One could justifiably argue that my attraction to the Steampunk subculture was inevitable. Even before I knew what it was called, I was familiar with the aesthetic, and I liked it. Of course I did! I’m a costumer, former LARPer, I’ve had a love affair with the Industrial Revolution and all the history surrounding it since college, and I love British high tea. Steampunk was inevitable.
Now, I don’t think I need to reiterate how efficiently Steampunk costuming can be done on a budget. There are whole blogs dedicated to that topic, I’m sure. But it is worth mentioning that for those of us on fixed incomes, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, it helps that a lot of fantastic accessories can be scored at flea markets and thrift stores. Bonus points to the intrepid costumer who is able to upcycle some tidbit or mechanism and give their costume a one-of-a-kind feel. So this alone was a huge draw for me.
But the thing that made me stay, the thing that continues to make me seek out new Steampunk-themed events, wasn’t so much the fashion or DIY opportunities. It was the way it naturally seems to lend itself to being all-inclusive, particularly in regards to those with disabilities. Due to my Fibromyalgia, my ability to attend events has dwindled over the past years and I’ve really had to pick and choose where I spend my energies. Events that may potentially be too physically demanding, like concerts or anything to do with camping, are rarely worth it to me. So when I attended one of my first Steampunk events and found many of my previous obstacles were removed, I was over the moon!