Jun 19, 2015

#onlyatAM Behind the Scenes: The Tale of Buttcape

The "E" of LACE: Exploitation. While LACE is a whole different can of worms, the formation of the acronym reminded me of unfortunate events that happened over 6 months ago. I call it John Trauma. Like seriously, sometimes he shows up in my nightmares. Every time I see a bald head in the distance, I get shivers down my spine. I've been planning on posting this for months, but every time I looked at it, it made me mad, so I never finished it. But certain events popped up and motivated me to complete it, so here we go.

Anime Matsuri (AM) is an anime and Japanese culture convention based in Houston, TX that attracts a lot of lolita attention because of the amount of high profile guests they invite. I had a pretty okay experience with Anime Matsuri until they did some stupid things to me. I am writing out my experience in order to put the truth out there. I am not looking for pity or sympathy, but warning whoever decides to become involved with them. I stayed silent for various reasons, but now I can finally move on.

The timeline of this story has to take place several years. The main players are:

Me, Buttcape: my first name is Stephany
John Leigh: Co-founder/Events Director/PR/Website Manager of Anime Matsuri, Deneice's husband, likes to make 10 year long speeches at every event he runs
Deneice Leigh: Chairman of Anime Matsuri, John's wife
Jessamyn: "founder" of the HLC facebook group, AM staff member, photographer for GLW
Tati: second facebook mod of HLC, not AM staff

There were two other mods appointed after me, but they did not have any major roles.

My History with the Houston Lolita Community

I joined the Houston Lolita Community in order to meet people with a common interest and possibly become friends with them. At the time, the Houston community's livejournal was pretty much dead. Tati and another person made a post about having a meetup in the period of inactivity, so I decided to go to it. My first meetup was in 2010-11 (can't remember the exact date). At that meetup I met Jessamyn, Tati, and one other person. After that meetup, we thought it would be a good idea to make a facebook group since livejournal sucks for organizing things. Jessamyn made the fb group a few weeks afterwards and she and Tati were co-mods. I was offered a mod position a few months after since I like to help people by answering questions. I accepted since it wasn't supposed to be that difficult. A mod was supposed to accept and reject join requests, delete spam, and keep the group clean and civilized.

My First Anime Matsuri (2012)

My first Anime Matsuri was in 2012 when Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Alice and the Pirates, and Midori Fukasawa were invited for the first time along with Dolldelight. I believe this was my first convention ever, so I can not speak about events in prior years.

Anime Matsuri's involvement with HLC in planning their 2012 convention was practically nonexistent. I believe the first time I learned of John was through one of Deneice's livestreams. AM holds livestreams prior the convention that tell people news and answer questions. I mentioned the HLC group in a livestream chat, and shortly after John Leigh sent a request to join the request. I was naive; I foolishly accepted the request, thinking that having a connection to brand would help spread the fashion. Later I would realize that I was hella wrong apparently. There were two tea parties, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, but I only went to the one on Sunday. This was the first time AM had ever hosted a tea party. There was one translator present and nothing major went wrong. That con was like a 6/10, nothing really drastic happened.

My Second Anime Matsuri (2013)

Baby and AatP were invited back as guests along with Midori and Misako Aoki. I was recruited to wear AatP in their promotional video and was "accepted" into the fashion show.

Friday: There were many problems with the fashion show. Models were backstage cramped in a small room not meant for 20-30 people, furniture, and clothing. It got really hot, but models weren't allowed to leave the room. The food provided was only Pizza Hut pizza and some packaged breads. The pizza was simple, I liked it, but other models had problems with it. Those models didn't say anything about it the entire night, so they ended up not eating anything. After makeup and hair, models took individual pictures. After that, there was a whole lot of waiting around since the fashion show was delayed 2-3 hours. The fashion show finished around 11 PM. Then models were brought up to the top floor in one of the best suites to do another photoshoot. Like what the fuck, we were sweaty, our feet hurt since brand shoes are hella uncomfortable, and some people didn't even eat. One girl ended up passing out, so the photoshoot was cancelled. Volunteers ended up fetching leftover food meant for volunteers and guests to give to the models. Side note, Tati was selected to model this year, but she declined since she was physically unable. This comes into play later.

