As the subject says, what does it mean to you? It is the dressing up? The gadgets? Music? Stories? The Art? The ‘maker’ approach?
To me, steampunk is ‘a future that never was’. A world that held a moral standard but evolved it to take in everyone. A world that held scientific curiosity and the rules of the scientific method above all else. It’s a world that holds value in personal efforts and talents regardless of a person’s station in life. One that also values craftsmanship and attention to detail above the quick and cheap.
Steampunk is more than cosplay. It can be a way of life. Yes, the Victorian era was also filled with horrible beliefs and practices, but in doing ‘timepunk’ we can select what we want from different eras, and as times change, we can move our focus from one era to another. I think it has exciting possibilities, don’t you?