Being a geek usually means that we’re going to be made fun of at some point in our lives.All of us have accepted the double standards that are imposed. Like for instance, a sports fanatic that dedicates a room to their favorite team is totally acceptable in today’s society. But if a comic book fan does the same thing with their favorite superhero- Nope. That’s not accepted and most people will utter several different phrases under their breath- ‘Probably still lives with their parents, in the basement,’ ‘Never got laid,’ etc. So, being a gay geek can sometimes be even worse.Michael from the American version of Queer as Folk had his day in the sun and showed the world that gay geeks exist. But that was years ago.
Where are the rest of the gay geeks in media? The Big Bang Theory, which that show in itself is very offensive to the geek world, hasn’t shown any gay geeks. They’ve made gay jokes. Jim Parsons, Sheldon, is a gay man, but no representation of a gay geek has ever even been mentioned.
The top 10 things Gay Geeks go through:
1. We have to come out, twice.
When I moved out on my own, I decorated my apartment in geeky posters, I had a huge cardboard cutout of Superman, I had action figures ALL over the apartment in ‘battle poses’ and I had a meager display of a couple home made crappy costumes I was just starting to get into making. When I brought home a guy I met at my university, he looked at my place and laughed. He still wanted to have sex, but he couldn’t help but make fun of my apartment and my geeky side. Don’t worry, we didn’t have sex, but that’s beside the point.
The point was that some gay men don’t understand the geek world. I knew from that point on that I had to either make sure that a guy is either accepting of me being a geek or not expose them to my world all suddenly so that I don’t get the knee jerk reaction of geek-shaming me. It’s sad that gay men feel like even though we’re suppose to be united, they can be the harshest of critics against their own culture.
2. Cosplaying is a different world.
Most media and tv shows all focus on the female costumers. Yaya Han seemed to be the focus on the show- Heroes of Cosplay. I didn’t even know who she was when the show started.
In the first season we got one male costumer, who was decent, but hardly a fair representation of the male costuming world. I know we live in a heterosexual male dominated world, but I was thinking we’d get something better than this. I was hoping for 3 or 4 cosplay guys from different varieties of the costuming world.
3. Speaking of cosplaying, naked costuming chicks are accepted and encouraged!
However, the naked cosplaying guys, well that’s considered crude and offensive. I actually had someone give me their double standards. He told me how sexy several of my female costuming friends look in their costumes that were so revealing, most of those costumes could fit in my front pocket.
However when I pointed out a couple sexy costuming male friends, he said they shouldn’t be allowed to dress like that because children are at these conventions. So yeah he pulled a Simpsons reference without even knowing it- ‘Why won’t anyone please think of the children?!’ The children are apparently allowed to see naked women, but seeing a half naked man, then that’s crossing the line!
4. Not being able to relate to heterosexual geeky media.
Let me re-state that, we do relate a lot to geeky shows and movies. At least we do for a good 90-99% of it. And this may actually just be a gay topic in general. But, straight relationships can be depicted lovingly and unapologetically in any media format. A gay relationship usually involves controversy or the hypocrisy that ‘they’re just trying to make waves’ to be noticed. Usually, 1,000,000 Mom March or whatever it’s called now, will take up arms if a Waterbender comes out as being bisexual because sexuality and relationships are ok, only if it’s a heterosexual relationship. Gays are outnumbered to straights 10 to 1. That means most gay geeks will have a lot of straight geeky friends to share their experiences with. Which is awesome in a lot of ways. But even though the gay geek can relate to so many of the same references to their hetero-counterpart, sexuality-wise, the straight geek will not understand the gay side of the equation. For instance, Prince Oberon from Game of Thrones as a bisexual man and a total badass! I had more than one friend cringe and turn their eyes when finding out that he was bisexual and the notion that he would be with a guy actually disgusted them.
5. Other Gay guys don’t understand your references.
I rarely go to many gay related events unless it’s a comic con related experience, but occassionally I do want to be around other gay guys. When I do go, it’s rare that I’ll be able to speak in complete geek terms with most gay guys because if I say the work ‘Frack,’ or ‘Timey Whimey’ or even ‘Giggity,’
I’ll have the other gay guys look at me like I just stepped out of a cartoon. They sometimes don’t understand anything I say at all. I literally have to watch what I say and walk on egg shells so that they don’t either dismiss me as an idiot or think that I still live in the basement of my parent’s home.
