image11Name: Elizabeth McKenzie aka Liz Mac n’ Cheese
Years of Cosplay: 7
Tribe: Navajo
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

ABOUT

Elizabeth McKenzie is the kind of person that you would classify as your “Favorite Human” ever! She is clever, funny, fierce, kind and way too talented. Residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Elizabeth works as a baker in an artisan donut shop and dedicates a good bulk of her free time to community service projects that benefit the native community. Currently, she is helping to organize a benefit concert for the ABQ Indian Center that is facing the threat of closure. The benefit concert, featuring the musical talents of Lilith, Weedrat, and Laughing Dog, will be held on February 3rd at the Launchpad in downtown Albuquerque. In addition to her baking and community service, Elizabeth sings in a barbershop chorus and officiates for roller derby bouts. She, also, happens to be an indigenerd who is an amazing cosplayer. This is why she has the honor being recognized as A Tribe Called Geek’s first ever Cosplayer of the Month.


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Lilo from Lilo & Stitch

How did you get involved with cosplaying?

I’ve been cosplaying since I was a kid. I feel as if it was never not an option. I’ve always loved being me in costume, as if dressing up just brings out the aspect of my personality that was already there. Like I loved Halloween and pretending as a child, one year I went as Liz McKenzie: Blues Brother. I had the suit, tie, shades, and suitcase cuffed to my hand that held just a harmonica. As I grew up, I was like, “Whallp. Just gotta make the costumes bigger.”

Why Do You Cosplay?

Cosplay is an amazing outlet. It’s self expression without worrying about what other people might think of you because THEY are dressing up also! It’s very liberating.

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Leela from Futurama

When you’re cosplaying, are you You or the character?

I’m always me AS the character. Cosplaying just magnifies part of me that was already there. It’s pretty empowering. I have a couple Chun-Li dresses that I made and whenever I wear the costume, I feel super kickass (bad joke intended).

When do you find yourself cosplaying?

Every opportunity that I can! Once, my work held a donut themed 5K run and my dad helped me make a giant maple bacon bar costume.

Do you add native flair to your characters when you cosplay?

Yes, definitely! As I’ve described, I make these costumes with the idea that they’re already a part of me that I just need help conjuring up.

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Nightwolf from Moral Kombat

Homemade Cosplay or Bought/Commissioned Cosplay?

Homemade all the way! For me at least…it feels like a badge of honor wearing a costume that you assembled yourself and you know that there is no other costume like it because you made it exactly how you wanted and every stitch is intentional.

What was the first/last convention that you attended in cosplay?

My first convention was Albuquerque Comic Con a loooooong time ago…I was one of the Crazy 88 from Kill Bill. The LAST con that i attended was unfortunately over a year ago. I went with a guy whom dressed up as Tintin and I was the best Captain Haddock you ever did see. We even had a toy Snowy.

What is your favorite cosplay project?

Navajo Rey is definitely up there. I REALLY loved Rey as a character. She’s a badass heroine who is skilled and unapologetically herself. She’s not a sexualized focal point to add a little spice to the plot, she’s beautifully without having to wear next to nothing.

Navajo Rey

Is cosplay something that you see yourself stil doing in 10 years?

DEFINITELY.

What does indigenerdity mean to you?

Indiginerdity means that I am gladly embracing myself as a native person and as a “nerd”. I feel like it’s pretty difficult to embrace both at times…It’s loving yourself so much and being proud of what you made when you do cosplay.


If you are interested or would like to recommend a cosplayer for our monthly profile, send us an email at info@atribecalledgeek.com. Please include a short bio, tribal affiliation, and a few cosplay photos.

About The Author

Johnnie Jae
Founder

Johnnie Jae is of the Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma. She is the managing partner of Native Max Magazine, founder of A Tribe Called Geek, and contributor to Native News Online. She is the manager and producer for the Success Native Style Radio Network, where she hosts the Indigenous Flame and A Tribe Called Geek radio shows. She is also a founding board member of Not Your Mascots. Known as the "Brown Ball of Fury," Jae seamlessly shifts from humor and pop culture to advocacy and digital media, which has made her a much-sought after speaker and commentator. Her work has been discussed in many media outlets, such as Indian Country Today, ATPN, CBC, USA Today, BBC, Global Post, Women’s E-News, Takepart.com and Upworthy. She has been a guest on several radio shows, including Native America Calling, Native Trailblazers, BBC World Have Your Say and ICI Radio.

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