Confessions of a Fake Geek Girl
So I have a confession to make. When they talk about the Fake Geek Girl, I feel like they're talking about me. I can't really make the claims that they make in the video above. I didn't grow up reading comic books or playing D&D or hacking computers. I did grow up reading fantasy novels, watching Star Trek and Star Wars, and seeing any Fantasy movie that came to the theater (it's funny to me that they're so popular now!), but it was because that's what my dad did and what I had access to, and while I like all of these things, I can't tell you much about them.
I'm not particularly smart, boys liked me when I was growing up, and even though I went through a goth phase as a teenager where I tried very hard not to be girly, I'm very much a girl. I'm blonde and I have a lot of blonde moments. I'm much, much closer to Penny than to anyone else on the Big Bang Theory. I also really *like* the Big Bang Theory.
However, my dad is a science fiction fantasy illustrator. He worked for TSR back in the day. I was surrounded by dragons and skulls and vampires as a kid. As mentioned above, I was immersed in geek culture as a family activity. I couldn't tell you if I was naturally drawn to it. I don't know, because it's just what I grew up on.
As a teenager, my interests switched to music and dancing and boys. Mostly boys. I didn't fit it with the popular kids, but I fit in nicely with the goth kids (again, see the skulls and dragons referenced above) and I enjoyed my high school days despite being harassed for being different. I didn't rediscover geekdom until my late teens, when I met my ex-boyfriend and his group of friends (which included my current husband, although we were just friends for a long time). They reintroduced me to D&D and comics and sci-fi and art, but again, while I liked it all, I was consuming what was around me, not necessarily what I was seeking out.
I started going to cons when I was in my early 20's, tagging along with my dad initially because I wanted to get away and it was a means to a cheap vacation, but then because I fell in love with the cons. I never became a gamer, or a comic nerd, and I can still take or leave most pop culture, but I felt so very comfortable in that space. I went on to work at a RPG game company, using my dad's name as a foot in the door. Once I started school, I moved on to their sister video game company, and to this day, I regret leaving that job when I did (with school, the hours were just overwhelming). I loved the people there, and I've never since felt so suited to my workplace.
I've never been badly treated within geek culture. For the most part, nobody has ever seemed to care that the only geek cred that I really have is that I grew up around it. I do think I may have grown up differently, though, if I were growing up today. I remember very intentionally dumbing myself down in my pre-teen years, to make myself more "attractive." I am extemely happy that is it now "cool" to be smart and nerdy, especially for girls, and that there are tons of smart, brilliant *and* beautiful women out there to be the role models that I really wish I had had. Everyone goes through phases in their lives, and tries on different personas -- when I was a teen, the term "poseur" drove me as nuts as the term "fake geek girl" does today. Who cares if you're just trying something on? Who cares if you self-identify with a culture that you don't know everything about? We're all just trying to fit in, trying to find a comfortable spot and people we can have fun with. On the inside, I think most of us feel like we're faking it most of the time. Yet we're all just living our life, the very best life we can.
I am a Girl. I have no particular credentials, but I still self-identify as a Geek. And whatever you think about it, I have Nothing to Prove.