How many episodes of MY LITTLE PONY are on your DVR? Where were you when THOR 2: THE DARK WORLD premiered? How many video games, sonic screwdrivers, or original props from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION do you own? In a world where ‘geek is chic,’ the debate never ends when it comes to proving your mettle as a true geek or nerd. It even extends to more serious subjects such as feminism, where the accusation of being a ‘fake geek girl’ has become a gatekeeping insult from male geeks to females of the species.
Gender equality, however, is not what I’m discussing here today. I’m speaking to the people out there that are geeks after my own heart. I’m talking to the MCU fans that have never picked up a comic book. I’m talking to the STAR TREK nerds that are just discovering the original series thanks to the thrilling scripts and epic lens flares of JJ Abrams. I’m here to talk to the gamers who, like me, are playing DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS for the first time and helplessly romancing Alistair for the 19th time while the rest of the geek world has devolved into a DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION-inspired Cullenmancing trash party.
To the neophytes of the geek world, little fishes standing in awe of those who have seen STAR WARS a hundred and twenty nine times, who gawk at the sages that own an actual Vulcan lute, who dream of being as geeky as the folks that have been given fashion advice by Catwoman herself, Julie Newmar, I say to you: there is a way to earn your stripes. In a world full of those who were there when fandom life began, long before the advent of Tumblr and AO3, there is a way to find your place among the big shots.
Seven words is all it takes…say them with me…
“I’m a geek…and proud of it!”
Being a nerd may be cool these days, but none of us are in it to be cool…that’s the point of being a geek! We capslock in forums and squeal in the presence of friends because we all have one thing in common: we are giant, hopeless, vibrating masses of bone, tissue, and passion. We love what we love because there are geniuses among us with ideas so vibrant and gorgeous and just plain crazy that we can’t help but be enchanted! They thrill us, amuse us, and when we’re very lucky, they inspire us to go out and do something just as vibrant, just as gorgeous…and probably just as plain crazy.
The proof? It’s not just in this story, it’s in the very existence of this website! Every example here is based on a real person. The “Cullenmancing trash party?” That would be my best friend, whom you can find on Tumblr under that very username. The legend with Star Trek props and a Vulcan lute? That would be Krypton Radio founder, Gene Turnbow.
And the woman who saw STAR WARS a hundred and twenty nine times? Well, she’s the reason for the season–I mean, the website. Now in the happy throes of her Second Geekhood, if you listen very closely, you can just about hear the sounds of a TimeSiren arming her light saber and squeeing at the words that now have every fan’s heart going pitter-pat: “Chewie? We’re home.”
They’re all geeks, every last one of them, and that’s just three of the people I have described in this article…but it’s not the video game hours, or the movie viewings or the props that make them what they are. Once upon a time, they were all the same as me, just getting their footing as they entered their first geekhood. They hadn’t done anything cool, or acquired any precious relics back then. They began life as geeks with those same seven words, and that is what made them what they are.
So, as I publish my first story on this site? I’m going to make my own Second Geekhood official by showing off a little of my geek cred.
I’m a geek, and proud of it!
You have to own your fandom. Otherwise, it’s not really your fandom.