Sunday: There were no Japanese translators for either tea party. At the Sunday tea party, the mods were called up and handed a plaque for "the mods' service to lolita." Um okay. We/I didn't really do anything though.

This plaque stays in Jessamyn's house. But really, this is one way John will play you into thinking you're important. He'll give out free stuff in order to gain trust. I don't think anything else of significance happened since I remembered having an ok time for the rest of the weekend despite venue problems, 5/10.

My Third Anime Matsuri (2014)


Here's where it starts going down. This is the first year AM recruited lolita-specific staff. The staff for that year was Jessamyn, her husband, and two volunteers they picked. The guests were Baby, AatP, Putumayo, Misako, Midori, Akira, and Yui Minakata.

AM had gotten pretty well-known at this point and a lot of people were kissing John's ass to try to get in. I was not modeling in the fashion show this time (I honestly can't remember if I applied or not), but I was a backstage volunteer which is something I liked better than being on stage. My main role was violin handler. They had a good amount of rehearsals before I was invited to start attending. Rehearsals were almost weekly for several months with sessions lasting 3-5 hours each mostly trying to figure out the ~storyline~ and stage positioning. AM used this time to develop relationships with comm members. John always invited people to dinner afterwards and he always pays.

I was invited to several dinner meetings. One in particular was a meeting to promote Putumayo. Let's be honest, Putumayo isn't popular (sorry Hasegawa). AM knew this and actively seeked out influential members in order to influence the HLC, so Putumayo could be more successful.

Another one I was invited to the Leigh house late at night to "help with inventory," but I didn't really end up doing anything at all.
Inside the AM house
A staff member who was in charge of the brand booths would be there, so I knew I was not going to be harassed. I don't really know what the point of me being there was, but they did tell me to try on a hime BtSSB dress. Both John and Deneice both commented "Omg you have boobs!" Personally, it didn't bother me, but it would definitely bother others.

About 1-2 weeks before the con, AM kicked their head fashion staff, V, because GLW had heard someone was talking badly about them at rehearsals. GLW assumed it was me since I never liked GLW in the first place, but I honestly didn't say anything about them.


A few days before the con, GLW is dropped as a sponsor, and models have to scramble for wigs. They also didn't have any makeup or hair stylists, so all models had to help each other. Without their head staff member or proper preparation, most rehearsal was rushed and improvised. Everyone was lost and confused, so AM told V to come back and work with them.

I arrived late, but another model told me that models were not allowed to interact with Japanese guests, so most of the time Japanese guests were just talking amongst themselves in one corner of the room. Explaining rehearsals to the Japanese guests was slow as well since AM did not bother recruiting translators for the Japanese guests. How was I supposed to explain what the Japanese models needed to do if I wasn't allowed to interact with them and couldn't communicate properly? The fashion show was extremely delayed again. There were snacks, but only because a staff member volunteered to make a trip to the grocery store. Snacks don't really fill you if you have to stay in the same room for over 4 hours. Last minute, they made me help the pianist flip music pages.

Other things that added to the chaos: No maps, not enough volunteers, no program books/schedules until Saturday. Everyone will agree that AM2014 was a terrible experience.

The tea parties were AWFUL. On Saturday, the theme was "Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates." There wasn't enough food, the "meal" was served on paper plates and styrofoam cups, the guests were placed on one side of the room, so only that side of the room could see them, the atmosphere was extremely tense. There were no microphones, so only half of the room could hear what was being said. The staff and volunteer table was placed directly in front of the Japanese guests' tables. Staff and volunteers also got food before everyone else.

