Leigh Alexander writes about the ups and downs of "Adella," a fashion design student and cosplayer, who has struggled with fans, trolls, and creeps who can't understand the difference between her and the characters she dresses up as, especially Aeris Gainsborough. The stories are many, but here's a characteristic one:
When I was at Anime Central ... I was standing in the lobby of the hotel and talking to someone I had just met. ... And some girl ran up behind me and grabbed my braid and just yanked, as hard as she could. My head was jerked back and my neck had this awful pain wrench through it. I whirled around and screamed, "don't touch me!" And she just goes "I... I just hate Aeris..." and ran off. Like because she hates some fictitious character.. it's okay to physically assault someone dressed up like that character?
The Aberrant Gamer: Flower Girl [Game Set Watch]