As some of you may know I am a bit of a geek. It has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Not because anyone in my family is a geek, it seems to come from chance viewings and external influences.
I have vague memories of watching Red Dwarf and Doctor Who in the 80’s. Then in the 90’s a babysitter brought around a little known film on VHS (Video for the folks who don’t know what VHS is!) called The Empire Strikes Back. I loved the film so much that she left it for me and I watched it so much that it broke! And as those who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s know a little bit of sticky tape and a video can be fixed. That’s where my love of Star Wars began.
In the 1990’s I discovered The X Files. One evening I was allowed to stay up later than usual to watch it (late for a 8 year old). My mum watched a few with me and since I didn’t seem to have nightmares allowed me to continue watching them and even started getting me the books. At this point in time I lived in a small town, so my focus of geekery was The X Files as nowhere had anything Star Wars. Although I did collect the pogs in ’95 when the films were released again in the cinema, but unfortunately they were not showing in the cinema near me.
In 1997 I moved to Glasgow and aside from a new school, a big city and new friends, I discovered a whole host of Star Wars stuff at Forbidden Planet. I was in heaven! Then a couple of years later, as those Star Wars fans among you will know, The Phantom Menace was released. I had EVERYTHING. T-shirts, pin badges, figures, comics, the lot. I also developed an extensive collection of the Expanded Universe books, recently changed to Legends by Disney.
At my new school I met my best friend, who is also a major geek. She’s a Trekkie – see there can be peace between us! When we left school we joined a group in Glasgow who would get together, talk all things geeky, and do a charity event once a year. My mate and a few others wanted to focus more on the charity element, and the Legion of Superheroes Scotland was born. We would get all dressed up in various costumes for charity and do whatever they wanted us too. So over the years we did all sorts of things – can collections, zip slides, abseils, white water rafting, opening marathons, visiting children in hospital – with a Cyberman, Batman, Robin, an Alien, Supergirl, Catwoman, Darth Maul, a Jedi. In 2007 I walked the Great Wall of China dressed as Lara Croft!
I also used to crew at convention events which I’ll talk about in another post. But as you can see being a geek is more than just liking a particular TV show or film franchise. At the end of the day it’s about people. I know some of you reading this will also be geeks and may have, like myself, faced ridicule for liking sci-fi or fantasy. But this is no different to people who like football or music. At the end of the day it’s something you can do alone or you can do with other people. It makes us happy, excited and at times sad (Damn you Kylo Ren!).
There are so many people in my life that I wouldn’t have met if it was not for the simple fact that we are geeks and I wouldn’t have it any other way.