stupid stuff and fear I could do stupid things (non-consensual); which is totally out of character for me. Yes, I'm a goofball but mostly harmless and try to be very respectful. I much prefer the world to laugh with me than shy away from me. I wrote about this (noting a HQ who was topless wearing pasties at an event I attended) on the D*C Facebook page and it cost me, greatly; with some ridicule (this is the surest way to get me to shut down and then explode on your ass, BTW) and at least one friendship being done with (her call, not mine). All for me being honest about something I never have dealt with before. :-\
Now, I'm an old-timer and have seen/heard of many fanboys/fangirls over the years state that they would jump the bones of / sleep with anyone who was dressed like a particular or beloved character so I felt like, "How come they can get away with saying stuff like this and folks are cool with (or indulge) it, but I get ridiculed / shunned?" And it hurt and pissed me off. And I've been processing this ... crap for almost two months. Trying to be a grown-up and not shut myself down and then emotionally explode and lash out at folks undeserving of my wrath.
This being said, it was entirely possible for me to make a total jackass out of myself at the HQ photo-shoot because I'd want to fling as many of them as I could fling over my shoulders, take them back to my room, and play "patty-cake." (all with permission of course). I let the shoot director, my friend Lamia, know about this issue. But she really needed a name to put down for the con and flattered me with un-faint praise; meaning she really does like my photography skills and wanted someone she could count on. I did inform her that if I had to excuse myself and beat my head against a wall, it was because I was having an internal argument... and losing said argument.
I didn't do anything skeevy or creepy (e.g., unwanted sexual advances) at the shoot. But the desire was there. Boy, was it there! Instead, I tried to act professional, take as many pics as I could (with a nod to the official D*C photographer who gave us some good ideas for shots/poses), not play favorites with particular cosplayers (e.g., ones that pushed my buttons) and give everyone equal face time regardless of how good/bad/odd I may have felt about the costume, make-up, or concept. Again, being professional and having a good time. At least I try to.
/steps off of soapbox/