((Editor’s note: I had originally planned for this article editorial to go up earlier this week, but plans changed when my father suffered a heart attack on Sunday. So my apologies for the tardiness of the piece.))
Alisa Norris, (née Farrington) known to the community at large as AlisaKiss, famed cosplayer and adult model, was recently caught up in the controversy surrounding the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th in which several people were injured and one young woman was killed when a man, with ties to known white-supremacist groups, supporting the Unite the Right rallying group plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. It was quickly brought to light, by her own words and by others who noticed her at the rally, that she was there at the time and was on the side of the Unite the Right group. A full and detailed set of articles appeared on BleedingCool.com written by Rich Johnson focuses on this story and her interview/reaction in regards to the incident. (Both very telling of exactly how she feels about the events of that day.) I won’t go into detail about what happened there or why she was there (though I will reiterate that she states she was there with friends and her husband), but I want to focus on what happened after and why, after several years of online friendship and support, I have decided to cut ties with her because of the events at Charlottesville.
I remember meeting Alisa years ago, during the MySpace craze, after some convention (I believe it was Dragon Con but I could be wrong) and then becoming friends with her online, first through MySpace and then later Facebook because, at the time, she seemed like a really nice and sweet young woman, as well as being a great cosplayer, that I wanted to keep in touch with. And, yes, I was also a fan of her adult website AlisaKiss.com where she posted nude photo galleries and videos regularly. So, you could say that I was more of a fan than I was any kind of friend or acquaintance. Still, whenever I had any interactions with her online they were very pleasant ones. I never once felt that she would harbor or tolerate the kinds of thoughts or sentiments that she showed on that day or has expressed since.
Her being at the Unite the Right rally and to be seen with members of that group carrying the flags and images they did, dressed the way they were, and spouting the language and words that they did, says more about her being there than her own words… some of which she has tried to back-peddle away from or even spin a different way. She may have been a nice person when I met her and interacted with her, but her being there in support of those people, even if they were her friends and she was just along for the adventure, is something that I cannot accept nor condone, and I don’t need people like that in my life. So, I did what I needed to do and distanced myself from her on Facebook, Instagram and every other social networking site we were connected on.
In the wider, grander scheme of things, this will have very little impact on the world at large or even on Alisa herself. I doubt she will ever remember who I am or having met or interacted with me throughout the years. But to me, for my own piece of mind and because of my sense of morality and common sense, I don’t need people who harbor or even support those who harbor those kinds of thoughts in my life. She may be telling the truth, that she doesn’t share the opinions of her husband or friends, but that she was there, walking with them and supports their views is just something I cannot and will not tolerate in my life. No matter how great the interactions with her have been over the years, this moment in time is how I define her now. She may not share their views and opinions, but she supports them. And I cannot see how a person so involved and influential in a community as diverse and free-minded as the cosplay/comics ones are can support those kinds of opinions.
To be fair, and for you to get a bit of insight as to my mindset, when I have come across members of other groups, such as some extremists in the Black Lives Matter group who emphasize violence against and even the killing of police officers in the U.S., I have cut ties with those people as well. Everyone has the right to their own opinions. Everyone has the right to believe in what they believe in. But when your message is that of hate and violence, no matter what side you’re on, then I have to let you out of my life. I don’t need that in my life and I don’t need that kind of vitriol and poison around my children. I will teach my children to stand up for what they believe in, even if it opposes what others say – even if it opposes what I believe in; but I will teach them to protest and stand up for their beliefs without the need of resorting to hate and/or violence. And I will teach them that they should never be afraid of just talking it out with the other side.
But I am getting off topic here; in all the years that I had known and followed and been a fan of Alisa, I never got the inclination that she would associate herself or support people like her husband that had such strong white nationalist/white supremacist views… that such hate would be so close in her life. I always knew her to be a kind and accepting young woman whose beauty was as wondrous inside as it was on the outside. Because there is no denying that Alisa Norris is a beautiful woman, but I guess the old adage that “beauty is only skin deep” holds true in her case.