AM2014 tea party layout for Saturday and Sunday

It was just really awkward and unbearable. Attendees were not allowed to stand up and walk around to mingle. On Sunday, the theme was "Putumayo" and it was slightly better; there at least was enough food after the Saturday fiasco, but it was still pretty awkward. They brought in speakers and a microphone, so you could at least hear things now. John made another 5 year speech. Some were upset that not all of the models were present. AM brought all of these amazing guests over, but interacting with them was almost impossible. John called the HLC mods (at the time: Jessamyn, another mod that wasn't Tati, and I) to make some comments about the tea party. I wasn't told about this, so I blurted out like 2 awkward sentences, something like "thanks for coming, etc." even though I was not involved with organizing either of the tea parties.


I won't talk about this much, but Jessamyn's husband passed away unexpectedly shortly after AM2014. It was a shock to everyone. John uses this moment of weakness and asks Mod A (who wasn't a mod at the time) to ask Tati to become an HLC mod in order to change the group's cover photo. Mods discuss it, and decide it's a bad idea. John could have just sent the image to the mods. He didn't need mod privileges.

My Fourth Anime Matsuri (2015)


Three HLC members plus Jessamyn are AM staff. They really fucked up in 2014, so they were working really hard or something to make 2015 better. 2 out of 4 of HLC mods are AM staff. John starts posting fairly regularly about AM even though AM was not coming for another 8+ months. Putumayo was announced as a guest way ahead of time.

The Infamous Cupcake Party

July 2014: I got a message from Jessamyn saying to show up at the convention hotel on a certain day, dressed nicely, and that's about it. One day before, John posts a picture of him in a Rolando jacket and that's when I called Boz was going to be a guest at 2015 (but they didn't announce them until November).

They planned a secret not-so-secret invitation-only cupcake tasting party. About 20 people were invited to a cupcake tasting for the upcoming 2015 convention tea party. The theme of 2015 was "bonding worldwide communities" and to make "HLC a world renowned community" or some bullshit like that.

They announced several things at the party that caught my attention. One, they said "what if Houston had a Kawaii Ambassador (KA)?" Once I heard that, I immediately acknowledged no one in Texas deserved that title because nobody had ever planned anything on a grand scale here in Houston (I used European events as a reference). From what I understood, a KA had to have some kind of skill other than looking pretty. Then, a KA world summit was mentioned. Why would you waste convention money flying in KA from the other side of the world? As much as I like some of them, I wouldn't consider them as con guests. Two, they said "What if Houston had its own lolita store?" Yeah, good luck with that, bub. There is a decent amount of lolitas in Houston, but not anywhere near enough to support a physical shop. We all know what happened with Planet Zero. Three, KERA models would be hosting the lolita panels including Lolita 101, a wig panel, and something similar to Maison de Julietta. They intended for the models to host it because last AM2014's Lolita 101 panel went awry. They didn't mention anything about boystyle, so I brought up the idea that I could host a boystyle panel with two other well-known oujis and AKIRA could show up if she wanted. Four, there would be outside catering. Lastly, John mentioned that everyone at this party should make facebook like pages for themselves. He already made all of his staff do it. Why? So he could breed someone e-famous enough to become kawaii ambassador.

Shortly after, someone who was at the party posted the pictures to the HLC group. A lot of people were upset about why weren't they invited and whined about elitism. The cupcakes were gross by the way. A few days after the party, a general complaint and criticism post is made. A noteworthy point was brought up.

John tries to compare sharing pictures of his private meetup versus me sharing pictures of my public meetup. I am the "definition of elitist."
"What" indeed.

Fast forward a little bit, I was eating dinner at IHOP with some friends when everyone's phone starts exploding. Rose Corolla shenanigans happened that night. Shit went down. This night, one of the people I was with tells me that John was planning to kick Tati out of the mod team.

