If you have any questions or need any further clarification about any of these event rules, discreetly inform or ask an Admin; and you're also encouraged to report to an Admin if someone upsets you or breaches one of these rules. As always, we're here to help.
(If this is during a photoshoot) There's a few idle Admins present, you can spot them by their badge. Direct your queries to them rather than one of us busy Admins~
- Don't discriminate anybody based on their appearance, identity, interests, diet choices, personality, or anything else under any circumstances! This includes passers-by, Admins, Helpers, and your fellow Attendees. Anything from racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, cisphobia, classism, fascism, hate towards religion, and generally being hateful or prejudice for whatever reason is included in this. Don't cause a scene with/towards anyone you're not fond of at ANY of our events, and don't engage someone if you feel provoked! Inform an Admin, and let them handle it.
- Don't bash any series, fandom, pairings, or character. We have a zero-tolerence policy on bashing of the Homestuck fandom in particular due to past incidents and prejudice towards the Homestuck fandom. They have done nothing to us, so there's really no reason to judge them as a collective.
In May 2013, one of our Admins managed to work on patching things up with the London 'Homestuckers'. Don't ruin these efforts. We frankly don't care about how justified you think you are; if you're narrow-minded about any other series or fandom, we won't give the impression that we condone your behaviour or views. This type of behaviour is damaging British Hetalia People and the Hetalia fandom in general, so you may be asked to leave if you display it.
And while we do understand that everyone is entitled to their own voice and opinion, we don't really want to be dealing with upset people reporting about their argument with someone over 'which ship is better'. It's nonsense! If you can't handle discussions about what you don't like in a calm and level-headed manner, then avoid talking about it!
- Try to be mindful of what you say to others during our events; some of your jokes may not be as funny to others as they are to you, so try to avoid possibly insensitive jokes</b> such as joking about rape, murder, paedophilia, domestic abusive, catastrophes, etcetera.
- Everyone is welcome to attend our events; this means that you may invite your friends and family along with you~ By all means, expose them to Hetalia!
We want everyone to be safe and have fun though, so we'd like to ask that you're careful with who you choose to invite with you. Try to be considerate! Don't invite them if you know they don't enjoy it like you do, you don't want them getting bored and restless on your behalf. Not only that, but we would also like to ask you to be aware of the behaviour of your friends. It's not nice, but let's be real here- Not everyone you know is an entirely good person. We've had harmless members with the best of interests invite their friends along; only for their friends to harass and ridicule members for enjoying Hetalia and/or cosplay, or show up to our events with the intention of 'hooking up' with another attendee; usually behaving inappropriately towards them. These people endangered the safety of our group and caused us trouble; we don't want to repeat these incidents.
You can't possibly always know how your friends will act if you bring them along; but if you know it to be in their nature to be a way that's unacceptable to our rules, maybe it's best not to bring them?
- Don't enter anyone's personal space unless you have their clear consent! Don't force hugs onto people, and don't tackle or 'glomp' people without their expressed permission.
Not everyone's comfortable with being made to touch or get close someone in any way, from standing too close, a hug, holding your hand, even a kiss – So make sure it's okay with them first! And don't pressure them if they say no.
- Not many people seem to realise this; but when you're wearing a certain cosplay, you're representing yourself as a fan of that series. And when you're attending our events, you're representing British Hetalia People. What do you think people will think if they see a Hetalia cosplayer acting out in a public place? If you act inappropriately, people outside the fandom may form an opinion based on what they witness. Due to complaints, no fake cosplay 'weddings' either.
No aggressive behaviour! Arguing, harassing, provoking, fighting, wrestling, duelling, etcetera. – We're not only referring to physical violence, we mean verbal violence too.
- Don't indulge with romantic or sexual acts that may make others in your presence feel uncomfortable, even if it's consensual. Small kisses are fine, just don't take it too far such as 'making out'. Also be aware that there are minors attending the meet. If you're of age, avoid doing anything sexual to someone that's a minor; particularly if there's a large age gap.
- British Hetalia People and anyone attending our events are responsible for their own belongings; you shouldn't expect anyone to look after your bags for you unless they insistently offer. Unless they offer, it's not on them to be landed with that responsibility whilst you're off having fun.
Available Admins will try to assist you with recovering anything that gets stolen, but there's no promise that your things will be recovered. If you have any valuables, make sure they're somewhere safe during group activities.
Try to consider all of this when preparing to attend one of our events.
- No indecent exposure or nudity. Avoid wearing clothes that may be mistaken as underwear or lingerie at any of our events, or clothes so revealing that they may cause you to 'flash' your undergarments frequently. This applies to males and females.
Of course, mistakes happen, just try to correct yourself should you notice them occurring. Shorts are a good idea if you're wearing a skirt, dress, kilt, or anything else that may cause you to 'flash' when the wind blows!
