We all have a passion, may it be a little different than what normal people like. For us geeks, fans or enthusiast of games, anime and cosplay, we have that one hobby that by doing it makes us happy. We all go through the excitement of a game release, that new comic book smell and so on. These things we like and do make us who we are. Every moment you enjoy it, it’s a very important part of your life.
Like all fans, geeks, enthusiast at one time (or several times) have come across that kind of people who question the maturity, way of thinking or sanity of us geeks. All this just because we have a different passion than what they normally know. Judgmental people are everywhere asking the one question, that at the begging even it made me cringe, the “Aren’t you too old for that? “or the That’s for little kids. Why do you waste your time in that? Usually I am calm and collected about these questions and negative comments, but others may feel upset about it. Liking anime, games, books, even being a fan of anything in general doesn’t make you any less of a person. Never feel guilty for what you love, never give up on what makes you happy and what makes be you.
Many of us have been through a lot, maybe some keep it within themselves. Some may snap at a person for not understanding their hobby. Others prevail this judgmental world we live in. I have taken the time to go to my local comic book store and different social Medias to interview some fellow fans, geeks and enthusiast of different pop culture categories. These people are just like you and me, they’ve been through situations, some have been lucky enough to never been in it as well. They want to share with you what they’ve been through in life as a geek, fan or enthusiast.
"I have never been directly criticized by anyone for my hobbies. But I guess is more because I am handicapped. I am happy the way I am. I play Magic the Gathering, I read Comic books and these things make my life more enjoyable. I wouldn’t change no matter what others think. If you love what you do and it makes you happy, do it because that is part of who you are."
The Planes Walker -- Age: 36
“It’s sad when you know people judge you for liking anime or video games. Some people don’t understand what if feels like to be passionate about something. When in school I was watching anime and some class mates started criticizing me telling me that these kind of things are for little kids. I felt upset and with respect I stood up for my self explained to them that everyone has the right to like what ever the want to like. Being a fan of the things I enjoy watching, reading and doing makes me happy. Playing video games and watching anime helped me through difficult situations, helped me forget and these things are like my escape from reality. I would never change who I am and neither should you. People who value you will like you no matter what you do or like as a hobby.”
The Chibi Girl - Age: 17
“When in high school I had a hard time being myself. I was judged for liking anime and videogames, even drawing! This made me doubt myself and when I was about to give up on it all, even drawing I found a group of friends that stood up for me and accepted me as I am, a gamer kid who loved anime and drawing. This is who I am and this is how I escape from a shitty day at work or school. I will never change. Remember you like what you like, keep doing it because it’s who you are and you are pretty damn awesome!”
TheHaloFanBoy - Age: 24
“I have been criticized for being a geek/nerd. I've heard it on a constant basis, especially during convention season. At first it used to really bother me but now I've realized folks will always be judgemental and put you down for what you love. You just have to learn that those folks who put you down are really not worth it and that your perfect the way you are. It does indeed make me happy. I've found a lot of friends and have a lot of good memories (thanks to being a nerd and cosplaying). Nothing is better than knowing I can see my friends with similar interests and make some more amazing memories. This is a part of who I am. You either accept it or you don't. Do I hear grow up? All the time...but then I point out that I have a job, a social life, a roof over my head...what does it matter what I like or dislike? There are worse things I could do than be a nerd or cosplay. I stand up for myself by accepting that folks out there will hate me for what I love...so I try to take the high road and overlook the people who put me down. Occasionally instances occur where someone gets a wee bit too rude and you have to defend yourself but its very rare. I almost always walk away from someone whose putting me down.
As for others I try to make sure if I see them put down that encourage then, offer kind words and extend the hand of friendship.
There is a saying that goes "haters gonna hate". It's true. You just gotta learn to accept yourself as you are and not let these people get to you.
Always rememeber that you are perfect the way you are. Changing yourself for someone else doesn't make you happy...it makes you miserable.
Fighting and arguing with someone putting your down doesn't make anyone look good. Its okay to defend yourself but its better to walk away. Don't let someone else ruin your day.
Never ever think your alone...theres almost always someone out there struggling the same way as you.
Finally your perfect as you are. No matter how you look, height, weight or skin color or whatever you are absolutely perfect as you are. Folks will try to use the things about you against you...say you can't cosplay someone etc...but they are wrong. You can do and be anything you want to be and to me thats the most important thing. Be yourself."
TheWhovianGirl - Age:???
"As a young lad I was humiliated for being a geek. My environment were very against for anything different and I was no exception. I started my geekiness watching X-Men threw Fox Kids. It brought me intrigued, these characters and so I decided to learn more from it. By the time i was in highschool I started collecting comics, “baseball” cards and a few action figures. But as I mentioned before being a geek was bad or a taboo. Luckily I fought back when I was bullied (and I do mean fist fights). Till the end of high school I called myself an Abomination: Looked like a bully with a geeky mind. In college is when I enjoyed being a full geek and this is before it became a trend. In college I manage to have profound conversations of our favorite characters and how would be any interactions with others. What I wish to change of my past would be to not let others influence me against being a geek. I let myself being driven just to feel accepted with people who never took me as what I was. There was a church movement, thanks to them I lost many comics. I should been stronger with my feelings and not let them change me.