August 2014: After the cupcake fiasco, now John is posting constantly about AM even though it's still months away. A one-post-per-day rule in the comm had been in effect for awhile to reduce the spam and new threads from appearing too fast. At this point I had already made the sticky thread, but he continued to make new threads. Some of them were interesting, but some of them was something he could post on his personal page (ex. a selfie with Japanese people). He was breaking the rule and members were complaining.

Yes John, I did want you to post in only one thread.

The discussion is brought up in the mod chat. Is it breaking the rules, yes or no?

Update: It was requested of me to remove the poster from the caps and I have respectfully done so.

I was pretty sure that he was breaking the one-post-a-day rule. He obviously was capable of posting in the sticky thread last year, so why couldn't he do it this year? The man is posting everyday, of course he sees the community every day.

Apparently, he is a baby. I tell him to calm down and just post in ONE thread since threads are bumped up when they get new comments. He doesn't do it. I get a message from John for another meeting. He is always vague and never lets you know the details. I have things to do, you know? I pester another staff member about it, but they don't say much. Eventually, I get this:

Tati and I have to repeatedly tell him to stop spamming the comm. He obviously doesn't agree, so he messages Tati and I at the same time, separately to throw each of us a fit. He is more aggressive on Tati's side. Remember when I mentioned Tati was in a wheelchair?

I can't speak for her side, but here's my side:
AM isn't just any con, guys!

"Members need AM to be happy. But wait! I gave you special treatment!"
Guess what, all AM contests are rigged!
He tries to bribe me with a staff position after arguing moot points?! He offered me a staff position for the Grand Lolita Tea Party in November AFTER I'm mad. I saw how much time it takes to do AM staff. It takes a shit ton of time. Even as a volunteer, I spent too much time. I decline for several reasons 1) I have a sick family and have to be on-call most of the time, 2) I was a full time college student entering senior year, so I had no time to waste, 3) I had no event planning experience at the time, so he was just going to use me as a token, 4) I didn't want to spend the gas money, 5) this was a pathetic attempt to win me back.

Shortly after, Jessamyn posts this in the mod group. It basically tells me to shut up and Tati to get the fuck out.
 Not in this cap, but at one point, she called us the "AM Gestapo."

I learned later from an ex-AM staff member at the tim that John posted in the AM Staff group:
"Jessamyn, you have 2 days to get Stephany and Tati out of the mod team or else you're off of AM staff"
Upon reading the message, I figured I was fucked anyway. Jessamyn was the original creator of the group, so even if we refused, we would have gotten the boot anyway because the original creator has the ability to kick any mod. Tati and I discussed our options together and decided it was best to quit before getting fired. We didn't leave in silence and gave a warning to the rest of the comm.

It was unjust and unfair. I was honestly hurt this happened to me that I cried for a few days. All I wanted to do was encourage people get into the fashion I love, assist those who need help, and throw a few jokes around. I never expected to receive anything back for my work. Just because I was a mod didn't mean I could express my general frustration on my private accounts.

I unfriended anyone related to AM immediately. A few days after, I got a text message from John saying
"We may not be facebook friends anymore, but can we still be phone friends?"
Are you for fucking real? You kicked me out of my own community and you still expect me to see you as a "friend"?! Fuck no, he's barely human.

I didn't go to the Grand Lolita Tea Party or any HLC meetups after that. I am now what is known as a "lone lolita."

2015: Now, let's talk about Nightfall.

Nightfall was not made out of a desire for revenge or vengeance. If anything, Nightfall made AM more appealing for people and it really did not provide any competition since AM's tea party tickets were long sold out.

I have wanted to do events for a long time, but didn't know where to start. It's extremely difficult to plan an event in Houston (due to circumstances I can't leave the area) since AM has monopolized the market.

