I am a nerd.
I’ve come to the point in my life where I no longer apologize or am embarrassed by the fact that I carry emotional attachments to fictional worlds, whether by the page or the screen. I find it aggravating and condescending that others take my enjoyment in my fandoms as either an insult or unimportant.
And those that are fans of sports, athletic teams, or music artists, are able to proudly able to wear the symbols and emblems of their particular interest without derision or detriment. And yet those like myself, who connect with a book, characters, a fictional existence are assumed to be some sort of basement dwelling, dysfunctional,socially inept creatures to be patted on the head like a errant child that’s covered in something gross.
Let me tell you something about the modern member of a fandom. Some of the pilots, engineers, astronauts that cruise the skies and explore the stars grew up watching “Star Trek” and wanted to make that a world a reality. The tech, the ideals. Science fiction made fact.
Presidents, politicians, athletes growing up, running down to the corner store to pick up the newest copy of their favorite comic book. The Supermen of yesterday’s Halloween are the quarterbacks, drivers, runners of tomorrow.
The “morphin time” mascots become the martial artists of today.
That nerd you made fun of as a child that played with computers could probably rewrite your identity into the biggest criminal in history, or themselves into a digital god. The action figure carrying child becomes the Armed Forces member that fights for your existence.
A fan is a fan is a fan, whether it’s NASCAR, anime, or the Aquabats. So if you are a nerd, a geek, or a dork, flaunt it. So is everyone else: all those people rocking Bulls jerseys, NWA hats, or Monster Truck models, their fandom is not more important than yours, nor yours theirs. Fandom is universal, and historical and enduring.
Instead of focusing on the differences between them, find the common ground. It’s there. All of us are trying to find a unique truth in this world, about the world within ourselves, and the sooner we come together as fans, the faster we can make the changes that make the differences obsolete.