That's an idea. Sadly, I never have my camera handy (my cosplays never have pockets so it's always buried somewhere in my bag), and even if my phone is handy, the camera on that (ancient flipphone lol) is so terrible that I don't know if it would be of any use. But I can certainly try next time something happens.
Fear of retaliation or aggression is pretty much the only reason why I hold back sometimes in dealing with creepers. I don't want to put myself in danger, especially since my cosplays are usually cumbersome and I'm fairly small (tough, but only 100lbs...easy to pick up and carry away), so it would be difficult to physically defend myself.
The incident with the videographer and ?Rover:
I was in my Ultimecia cosplay
, hurrying back from the Final Fantasy gathering early Saturday afternoon (this was likely between 1:00~1:30PM). The costume itself is physically painful to wear, and the oversize headpiece was not as well-supported as I'd have liked, it I had to hold it up. I went through the lower level of the concourse rather than walking outside to get back to my hotel room (Hilton) because it was shorter. The only thing on my mind was that I had to get out of that costume ASAP.
Now, technically, this costume isn't con-legal, since the horns are too large to fit through doors without going sideways or diagonal. I can fit into elevators without much problem, and can do double doors without a center bar. So part of this is my own fault, since I technically shouldn't have been indoors at all with it, but as I said, shorter route through a mostly empty hallway. So image me, in this costume, holding the horns on my head with one clawed hand and holding my bag and train over my other arm, rushing toward the Hilton as fast as I can go (which...well, I walk pretty quickly naturally, but I was hampered a bit by my costume).
At one point, about halfway between the main entrance of the CC and the Hilton, a videographer shoves a camera in my face and starts recording me walking down this hall. I start waving my arm and telling him "no video please!," but he continues. I keep waving my arm and saying "stop recording!" and "I'm not comfortable being recorded!" and "no video!" in as stern of a voice as I can manage under the circumstances (which I'm getting pretty cranky by this point, so pretty stern). He keeps recording. After a while, he finally says "oh, you don't want me to video you?" though I'm pretty sure he's still recording at this point. I tell him to delete the video. Keep in mind that I'm still walking this whole time, and I don't have the wherewithal to actually stop and check that he deletes the video, so there may still be a video of me out there somewhere waving my arm and telling someone to stop recording. I'm still walking.
As I'm still walking, a man's voice behind me keeps trying to get my attention. "Ma'am? Excuse me? Ma'am?" I snap a little (sorry, ?Rover, if I was rude at all!) and tell him that I just told him and the videographer I'm not doing pictures. (They weren't together -- this gentleman was walking with a woman, but appeared soon enough after I got rid of the videographer who was harassing me that he had to have seen at least part of the interaction.) I keep walking, thinking that he was just another insistent photographer. Eventually, he catches up with me near the Hilton, and I stop to talk to him (and again, I apologize if I was rude, if whoever that was sees this). I don't believe that either this gentleman or his companion had a yellow "Rovers" armband. He never identified himself, and even chasing me halfway across the CC, he never stated his intentions until I stopped (mostly to tell him to go away, I'm not doing photos). He was very soft-spoken and didn't seem entirely sure of himself, but he wanted to lead me over to the other side of the CC to get my horns peacebonded (which he later admitted was a mistake because he thought I was holding a bow to the top of my head and not wearing an actual headpiece, which seems odd, but honest mistake I guess). After I explained that I was headed straight back to my hotel room to change out of the outfit (and after a couple of incredulous "you want me to peacebond my horns
???"), he said something about fitting through doorways (whoops, sorry about that one) and let me go.
I didn't really think anything of it at the time (again, I was thinking "must. remove. costume."), but the more I think about this whole incident, the weirder it seems. Unfortunately, I've had to deal with a lot of videographers who just start recording without ever asking permission or even saying that they are recording (I've had people who just stand there and chat with me while holding a camera, and then I later notice that it's recording and ask for them to delete it, but usually these people are nice about it and apologize and show me that it's gone, and a few people do what this videographer did, but stopped the moment I made it clear that I didn't want to be recorded on video and weren't so rude or insistent), so that's nothing all that new. What was strange was that ?Rover was closeby enough that he could have witnessed the incident with the videographer, but instead decided to chase me halfway across the CC to get me to peacebond my horns. He also never stated his intent, only trying to get my attention with "excuse me" and "ma'am," leading me to think that he was another really persistent photog. He also never identified himself as being officially for the con in any capacity. I assume he was an off-duty Rover or other staff member or volunteer, but he never identified himself by name or con-related work, only that he wanted to lead me away to a peacebonding station, so he technically could have been anyone. I would have stopped a lot sooner and been a lot less snippy if he had identified himself from the start instead of acting the same way as all the pushy photographers that I was trying to get away from.
I felt harassed by the videographer, and while ?Rover may have not seen the interaction or realized what was happening, he was /right there/ as soon as it was over, trying to get me to a peacebonding station instead of going after the videographer who was harassing me. He was polite enough, so that was good, I have no complaints there, just that I have no idea who this person was, whether they were with staff, and that they were right there when someone was filming me for a good 20 or 30 seconds /after/ I first told them to stop and didn't seem to do anything about that person. (He was with a woman who seemed just as official as he did, so if it was an issue of going for the rule-breaking costume over going for the videographer, they could have split up. I didn't really interact much with the woman though, so she may have just been a personal companion and not an official companion, but I believe she was the one who told me to go after I demonstrated that my horns were, in fact, horns, and now a bow clasped upside-down on my head.)
If this ever happens again, I'll see if I can get myself in the correct headspace to make sure that the videographer deletes the video, and I'll ask the ?Rover for identification (and be less rude, but without stating his intent and acting just like the pushy photogs, I don't think you can blame me much), and I might try to take the exterior route to the hotel instead of the interior route, even if it's longer. Though...it's still one of the stranger encounters I had at this con. Any insight as to what exactly happened? The more I think about it, the weirder the whole thing gets.
New reply posted while I was typing!
Wow...the gall of some of these people is...amazing. To grab you and tell you he masturbates to your photos is shocking and disturbing.
On the back of every badge, there are phone numbers. If somethings happens to you, report it right away while it is still somewhat memorable in your memory. We do take harassment very seriously! The more you report these incidents, the more we can catch these creeps!
Yeah, that was probably the most disturbing encounter I've ever had at a con. The second most disturbing was a man (not a con attendee) who followed me for several blocks through DTSJ as I was trying to get back to the con with my dinner, constantly asking increasingly personal information. He left as soon as I got within a block of the con.
The photog who told me he masturbates to my photos wasn't quite that overt about it, but the intention behind what he said (it was something about "really enjoying" the photos he took of me, with some hand motions to illustrate) was very clear. Even creepier that I could have easily passed as underage in that costume at that time (I was of age, but in my late teens or early 20s, dressed as a rather cutsey moe type character). This was also 5 years ago or more, so I'm not too worried about him anymore, though it did shake me up quite a bit. I have a feeling that someone like that probably gets off of knowing that he crossed some serious boundaries and creeped me out, so I try to not let it bother me terribly much to not give him that satisfaction. I just hope he isn't still out there, and that he hasn't gone further (or gone for someone actually underage -- he was maybe in his 40s or so at the time?).