Growing up I never really had that many friends.
Everyone says this about their childhood and it’s a sad reality for a lot of us. As I grew up I always thought I was different and that I liked different things. I often found if I voiced my feelings on certain things, I would be laughed at or teased so I learned to stay quiet and keep my head down.
As an openly gay nerd on the internet, it’s often hard to go back into real life and realise I don’t really have a supportive community of the nerdy gays in my immediate life.
I would feel weird and like I didn’t belong when I would go to general nerd meetups as most of the time, there was no group for those involved that were gay or a part of the LGBTIA+ community.
I have obviously found an amazing group of friends through a meetup group known as Gay Geek Gals or 3G as we affectionately call ourselves but I always felt like something was missing, like I had a missing piece of myself just floating somewhere that I was yet to find.
I felt like that for quite some time, until a certain convention strolled into my life. Known as GX Australia, I first heard about it from my best friend who had just been asked to be a part of a panel and was excitedly telling me I had to attend.
Fast forward to a week before the event was due to take place and I had still not been able to afford tickets. That was until my dear friend, the same friend that had told me about GX Australia, came to me once again with amazing news.
“Sarah you need to go onto their facebook page, there is a way to get a free ticket!”
So off I hopped to go and get my free ticket because I was not planning on missing my friends panel, I’m sure I was going to have fun the rest of the time but at the time all I wanted was to see my friend.
Fast forward to the morning of the first day and all I could feel was giddy excitement. I was about to go to my first nerdy convention and it was going to be for the LGBT community, of course I was excited! I wasn’t prepared for just how excited I would be though.
As I walked in the door I felt like I had just come home, I was instantly welcomed and made to feel welcome, I felt like I was among family.
One of the main talking points was that the weekend event was supposed to create a safe space and make everyone feel included and I can definitely say they succeeded. I felt like I had found my people and that I didn’t want it to end, I felt like I had found that missing part of myself, like I had been a fool for thinking I was any less of a person.
AND THAT WAS 5 MINUTES INTO THE FIRST DAY!
As the day went on I felt increasingly confident and sure of who I was and that these people, my friends or complete strangers, had been feeling the same as me and loved the inclusiveness of it all.
As the end of the second day drew near and I realised I would have to go home and leave this amazing bubble of epic gay nerdiness. I then laughed and thought that it wouldn’t be so bad with the friends I had made and the newly instilled confidence and love I had found for myself.
Thank you for creating such an amazingly welcoming and incredibly inspiring weekend of nerdiness, geekiness and above all, gayness. I feel like I was able to be unapologetically myself and not get judged. I for one will do anything to make sure there is another next year so that others can feel as great as I do now.
Image credit: GX Australia