Most people wouldn’t think by looking at me that I’m a sci-fi geek. Heck, most people upon first glance wouldn’t even associate the word “geek” with me. But I’ve been a closet geek my whole life, and at times without even knowing it. IT all goes to back to when I was in grade 4 and discovered the anime Sailor Moon. Although I didn’t know what anime was at the time, I just saw this amazing show and fell in love! Unfortunately Sailor Moon wasn’t a popular show at my school. I got teased about it, so I quickly pretended to not like it. Only my close friends knew my dirty little secret.
As I grew up, I began to watch other animes and actually learned what anime was. My next big obsession was DragonballZ. It was my brother who kind of got me into it. He started watching it and as did I. Then when I found out the guys in my grade 8 class, whom I had crushes on, liked it, suddenly I was a super fan! Upon entering high school I began to open up about my anime obsession and people still accepted me. It wasn’t something to be embarrassed about anymore. Not like how it was in elementary school. I even went on to write a butt load of Fanfiction, which to this day I wish I could get back into.
My world was opened up to all things anime. I met knew people who shared my passion. Then I became a “Japanophile” where I was obsessed with everything Japanese. I even went so far as to plan my future around my dream of moving to Japan, marrying a Japanese man and having Japanese babies. Of course that dream ended when I left high school. And as did my “out-of-the-closet” obsession with anime.
Going into college I reverted back to my old ways. I kept my obsession secret. The girls in my program were more into make-up, shopping and gossiping than things like anime. So instead of being out about anime, my Japanese-geek came out. I often incorporated anything Japanese into my assignments. If I could put a Japanese flare into it, I did. I recall one project where we had to write a paper about a celebrity that had influenced the fashion industry in a unique way. Where most people would flock to names like Madonna, Bowie, Britney Spears etc… I chose Ayumi Hamasaki.
After college I went back to being out about anime. And then my boyfriend introduced me to sci-fi. Well properly introduced me. I didn’t realize it, but I always liked sci-fi. I enjoyed sci-fi movies growing up, I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. One of the first shows he introduced to me was Doctor Who. I was skeptical at first. I had always associated sci-fi tv series with the likes of “Trekkies” and I didn’t want to be a “Trekkie.”
Before I knew it, I was hooked. And then I went out on whim and watched the movie Stargate. It was on tv one day and my boyfriend had been nagging me to watch the series. Although he wanted me to just start from later on in the series and just skip the beginning. He has since learned his lesson that if you want me to watch a series I NEED to see it from the beginning. I just can’t pick up a show part way through! The concept behind the movie and series was so interesting and intriguing. It awoke something deep within me. It ignited my imagination! So I went on to power through 10 seasons of Stargate SG1 in under a year, then moved onto the spin off series SGAtlantis and SGUniverse.
The real tipping point in my acceptance of my inner geek was when we went to our first convention together. It was August 2009 and we attended FanExpo in Toronto. IT was an eye opening experience. To see so many people openly celebrating their favourite fandoms, embracing who they are, not being ashamed of their passion! Not to mention the chance to meet celebrities, attend Q&A panels, it was amazing! We kinda met Kevin Sorbo. I say kinda because we never really met, but we kept running into him everywhere it seemed! Walking down the street, walking around the convention centre, we’d make eye contact, smile and nod. It was exhilarating! And that’s how I got into Andromeda…
We’ve been to FanExpo two more times since. The next time was in 2011 and I got to meet Michael Shanks, who played Dr Daniel Jackson in the Stargate series. I bought a photo op, which meant I got to get my picture taken with him. I was so flipping nervous! I was going to be in the same room as him, I was going to stand next to him, I was going to TOUCH him! It was awesome! He’s much taller in person.
Last year my husband and I attended FanExpo for the third time. My husband was my boyfriend who got me into sci-fi in the first place, I suppose I should have clarified that earlier, oops. Any ways, We got to meet David Hewlett, who played Dr Rodney McKay in SGAtlantis. McKAy was my favourite character, but I think I was a little biased because he played a Canadian and a doctor. I got a thing for smart guys, leave me be! lol! Unlike my past celeb encounters, this was more…personal? He was there to show a sneak peak at a new web/tvseries he was directing or producing or something. He was actually in the first episode.
Any ways, after that he talked about another project he was working on, a movie called Debug staring Jason Momoa. And then he went on to say that he needed to take headshots to be used in the film. So I filled out a model release, and had David Hewlett take my picture. So weird when you have an actor/director taking your picture. Even weird when you’re use to being the one taking pictures! But it was nice to see the more human side of a celebrity. And I just have to say, he’s a lot shorter than I thought.
My whole experience with going to conventions definitely opened my eyes. There were people from all walks of life, all coming together to be proud of their fandom. And that helped me accept myself. I’m no longer embarrassed by saying “I like Sci-Fi!” I have learned to embrace that fact, I’m a geek and I’m not ashamed to say it.