The Gay Geek

The word geek can be defined as a slang term noting a person as “One who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.” … or a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest. From oxforddictionaries.com it’s asked “Is being a geek something to be proud of?” I personally say yes, yes it is. The site goes on to say that “a few decades ago the answer would almost certainly have been no: the word was a cruel and critical label attached to clever, but socially awkward, people: train-spotters, computer geeks, and unpopular college students. Then in the 1990s everything changed. The computer industry helped many geeks to achieve great success, and the wider perception of geeks began to shift. Being a geek was suddenly a positive thing, suggesting an admirable level of knowledge, expertise, and passion: geeks could do ‘cool stuff’. It’s now common for people to be self-proclaimed or self-confessed geeks, with geekiness no longer confined to the world of science and technology ( a music geek with an awesome vinyl collection, the kind of film that every true movie geek would give five stars). Nerds have undergone a similar change of image but to a lesser extent, with some negative terms such as boring and pathetic still commonly attached to the word”

I’m greatly inclined to agree with oxforddictionaries.com’s take on geekdom. Thanks to the computer being a thing that’s widely used worldwide and in countless homes across the globe, people who show an incredible interest in it are no longer shunned as being strange, or weird simply for their interest. These days a geek is not simply someone with technical know how and an interest in the electronic. A person can be a geek for sci-fi movies and novels, fantasy, video games, music, film in general, anime or any number of things. I myself saw the light of geekdom at an early age when I watched my first episode of Star Trek, though it was expressed even earlier with my love of Star Wars merch. As an adult I consider myself an all around geek, or the equivalent of a “jack of all trades” sort of geek. As well as being a geek, I’m gay.. and a+b equaling c would make me a gay geek.. even a gaymer as some would say.

The Sci-fi genre has seen its share of gay and or bi-sexual characters since I’ve grown up. There’s the lesbian character of Willow from TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, (TV & comics), Parthenon, aka Dan Williams from “Who Wants To Be a Superhero?”; The Sci Fi Channel, Ianto Jones from “Torchwood“; BBC America, Northstar, aka Jean-Paul Beaubier from “The Uncanny X-Men“; comics, The Midnighter, aka Lucas Trent from “The Authority“; comics, and Captain Jack Harkness from “Torchwood“; BBC America to name a few and plenty of Gay actors out there; most notable are Ian McKellen (Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Magneto from X-Men (Film) Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes and Spock from Star Trek the movie), & George Takei (Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu from the original Star Trek, Captain Sulu in an episode of Star Trek Voyager, Kaito Nakamura from TV’s Heroes). Any geek; gay, bi, or straight worth his salt could tell you who at least one of those characters is.

That all being said,the influx of gay characters in the sci-fi, comic book, fantasy, and cinematic world has also seen a rise in gay geeks in the last few years or so. You can’t go to an anime convention or Trek convention without coming across at least a small handful of gay men who share your passion for things geeky in nature. Despite this influx of awesome, the dating pool if you will, for a gay geek stills seems as small as it has ever been. Where are all the men who appreciate a well-timed Star Wars reference? Where are the men who can understand my fascination with Doctor Who…when they’re not at the cons looking resplendent in their geeky costumery? Where’s Waldo? I obviously don’t know the answer to any of those questions; otherwise I wouldn’t ask, but I wish I did.

Even if Mr. Geeky “Right” eludes me, I’m happy to know that geekdom has a foothold in the gay community and visa versa. I’m also happy that I have a community…. communities in which I am welcome as I am.

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Geek VS Geek

A few days ago I started thinking about how much I love sci-fi. I mean, it’s one of those things you start watching as a little kid and it just grows on you, but in a good way of course. When it comes to sci-fi there’s the ever present debate that lingers in the background like an invisible elephant. That invisible elephant’s name is Star Wars VS Star Trek. One is better than the other. The other’s better than one.

Before I continue though, I should like to let it be known that I’m a huge fan of both franchises, having grown up with them both from an early age. Star Wars bed-sets and Star Trek on tv. So when I give my 2 cents on which of the two is by far greater, know that it comes from a place of complete and utter respect for the creators of both franchises.

Here’s how I look at it.. Star Wars is the epic story of good and evil, light and dark, beginning and ending… in a way. It’s spawned its own niche in the world of geekdom. It exposed us to new worlds, new creatures, new ways of thinking about the universe and our place there-in. We saw massive star destroyers, laser pistols, Han and Greedo  (Han shot first.) and of course the Jedi and the Sith, without whom the epicness of Star Wars would be… greatly diminished to say the least.  Star Wars is so iconic that it’s even spawned a religion.: Jedi. What other film franchise can say it’s done as much? And of course the best things about the Jedi(of film and literature) are the Force, and the Lightsaber.  I mean, the ability to move objects with a thought, control the mind of a person, do major flips and of course wield a weapon with a blade of pure energy that cuts through basically every solid material known to man and alien alike.  If that’s not awesome then what is?

Awesome Star Wars line: “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” -Obi Wan

Now coming over to Star Trek we have a totally different reality. We still have starships, massive and small… and somewhere in-between. We still have handheld weapons that fire energy which is always awesome. There’s also warp speed and all the technological advances of the oh so far off future. The story told here is of mankind and its journey throughout the stars to learn more about itself and the universe in which it lives. That in of itself makes for an interesting story. Then you add into the mix the personalities of main captains of the franchise and those around them. It draws you in, that’s for sure.  There’re even basically all powerful beings (the Q) who can do anything they want at any time they want for basically any reason they want, but who still have short-comings in one form or another.

Awesome Star Trek quote: “I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We’ve made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done! -Cpt. Picard

There’s more to both Star Wars and Star Trek than what I’ve mentioned of course,both have scenes that just grab you and refuse to let you go,  but it’s far too early in the morning for me to prattle on too much more than I already have. When one verses the other it’s clear to me that neither Star Wars nor Star Trek is better than the other. That’s right… neither one. They’re both amazing in their own rights. If you were expecting a completely and utter biased opinion on the topic I’m sorry to tell you that all I have for you is disappointment.

Here ends this randomgeeking