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Tue Oct 26, 2021, 01:40 AM

They Were Best Friends and Cosplay Stars. Then Snow Killed Helen



Tweet text:
Benjamin Goggin
@BenjaminGoggin
Jaw-dropping and gripping reporting about how a cosplay tiktok star killed an Oberlin freshman from @ejdickson https://rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/cosplay-tiktok-manslaughter-yandere-snow-helen-hastings-1234452/… via @RollingStone
helen rose cosplay death

They Were Best Friends and Cosplay Stars. Then Snow Killed Helen
Helen Hastings, 19, was shot in the head by her best friend, Yandere Snow. But after Snow was charged with manslaughter and kept posting, the cosplay community was left to wonder what really happened
rollingstone.com
7:22 PM · Oct 25, 2021


https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/cosplay-tiktok-manslaughter-yandere-snow-helen-hastings-1234452/

This is how Helen Hastings, 18, would have spent the past year: they would have been a sophomore at Oberlin College, a small liberal-arts school about an hour outside Cleveland, playing Dungeons and Dragons every Saturday in the dank basement of Burton Hall on North Quad, trying to sidetrack the game by reciting the entirety of the “Shrimp Heaven Now” dialogue from the podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me. Helen, who used both the “she” and “them” pronouns, would have chased her Siberian therapy cat Willa down the halls of their dorm, picking up the tufts of fur she shed between her paws. They would have flounced around the snow-blanketed campus in shorts or a floral skirt, refusing to put on a coat even when their friends begged them to; and when the frigid Ohio winters started to thaw, they would have spent lazy Sunday afternoons in the swing chair on the lawn outside their dorm.

She would have completed the first year of what she hoped would be a triple-degree in art, psychology, and neurobiology; maybe she would have decided to focus on only one of those things, or two, or none at all. They would have gone to Anime Matsuri, the giant cosplay convention held in Houston every year, where maybe they would have dressed as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the surly mutant telepath from the Deadpool franchise; Helen bore such a strong resemblance to the character that kids at cons would routinely stop in their tracks. She could have done an internship, in art or calligraphy or biochemistry. She had done bacterial microbiology work at the lab of her mother, who works in molecular biology, the prior spring, and was excited about the opportunity to possibly have her name put on a paper. They could have traveled around the country. They could have done anything.

Instead, Helen was killed; shot in the head in an apparent accident by her friend, a TikTok-famous cosplayer. Mary-Anne Oliver-Snow, a.k.a. Yandere Freak, a.k.a. Yandere Snow, a.k.a. Snow the Salt Queen, was a minor celebrity in the cosplay community, racking up 1.6 million TikTok followers for their performances of various Japanese anime characters. Snow, who goes by “they/them” pronouns, was particularly well-known for cosplaying characters from a series called Danganronpa, a Japanese video game in which teens are locked inside a school with a murderous bear and forced to fight to the death.

Snow, 23, was the leader of a tight-knit social circle including Hastings that was extremely popular on the Houston cosplay circuit. “They were like celebrities,” says Gem Piinker, a friend of Helen’s in the local community. “I hate to admit it, but the drama that follows Snow is what brought [that group] together. There was always something to talk about.” Snow was also notorious for stoking controversy among cosplayers in Houston, where they lived. “They were the Regina George of the community,” says Dolly Lace, a Houston cosplayer who knew Snow.

*snip*


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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply They Were Best Friends and Cosplay Stars. Then Snow Killed Helen (Original post)
Nevilledog Oct 2021 OP
Scrivener7 Oct 2021 #1
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #2
Silent3 Oct 2021 #10
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #12
Silent3 Oct 2021 #13
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #22
Silent3 Oct 2021 #23
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #24
Silent3 Oct 2021 #25
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #26
Silent3 Oct 2021 #27
unblock Oct 2021 #3
Scrivener7 Oct 2021 #4
obamanut2012 Oct 2021 #6
Silent3 Oct 2021 #11
CrackityJones75 Oct 2021 #14
Silent3 Oct 2021 #28
intheflow Oct 2021 #19
Silent3 Oct 2021 #29
intheflow Oct 2021 #30
Silent3 Oct 2021 #32
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #8
unblock Oct 2021 #9
obamanut2012 Oct 2021 #5
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #7
MineralMan Oct 2021 #15
Srkdqltr Oct 2021 #20
BlackSkimmer Oct 2021 #16
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2021 #17
BlackSkimmer Oct 2021 #18
BlackSkimmer Oct 2021 #21
Dirty Socialist Oct 2021 #31

