Facing a decline in tourism due to its pursuit of restrictive transgender bathroom rules, the State of Texas is hoping for an economic rebound through an influx of costume players, or “cosplayers,” following enactment of a new law allowing open carry of swords.
Starting Sept. 1, Texas will end its ban on the open carry of any blade longer than five-and-a-half inches. Sword-wielding cosplayers, who often dress as pirates or medieval knights, will have free reign to carry their weapons of choice from Austin to Abilene.
“Whether cosplayers are wielding broadswords, cutlasses or light sabers, we’ll give them a Texas-friendly welcome,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, adding, “We especially like burly Confederate cosplayers.”
The National Cosplayers Association lobbied for the change throughout the recent session of the Texas Legislature.
They found a willing advocate in Patrick, an avid cosplayer known for dressing up in the tight leggings and powdered wigs favored by fops in 18th-century France.
“Hey, look, so I like to dress up like a man dressing up like a woman at the court of Versailles. Where’s the harm in that? There’s a reason they call it the Age of Enlightenment,” said Patrick, waving a sword beneath a statue of Robert E. Lee in front of the Texas Capitol.
As Patrick sees it, enacting legislation to attract fellow cosplayers to the Lone Star State was his duty.
“Everyone knows I dropped a deuce on the whole Texas economy by pushing so hard to get a transgender bathroom ban this year,” said Patrick. “Honestly, I didn’t think people would take it so seriously, but when we almost passed the ban, Texas lost some big conventions and tourism dropped. Even members of my conservative base flipped out. Turns out human rights and hotel revenue are kind of a big deal to some people. Who knew?”
Patrick is convinced the new law allowing swords, and the anticipated influx of cosplayers, will brighten both his political fortunes and the state’s economy.
“As a cosplayer myself, I can assure you, this hobby is huge,” said Patrick. “And Texas has the chance to carve out a real market niche with the new sword law. In other hotbeds of cosplay, like North Dakota and rural Arkansas, you’re totally restricted to foam swords or tin replicas. Here in Texas, you can walk down Main Street with full-on, cold-forged steel. It’s springtime for Samurai.”
Patrick acknowledged that some forms of cosplay may send “confusing signals” to Texans who supported his transgender bathroom ban.
“It’s true, some cosplayers like to cross-dress,” acknowledged Patrick. “But as long as they are wielding an authentic period weapon, and using the bathroom designated by the gender on their birth certificate, I say, ‘En Garde!'”
- En garde! Texas open carry sword law takes effect Friday (USA Today)
- Texas about to legalize open-carry of big knives and swords (Fox News)
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