Geeks are the most passionate humans you’ll ever meet. They’re the ones who spend six hours in line for book signings, drop hundreds of dollars on memorabilia, and gush over (possibly fictional) people no one else has ever heard of. Anyone who has ever been to a RenFest or Comic Con knows that the air almost crackles with excitement.It is not easy being a geek. Every fangirl and fanboy knows the pain of hiatus, waiting between books/movies, and not to mention characters deaths/tragedies. To make things worse, less awesome people regard us as socially inept dweebs. They seem to think we resort to fiction to compensate for the perceived lack of a “real life.” These less awesome people furthermore enjoy making fun of us every chance they get.
But seriously, what is wrong with being a geek? Geeks and their passions are on the most part entirely harmless. Memorizing the genealogies of characters in The Lord of the Rings or spending 300 hours making a cosplay never wrecked the economy. Running Star Wars fan blogs or writing fan fictions is not going to kill anyone.What most outsiders don’t seem to understand is that geek subculture is a culture. We have social networks, gatherings at comic cons and other venues, fan art, fan literature, fan music, and even fan films. There are hierarchies with the creators of our obsessions at the top and reluctantly participating family members at the bottom. There are social rules for meetups and online etiquette. And the vast majority of us masquerade as regular people. We walk the balance beam between reality and fantasy so well most people never know it.If someone doesn’t have a life, giving up on being a geek won’t change that. There is such a richness and diversity within geek culture, it’s impossible to grow stagnant unless you want to. Most regular folk resent people that aren’t like them and so try to deride us into fitting in. It’s just the way human nature works, but people need to get over themselves. If it’s harmless, no one should have to compromise what they love to make other people happy.So make the fan art, scream your heart out at the signing line, collect your Pokémon without apology, and squeal all you want when that Amazon package comes in the mail. Like I said, geeks are the western world’s greatest source of passion. And what is life without passion?