“Geek” wasn’t a word I heard much as a kid. (I associated it mostly with Anthony Michael Hall’s character in Sixteen Candles.) I don’t even remember hearing it used as a pejorative term at my school – smart kids were mostly called “nerds” – but I knew early on that I was different. I was among the kids bussed to a nearby middle school twice a month for “gifted” classes (firmly entrenched in the nerd camp), but it wasn’t just that. My two favorite places were book stores and movie theaters. I read voraciously and loved watching movies, especially those shown on AMC (back when it was a true classic movie channel). I also remember feeling an intense desire to know things. If I became interested in a subject, I wanted to know everything about it. I liked things that few of my classmates were interested in – ghost stories, sci-fi, and fantasy. I watched “Mystery Science Theater 3000″, “Quantum Leap”, “The Twilight Zone”, and “Unsolved Mysteries”. I played Myst and even wrote a detailed game guide, which I printed, made a cover for, and bound together with ribbon to give to a family friend for his birthday. (He had just purchased the game following a recommendation from my dad.)
My parents, geeks themselves, always supported my many interests and gave me every opportunity possible to explore them. My friends were (and continue to be) my safety net, allowing me to be passionate about the things I love without judgement and introducing me to new fandoms and obsessions. And then there’s Kris, my geeky soul mate.
To me, being a geek means being part of a community linked by their passion for the things they love. I have been lucky enough to surround myself with people with a wide array of interests, but they all have at least one thing in common – when it comes to the things they love, they REALLY love them and they aren’t afraid to show it. That’s why I’m proud to call myself a geek. I don’t have to apologize or make excuses for my interests and obsessions and I never have to hide who I am because all of the things I love are integral parts of my identity. I couldn’t say it much better than this:
Bonus Feature: Wil Wheaton tells a newborn girl why it’s awesome to be a nerd.