Now i been part of a cosplay group that at first they just gather cause we were fans of Resident Evil but now thanks to my wife and me we’d help them to participate in events where we can help people, especially kids in the hospital, while still being geeks. I’ve became an influence to the team and I know even if i’m away the will progress and I’m hoping to join a new group and do this all over again. Thanks to my wife I build the courage to go to comic conventions and met so many awesome people we build great friendships.
TheGamerHero - Age:???
"I personally don’t consider myself a geek, because even if I might do things a certain group of people does, I find it quite common. Nowadays, anything can be considered “geeky.” One can be a geek of anything: camping, diets, comics, cosmetics, you name it. Nevertheless, by society’s standards, I might be called a geek. I remember that around the 9th grade, I’d get both appraisal and criticism because of my drawing subjects, I liked drawing grotesque and dark themed sketches. I was also teased by my sense of fashion. Around the age of 17, I got myself interested in anime and cosplay. I cosplayed one of my favorite video game characters first, followed by my favorite character from Hayao Miyazaki films. To me, these things weren’t geeky, they were just fun and made me happy.
‘Till this day I haven’t received any negative comments about my hobby, most people find it interesting and my family support me. The only hobby most people tend to be confused with is my Lolita Fashion dresses. When I wear them in public, people are very curious and ask lots of questions. Others just glare and gaze upon my fashion choice. Also, I’ve heard from many people that anime is childish and stupid, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic and wonderful from others too. As for video games, my heart is divided. I think it’s a waste of time and many people do to, but alas, I’m an avid and quite addicted Sims player.
Thankfully, I never really cared for what other people thought I should or shouldn’t do with my life and/or hobbies. I’ll continue doing what I find that makes me most happy. If anyone ever decided to make me feel bad about myself and the things I do, I’d ask them if they’d like that I did the same to them. No one is perfect, everyone has secrets and everyone has a guilty pleasure. Regardless, the best thing to do is ignore all the negativity people try to feed you and continue being positive about yourself and the things you love. Only focus on the positive things that make you happy."
TheRebelGirl - Age:???
"When I was in middle school, I belonged to the “weird” corner on the classroom. Surrounded by a handful of these fellow “weirdos”, I sat in my desk scribbling furiously, drawing anime and sneaking in lengthy fantasy books and comic books. My free-topic oral reports every Friday consisted of fairies, goblins and other magical creatures I spent every night thinking about. It’s safe to say that yes, I was, at certain moments of my life, ridiculed. It makes me happy to be myself. Stories, may it be fantasy novels or romance manga, bring me a sense of escapism but at the same time, it helps me understand the world better. They help me overcome insecurities by watching other inspiring characters be strong. Fiction inspires me because I can see myself in my comic books and in my manga. Video games help me see things from other points of view and they help me understand my surroundings and the choices people make. All my geeky interests bring me a sense of joy and comfort. Ever since I realized I was actually able to find solace in other people who are like me, I have grown to be a person who is comfortable with her own lifestyle. I think the road to being happy with your preferences begins with the realization that there are other people who like the same things that you do. They may be physically distant or they might be right under your nose, but you'll never know until you get out there and establish openness about you enjoy doing. To all my geeky brethren getting a hard time for their preferences I say: Don't listen to them. Their jabs and insults come from a place of insecurity, envy of you and discomfort with themselves. They wish they had the social courage to be open about what they like. They wish they had the confidence to sit down in public and read stories about witches, goblins and dwarves. So you know what? Life is too fleeting to let other people take control of what makes you happy. You do "you". The rest will follow."
TheForestMagicalGirl - Age:???
"When you start to realize that maybe you are a geek or a nerd, it can be frustrating and embarrassing. Especially if you are the only geek of the bunch. At least that was my experience. Playing with dolls, gaming (from card games to board games, from computer games to console games), my interest in “weird” fashion, my love for “pretend play”, my love for cartoons, and my big curiosity made me stand out. All of these things made me really happy, but as my teenage years creeped on me, I had to hide from my friends so I could be me. I didn’t want to grow up! I didn’t see my geekiness as being childish, I saw it as being me. Now a girl that likes to play video games is considered hot or cool, but when I was growing up, you were only cool if you could beat a guy. Otherwise you were a geek. I made the mistake of not standing up for myself until I was in college. I didn’t really know how to handle the criticism, so I was a bit harsh on people who dare judge me for me being a geek. I did learn in time that is not a matter of going against the wave to prove that you are good enough. There is no reason to get mad or offended when somebody tries to criticize you. More than likely, they are just afraid to show their geeky side. It’s ok to be a geek or a nerd; there is no reason to hide it. It’s a matter of staying true to who you really are. Find people in your community with the same interests. It can be frustrating, but try to engage your family and friends in your hobbies and likes. Some might not like it, but others will and you can enjoy yourself without the fear of being judge."
StitchTheGeekGirl - Age:???
As you can see you are not alone, we are everywhere. If you are one of those fellow geeks having struggles remember you are important and you are not alone. Do what you love, accept your self as you are.
We are geeks and we are here to stay.