AM never plans anything on the Thursday beforehand, so that day was supposed to be free. Because all of the important people would be at fashion show rehearsals, there wasn't anybody they could trust to run a lolita event on Day 0. They decided to have a fashion walk on Day 0 (guess what never happened) which would occur in the early afternoon. Nightfall was planned take place in the evening, so there would be no conflict. Nightfall was announced on January 12. I received an anonymous tip saying John was enraged at the following fashion show rehearsal and asked one of the staff/models to spy on the event. (If you're reading this, girl, you were a shitty spy because you didn't find out shit.) John attempts to distract people from Nightfall by planning a (lame) pre-con party on Thursday evening. Staff were required to attend this pre-con party. They try to entice people with free food.
He threatened anyone, whether staff, model, or volunteer, who dared to come to Nightfall that they would be kicked out of AM. He tried to bribe one of the Kawaii Ambassadors into not attending. They also looked at the people who put "going" on the Nightfall facebook event and offered them spots in the AM fashion show, so they wouldn't be able to make it to Nightfall.


I went to AM2015 because Boz is my favorite brand and I already pre-registered for a badge before everything went down. The guests were Putumayo, Angelic Pretty, Metamorphose, Atelier Boz, Midori, Misako, Yui, Akira, Yura Peko, and Chokelate. AM didn't even announce that Yui was coming.

There were NO translators or handlers again. Midori personally asked one of the Canadian lolitas who happened to be attending to translate for all of the models + designers. Translator-chan didn't even get compensated.

Friday: Fashion show surprisingly starts relatively on time. The story made 0 sense.

Saturday: The whole models hosting panels was a joke. I sat in the Boystyle with Akira and Shiva panel the whole time. Akira and Shiva didn't even know it was a boystyle panel. They both thought it was going to be a Q&A about themselves. Midori's Lolita 101 panel went the same way.

Sunday: I wasn't going to the tea party originally, but a friend bought me a ticket when I woke up that morning. Because I originally wasn't planning to go, I had to rush and arrived about 10 minutes late. My friends who were at the front of the check-in line asked if they could save a seat for me. One staff member said yes, but several minutes later, a different staff member said no (update: it has been clarified as a miscommunication). They ended up using the hotel's catering despite saying that they weren't going to at the cupcake party.
AM2015 tea party layout

The layout was similar to last year where the Guests ended up being on one side where the back tables still couldn't see them. The worst part about this layout is they shoved the Kawaii Ambassadors in an obscure corner behind a large corner. The KAs couldn't see anything and nobody could see them! AM spent all of this money to fly them over and shoved them in a corner. John took over half of the time talking and making bad jokes. He always insists on being the MC, but is really bad at it. Again, attendees were not supposed to walk around the room, but the staff lost control and people started walking anyway.


Some other things that are noteworthy, but don't go anywhere in specific:
  • The HLC logo: John's idea
  • The HLC facebook page: John's idea
  • John would also send me pictures and text to post, so he wouldn't have to do it.
  • He will offer you modeling opportunities and free stuff to get you to work with him.
  • He doesn't give one shit about indie brands.
  • He might give a shit if you give him free stuff.
  • Doesn't serve tea at his tea parties.
  • He will look up your facebook, friend you, and go through your pictures. Starting in either 2014 or 2015, the fashion show application requires you to submit a link to your facebook profile.
  • The majority of communication is through facebook, not e-mail. 
  • He always posted convention fashion updates in HLC and never on the AM facebook page.
  • He always sticks Deneice in the fashion show even though she probably has more important things to do as the con chairman. Having Deneice in the show is one less spot for a dreaming lolita who wishes to model for the glorious burando. In 2015, Deneice was in the fashion show, not once, but twice! She wore two different outfits for reasons I can't fathom.
  • Sexual harassment.
    • Once, he tried to lift up my jabot to see what was underneath. I often wear a jabot over a tank top since it gets really hot in Houston. Not dealing with someone trying to peek at my chest, I immediately slapped his hand away.
    • A prime example of completely inappropriate comments, regardless of the fact that he is married with two young children:
Absolutely disgusting.

