this is an old thread, but i noticed this interesting point and felt the need to rely ^^;
When she saw all the Free Huggers around, she was a little shy and nervous at first, but then after seeing one particular person in cosplay of a character she really truly liked holding a free hugs sign - I forget what they were cosplaying I'm afraid - she hesitantly went up to them and hugged them, then came back practically glowing saying how happy she was she did it.
Throughout the day we passed by many free huggers, and due to the fact she was dressed as Ed there were plenty of Ed fangirls with Free Hugs signs running up and asking for hugs, which she happily obliged with. She even initiated hugs with people holding signs as well, running over to them and hugging them, before running back to us and the rest of the group. At the end of the day she said to us, "Next time I want to make a Free Hugs sign for myself!"
im glad you both enjoyed that day and didnt see any of the more inapropriate signs.
i brought my 10 year old nephew to midlands expo in September as he's like anime for about 2 years now and ive lent him manga and dvd's and so on, and he made his first costume [ironically also ed from full metal] and i lent him my ouran uniform so he could be hunny sempai for midlands, and of corse there was about 3-6 people with signs like ''free rape'' , ''pocky for yaoi'' and so on, and i quite regret bringing him now, luckily he only read one of the signs and i told him that he must have miss read as it was a ''free rape'' one. but his mum was also hanging about the expo hall along with my other sister as they wanted to see what it was all about, and im so glad that THEY didn’t see any of these signs knocking about seeing as im pretty sure my nephew wouldn’t be allowed to go to another expo again, although he enjoys it so much.
It just makes me think, there MUST be other younger cosplayers that have been brought into it by family and so on, or there dad goes to expo as he likes anime or sci fi things, but if there’s younger children they'll be with there parents, who are also going to see the signs, and are more likely to read them. I'd hate to think that any of the next generation of cosplayers or simply anime lovers wouldn’t be able to start going to expo earlier? i mean heck, i wish I’d started cosplaying a lot earlier! there honestly must be something we can do about it, unless there's a group started up to start removing inappropriate signs? who simply take away any that are unreasonable, surely as long as there's a justified reason to take them away then surely a group of volunteers could be arranged to help make expo more a family event again? i would volunteer that’s for sure anyway.