la·tent /ˈleɪtnt/ -
1. present but not visible, apparent, or actualized; existing as potential
A person who has had to reach adulthood in order to discover that he or she is a fan, a nerd, a cosplayer, a gamer, a writer, or a part of any other category that would otherwise segregate them from the “mainstream.” This person may still present the appearance of being mainstream while harboring secret geek tendencies.
For the record, I hate ”about” pages. No one really reads them unless you actually want to know something about the person, and they never tell you what you want to know anyway. So, this is here now, but this is what I propose. You email me, or comment or whatever, but you let me know what you want to know and I’ll tell you here. I’m an open book. Ask me anything.
I moved a lot as a kid, and as a result, I didn’t have much exposure to people that had the same interests as I did, or to events and gatherings of those like-minded people (this was before the internet, kiddos…). I had, unknowingly, been exposed to various geeky things: of course I had devoured the Star Wars trilogy (before they added those extra Banthas), my dad read comics, my mom had been a Rocky Horror Regular once upon a time, and I became latched on to many of my own literary and cinematic fandoms. But it wasn’t until after I graduated high school, after our final family move, that I discovered that other people were interested in the things I was interested in. I went to a few midnight showings of Rocky Horror, eventually got cast in the show, and that eventually led to my first Convention experience (ConCarolinas). It was there that I finally felt at home, like I belonged to something. I met many friends.
But I still struggled, even within the geek community. I was in my early twenties, and many of these new geek things were brand new to me. I didn’t have one specific thing I was an expert in, or even one thing I liked more than others. I wanted it all. But I didn’t grow up with Tolkien, watching Dr. Who, or playing tabletop games, or even video games, so I had to learn a lot from scratch. Thankfully, the era we live in allows for a quick consumption of these things — YouTube taught me how to play Magic: The Gathering and Netflix allowed me to absorb entire seasons of shows I’d missed all at once. I also read. Alot. I got into comic books and worked my way through the Marvel Saga, boning up on all my geek trivia.
Eventually, I narrowed my geekery down into a few easily defined categories, and I found people that complimented or shared my interests. I even found NinjaGnomes, who shared many of my interests, as well as having his own. (We just had our own little Geekling…) But what I really learned, was that it wasn’t the THING, the interest, that made me geeky, it was how I expressed that interest. (Check out this awesome post by the ladies at one of my favorite sites, TheMarySue.com)
So this brings us to the present. Who am I? I am the Latent Geek. I’m all of you who get it. I’m all of you who don’t, but are still interested. You can’t take a test to find out if you’re a Geek, and you can’t read a set of symptoms or definition, but you can see if you relate at all, and if you do — maybe there’s a Geek in you too…