In summary, AM seemed to like me enough until I told John to post in ONE thread. He didn't like that. I was apparently hindering the members' privilege of seeing AM news when they could just check the AM page and/or website. He told Jessamyn to kick me and Tati out otherwise she was going to be taken off of AM staff. After Tati and I left, he replaced our moderator positions with members of AM staff. You can see how deeply rooted he is in the HLC hierarchy (all 3 mods as of right now were part of AM staff this past convention). He offers staff and/or modeling positions in order to get what he wants. The sad thing is lolitas take the bait.

I have forgiven some people, but there are people I will never trust again. I know too many people who have been used by AM. I can't speak for them, but hopefully my story will allow people to realize how shady they really are. John acts like he is god's gift to lolitas. He will find every opportunity to talk about himself and his convention. His con has to be the special snowflake of all cons. You can't even call HLC a comm anymore. If you don't kiss AM's ass, then you are ignored. New HLC is a cash pool for AM. I have personally witnessed AM will be nice to your face, but as soon as they talk about lolita in private, they will talk shit about you. If you're still on "good" terms with them to this day, they probably hate you. If you're not on good terms with them, they hate you.

I am sharing my story to be a reference of mistakes. Do not let Anime Matsuri (or any other convention/event) push you or your community around. John Leigh is an unethical and unprofessional organizer. Please re-consider if you were ever interested in working with Anime Matsuri. Lolitas all around the world have the ability to create their own events and support each other due to their love and support of the fashion; it's a fact. When you look at all of the successful events of the past and present, it's clear that the lolita community can  sustain itself. Anime Matsuri is now aiming outside of Texas. Germany, Hawaii, and who knows where else. AM systematically exploited the Houston community by alienating members one by one and pitting them against each other. Don't let your community be their next cash cow.


  1. thank you, thank you for this post and documentation. you are a hero.

  2. This sounds like an all-round horrible experience. Thank you for sharing it honestly, and I hope you still get joy from lolita and boystyle.

  3. OMG, you see all his sexual in your windows on text. you should hear him when he whispers in your ear, his sexual fantasies HE GROSSED ME OUT he is a pervert, predator and a bad example of a human being. Boycott Anime Matsuri !!

    1. No, boycott Anime Matsuri. 100% of the profit made from the con goes to John and Deniece Leigh. They cut corners when it comes to costs for the con (hiring volunteers as opposed to a paid staff for example) and pocket the rest.

      Why do you think AM is such a shit show every year? Any business with John Leigh as the director, owner, oligarch will not be getting a dime of my money. You guys want dirt bags out of the community like John you gotta hit em where it hurts: their money.

  4. thank you for sharing post, it breaks my heart to hear that he using his powers to gain trust and take advantage of your youthfulness. he is a creepy guy. really old bald headed creepy man

  5. I'm so glad you're posting this because people need to see A.M for what they really are especially John. I was so upset at way they treated you and Tati after everything y'all had done for the comm as mods and meet up host. I don't think I ever would have come to meets had it not been for you two. Y'all were just the sweetest and so fun. HLC really should have never merged with Matsuri because it's done nothing but go down hill and become a mess. I'm glad you're still rocking your amazing style c:

  6. Thank you for posting Steph! It was very brave of you, but it needed to be done. AM is why I left HLC too (although my experience wasn't quite the same as yours as I wasn't involved as much), but being invited to the cupcake fiasco was the trigger. I'm sorry you had to go through all this! Again, thank you for sharing it.

  7. AM is also why I am no longer active in HLC. The comm has been ruined for me. Also I have had John make inappropriate comments towards me as well as my friends. Thank you for posting all of this Stephany, I hope it stops someone from making the mistake of trusting them.

