“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
– Elton, Love and Monsters, Doctor Who
I have spent more time trying be an adult and respectable than I’m proud to admit.
When I was young I was teased about what I wore, how I spoke, what I looked like, and my social status. Overall I had it way better than others but it still affected me more than I knew at the time.
I hit some setbacks in university when I lived with someone who was a judgmental geek. If they didn’t like your fandom, it was stupid and they’d make fun of you for it. If you didn’t like theirs they’d do the same.
The first major effect was conscious. I decided to hide my feelings from my peers. If they couldn’t tell what I was excited about, if I was hurt, or who I liked; they couldn’t tease me mercilessly.
It took me fifteen years before I could start to show how I’m feeling. Even then if I’m uncomfortable or don’t know people, I’ll default to the more controlled version of myself. If you want to draw me out just talk about something that excites you and I’ll get more comfortable.
If I’m disgusted or angered and I know I shouldn’t show it I won’t and you probably won’t be able to tell. This mostly happens at work.
This was another big thing that I changed; only I didn’t do it consciously. I started dressing differently in high school. I got rid of the shirts that had geeky things on them and made sure to avoid wearing anything that could associate me with any brands or fandoms.
When I got married and had a permanent job, I decided it was time to grow up. I bought a professional coat and later ditched the backpack for a side-bag.
It was about three years now that I realized how silly I was being. Now if you see me at a con or on the street, I’ll be wearing a geeky shirt, belt, and hoodie. I’m trying to let my geek flag fly.
It’s not always easy, especially when I feel it’s important to make a good impression. Last year for Can-Con, I had decided to go in a dress shirt and dress pants. Thank goodness my wife talked me out of it.
What Changed and Why?
I like to pride myself on having introduced my wife and in-laws to a bunch of geeky things. My sister in-law could now win professional trivia competitions related to Firefly. And my wife crochets TARDIS and has it travelling.
As much as I helped introduce them to geeky things they’ve helped me, over the past nine years, understand how to be a geek. The joy, excitement, and unabashed expressions of love; that they show have made me see that it’s ok to show your love.
The complete lack of judgement from them has given me the confidence to wear the things I find so cool.
Someday I’ll be a father and I want my children to never lose that excitement about what they love. I want them to squee about Christmas presents for their entire life. I want to harbour in them the joy that I see and feel in all four of my in-laws.
It’s ok to be excited, vocal, and visibly joyful about what you love. Geeky or not it’s ok to show your love. Sports, Tv, Movies, Books, Celebrities, Games, Archeology, History, Martial Arts, etc.
Be proud of what you love and share it with your friends and family but don’t judge others for what they love or what they don’t love.
Thanks for reading,
“You are what you love; Not who loves you[…]”
– Fall Out Boy; Save Rock And Roll
Is there something you’re embarrassed to love and wish you could share?
Have you been shamed for loving something?