6. A lot of people seem to think that all gay men worship female super heroines.
I know that sounds weird, but I have had so many people come up and ask me- who’s your favorite female superhero? My expression is usually- ‘uh, I don’t know, I guess Zatanna or something. I don’t have a favorite female superhero.’
Why is that one of the first questions I’d be asked? I’ll usually try to talk about my favorite MALE superhero and then start to name facts about Tim Drake or Peter Parker. I do not relate to female characters. I do feel like they’re completely under-represented in movies and tv shows. But I don’t read a lot of female character storylines on their own because they simply don’t interest me. So when I’m asked how I feel about Wonder Woman, I usually say, yeah she needs Amazonian armor covering most of her body since she’s going into battle and what she wears is completely stupid.
7. Speaking of favorite characters, who is your favorite gay Sci-Fi character? Oh wait there aren’t any.
Sure John Barrowman is gay and plays a pansexual Captain Jack, but technically, he’s not really a gay character. I guess he could be considered bi, or he’s just a man-whore. I guess Sam Adama from that god awful Caprica series counts. I wish I could have gotten through the Caprica series. Maybe Dumbledoore counts? That is, if Dumbledoore’s sexuality was even mentioned or referenced, or had any implication at all in the series (I know, it was great that his sexuality didn’t matter in the story and JK Rowling is one of my literary heroes for making his sexuality not matter in the slightest bit, but I’m just trying to make a point.) I think Andrew from Buffy the Vampire Slayer counts, if he ever actually came out of the closet.
We seem to have a lot of lesbians or bisexual women in the sci-fi universe. Luckily Xena and Gabrielle, Dax on Star Trek, Willow and Tara from Buffy, Inara from Firefly are all icons of lesbian women and many men everywhere. Again, women bi-sexuality or lesbianism is accepted. Not gay relationships unfortunately.
8. Geeky event vs. Gay Event.
I’ve never been into clubs. Well, I’ve been to clubs, but I don’t enjoy clubs. That is, unless, it’s a geeky related event taking place at that club. And unfortunately a geeky event usually only happens when a comic convention is going on in town at the time. Most other times however, clubs are just clubs to me and they just aren’t my thing. They never were, and never will be. But saying that to some gay men is like ripping their heart out. I can’t tell you how many gay men have asked me what is the ‘happening place’ in town to go to. When I say Midtown Comics, or the Renaissance Festival is in town, I’m given that awful look of shock and disapproval and usually referred back with a condescending attitude of – oh you’re special. I cannot even name an actual club in any town that I visit, because I never go to them. I’d rather have a Battlestar Galactica marathon at home.
9. Another issue is not understanding gay culture.
Sure, if you are gay, then we are all part of the gay culture whether we know it or not. However when it comes down to it, I don’t know a lot about gay culture other than historical events or what is going on in news related forums. Entertainment news, I know nothing about fashion, I don’t have a favorite diva (I didn’t even know what a diva was…I thought it was a female wrestler up until last year).
I don’t know what’s happening with current hot celebrities and their issues (why is Bruce Jenner coming out as trans so much more important than so many other trans people in the world?) and many other facets. I know about sci-fi movies, and tv shows. I know about the actors that play those roles. I don’t know what goes on in gay culture unfortunately. I know about it’s history and it’s current political events, which you would think would be more important, but in gay society, sometimes that’s not enough.
10. Last and probably the biggest issue of being a gay geek is simply being alone.
Sure, a lot of straight geeks accept you, and your best non-geek friends are completely awesome with your interests, but sometimes you want to be around other gay geeks that completely understand what you’re saying and how your sexuality may make a decision in your interests. It is a lot harder to find gay geeky friends. I know, in a perfect world, sexuality and terms like ‘geek,’ ‘bear,’ and ‘twink’ shouldn’t matter, but in reality it does matter. Gay men and women in the U.S. are a lot more accepted in today’s society than we were years ago, but still no where near being equal. And Geeks are looked down on by a very machismo type of gentry in the U.S. while athletics are considered the point of pinnacle achievement. Gay Geeks are almost a subculture on it’s own. It can be tough to find others like us in the world, but we exist. We’re not as quiet as we used to be and being a geek isn’t anything to be ashamed of anymore. I’m proud of who I am. We may not all fit into cookie cutter molds. We’re people and we’re all different. We all have different roles in our own worlds and no one wants a label unless you’re particularly proud of that label. My name is Paul , I’m a huge Gay Geek and I am proud of who I am.