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Author Topic: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?  (Read 1451 times)

Darkon

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I don't want people to know I like you lot. My geek identity is a secret

I was thinking of writing a humorous reply as new thread discussion, but then I remembered Class' reason. Which has to do with a certain conflict in a certain region, which means control over whoever you hang out with. In other words, you can be threatened depending on who you associate with. And therefore she keeps it a secret to avoid the association and the more likely misinterpretation attached to it.

Still, it's a damn good topic for discussion to let the opportunity pass. Soooooooo, did you ever feel afraid of admitting you were a geek or nerd. And why? And do you feel you sometimes have to stay in the closet or not?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 02:20:20 PM by Darkon »
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James

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 07:01:18 AM »

No, everyone knows that I am a geek. There was a time when I tried to hide that one of the things I am into is anime since that has a bit of a stigma here, but I have since gotten over it. I have to say that there is no real point to hiding your geekiness these days. These here are geek-friendly times, after all. It is an era of superhero films in theaters. Beloved SF franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek are being reinvigorated. We're seeing more and more SFF adaptations backed by budgets and people who give a damn. Gaming is generally accepted.

I mean, you still have the stuff people side-eye. I'm afraid table-top roleplay games aren't going to become a cultural norm anytime soon, though board games may be becoming more popular (and, if not, would be if there was a market outside of gaming shops). Again, Anime carries a stigma.

If I have to hear about some dudes running around a friggen field for hours, then I'm going to share my own interests.
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The Queen OF Class

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 08:36:56 AM »

I worry I'm too old now for it. When I was in my twenties sure though there was a lot of stigma. In fact my sisters always made it out like it was really strange to meetup with Howers etc. 'talking to your geek friends sis' was the usual every day. So I never advertised it though never denied it. Now though they are into all interactive game playing although not fantasy themed. To be fair though notine of them has ever read any type of book ever that wasnt school related. I was lucky to always be reading something.

Now though although there is no stigma as such to fantasy anymore I'd say but the fact that I'm female, a mum of two and almost 40 makes it a bit of a stigma.
I have a 16 yr old nephew who is into comic con, zombies, fantasy type things. I get to talk to him quite passionately about lots of things like that. Don't know if he reads though. I fear that now the internetis where people get all there mediums of entertainment and that books are not as nearly appealing given the time you have to invest and that people of this generation want instant gratification. However that's probably off on a tangent.
I am going to suggest feist to him though and it's his birthday this month so maybe a copy of magician might be an idea.
He is proud to be into this stuff, he said his school pals teased him totally and for a while he hid it but now he doesn't care what anyone thinks.


So I guess my point is the subject doesn't have stigma but there is a strong stereotype that it is a young male thing that you will grow out off.
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Darkon

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 09:25:52 PM »

I have noticed that in my line of work it can be quite uncommon unless you hang out with the research and labcrowd. Also few people apparently expect me to be able to rave about a wide range of nerdy and geeky topics. I don't consider myself hiding my geek identity, but neither am I encouraged to do so in the work domain. It's all fairly serious you see.

Therefore, it feels like I'm in stealth mode most of the time. Although a couple of people now know. But I've been in some hilarious situations where people try to explain what a d20 is to me, or try to hide the fact from me that they like star wars.  :lol:
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Kikori

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2015, 05:51:42 PM »

'Nerd' and 'geek' are pretty loose terms these days. It's trendy to be nerdy, but not OG nerdy. I've always been more in the "geek" category, I suppose. Though I've never been fully clear on the difference, other than 'nerd' being perhaps more related to pursuit of academia, rather than being someone interested in what is commonly viewed  "nerd culture" these days. It's all very confusing.

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a nerd. I don't hide it. I flaunt that sh!t proudly. But I kept a lot of that stuff under lock and key for ages - apart from when I was a child, because nerdy stuff is often seen as stuff you do as a kid. But I was definitely isolated as a youngster and in my early teen years.

I was a massive loner in my first year of high school. I wasn't completely alone or anything, but i had no real core group of friends. My few primary school friends started doing other stuff by that stage: girls, parties. Blah blah blah. I still just wanted to play games, read comic books and talk about cartoons. My one "redeeming" factor was I was good at sport. But even then, it didn't win me many points. Lots of kids were bigger than me when I was about 11-12, so I guess they viewed me as still being a nerdy kid. Made state point guard!! Still viewed as a nerd. Feck em!

