Sooyong inherited her nerd-dom from her Black American father and her artistic talent from her Korean mother. Combining that with a lifelong love of Japanese anime and video games, she discovered her passion for cosplay while in high school and hasn’t stopped even after moving to Japan and living there for 5 years. During that time, she shared her hobby openly with her Japanese co-workers, students and friends. After getting over the anxiety of being a foreigner with a darker skin tone in Japan, she attended and cosplayed at several events including Comiket, World Cosplay Summit, and Tokyo Game Show, and was greeted with a very warm reception by Japanese cosplayers, photographers and spectators alike. After returning to the U.S. in 2015, she hopes to share her experiences of cosplaying in Japan with the community in America, and encourage cultural exchange and understanding through her favorite hobby.
Last year, Sooyong took another leap to conquer another obstacle: her anxiety about cosplaying as male characters. While her Uta no Prince-sama costumes aren't as eyecatching as her signature Dynasty Warriors costume featured in AFROPUNK and The Huffington Post during 2016’s "29 Days of Black Cosplay," crossplay has opened up a new world for her, inspiring her to want to learn more about gender identity and expression and help others explore their own personal identity through cosplay. With a cosplay history spanning over 10 years, whether it is the fight against sexual harrassment, racial discrimination, or shaming of people who don’t make their own costumes, Sooyong’s ultimate goal is to send the message that cosplay is about community, not hierarchy.
When she’s not making or shopping for costumes, Sooyong’s other hobbies include collecting Sailor Moon goods, making “itabags,” and translating works from Uta no Prince-sama from Japanese to English. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook under the name, "SCHIZOALIAS."
Check out her page here.