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 06:22 AM

1. Not related to this mishigas, but we need a better non-gendered singular pronoun.

"They" is plural and this usage makes communication less clear.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 06:24 AM

2. "They" has been used as singular pronoun for centuries.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:45 AM

10. True, but when used as a singular, they/them has implied an unknown or generic person...

...and not a specific known individual. I'll use whatever pronouns someone wants me to use, that doesn't stop "they/them" from sounding awkward, or even misleading, in many cases.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:53 AM

12. Actually, it now does refer to a known person. Language is always changing.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:58 AM

13. Yes, it has been declared so.

But saying they/them was always used as a singular form, without acknowledging the previous more limited usage as a singular form, is plainly missing the point about why this new usage often sounds awkward, ungrammatical, and misleading.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:49 AM

22. There are all sorts of awkward and misleading pronoun usages without "they," too, but no one

ever seems to feel like we need to fix that. We discern understanding through context and move on.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #22)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 11:31 AM

23. I'm not sure what your point is anymore

Do you think that pretending the grammatical awkwardness simply isn’t there, or is practically unnoticeable, somehow makes you a better ally of those who choose those pronouns?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #23)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 01:53 PM

24. My point is that we already have a fine singular nongendered pronoun, and that it's no more

awkward in some contexts than "he" and "she" can be, so focusing on it is weird.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #24)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 02:00 PM

25. Then you're just unaware or denying the extra weirdness beyond "he" and "she"...

...that is most definitely there. Plus, merely discussing it isn't "focusing" on in any particularly weird way, unless your arguing back is characterized as equally weird.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #25)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 02:06 PM

26. Help me out here.

How is
Snow was also notorious for stoking controversy among cosplayers in Houston, where they lived.


a more urgent grammar issue than
Ella and Jane walked down the street. Ella stopped in her yard while Jane went into her house.


?

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #26)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 02:34 PM

27. Pointing out existing ambiguities has nothing to do with it.

In past usage, "they" would never have been used for a known, particular individual.

A new ambiguity is being created where "they" might be referring to a singular, particular person now. It's that new ambiguity that makes this ungendered but specific usage sound odd in some circumstances.

"Chris and Pat when to the store. They wanted to get ice cream."

That sounds like the desire for ice cream is mutual for both people. That's simply what it sounds like, because that's what most of us are accustomed to. Even if you know Chris goes by he/him and Pat goes by they/them, it simply doesn't sound like you're talking about what one particular member of that pair wants.

This from the article:

They would have flounced around the snow-blanketed campus in shorts or a floral skirt, refusing to put on a coat even when their friends begged them to; and when the frigid Ohio winters started to thaw, they would have spent lazy Sunday afternoons in the swing chair on the lawn outside their dorm.


It's just really weird for my hearing/reading to take that as talking about what one person would have been doing. Even if context tells me otherwise, it just sounds more like what a pair (or more) of people would have been doing. And trying to take it as singular comes off as awkward to me, in somewhat the same way as a person talking about themselves in the third person does, or the oddness of addressing royalty in the third person.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 06:33 AM

3. if someone asks you to refer to them as he, or she, you would use whichever one they said, right?

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Response to unblock (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 06:55 AM

4. I will certainly use "they" if someone asks, and I have no problem with doing that.

I'm just saying the language would be clearer if we went the way of the Swedes with their word "hen," which is a singular personal non-gendered pronoun.

This is not a bigotry issue for me. I have no problem using "they." But it is a grammar and clarity of language thing.

"They" has been adopted because there is not a better option in the language as it stands. Non-gendered people should have a better option.