Some of the older kids would let me play ball with them but kids my own age didn't want a bar of me really. I was miserable. A cryer. My parents got divorced around that time, so i was a pretty emotional kid. But my best mate from primary school was part of the "in" crowd and he had my back. We hung out outside of school a lot, but never in the "playground" much.

I moved interstate the year after and I spent a lot of my next few teen years trying to hide the nerd aspects of my life. Comics, TV, fantasy... gaming to an extent. My demographic benefitted from growing gaming culture, so video games weren't as taboo from a social point of view. A lot of "cooler kids" had consoles and would borrow games from me. The one socially acceptable aspect of nerdery.  Plus I had (have) a smart mouth, so I used cheek and clowning to keep myself from becoming a loner again.

They stuck me with the nerds my first day at my new school. Didn't last long. Didn't like being typecast as a nerd by that stage. Those kids would have been my saving grace a year earlier. But I ditched them. At least from a social point of view. Wasn't mean about it; I just wanted to see I could fit in elsewhere. A bit of a dick move, looking back. Started climbing the social ladder.

By then, the early days of the Internet became my main outlet for nerd culture. Chat rooms and forums like this and others related to my particular interests afforded me some escape from hiding my nerd tendencies. But by that stage the social circles I hung out with were the "cool" kids. Was easy. Drink booze, don't care about school work, play sport, be mouthy, get in trouble. Hid the nerd well, really. Played a lot of sport, went to all the parties, became part of the 'cool crowd', but I rarely spoke about any of the nerd shit I was into. As I said, it turned out that lots of the cool kids gamed heaps. Drunk and stoned teens love to game. But that was it for nerd stuff socially.

I always maintained friends at school who were typical nerds.  Many of the ones I had kinda ditched. In some ways I was their protection from "normals". They pointed me in the direction of stuff I'd be interested in, but once I had an online presence I didn't need the old "playground nerd gossip" to find what I wanted. But I'd geek out with them and defend them when "bullies" came looking for trouble. But I never really hung out with them outside of school. Was too busy getting p**sed and macking chicks! Hahaha.

Eventually, I became "cool" enough that I didn't need to give a shit about my social image. And the nerd shit again became more outwardly noticeable. Had enough "street cred" that I didn't need to worry about what other people might think.

By the time my last couple of years of high school rolled around,  I just kinda did whatever. Talked to whoever i pleased. Wore what i liked. Started telling off dickheads who picked on "nerds". Spent my free periods with the "goths", all who loved fantasy and "nerd shit". Just started being myself really. You grow out of giving a f**k what your social status is eventually and once see what people are really like once you get into their circles. Lots of them were dicks but most were just people like me, dealing with the typical high school politics. I was friendly with most folks. It helped that a had a growth spurt. When you're 6'4,  potential threats start viewing you as too much trouble to deal with. Some of the "dicks" despised me for getting in between them and their usual targets. I'm tough, dudes. ;) Or at least i look like i could be. That's good enough for me.

The only time I slightly tone down the nerd these days is around women I'm "dating". ;) I don't hide it... but I definitely tone it down. Never quite managed to kick that habit. I remember being in a cab with a girl once, on our way back to her place and I started rambling about "nerdy" things. She'd mentioned she liked the Simpsons and I was too drunk to control my inner TV nerd. The look on her face... Hahaha. Needless to say, she got out and the cabbie took me home. That's always been in the back of my mind around women: "don't geek out", dummy. I'm thrilled when i meet women who geek out as well.

Whoa. Classic Kiks Ramble. Sorry. EDIT: Broke it up a bit. Still a rant, but not as bad of a  "wall of Kiks text"  :elf_gloop:
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 10:00:42 AM by Kikori »
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James

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2015, 06:02:20 AM »

In high school I was one of those people who didn't really have a group, but was welcome in a few and moved among them. I never hid my geekery then, but I never really put it on display until my senior year when I got really into SFF and started hanging out with the D&D crowd. Even then, the thing about my school was that it didn't follow the traditional power structure. The cool, popular kids in my school were pretty much the smart, charismatic kids who friendly to everyone and liked by all. They were the sort of kids who did student council and band and if they played sports, it was like soccer and volleyball instead of the sports that actually got attention. They were not the sort of people who went at you, let alone for what ever you were into.

