So it’s been a little more than a week since my glorious return from the San Diego International Comic Convention, where I saw cool things, met cool people, and learned that “Hell” is another word for “being on the SDCC exhibit floor in a wheelchair.” I also contracted a horrific cold, and haveâ¦
So, Seanan wrote this post yesterday, which you should totally read, and as I commented on it, I realized that I had a lot more to say than would fit in a comment. And then vixy wrote this, and the thoughts started bouncing around in my brain some more. This has been in my head since I first heard about this video (The Doubleclicks, “Nothing to Prove”). I had wanted to submit something, but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say.
I haven’t always identified as a geek, but I’ve always been geeky. My dad was always a fan of fantasy and SF. He introduced me to Lord of the Rings and Star Trek (he taped every episode of TOS on VHS). I was a regular fixture at my local public library, and I burned through the fantasy section (I don’t have a clear memory of everything I read back in those days, other than there being a lot of Piers Anthony…). I wore out a VHS tape of The Last Unicorn, and when I saw The Princess Bride for the first time, it promptly became one of my all-time favorite movies. But with the exception of a couple of good friends I could occasionally geek out with, I didn’t really travel in geeky circles as a teen.
I didn’t read comics. I didn’t play video games. The internet didn’t even exist until I was in college.
(Once the internet existed, though? I was all over it.)
After college, I started to really embrace my geekiness, little by little. I got into geeky TV shows, like The X Files and Buffy.I discovered Harry Potter. I made friends with some fabulous geeky ladies in an online writing group (which later led to Toasted Cheese).
But it wasn’t until much later (2004, to be exact) that I really got introduced to the whole idea of fandom. That happened when I met my husband. (If you click the link, the one on the left is mine.) He read comic books, and played music at science fiction conventions, and was part of this thing called filk (which, I should add, I had been introduced to before meeting him, by way of one of my Toasted Cheese friends). He started bringing me with him to filk conventions in 2005, and I kept going back.
It might be because of Rand, or it might be that I don’t go to large gen cons like SDCC or DragonCon, but no one has ever asked me to prove myself, or questioned my credentials as a geek girl. Still, whenever this topic comes up, I can’t help but feel a little bit anxious.
Because I’m afraid, if questioned, I would fail.
I read some comics, but I haven’t read all the comics. I haven’t seen all the right movies, or all the right TV shows, or read all the right books (some I’m interested in and just haven’t gotten to them yet; others, I’m simply not interested in at all). And there’s a little tiny part of me that wonders if people think I’m only part of this world because of Rand.
And every time I catch myself slipping into this line of thinking, I have to kind of shake myself out of it.
I am not a fake geek girl.
I am not a fake geek girl because the fake geek girl is a myth.
And I am a part of this community because I choose to be.
It may be true that, technically, I am here because of Rand (would I have found my own way without him? who knows…)—but I stuck around because of me.
Because, although I don’t think either one of us really knew it at the time, when he brought me to that first convention…
…he was bringing me home.