“You are not alone, sister. We are legion”

BY DEBRA-JANE APPELBY

As everyone knows, coming out can be an horrendously stressful time. For some it can be an anti-climax as the days, months or years of anxiety can be welcomed by close family members and trusted friends with an…

“About bloody time! Now let’s get this party started!”

…As a cascade of rainbow confetti and unicorn balloons rain down from the ceiling, you chide yourself for inflicting all that stress and shame on your head, while wondering how you never noticed the ceiling was covered in confetti bombs and unicorn balloons in a big net.

And then you discover you have to constantly come out to new people and in the end it becomes a chore.

For many women there is one aspect of culture for which it can be as mortifying a coming out experience as any. When you are faced with the intense realisation that despite all of society’s efforts, you just have to admit that you are, always have been and always will be… a geek.

A colossal comic reading, fanfic obsessing, pop vinyl collecting, T-shirt wearing, incorrigible, nerd of the first order… FANGIRL.

For many women this is harder than the gay stuff! But you are not alone, sister. We are legion.

Love Harry Potter to the extent all houseguests get the talking-sorting-hat-toy experience before even the shoes come off? You’re a FANGIRL. Find yourself talking to your “normal” friends about shipping Cap and Bucky, Sherlock and Watson or bemoaning the burying of Clexa as they look blankly at you? You’re a FANGIRL! Spend more money on smartphone game micro-transactions than your weekly food shop? Not only are you a FANGIRL, you’re a bloody GAMER!

Babe? You have it bad. Scanning the pic sites in your Wonder Woman PJs, clutching your plushy Pikachu, as you binge Wynonna Earp, wrapped in your Star Wars duvet, having a heated Reddit discussion on representation in 80s anime. All you have to do now is admit it to your family and friends.

For some of them it will be hard as you stand there…

“Mum? Dad? There’s something I need to tell you. You better sit down.”

As you slowly unzip your hoody to reveal a Harley Quinn T-shirt and a tattoo of the Prydonian seal on your left arm.

“I am a fan. A geek. A nerd.”

The shock as it sinks in.

“I don’t believe it! you always seem like such a normal, ordinary lesbian!”

“How are you going to get a girlfriend now?”

“Do you really want to do this? Think of the abuse you’ll face. The prejudice. All the catcalls of FAKE GEEK GIRL.”

“All the necessity of having to be ultra-correct in your facts on any opinion and still being mansplained to oblivion!”

But there you stand. Proud, out and loud and not listening to anyone. Mainly because you’ve just got a WhatsApp from the hot butch dungeon master in your new D&D group and you have a sexy rogue that has been flirting with her for weeks.

@dj_appelby

Debra-Jane is a stand-up comic, writer, actor and co-host of the Strong Female Leads podcast. Have a listen here: strongfemaleleads.podbean.com

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