  8. Lone Lolita in AlabamaJune 19, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    I have been following you since AM of last year and I love it. I am new to Lolita and will be attending my first tea party this year. This is crazy stuff. I am so sorry you had to deal with all this drama and awfulness. You are still an inspiration. ^.^ Also, I like you running away person in the last screen shot. My brain instantly put 'toot' sound effects on it.

    \( ' ' /)=3=3=3 tootootoot!

  9. Thank you so much for posting this. John is an evil greedy pervert and I'm sooo happy people are coming out about the truth about him and Anime Matsuri. :)

  10. Anime cons in the us have always been so crazy making from my experience I went mostly for the musical guests then. Now that I live in Japan I have gotten into Lolita Fashion and even going to concerts in Japan is always sooo amazingly organized well planned and thought out I am in awe by it..The Lolita meetups I've been to here ..even when done on the cheap is probably better than what they do at AM I'm sure you could plan a better event with your eyes closed .あきらめるな

  11. I worked press at AM 2012 and 2015. I went to the first AM as a fan and remembered that mess, but I had an excellent time in 2012. Except for a couple of hiccups, everything went pretty smoothly. This past Matsuri was a complete 180. I had been warned about how it had gone downhill, particularly for the musical guests. I didn't expect it to be so bad that not only was I denied interviews (even though one of the guests' management gave me the okay), but I also missed part of the concerts due to miscommunication. I felt bad about the people I had to squeeze past in order to do my job of photographing the concerts. Although the fashion show did start on time, I clearly remember there being miscommunication there on the start time. Press got let in early, which was great for us but probably awkward for everyone on-stage. I also heard a very rude comment regarding one of the musical guests that revealed how little John cared about anybody who wasn't in his fashion show. Thank you for sharing your story. I learned my lesson too, and I wished I had taken heed of the warnings I received. Hopefully people will pay attention to what many have said about this convention. It's a bummer that I haven't seen another Texas con that brings in all the things I love: lolita and boystyle, J-pop and J-rock, and nerdlesque; but I refuse to give AM any more money or time.

  12. Thank you for having the courage to come forward and tell your story, I know many are too afraid or still support such things. It was very wrong what happened to you and I think everyone needs to start seeing them for what they are, John is clearly money hungry and a pervert and should be ashamed of himself as he is married with two small children. I feel like its sad that they are trying to hard to be bigger than what they can do, every con is going to have their problems but it's sad that they don't think about their guests enough to get a translator and help for them. They want to hide all this and claim they are the best, smh. If Deneice wants to better her con she should first start by doing something about her husband.

  13. Very sad to hear all of this... I never been there, luckily I evaded all the troublesome... I'd expect that as an anime convention, many attendees and staffs alike had enjoyed their time... Having a good time and made new friends.... So sad that I have to read this whole review article... I wish it would have reflected the other way around....

  14. Excellent post. I can attest to those two using underhanded tactics on their volunteers, and just as well go through extreme lengths to get us to shut up about it. Including trying to bribe me off... I used to work for them. Never will you see so many promised volunteers room-less, and hungry. Just as well treat smaller guests like trash. Keep them the hell away from the HLC. Their con is awful anyways... go to the smaller cons instead!

    Source is that I was on staff for AM in 2010, and HLC for the last two years.

  15. wow... thanks for posting this D:

    I've been a lurker in the community for many years, but HLC has never failed to make me uncomfortable as fuck. Especially many of the mods.

  16. Dear Choke, you came out with a post i cant read because its in German. you posted about the disgusting things he did and how difficult it was John Leigh was to deal with. have the courage girl to give us details. This can't wait. you must come out with it now. you said you will give details. be brave. butts should be inspiration for you. she is to me and my community. Nola girls stick together

  17. And now, they are coming to Hawaii and offering a $1000 cash prize for cosplay. If it is all rigged, people should know about this.

    I guess this goes further than lolita, as it happened with World Cosplay Summit as, well.

