Convention creepers are an unfortunate part of life. Here’s a simple guide on how not to be a creeper, based on my personal experiences.
1. Just because someone is cosplaying a character, it doesn’t mean they are that character. Most cosplayers are ok to play along in character for a bit, but there’s a limit.
2. Always ask before taking photos. It’s the polite thing to do.
3. Always ask before touching someone (that’s something you should do in non-convention settings too!). If you want to hug someone cosplaying your waifu/husbando, please ask first! The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no, whereas much worse could happen if you force physical contact on someone.
4. Don’t stand and stare at people. If you want to talk to someone, then talk to them. There’s something extremely creepy about someone standing a short distance away, chanting your character’s name over and over, then disappearing. Please don’t do that!
5. Try not to latch onto people that you don’t know, unless they appear to welcome you as a friend. There’s always that one person who just doesn’t get the hint, and continues to follow you around and make you feel uncomfortable. I don’t like having to tell people to go away – it makes me feel mean – but sometimes I feel like I have to.
6. If someone who has previously made it clear that they don’t want to go out with you has mentioned that they’re going to a convention, that isn’t an invitation to show up at said convention and spend the whole day asking them out whenever you see them. Not cool.
TL;DR – communicate! Talk to people, ask people things, respect people’s personal boundaries!
My final instruction is to have fun. There’s no point in going to a convention if you don’t enjoy yourself.