Editor’s note: With Comic-Con International coming up this week, it seems the perfect time to remind everyone — inside and outside fandom — that despite the urge to stereotype, we need to break out of it. Luckily for me, Lani of the Dynamic Cosplay Couple, offered up this entry.
I’m outgoing. I love fashion. I’m athletic. I love makeup. I’m a huge geek.
No, I’m not “just saying that” because I jumped on a recent “geeky” or “nerdy” fandom in the past month to make myself more “cool” (and who’s business is it really as to how someone joins a fandom – but that’s another topic). No I’m not saying that just to be able to wear the cool new hipster fashions with a pair of nerd glasses either (although I do LOVE those and do wear them).
Surprise – I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A GEEK.
I’ve been reading comics since I was a little kid, I’m a juggler. I’ve always loved action flicks (my first movie outing when I was less that a year old was Conan the Barbarian, which explains a lot…). I was in band and theater throughout high school. I could literally live in an arcade.
I have a love affair with Master Chief and Kratos, created each of my costumes for Halloween since forever – one of my childhood favorites was my female version of “Blade,” and my entire bookshelf is overflowing with comics/graphic novels. If that’s not enough, I have framed super hero posters and tons of geeky memorabilia throughout my home.
I have no idea how many times people have come over to my home, then secretly asked Sean, “Dude, how’d you get her to allow all of this?!”
And he’d simply say, “Oh, that’s because most of this stuff is hers. But we did buy this new toy/poster/game/etc… just last weekend.”
With Sean and myself now a part of the Cosplay Community – and proud of it – we’ve experienced many positive things, but there are quite a few times when we felt ostracized or uncomfortable.
Bullying doesn’t always have to be where someone says an unkind word to you directly. Being neglected, treated as a piece of meat, or talked about secretly also counts as forms of bullying.
Nerds, geeks, and misfits come in ALL SHAPES, SIZES, COLORS and TYPES. People should not discredit someone’s geekiness if they are good looking, in shape, fashionable, or just don’t fit a stereotypical mold of what they think a geek should “look” or “act” like.
I’m personally tired of having to provide proof of my geeky background. I’ve even thought about carrying a “geek card” and pulling it out when I get the, “No way! You don’t read comic books!” line.
UGH. Why can’t people just accept me for ME?
This is a discussion that I plan to continue here on Fanboy Planet as I find it fascinating that both Sean and myself went from one form of bullying as children, to this new wave of bullying where instead of being included in the culture (we’ve been a part of our whole lives), we’re sometimes ostracized.
Thank goodness for the fabulous people who are currently in our lives that see us for who we are, Lani and Sean.
For those who have experienced bullying please know that you are not alone. We always tell people that we’re here for YOU no matter what. Even if we’ve never met we’ll always be a pair of understanding listening ears.
Anyone is more than welcome to message us on our cosplay page, and I’m proud to say that people have reached out to us already.
In my next blog post on bullying I’ll share some of our experiences, both good and bad.
But I’d also like to address a question or two from some of you.
Be brave, be yourself, and ALWAYS BE HAPPY.