- No offensive or ideologically sensitive themes or features in your cosplay! This includes Nazi-themed costumes, 'blacking up' or 'white washing', too much gore, referencing to disturbing topics, and costumes that mocks certain groups of people. It may be obviously 'just cosplay' to you, but try to put yourself in the shoes of people that aren't aware of that, especially elderly war veterans, and be aware of the fact that our great nation is extremely old and filled with history, a lot of which is violent.
For example: At London, in 2010, there was a Hetalia meet at Hyde Park during a peace protest march. Everyone attended were dressed in military-styled clothing while all these people marched by with peace flags. Unfortunately, we didn't think to do our research and check what else was happening in London on the same day of our meet. Lesson learnt!
- No cosplay elitism! We consider it pretentious and stuck up to ostracise someone based on their skill in cosplay. Bear in mind that British Hetalia People welcomes attendees from various backgrounds; some attendees may not have access to the same quality standards as others. Not everyone is from privileged backgrounds and may struggle to put even one costume together.
That being said; don't criticise the appearance of someone's cosplay or the approach they took with their costume. Don't criticise the quality or material they used to create their costume, the stitching of it, or their choice or style of make-up. Don't criticise the colour, quality, or style of their wig; and don't criticise their prop.
Don't argue with someone because you don't like who, how, or what they're cosplaying even if you find it offensive.
Regardless of your own reason to cosplay, whether it's serious or just for fun, don't ruin it for others.
- Here's the start of the prop rules: This one's a little obvious~ Don't bring any actual weapons with you! No knives or daggers made from any sort of metal, no flame-throwers, homemade bombs, no replica samurai swords, air guns, etcetera; this goes without saying. If it can possible seriously harm or kill someone, don't bring it!
- No yaoi or yuri paddles, or any other type of anime merchandise that are marketed with the purpose of striking people. We know that this is unfortunate or upsetting to some of you, but we don't consider them to be props or at all necessary at any of our meets. We also consider the promotional 'purpose' of these paddles encourages a form of violence, which we don't condone.
In the past, there have been complaints in the group from people who were offended by what 'yaoi' and 'yuri' paddles, in particular, represent. We've also had open debates in the group regarding this merchandise; a lot of valid points were made on both sides that we won't highlight here. Needless to say, 'yaoi' and 'yuri' is essentially homosexual anime pornography; which is mature by nature. Considering that the results of our group poll showed members as young as eleven and as old as thirty in our group, and bearing in mind that some younger members bring their parents along to events, it's considerably inappropriate to bring and/or use these anime paddles.
- At our 'Conferences', make sure you've familiarised yourself with the prop policies of the convention we're hosting our gathering at. We try to include a copy of these rules for your reference just in case.
During our group photoshoot, try to be mindful of where your prop goes! Don't accidentally poke someone's eye out! Never wave a prop around or throw it recklessly, or use it to hit people with regardless of how light or flimsy they appear to be! There has been countless incidents involving props... let's have no more, shall we? Claims such as "France was perving on Austria" are not considered valid enough reason to hit another cosplayer – Just don't do it!
Don't 'duel' with props, or bring any toys such as 'Light Sabres' with you with the intention of 'duelling' or 'sparring' with them. British Hetalia People doesn't support the act of 'duelling' or 'sparring' at any of our events!
Always ask permission to handle someone's prop, don't snatch it from them without permission! If you're granted permission, follow all these prop rules and treat their prop with absolute care. Don't hand the prop to anyone else but the owner without their permission, and don't be reckless with it. If someone asks you to return their prop to them, don't be offended. A lot of hard work goes into most props, so sometimes people might feel uncomfortable if it's not in their protective grasp – It's nothing you've done.
If you've granted someone permission to handle your prop, try to keep a close eye on them. If you're paranoid or worried, and not confident enough to ask for it back, you're welcome to ask an Admin to speak for you – Make sure that Admin knows you originally gave the person permission though!
- Any handheld props such as wooden or synthetic swords, plastic or foam guns, frying pans, etcetera should be concealed within your bag or secured to your person for the entire duration of our event; with a few exceptions: You may unsecure or reveal your prop for the duration of our group photoshoot, when someone asks for a photograph of your cosplay, or when you've agreed to allow someone to carefully handle it. This it to avoid the prop from being stolen, damaged, or broken; as this has happened at past events.
- Fake guns need to have some sort of brightly coloured tape, paint, or mark on them near the muzzle to indicate that they're not real; or they must be clearly fake by their appearance in another way. This is pretty much so the authorities don't mistake your gun as a real one if they see it.
