01.23.14 // When Did I Realize I Was A Geek?
Written by Brittany Matter, zulily.com Copywriter that moonlights as a Comic Book Script Editor
In the sixth grade, circa 1997, I noticed a billboard on the way home from school promoting the new TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Sarah Michelle Gellar. My first thought was, “How dare they turn a classic film into a TV show.” But this wasn’t the moment I realized I was a geek.
The moment came four years later in Ceramics class during freshman year of high school. My classmate asked me how my Tuesday night was, and as I had become an avid fan of the series, I recounted the most recently aired episode to her.
At the end of my fervor, she laughed at me and called me a geek. Since it was said with an insulting connotation, it was apparent that being a geek was something to be ashamed of. My next thought was to never mention my love of Star Trek the Next Generation.
During my journey through high school, my mom supported my passion for the show by taking me to the salon to get my haircut like Buffy, and gifting me cross pendant necklaces and vampire-slaying boots. I then realized I didn’t care what people thought of me.
“I like what I like and they can suck it up and deal with it,” was the attitude I embodied. Bullying can cause conformity, and my love of Buffy and all things geek were more important than fitting in. Although I still felt isolated.
It wasn’t until I signed up for a college-level comic book course in 2007 co-lead byJennifer K. Stuller that I discovered I wasn’t alone. After completing this intro to comics, interning with Fantagraphics Books and Image Comics, attending numerous Comic Cons and leading a panel at the first GeekGirlCon in 2011 (featuring panelists, and a few of my girl heroes, Trina Robbins and Jen Stuller) I realized I wasn’t an outcast. I had found others who shared my interests and introduced me to a whole world I didn’t know existed.
So often we feel alone, like the world is against us and no one will understand, but it is just the opposite.
Geeks, and their supporters, are the most accepting people I’ve ever met. And the beauty of being a geek is that there isn’t any one type, illustrated by a quote from the Class Protector herself, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
“My Dorothy Hamill phase. My room in LA was pretty much a shrine. Dorothy dolls, Dorothy posters. I even got the Dorothy haircut, thereby securing a place for myself in the Geek Hall of Fame.”
When did you realize you were a geek?