Amber Oakenshield

Amber Oakenshield

Who Are You?
Hi, I am Amber or Kealo Cosplay! I’m 21 and I have started cosplaying about 6 or 7 years ago. Cosplay is a huge part of my life and it helped me so much. Other than cosplay I love exploring new places and always up for an unexpected adventure! (I live like a Hobbit!) I also enjoy photography and play with my kittens.

Why and when did you decide to become a Drag King or do FTM Cosplay?
Since the very first time when I started cosplaying 2009 ReCon I was dressed as L from Death Note and after that I kept dressing up/ cosplaying male characters. I always loved dressing up as a boy or being a boy as much I am a girl. I always had my days when I wished I was a boy, a few years ago I came across genderfluidity and realised that I am genderfluid. Cosplaying male characters helps me a lot becoming a male whenever I want to.

Also in cosplay due to my slim body type I always felt a lot more comfortable cosplaying male characters. I feel more myself and more in character when I can cosplay a male character.

Do you have a favourite character? (Why is he your favourite?)
Oh dukes. That is hard question! I have so many! But if I only can choose one is has to be Mephisto Pheles from Blue Exorcist. I absolutely adore him! He is sooo sassy and careless, also fabulous and let’s not forget a badass!! I mean he is the second King of Hell! And you just gotta love his style!

What attracted you to dressing and performing as a male character?
I always was a boyish girl. Climbing trees, playing cops or pirates or being the bad guy! As everyone else did I had crush on anime boys a lot then I started thinking after every anime… “hmm wait I am a cosplayer what if I became him??” So I tried it and it worked out quiet well! Of course I am not the best cosplayer but that didn’t matter, all that matter that I had fun and I was comfortable being the badass demon child, or the sweet gentleman.

Why do you think Drag Kings/FTM cosplayers are usually ignored in favour of Drag Queens MTF Cosplayers?
People are definitely paying more attention to MTF as it’s more common nowadays finding FTM cosplayers than MTF, but again no one really herad our side of the story, why and how we do this as it’s not always as easy as it looks!

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What would you like the world to know?
Binding! the first word popped to my mind and I screamed. Binding is the spawn of Satan! As much as our characters might look like the handsomest devil most the times it is pain in the hooves! When you are binding you have to make sure you won’t injure yourself, yet still make yourself look flat and that is my friend is hard especially to cosplayer who has larger breasts. Thanks sweet impala I have tiny bazookas (the only time I’m glad I’m an ironing board!) so I don’t have much problem with binding excpet that after wearing binders for a long period of time you get rather bad back aches but it’s different to every person.

Now let’s talk about open chest binding. NOW that is a b*tch. You have to find the right tape that strong enough to hold your puppies through out the whole convention other wise you are in trouble! You need a tape that could hold the god damn London Bridge together! And your nipples! Make sure you covered them you’re going to be in for a sticky (and rather painful) suprise in the end.

But I have babbled enough about binding the most important thing I want the world to know is cosplay equality! No matter who you arem where you from, what’s you body type or skin colour, or gender you CAN cosplay whoever you want to, because the most important thing in cosplay is to enjoy yourself and not what other people think. Always believe in yourself and don’t care what other people has to say, you are you and you and your cosplay is PERFECT just the way it is. So I call out to everyone in cosplay community to let’s be nice to each other and let’s be a family again, stop the shaming, stop the bullying because if you do that you are not a real cosplayer.

About the author: Dannii Cohen

Dannii Cohen is a stand-up comedian (drag name Divine Varod) and comedy writer turned author, psychologist, professional counselor, life coach and self-help expert. Specialized in LGBT issues, anxiety, empowerment, children's issues and bullying.

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Published works include children's books about childhood depression and the importance of being yourself (When Clouds Hide The Sun and Christopher the Lonely Bear) and an easy to use self help manual 50 Things To Know To Have A Better Life: Self-Improvement Made Easy.