If you know me, you know that this topic is a major one for me. I just had a thought to formally write on my feelings after having finished Rutgers Geek Week at the end of March, connected with fellow student affairs nerds & geeks at ACPA in Indianapolis, and speaking on my learning for my final project in my graduate program. The latter event made me feel very strongly that this discussion is important.
When I was presenting, during the final question and answer period, I was challenged a lot on the branding I've chosen and using the moniker of "geek" as a badge of honor. Some were confused, others were wary due to negative stereotypes of geeks and nerds such as being "know-it-alls" or nonconformist or antisocial. It was hard to deflect and absorb everything in such a setting, since I didn't want to blow back on it too much since I needed to pass this presentation to graduate. I felt emotionally gut punched about it afterwards since I didn't expect such an antagonizing stance towards that out of everything I talked about and felt as though it hit to the core of who I am, making it all seem like it was foolish.
The work I and others try to do in this space is important. Geek pride is important because it fights bullying just because someone is a little different. Geek pride is important because it means creating a world where anyone can be proud of what they're into and pursue a life of passion. Geek pride is important because anti-intellectualism is dangerous for the future of our country. What I want to do is uplift all the awesome parts of what being a geek or nerd means; the passion, the community, the lessons and morals we hold dear that make us good people. I want to get away from the negative stereotypes and create spaces where people geek out about anything and everything they want, whenever they want, whether it is cars, comics, clothes, or consoles (tried really hard on that alliteration).
So here's to geeks, nerds, dorks, and dweebs. Make sure to bond with your closest friends for Geek Pride Day, which is on May 25.
Thanks for stopping by and keep spreading the good word.