Q: I just read your piece about feeling unwelcome in your regular geek hangouts. It's such a shame that people judge by how others looks. You're still one of my favorite geek fangirls, Consetta! Keep being awesome just the way you are! :)
Thank you so much! :)
I don’t normally share negative feelings about things, but something happened over the weekend that has been bothering me so I am going to try and figure it out in writing.
I’ve been a geek girl for a some time now…let’s see, I guess approximately 36 years or so? Most people know how much Star Wars means to me, that I squee out loud for Hello Kitty and that I have a serious love for cats and squirrels. Well, all animals actually. I’ve enjoyed watching the geek culture grow over the years and see people come together over common fandoms and celebrate the diversity of all things “geek.” I’ve been a 501st member and trooped in armor, been to and worked many conventions and call Rancho Obi-Wan my second home.
So why am I rambling about all this? Well, recently my trooper and I finally went on our long overdue honeymoon (6 years waiting). He took me to a ranch in Colorado and it was life-altering. My friends and family know how much our recent trip meant to me as I’ve been posting a lot of pictures from our adventure on FB (mostly of horses) and how much I truly LOVED being at this ranch and off-grid for 7 days (No cell service, no TV’s, just being “in the moment” and it was glorious) And I discovered the joy of horses. Like seriously, I fell in love with my horse “Spec” and bonding with him was incredibly healing and brought me a joyful connection with an animal I feared I’d never be open to again since we lost our beloved cat Alfie last October. The experience moved me so much I immediately started looking into riding lessons and learning horse husbandry since we returned from our trip. My first lesson was this past Saturday….which is when my “troubled” afternoon happened.
After my riding lesson (with an amazing quarter horse named “Hollywood”) I was so happy I decided to stop by my local Comic Shop and favorite book store on my way home. I want to point out that these are places I visit frequently and am no stranger. Why is this important? Because for the first time ever the people at these places treated me like a complete stranger…an outsider…and I was getting “those” uncomfortable looks. I was taken completely off guard and tried to engage in conversation with people working there (who I have had various discussions with about Star Wars and Comic Con in the past). I got no direct eye contact, no interaction and no type of verbal engagement at all.
As I stood looking through new releases of Marvel comics and trying not to feel awkward, I couldn’t help be think….Sooooo…what happened? What is different this weekend compared to any other time I’ve been here? Then, I glanced up and briefly saw my reflection in one of the display cases of Comic Collectibles. “No way” I thought to myself….it can’t be because of what I am wearing???
Normally, I venture out into the world in one of my favorite Star Wars shirts or a color coordinated Hello Kitty ensemble. I’ve actually been trooping in my armor for the 501st at this particular shop, but this weekend I came from my horseback riding lesson. Had I just come from a barn? Yes. So was were my boots dusty? Yes. Did I look more cowgirl than geek girl? Apparently, yes. Was this the reason for such a drastic change in how I was greeted, treated and felt? It hurts my heart to say it, but I fear the answer is yes.
I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. We all have bad days and I completely understand that, but it wasn’t just one person or one place. For the first time ever I actually felt unwelcome in my usual geeky hangouts and that is what’s bothering me.
Regardless of what I am wearing I am still me. Nothing changed. I have Lucasfilm ball caps, a Biker Scout bucket, and now, a cowboy hat.
I am going to hold on to the notion that perhaps it was just an off day and maybe I was overreacting. Today, I’m going to dust my boots off and get back on the trail. Whether it’s a trail that involves geeky goodness or an actual horse shouldn’t matter. All trails deserve to be traveled with a smile.
My Mom just called to ask if I still had my letter from Jim Craig. Yes…yes I do :) *Miracle on ice & in my heart