Dec 12, 2010

[Technicolor Musings] Gayness And Geekery Are Not Mutually Exclusive

I am a gay geek, and quite proud of it! And please remember that the term "gay" is really meant as an adjective around the noun "geek", which for me stresses that I'm a geek first before anything else. And yes, gay geeks really do exist - I'm happily in a relationship with one and I have the benefit of knowing a couple of others.

Flickr: deliriousfish - DSC00632
by Ryan / deliriousfish via Flickr.

Of course I have to admit that gay geeks are somewhat rare - or maybe it would be more accurate to say that they're hard to find. It doesn't mean they aren't out there - it just means that they're a tad more elusive. Besides, it's hard to determine a person's geekiness based on appearance alone.

What is a gay geek anyway? How would you define it? As always, I find an understanding of what you're looking for is key to actually finding it in time. Given the two terms involved, let's define each of them just to cover out bases.

The term gay may not seem to require much effort to define, but you'd be surprised given how varied the notions we all develop about it tend to be. At it's core, being gay means you like other guys. It has nothing to do with whether or not you want to become a woman one day nor does it imply that you act in a manner that is more effeminate or butch, depending on your interpretation of things. Regardless of appearance, demeanor or whatever, gay means you like guys.

Geek is a term that has become a lot more broad in terms of definition in recent years. While before it was limited to intellectuals of a certain variety (hence often being confused with nerds) but now it tends to refer to anyone who is highly knowledgeable / passionate about something. Thus you can be a geek who's totally into Star Trek or a geek who knows everything about Gossip Girl. Thus it's more about interest and the intensity of your enthusiasm that helps better explain our current idea of geekery.

Flickr: Dark Botxy - Oh! Yeah!
Oh! Yeah!
- by Roger Mateo Poquet / Dark Botxy via Flickr.

It's because of our notions of stereotypes that it becomes harder to understand, much less find the gay geek. When you think about your media-created version of gay man, you end up with a limp-wristed, flamboyant and cross-dressing individuals who only worship divas. When you think about geeks, you tend to think about overweight science fiction or fantasy fans who like to cosplay, live in their parent's basements and all that silly stuff. Thus marrying the two concepts seems strange, but then that's an unfair assessment.

Gay geeks exist and you can't tell them apart from other gay guys or other geeks, when you get down to it. If you choose to limit yourself to seeing people through the filters of stereotypes, then you'll always end up making inaccurate assumptions. Bigotry begins in limiting your idea of what people can be and if you don't let go of those preconceptions, then you're doomed to looking like a fool in the end.
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