I recently fully came out of the closet. Not about being a lesbian. I have been out about that for varying times to different people, but the final coming out of that particular closet was a decade ago. No, no people (AKA you Sardynski). To actual come out of the closet about my sexual orientation was actually not overly scary as a whole. I knew from my past history that my family would love me no matter what. Frankly, there was no one who was truly that shocked. My true coming out story has happened within the past 12 months. It was terrifying and honestly drew more derisive looks and questions then embracing my gay self…I, Heather Marlette, am a geek. Yes, I hid the full fledged geekiness of me until I was 31. How horrible is that? Sadly, the lesbian thing was totally more accepted.
Lets get one thing straight right now. I have recently decided to be me out in the open and let my geek-flag fly high, unobstructed and proud. Keep it straight though, it is a geek flag, not nerd-pride my friends. I know that some people do not know there is a difference, do not think there is a difference, and most of all do not care. If you are one or the other though, you do. The word nerd has only truly been around since it was used in the 1950’s in the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo. It was around this time that the word passed into pop culture and was applied to those people who were seen as rule followers or a “drip/square.” It has become what it is today to be applied to anyone who is not just socially awkward but completely socially inept and who is off the charts smart – more known as intellectual, studious or an expert. This is not me.
Now the word geek, this has been around in terminology as well as pop culture since the early 1900’s. Geek is derived from the German geck which describes a fool/freak – this was applied in that time usually to “freaks” in side shows. Currently, geek is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiasts” who are often “unfashionable or socially inept.” In today’s culture, geeks are often seen as intelligent people who escape reality by being super fans of MMORPGs, Sci-Fi and fantasy. Yup. I enjoy Star Trek, but I love Star Wars…as stated in my profile, I believe it is not a movie, but a way of life. I follow the path of the Jedi, institute the Philosophy in my everyday life, and watch the movies once a month…even Episode I. I read LOTR on an annual basis, I have an opinion on the best Doctor (and if you get that, you simply get that) and I have the added bonus of being a girl so I not only think that FireFly was of the best and most under rated shows ever, I watched it because I loved Joss Whedon who brought power to my world by creating an entire generation of empowered GEEK GIRL culture which I have lived since 1996. I watched that premiere live, and never looked back – and yes I own Buffy seasons 1 – 7 on DVD, Angel seasons 1 – 5 on DVD and have Buffy seasons 8 and 9 in comics…and yes, I actually say and mean the phrase, ooh I am totally going to the comic book store tonight.
I have a favorite Avenger, X-Man, and Guardian of the Galaxy. I know the origins of Batman, Superman, Captain America and the Fantastic Four. I know the difference between Uncanny, Amazing, Ultimate, Avenging and innumerable other “versions” of superheroes. I do like Banner when he is angry. I knew who Hawkeye and the Black Widow were before Joss Whedon’s film, and S.H.I.E.L.D. was not new to me, but felt like finally seeing the puppets behind the stars getting some praise. I have a favorite Batman, and I have a favorite version of the bat mobile.
Yes, I am a geek. I love being out about it. I love that I no longer hide it. I hate that I feel more accepted about living in today’s society as a woman married to another woman then as a woman who does not feel it is wrong to be out about my Yoda worship. You may read this and say that I am crazy – in today’s world it is cool to be a geek. I agree. If you are a male geek. Even at that, I think people like to say it and are not openly mean to geeks or nerds in today’s world because they know that in the tech-filled world of today, you may need to stay on our good side. Being a geek is like everything else though – even with the limited or fake acceptance it will come to the males first, but we females will get there eventually.
So that is my true coming out story, for those few who may not know. I am a geek, I own it and I love it…haters be damned.