Friday, September 16, 2011

Speak Out With Your Geek Out: I Am A Geek!

There's really no getting around it (even if I somehow wanted to avoid it), I am a geek. Not only am I posting this to a blog that I call Dorkland, but I am tapping away at this particular post on a smartphone.

I am a lucky geek. Despite growing up in a smaller town in Indiana, I managed to have a pretty tolerant time of my formative years. No football players, or other jocks either, ever stuffed me into a locker, tried to beat me up, bullied me, or threatened me with violence. I never had to worry about being different at any point.

Like I said, I am a lucky geek.

Because of this, I've been lucky to be able to fly my geek flag, and be proud of it. True, there were ups and downs, just like there always are in life. However, I've always been open about who I am (and why I knew so much about computers) and I've been lucky to work places where nobody gave a crap. I've read comics and gaming books at lunch time in work cafeterias. Sometimes someone would ask a well-intentioned question, showing interest in my hobbies, but most of the time they would just go about their own business because they didn't care.

For me, every day is one where I speak geek, because it is who I am. I love music, of all types. I love comic books, and will happily spend hours arguing if The Hulk is stronger than Thor (for the record I am on Team Thor in this argument...Hulk is mighty but Thor is still a god). I love some good, thought-provoking speculative fiction and escapist fantasy. I read paranormal romance. I love and create role-playing games.

In short...I am a geek.

I am a bit sad at the reason behind why Speak Out With Your Geek Out got started. Jon Finkel, a world champion Magic The Gathering player got publicly mocked for being a geek in an online article about a woman looking for dates (allegedly) on the site OKCupid. He gets called out, not because he was a horrible date or abusive or a dick, or anything like that. No, he had the audacity to be a geek. Not just a geek, but a successful geek who had managed to make a hell of a lot of money doing what he loved doing.

We should all be so lucky to be able to make the kind of money he has made, doing something he loves, geek or non-geek.

So, because of that he gets mocked. I'm not going to insult or belittle or rake the woman who wrote that article over hot coals. It's been done enough already. Too much if you ask me. Really, all the negativity from the geek side doesn't cancel out the negativity from the non-geek side. It just makes for more negativity, and that doesn't do any of us any good.
If you read this today, or any day in the future for that matter, honor what has happened, honor who you are, honor every other geek out there (whether you know them or not) by proudly doing something geeky. Read a comic on a bus. Read that D&D book at the coffee shop. If someone asks you what you're reading look them in the eye and tell them. You never know, you might be meeting the next member of your gaming group, or even a future partner.

Every day is a day to be proud of being a geek. Speak out every day.

[Note: As I wrote this on my phone, I will go back and likely revise/edit and probably add an image or two. Fear not if this should change slightly on multiple viewings].