Cartoonist Vishavjit Singh is a Sikh, a member of a relatively small religious group known for appearing in public in turbans. The turban is more than a fashion statement for a Sikh—it’s a religious observance. So when he recently cosplayed as Captain America, it was quite an experience for many reasons:
I have been skinny all my life, and I felt a stirring of anxiety to be so exposed. Family and friends have pointed out my thin-ness for years, and the self-consciousness has sunk deep into my psyche. Before I could even confront the political statement of my costume, I had to confront my own inhibitions and body image. But I took a deep breath, and kept walking.
Singh went out on Puerto Rican Pride day and has many encounters:
As we posed for a picture with one kid, he stuck his middle finger right in my face.
“So you are flipping off Captain America?” I admonished him.
He got red-faced, apologized and struck a smile instead. We carried on undeterred, and the overall crowd reaction was positive and friendly.
Negative reactions were exceptions, as Singh found himself a celebrity for a day. Read the whole story, which is actually very sweet.
Singh’s cartoons can be found at Sikhtoons.com. They are pretty, um, basic, but hey, Vishavjit Singh, the Sikh cartoonist.