In the dark it was harder to tell the Ms. Marvels apart and I think I touched Gil’s butt when I meant to touch Christine’s. Oopsies, I need a superpower for that.
BAM! Nailed it. Park’s lucky I didn’t crack a tile with that landing!
Cosplayer is Jenn, photo by Josh.
This is the strangest post I’ve ever had to make, but nevertheless probably one of the most important ones.
It is about someone impersonating Jenn on DCU Online.
Yes, my very own Bizarro Supergirl. I was put in contact with Ryan, a young man from California who has been friends with “Jenn” of the Dangerous Ladies for about a year now.1 “Jenn”, it seems, is a DCUO player using my identity, my pictures, and the information found online to masquerade as me. She has been doing this for over a year, and she goes by the handle “Crimson Tide” (Crimson Girl on the forums). As a handle, there is something naggingly familiar about “Crimson Tide”, but I can’t place it. Either way, I passed on my contact information to Crimson Tide and gave her some time to make contact so we could talk; as it’s been some time and I’ve yet to be messaged, all I can do is make this post.
Let me give you some more context:
A few weeks ago, an anonymous asked if we play DCU Online, the DC Comics MMO. We answered that no, we don’t. Christine and Josh did for a short time, but Jenn never has and never will, and has no interest in MMOs. This question was asked because Ryan had befriended “Crimson Tide” on the MMO. This girl posted my cosplay pictures, presented herself as me, and as I understand it, did a pretty thorough job. She pulled my friendships and the people most important to me into it, too — she talked about how Josh is “like a brother” to her, and how Emmy is her “best friend forever”, and Christine is “so awesome” and so on. From what I’ve been told, it seems like her attempt to keep up the lie has been pretty determined. She has used my illness as an excuse and a scapegoat — an illness she knows damn well nothing about — and has lied, and lied, and lied.
Over time, Ryan had grown increasingly suspicious about this “Jenn” and was starting to notice the things she said and did didn’t quite match up with what was on our Tumblr and Deviantart and my (now closed) Livejournal. “Jenn” ranted and raved about how amazing the Avengers was, and shortly after the real me posted to Tumblr saying I wasn’t very impressed. “Jenn” never liked to get into big, serious discussions, but the real me will have an hour-long debate with you over just about any mundane topic if you give me the right bait. “Jenn” was, in many ways, thorough and skilled at imitating the broad strokes of my life, but as far as I am aware, doesn’t know me. Maybe she follows us on Tumblr or Deviantart. Maybe we’ve spoken. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But no matter what, this “Jenn” isn’t me.
A part of me is very, very angry. I am going through a difficult time in my life. My health has gotten to the point where it doesn’t only impact me physically, but also emotionally. I have had to quit the job I was in love with because I am no longer capable of keeping up with its demands. I am questioning my future, in the sense that I don’t know if I have one, and will not know until the next rounds of testing are done. “Stress” is the keyword to describe my life right now, and the last thing I need is someone impersonating me online, especially when I have no access to DCUO and can’t even oversee what is going on there. Even worse, this “Jenn” has been using my health problems — something she knows little about — as a means of furthering her lie and garnering sympathy for herself. Well, I don’t want sympathy. I want a break. I want it to end. The only thing that is keeping me going right now is friends, family, a few distracting hobbies and sheer stubbornness. I am determined to make it through this, but the last thing I need is someone using my identity and exploiting my illness for… what? Attention, maybe? I can’t imagine what makes me interesting or fascinating enough to warrant over a year of increasingly complicated lies.
Another part of me wants to get to know this person. As creepy and violating as it is that someone has stolen my identity, it is not as grave as, say, someone stealing my legal identity or my banking information or so on. As far as I know, this person has been fairly isolated to this one group in DCUO, and hasn’t been using my identity to ruin my reputation or get their rocks off or anything; they seem to be going to authentic, which makes me inclined to feel this is someone who is just either really bored or really unhappy with their own identity. What would drive a person to pretend to be some mildly popular cosplayer? I’m not a movie star, or a singer, or a popular cosplayer like Yaya Han or Alodia or something. There is a dearth of pictures of me “casually”, and I don’t often talk about myself online in public places, so the online persona most of you see centers around cosplay. What is the appeal of me? An even better question: what is it about me that made someone decide that it’s better to be “me” than themselves, even when it means lying to people and completely misrepresenting themselves? I feel awful in this situation because now there are people who think they know me, and in Ryan’s case, someone who has known me for a year but has only just found out he never did know me. He’s been talking to this enigma for a year, and as I understand it has been nothing but kind, and sympathetic and compassionate to her. That’s awful. I don’t want to snap and foam at this person, I don’t want to scare them away, but I do want to know who they are and reach out and understand why they would do this to all of us.
Mercifully, this story is more Catfish than Talhotblond. My initial fear when Christine IMed me to tell me that someone had gotten in touch with her about this was that there was some creepy guy out there using “me” as his persona for cyber sex — that fear was quelled fast, but it’s still always a concern of mine.
But it needs to be said: guys, if you ever, ever, EVER encounter someone on the internet that claims to be one of us, seek confirmation via our Tumblr or DeviantArt. We will never be offended. In fact, we’d vastly prefer if you did, to avoid the risk of things like this. This is an upsetting situation because not only has my identity been impersonated, but people have been strung along by it for a while, and it sucks for them to find out they’ve been lied to.
Additionally, on top of that, Jenn uses handles along the lines of “Fanfare” or “Fanfaronade” when she is sneaking around the internet. While that isn’t to say that every Fanfare/Fanfaronade you meet is Jenn, it at least helps you narrow it down. You will never, ever, ever see me using a username that involves numbers. And if anyone EVER, EVER tells you to “not comment on the Deviantart or Tumblr”, rest assured it is because they don’t want you to find out they don’t control our accounts.
And Crimson Tide? Offer still stands. You have my contact information. Let’s chat.
1Hilariously, not to be confused with “Other Ryan from California, who has been friends with Emmy of the Dangerous Ladies for about a year now.”
That wall is 12’+ off the ground… I flew, but Tim had fun scaling it.
Christine as Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw/Chainsaw Lollipop/Lollisaw Chainpop/ Chainlolli Sawpop or whatever we’re calling it today.