Dr. Love: Cosplay Club President


Alex Kuvalanka, junior majoring in history, discusses his personal life. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Sixth-semester history major and cosplay club president Alex Kuvalanka is single, but he’s not exactly ready to mingle yet, preferring the quiet life of his hobbies and friendships with others.

Kuvalanka said part of the appeal for cosplaying came the idea of wanting to represent fictional characters because “you love them,” though he admitted it was difficult to explain the appeal to someone who didn’t understand what cosplaying was.

“It’s kind of like wearing a jersey for your favorite sports player,” Kuvalanka said, explaining that he loved dressing up as his favorite characters from both television shows he watched, as well as video games. “Except that it’s definitely more time consuming and way more expensive.”

Kuvalanka, who went to Anime Boston this year,  named “Samurai Flamenco,” “Evangelion,” and “Kamen Rider” as some of his favorite television series. He is also a competitive “Super Smash Bros.” player, travelling across Connecticut to compete at weekly tournaments, as well as playing the fan-made mod “Project M.” He hopes to one day also help grow his local “Super Smash Bros.” scene, as well as become more nationally involved in bringing in newer players.

When it comes to his personal life, Kuvalanka said he thought of himself as a more private person in terms of whether he was romantically interested in anyone, but he loves his hobbies and the friends he met through them. He also mentioned that being asexual probably had to do with his views on dating.

While Kuvalanka doesn’t bring up his orientation at all around people he isn’t comfortable with or friends with, he said the network of support around him that he had from his accepting friends made it easy for him to be himself and not worry about any sort of stigma that might otherwise come from being a sexual minority.

“I think there’s a difference between talking about it online and talking in person,” Kuvalanka mentioned, adding that by virtue of anonymity online, it’s easier to initially be ignorant or discount people’s experiences and identities as being “for attention” or as something different.

He added that it was especially important to acknowledge that sexual minorities at the end of the day are just regular people with several other factors that contribute to who they are: and that they aren’t just defined by their sexual identity.

 “It’s much better to be yourself around people that can see your face and accept you for who you are and not judge you for it,” Kuvalanka said. 

Though he struggled at first with finding out what his orientation was, having ended a rough high school relationship his freshman year of college, Kuvalanka’s satisfied where he is now and said his friends and hobbies bring him the joy he needs to stay happy.

Kuvalanka said his ideal date would be someone that is generally “kind,” but he wasn’t looking for any specific trait. Meanwhile, Kuvalanka’s biggest turn-off in a partner would be both judgmentalness and clinginess.

“For me, I just like to live my own life and let others live theirs,” Kuvalanka concluded.

Anokh Palakurthi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at anokh.palakurthi@uconn.edu. He tweets @DC_Anokh.

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