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Tag Archives: expectations

Well, shit.

Wait, let me try that again.

My first Readercon experience provided me with a wide berth of raw emotions, ranging from the elation that sprang from meeting and reconnecting with some of the most creative and progressive minds in the industry, to fiery rage at the bastion of New England Liberal Racism that still permeates the northeast, subsiding on the elitist fallacy that ‘smart people can’t be racist’.

How’s that? You want more, huh? I shouldn’t be surprised. I made a name for myself with my Twitter rants over that weekend on the much-needed progress needed at Readercon when my intention was to lay low and collect data all submarine-style and what not.

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I went to go visit my aunt one day before she went into the hospital for her first round of chemo, and we sat there watching The Big Bang Theory. My aunt, an upright, God-fearing woman, staunchly proud of her southern roots, confessed to me that she had never shown an interest in BBT because it was a show about nerds.

I inferred her statement to mean that, until recently, nerd/geek culture had not found a place in my aunt’s world for whatever reason, so, instead of going off on my usual tirade about the latent racism, sexism, homophobia, and geek-ism that runs rampant in BBT (rest assure, I will go on about it in this blog ad nauseum), I let my aunt in on a little part of myself that I had only shared with the male members of my family. It was at that moment when I realized that I had inadvertently been contributing to a social stigma that’s been haunting black women for over 100 years.

I was ashamed to admit that I am a black nerd girl.

I picked and chose to whom I “came out of the nerd closet”, most of these ceremonial outings were attended by Caucasian or Asian heterosexual men because those are the demographics that make up all of Nerdom, right?

Wrong. Wrong. OH SO MANY WRONGS!

Why, you ask? Why did I hide such an integral part of who I was from those for whom I care? Because, deep down, I was [and still am] struggling with society’s concept that black women are supposed to think, act, and talk a certain way. Black women are supposed to like certain things. Black women are supposed to believe in God. Black women are supposed to have certain priorities. Black women are suppose to obey their older family members without question. Black women are suppose to marry black men. Black women are supposed to have black babies. Black women are supposed to be loud, abrasive, direct, aggressive, strong, endearing, maternal, uncompromising, and invulnerable. According to society, black women are supposed to exist within this narrow box because the rest of the world can’t comprehend anything else, and we don’t want to take the time to understand ourselves outside of the color of our skin, or outside the “confines” of our gender, our culture, our socioeconomic status. We don’t want to, or are deathly afraid of, stepping outside of the Box.

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen of both cis and trans natures, I can’t stay in the Box anymore. I can’t be what my mother, my father, my aunts, my uncles, my brother, my cousins, Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey want me to be anymore. 

I want to be able to bitch slap Chuck Lorre in the face and say, “Hey, you narrow-minded shit, the Higgs-Boson was not definitely discovered; six years of Penny’s inferiority complex isn’t funny; social anxiety disorder is NOT something to be taken lightly; and by the way, I DO exist!”

I want to be able to go to a heavy metal concert and not be tagged as self-hating or self-denying.

I want to be able to go to a Con as Thor if I feel so inclined and not have my life threatened.

So, now is when I begin to do so.

Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I am a feminist. Yes, I am a Skeptic, an Atheist, and a minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Yes, I am a writer, a lover, a novice spinner, a martial artist, a runner, a swimmer, a hiker. And yes, I would rather see Within Temptation and Nightwish than Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

And yes, I am black.

So this is me, stepping outside of the Box. Come join me, if you can. Image