    1. WCS was not run by AM but was hosted, and was in no way rigged, but it was treated very badly by AM.

  18. This is fantastically crazy. I can't believe how calmly you put up with this bullshit. You're a saint. It sucks that you're a lone lolita now, but i'm sure one day things will change.

  19. Wow...that's damn strong and terrifying story.
    And you're very strong lady. Thank you for sharring...and I hope your life will be now all John-Leigh-less!
    You deserve it...both you and Tati.
    And this: "Doesn't serve tea at his tea parties. " is totally unforgivable...along with damn too much other things ofc.

  20. Man. What a story.
    I am a French Lolita and I've heard of AM mainly because of our french ambassadors. But I didn't even know about this ! When all the post- Grand Tea Party stuff happened, when I read all those witnesses, I was like whaaaaaat the hell is going on across the ocean????
    Thanks to you, and thanks to Mila's explanations, me and others french girls are now aware of those awfull events. We are so proud of our amazing european teams, yet so shocked about AM. Wow.
    You are very strong ! Thank you very much for sharing. Hold on ! We support you !

  21. This whole situation reminds me of how perverted Mr Yan is too...why do people insist on preying on us poor lolitas...

  22. Chloe: We aren't all like that, it's just John, specifically, who is like this.

  23. If you and the other Loli's that have had issues with him have enough evidence of sexual harassment I recommend a lawsuit. I know it seems extreme, however the reason he so far has gotten away with all this is because no one has spoken up loud enough. He will continue to do so, even if he's removed as a KA. Something to think about.

  24. It's sad that people are just now finally starting to come out about John Leigh. This shit has been going on for YEARS. Good job on taking a step forward for your community!

  25. https://www.facebook.com/events/1438892163086184/

    Looks like the Leigh's are going to Hawaii. Maybe someone there should let the local news stations about the stories, and they should go to this meet up.

  26. I am in Hawaii and was offered tickets to Anime Matsuri from the hospital I go to. I'm worried now; they would have my name, my younger sister's name, and 2 friends' names. I don't know if any of us should go anymore, I'm worried about him trying to use us as some type of PR tool and personally look for us. Should I warn the hospital about this and tell them not to offer tickets to the patients anymore?

  27. Don't playfully beat around the bush when someone asks unwanted questions (the orgasm conversation). Say "That is not appropriate." The way you responded was way playful and encouraged him. Retard.

  28. I found this after AM 2019 announced Apink will be there. The amount of tea about the Leighs is tremendous, speaking as an outsider. I'm not very involved in any japan-related fandoms, but I've had experiences like this before with kpop. I've been through this and know how frustrating it is to have your community taken over and ruined by immature and selfish people. I hope you're able after some years to hang onto nice memories of the community from before AM. You don't say it much, but I can just tell how much this sucked and hurt you. I'm just a random kpop fan on the internet saying hope you feel better than you did when you wrote this. You were right.

  29. It's been a while since I was active in HLC and Lolita in general. I was around 14 when I joined the community and these events started talking place. I was friends with most of the mods of HLC and fairly active for several years and coming back to this im finally realizing how predatory that man really was. Growing up put everything into perspective for me. He was a middle aged man forcing and manipulating himself into a position of power over a group of young girls and women; many of who were high school and college age. Looking back now I realize how much he turned you all against one another and why HLC had so much "drama".
    I knew John too, unfortunately, More than I probably should have. I luckily didn't have any creepy sexual experiences with him, just his overall weirdness and vindictive behavior. He tried to control me briefly due to my connections with 2 brands, and although I have my own issues with the brands In question, they did look out for me and protected me from John Leigh. After he knew they were watching out for me and that they didn't like him he started being cold towards me, even bad mouthing me to my friends in the community.
    Sorry for my rambling. It's just somewhat surreal to revisit this whole situation as an adult when I'm able to fully grasp the full weight of your experience, as well as being able to cross examining it with mine and my old friend's. I truly hope everyone involved with John and his wife are doing better now.