Out of place…
I am going to be turning 52 this Wednesday, and getting a year older has warranted me on reflecting on my previous years and being a geek/nerd/gamer P.O.C. (Person of Color).
I went to my local gaming store several days ago, and they were having a Magic card tourney as well as several tables playing some tabletop rpg games. As I looked around, I had this instant feeling of being out of place in something that I love. I went home and started to think on this feeling. I am a geek; I recognize that I like things that other POC don’t like or know anything about. I am a nerd; I recognize that I like things that other POC don’t like or know anything about. I am a gamer: I like both video games, tabletop roleplaying games, LARPing, board games, and card games. I know these things and accept these truths. But this day I felt so out of place, it was unnerving.
Thoughts were running full tilt through my head, on how I don’t belong there, what right do I have to even think that I can compare to these guys. Then in that same breath, in my head popped, you don’t even belong into your own racial community. You don’t listen to hip-hop, act like a “playa”, or are very big into sports. (I like sports, I am just not a fanatic about it.)
I felt so out of place. I started second guessing my desire to be a writer/game designer/game reviewer. How dare I try to be in an industry dominated by Caucasian males who “really” don’t want POC in their wheelhouse. I had to go to work that evening, or I would have been at home letting those thoughts run rampant through my head. (I have done that before, it’s not pretty)
Now that a couple of days have passed and it’s almost my birthday, I am reflecting on those thoughts from last week. I am a man outside of two worlds. I don’t know where I fit in, and that fills me with fear and dread. I thought I was comfortable in my own skin, (and to be clear, I am happy to be a geek/nerd/gamer) but not being able to share who I am with others, saddens me.
Maybe I should just roll with the punches and keep on keeping on…