We invented "Ms." when the culture changed. We should have a better non-gendered pronoun.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:11 AM

6. That si literally what "they" is

And, it has been that for a very long time. This isn't new usage, it is rediscovered usage.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:50 AM

11. It is a new usage to use they/them for a known, specific person

Past usage has always been for generic or unknown people. I can use the pronouns a person prefers without having to deny that this language construct is an awkward hack.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:08 AM

14. Reread the question pksed.

 

They (again) used the pronoun “they” in the question and you didn’t skip a beat.

“They” has always been used as a pronoun.

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 02:36 PM

28. Where in my post did I disagree with there being a long history of usage...

...as a singular pronoun? You missed the particular point of what I said.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:45 AM

19. Not true about past useage.

Shakespeare used it, as did Austin.

The English language, while lacking in a canonized true gender-neural third person singular pronoun, has long since used the plural pronoun “they” as a stand-in for much the same reasons as the Swedish “hen:” either when the gender of the subject is unknown or irrelevant. And despite what many a grammar fanatic has virulently proclaimed in your high school English class, the use of “they” as an English-language alternative to the ever awkward “he/she” is nothing new or radical. In fact, the same professor who corrected your singular “they” to “he or she” on your essay may have also taught you The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, Mansfield Park, and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights­ — all of which, by the way, use a singular they at least once.


https://nyulocal.com/shakespeare-used-the-singular-they-and-so-should-you-6452240ca9e0

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Response to intheflow (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 02:37 PM

29. Where in my post did I disagree with there being a long history of usage...

..as a singular pronoun? You missed the particular point of what I said.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #29)

Wed Oct 27, 2021, 09:59 AM

30. Multiple times, right here:

"It is a new usage to use they/them for a known, specific person"

"Past usage has always been for generic or unknown people."

If this wasn't the point you were trying to make but two DUrs read it that way, perhaps your defensiveness is unwarranted here because you didn't make your point clear. What was the point you were trying to make?

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Response to intheflow (Reply #30)

Wed Oct 27, 2021, 11:09 AM

32. You even quoted what I said, but are skipping right over the "generic or unknown people" part.

"Singular" and "generic or unknown" are not the same thing.

Someone knocks on your door. You ask, "Who is it?"

This is an example of "it", rather than "they" being used for a singular gender-unknown person.

"I don't know."

"Well, what do they want?"

There's the "they" for singular. You don't know who the person is yet. I readily accept this usage has a long history, going back at least as far as Shakespeare and Chaucer.

"Oh, it's Aunt Edna!"

"Why is she here?"

As soon as the identity of the person is revealed, the gender-specific pronouns kick in. It would be very unnatural (provided the new usage hasn't been adopted, and Aunt Edna has not requested they/them be used for her) to continue to use they/them, and to say instead, "Why are they here?".

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:15 AM

8. Nonbinary does not mean "nongendered."

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:28 AM

9. Re-read my previous post. Did it seem weird or awkward?

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:10 AM

5. They has been used for hundred of years

It's fine.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 07:11 AM

7. What a heartbreaking story. I'm struck by what an open heart Helen's mom has, whew.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:27 AM

15. Tragic! And a pity that the thread veered away from that tragedy

to argue about pronouns. Someone died by a gunshot here. That's the story, not people's choice of personal pronouns.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #15)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:46 AM

20. Very true. Guns again accidentally or not. Very sad.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:40 AM

16. I hit a paywall. Why did Snow shoot Hastings?

Can anyone summarize?

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Response to BlackSkimmer (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:41 AM

17. They were drunk and playing with a gun. The story got attention because Snow's content

seemed to be referencing the shooting (more blood, etc.).

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:42 AM

18. Oh boy.

Guns again. Thanks for the info!

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 26, 2021, 08:48 AM

21. Ugh, I found some other stories from other outlets.

This Snow person seems majorly fucked up. Apparently she’s also violated her bail conditions.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Wed Oct 27, 2021, 10:40 AM

31. A ONE, A TWO, AND A THREE

AIN’T GUNS GRAND!!!

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