The cheerleaders and sports players had their own thing going on and were popular in their own group, but that popularity did not expand outward from there unless there was something else going on (the only player I can remember was also part of the aforementioned crowd). I suppose they could get on you for being a geek, but I never heard of it happening (and I was friends with the alpha-nerd in senior year).

Anyone else is really nameless cliques. There was no such thing as the geek crowd, to be honest, if only because there weren't enough of us to be noticed and some of us were only there part-time. The aforementioned alpha-nerd got some crap from folks, but that's not because he was a geek but because he was the classic socially retarded high-strung uber-nerd. The cool kids from your post, Kiks, were not really a thing in my school. They existed, but they existed within their cliques and it didn't earn them any social cred.

So yeah, for me, being a geek wasn't so much a bad thing in high school because the people most likely to give me hell for it were either nobodies (even less popular than me) or people with better things to do. Besides, I was fat so anyone trying to give me hell for something had much better material to work with. That said, attempts to bully me for my weight tended not to happen often and did not last long (for various reasons).

As for geekery and romance, well... I have met all my women online and they knew how much of a geek I was. I'm not sure that I would be happy in a relationship with someone who did not share at least some of my interests and bring her/his own to the table.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 08:54:12 PM by James »
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Aurian

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 01:38:42 AM »

I came out years ago. I even have a d20 tattooed on my back. I call it my nerd stamp. Once upon a time I was afraid to be judged. But I realized my quirks are just toone awesome and to much fun to keep to myself.
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Great One

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 10:58:51 AM »

It really depends on where I'm situated. I generally am unafraid of showing my personality, but I think I developed a good way of adapting as I can hang with city folk, who tend to be geekier, and chit chat about Hellenism and the Roman Empire, and then I can hang with small town folk close to where I was raised and make small chat and generally stuff I find boring.

Failing that, if my tongue doesn't work, my Stark tattoo on my back is a helpful reminder for where my fealty lies.
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Aurian

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 01:10:26 PM »

Woohoo! 2 points for the nerd tattoos!
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Bacchus

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 08:30:57 PM »

I'm going to read up on this thread, but as a quick reply: closet geek.
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Aurian

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 08:59:11 AM »

My old DM, a good friend of ours, is such a nerd and hides his nerdness and the fact he plays D&D because he doesn't was to be judged as a teacher by his students parents or the staff
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Edhelur

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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2016, 06:54:35 PM »

People who know me know that I'm about as good at staying closeted on any given thing as Arya Stark is at giving up her identity. I can lie, but not if it's premeditated or has any purpose. I can be read like a book, especially when someone is meeting me in company where someone else knows me (say, I'm hanging out with my sisters or friends and meet some new people).

This is definitely related to -- though I'm not sure which direction the causation points -- the fact that I have historically had a hard time making friends. I was definitely the loner at school. You know, the one everyone is worried about, and rightfully so. Hell, I didn't even fit in with the other loners (my school had a group we called the 'SACkers', who hung out in the unfortunately named Student Activity Center, comprised of the emo/goth/weeb/artsy crew who didn't have any other primary clique). Nowadays I can be friendly and charming, and I'm even prone to oversharing. It's almost confrontational: "If you're going to judge me for who/what I am/have been/have done, the door's over there, bye."

It's not a good way to build a large group of friends, but I'm okay with that. I had a friendship break up over a miscommunication/misunderstanding, rather brutally, once. I'd rather it be all out in the open from the starting line.
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Re: Afraid to come out as geek or nerd. Staying in the closet or not?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2016, 06:31:48 AM »

I tend to be pretty closed off in general, but when it comes to nerdiness it would be hard not to know. I would never shy away from saying that the latest book I read is fantasy and how much I'm into it, or how much I love to play games or that I studied Physics or that I play D&D, it's just a huge part of most things I do.
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