Geek is chic. That's what a good friend of mine once told me. I didn't believe her at the time.
I've always prided myself on being a geek. What's not to be proud of? I've worked very hard to be who I am and where I am in my life. I don't like to follow trends, and I've never been cool or popular. I play D&D and keep up with the latest gadgets. I have fifteen different email addresses, and can program computers in over twenty different languages. Writing fantasy novels felt to me like the crescendo in my perfect storm of geekiness.
There was a time long ago when I would have been afraid to talk about all the geeky things I do, but as I've grown older, I've become more comfortable with it.
It appears I'm not the only one.
At some point over the last decade, the entire western world appears to have accepted geek culture, and even embraced it. Suddenly, everyone is waiting for the next Marvel comics movie, watching fantasy TV shows, talking about the next installment in the Star Wars franchise, swooning over the latest smart phone, and just generally being geeky. I look around these days, and think, I'm not alone in the universe.
This past weekend, I had a table at the London Rogues Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention in London, ON. I had a great time, and felt totally at home surrounded by dozens of people in costume. Jedi and Sith Lords, aliens, super heroes, storm troopers, and video game characters. Even the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man made an appearance. I had tons of fun signing and selling books, completely immersed in geek culture. It was awesome.
The interesting part was how other people reacted. Nobody pointed and laughed, or made fun. There were no bullies pushing as around. Instead, we were accepted for who we are. Ordinary people walked by and got a glimpse into the incredible worlds that we geeks live in, and they all loved it.
I can't remember a time when it's ever been so cool to be a geek. Funny how that works out, eh?
I've never been afraid to be myself, but I know there are many other geeks out there who don't have the confidence that I have. I'm here to tell you today that you don't need to be afraid.
Be proud of who you are.
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