- At any of our 'Meets' (gatherings that we host at public areas such as parks), you are prohibited from bringing any props that exceed the height your waist is from the ground such as halberds and spears. They are welcome at our 'Conferences' provided that you follow the other rules. It's part of British law that you mustn't carry a pole that exceeds the height your waist is from the ground.
If you bring a prop that's too large to seal in a bag or that's impossible to secure it to yourself, carefully hold it close to you. If it's at a 'Meet', prepare to explain yourself if you run into the authorities – This has happened to cosplayers attending meets in London in the past.
- Try to avoid bringing any flags that represent pride, nationalities, or movements; as lovely as they are, they're not seen as particularly necessary to bring with you to meets nowadays. The only exception is that we need a UK or English flag for our group photo on Hetalia Day. If you do bring a flag with you, make sure you show the proper respect. Each country has their own set of 'Flag Discretion' policies that vary; it's advised that you familiarise yourself with Britain's, America's, and the country or movement your flag represents in the very least just in case photographs of yourself with that flag appear online.
We don't want to see it being: used as a strangling device, used to tie people up, used as a napkin, carried in a way in which the flag is dragged on the floor or left on the floor to be trampled upon, used to lay or sit on, or used as a cape or any other form of clothing. This includes Prussian flags and smaller flags. We understand that the odd slip up happens, when the flag is dropped on the floor accidentally – It's absolutely fine. You won't get penalised for it. If anyone does harass you for accidentally mistreating a flag, let us know and we'll help mediate the matter.
For storing a large flag, fold it carefully and place it in your bag (you probably shouldn't just shove it in there!) – Treat it carefully, as you would treat any other prop. The proper, respectful way to store a flag is to fold the flag twice length-ways, then fold the end (the short edge without flag pole holes) into a triangle, and then proceed down the length of the flag, folding it into a triangle shape. You tuck in small hangover at the end, and there you have it. You can find videos on how to do this online, or ask an Admin to show you.
Further Note on Prop Rules: If we spot anyone going against any of these rules with their prop, an Admin reserves the right to confiscate it from you for the duration of the meet or however long that particular Admin will be attending the meet for. If you refuse to hand it over, you'll be asked to leave. If you refuse to leave, we'll escalate the issue as appropriate.You may ask for your prop back, but if we end up confiscating it three (3) times, you may be asked to leave or banned from meets in the future.
- There's a strict NO DRINKING ALCOHOL policy at our events; keep any alcohol you might have hidden in your bag and wait for the end of the event. You may purchase alcohol during the meet, but only for yourself. Immediately put it in your bag afterwards.
- Only prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen, and don't abuse them. You can inform an Admin if you're due to take your prescription medication during the meet, we can discreetly remind you to take it if you're worried you'll forget to.
- Animals and Pets at Meets: No pets are allowed at Convention Gatherings, this is for the animals and your own safety along with MCM's guidelines. The exception to this rule are assistance dogs (guide dogs, hearing dogs, etc.).
Leashed dogs are allowed at Meets (outside of conventions) when the location permits, this means any location where pet dogs are allowed such as Hyde Park and Marble Arch in London. Other animals such as cats and small rodents are not permitted.
- Consider your animal's stress levels; if they don't deal well in crowds or travelling, don't bring them.
- Be aware that you will miss most likely out on dining with the group at restaurants, going to fairs, or gaming at arcades, if you bring your pet.
- Clear up any mess your pet leaves behind.
- Bring a bowl and fresh water to hydrate your pet.
Your Pet Must:
- Be well lead trained and will not pull you over or knock over other attendees.
- Not be 'yappy' or loud, and will not bark unprovoked for extended amounts of time.
- Not be vicious, or have ever shown aggression towards other people or animals.
- Be well fed and allowed time for their food to settle in their stomach before attending the meet.
- Not be in heat.
- Not jump up at people or be too excitable; or you must be able to easily control them if they are.
- Be in good health and body condition (unless an admin is made aware beforehand and the health issue will not affect attendees or their pets, including yourself and your pet).
OVERVIEW OF CRITERIA:
Pet must be in good health
Pet must be well behaved
You must be in control of your pet.
Be aware and respect that other patrons maybe afraid or allergic to certain animals.
If any animal does not fit the criteria above you will be asked to leave or the RSPCA will be notified in extreme cases.
Virtualinkstamp wrote the pet rules and is the best candidate to speak with regarding any animals.
- Please do not imitate an Admin's behaviour during a meet or claim to be an Admin and inform people of incorrect information; this has obstructed our ability to help attendees in the past and it has upset some Admins to have their work overlooked so please don't do it. If you're interested in becoming an Admin, message one of the current Admins about it.
These rules only apply for the duration of our events, we're not responsible for you outside of our event times so you can do whatever you want~ Remember that you're representing the Hetalia fandom as long as you wear Hetalia cosplay.
Try your best!~