I grew up in New Orleans. We always had costuming. I don’t need a neologism (google it, or read a book!).
What I did need was to become involved with local fandom organizations. Through multiple costuming activities and various associated events (notably with the Krewe du Who), I’ve had a few opportunities to build nice costumes for myself.
This is to say, I don’t consider myself a ‘cosplayer’, but plenty of people describe me as such, and I occasionally play one on TV!
Here’s some photos of stuff I’ve done.