In light of October being National Bullying Prevention Month I wanted to share this little piece of my life with you:
Today I encountered a young African-American boy, and his mother in Target’s Halloween section. I entered their aisle just as his mother was making the argument that if girls could dress up as Black Panther, than it was perfectly okay for him to dress up as a Dora Milaje (female Wakandan warrior). He still seemed a bit unsure, so I leaned over and mentioned that I was going to dress up as Percy Jackson for Halloween.
The smile on his face was priceless as he pulled the costume from the rack a moment after. But it was what his mother did next, that made me tear up. As her son started off down the aisle, hugging the costume package to his chest, she turned, and gave me a silent Wakandan salut. I saluted her back. And we stood there for a moment—our arms crossed over our chests in that half empty aisle of costumes—until she nodded, and left to rejoin her son.
Sometimes we forget that each of us has the ability to effect positive change in the world. To speak out. To stand up. To defend. To believe. To band together against those who would seek to keep us down. To become a force for change, until that change becomes a reality.
And so I want to say this to that brave little Dora Milaje, though you may never see this I want you to know, you can be anything. So wear your costume proudly, because cosplay is for everyone.