This weekend, my family and I are heading to MarsCon, a local science fiction convention. So it’s time for my annual “I don’t fit in anywhere” existential angst.
So, here’s my experience with sci fi conventions. They’re fun. They’re more my husband’s thing than mine, since he’s the true fan. I am only a lowercase-f kind of fan of some science fiction books, movies, and TV shows. I am not a true part of “fandom,” the subculture (and in some cases, the lifestyle) that’s formed around the love of this genre.
So I go to sci fi conventions, and sometimes I have fun. And a lot of times, I feel sad because I don’t fit in. Here’s a subculture that many people gravitate towards because they feel like they don’t fit into mainstream society. After feeling like outcasts in high school or work or wherever, they’ve found a group where they do fit in. So here I am, wandering amongst the outcast subculture, feeling exactly like I did when I was in middle school—like an outcast.
I do have friends in fandom, and I’ve met some great people at conventions. I’ve also encountered people who have been standoffish towards me—in some cases because they lack social skills, I suppose, but in other cases because they feel like I don’t fit into their “I don’t fit in” culture. I’ll never forget sitting down with a group of people at a convention, and an acquaintance said to the group with genuine disdain in her voice, “She’s more normal than the rest of us.” I was officially snubbed by the geek in-crowd.