Accepting Nerds/Geeks/Dorks that do not look Stereotypical

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Ok, so this is a problem that a few of us have, but no one seems to really talk about. Probably because it's a problem few of us have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a geek. I've been one since I can remember. However, I never looked the part. Not really. My core group of friends known me forever, and seemingly 'overlook my condition'. But when I'm introduced to their geek friends... those other friends seem to take forever to accept that I'm really who I say I am. They treat me like some type of undercover agent trying to weaken their defenses or something.

Ever since high school, when I first really embraced what I was, I was always met with incredulous distrust. When I say I was actually subjected to literal exams on geek culture, I mean it. It was explained to me months after they finally realized I was who I said I am, that a friend told me that because of how I look, they weren't sure that I wasn't some jock who was trying to lure them to an ambush or something.

I get it. I'm a 6'2 black guy whose source of income is personal training. I also devour Warhammer Lore, I will put my trivia of Red Dwarf against anyone, 'I liked video games before they were cool', and I probably watch more cartoons than is recommended by the Surgeon General.

So, I'd like to hear from both parties. To my other non stereotypical looking geeks, do you find that you have a hard time fitting in at first? Do you get confusion from both sides of the fence: Geeky and non Geeky? Have you had to do anything extreme to eventually gain trust?

And those who are the stereotypical geeks, do you find that you have a hard time accepting those who do not fit the stereotype? If so, is there a reason?

Captcha: Watch me.

Seriously, people, Captcha is sentient and toying with us! Why do my warnings go unheeded?!

I'm pretty sure it's fitting to say, at this point, "This is why TV is bad for the society".

Really. I mean, seriously. But on the other hand, hell, just strike up a conversation and see how it turns out, I don't know? How you look really shouldn't matter on whether or not you're a geek or not.

Honestly I could pass for anything. I'm a quite guy outside of my group of friends, so if I ever wanted to I could probably get people to believe flat out lies about myself(within reason). I don't express my geekyness in any really outspoken way, but I'm always down to have a nerdy conversation. People are always surprised when I express serious interests in video games.

When I was a Freshman, I had some misgivings about a guy that my friends introduced me to online. The guy didn't sound like a nerd and didn't have many nerdy friends. I wasn't sure if he would accept me or make fun of me. Two years later he is one of my best friends. A lot of people are afraid of rejection, that is probably the biggest barrier you are facing right now. To them you don't look like some one who would accept them, but if you can get past that and once they get to know you I'm sure they will become a lot nicer. You just have to change their perseption of you, which is certainly do able.

I've never had a problem with it, really. I don't look like a stereotypical nerd and I don't flaunt it at every given moment (it rarely tends to really come up that much in casual conversation anyway), but I've never been confronted about it by "elitist geeks" ostracized because of it (although I -am- a bit socially awkward around those I'm not particularly close with and have only a few real friends).

I think I only know, like, two nerds that actually "look the part" at my school, and they both have good groups of friends and they don't get bullied or anything.

I've seen some gorgeous geeks. A few of the people on here are very sexy too and I wouldn't think they were into geeky stuff by looking at them.
It just goes to show you can't really judge a book by it's cover.

I fit the geek description unfortunately :( Short fat, pale, dumpy... Although a few people look taken aback when I start spouting off about games and memes.
I accept anyone, no matter what they look like. I think I've said "Oh, you don't look like the sort of person who would be into gaming/cosplay/manga/etc..." but I don't mean anything nasty by it.

I'm a bit like you OP, I don't really subscribe to a lot of nerd culture but like a lot of nerd things. In fact, some of the stereotypical nerd types really get on my nerves with their immaturity and social ineptitude. I also find a fair number are often more judgemental than non-nerds, quick to bully and bitch about anything outside their small circle of interests but too meek to say the insults to anyone's face. There is a distinct aura of mental superiority that is not mirrored by their actions.

Don't agree? Have a look at some of the threads on this very website. Heh.

That happens to me all the time. Unless I'm wearing one of my gaming shirts, you'd never expect it of me at all. I look more "punk chick" than "gamer/geek chick." I have multiple tattoos(none of them geek references) and piercings, and usually wear just a tank, ratty jeans, and my steel toed boots. Super short, cropped, choppy hair. Lets just say that when my friend invited me to join the D&D game that he was running, the other guys were a bit put off when they saw me waiting outside with green hair, smoking a cigarette.

I had to tell them about the three pets that I have that I named after Valar from Tolkien's Silmarillion before they believed me. Weeks later, beating them in several games in the campus-wide gaming tournament helped solidify my position.

I also still played WoW back then, which, once mentioned, was instant geek acceptance.

The people I'm friends/acquantances with run between fat with glasses to, "I'm going to kill all of you." I'm mostly in the latter category. If you've ever seen Taxi Driver, I resemble Robert Deniro's character, just not in specific looks.

I've never run into the level of non acceptance you seem to have, but I will admit I tend to favor certain looking kind of people to start a conversation with over others. Like the guy where a Dalaran University T-shirt is the one I'll start a discussion with about the quality of school food instead of someone wearing a shirt with a dirt bike on it.

Pretty much anyone I've started randomly talking to in line anywhere is pretty responsive and opinionated. The immediate, "Do they look like they enjoy Video Games." criteria is more so that when I start talking to someone I can actually talk about something I care about. I've never had trouble accepting a gamer despite how they look as far as I can recall, it's more about if they're mean.

Well, I'm a girl. So there's that.

But otherwise, I don't know. I mean, I wear glasses, but I'm skinny not chunky. And apparently I look quite young (I'm 21 but frequently get ID'd for things you need to be 16 for) and people don't really expect me to game.

There's the nasty side to it, which is I can find it hard to be taken seriously and people doubt my gaming knowledge/skill.

But also, I sometimes like surprising people. And staff in game shops are usually really nice to me.

Phasmal:
Well, I'm a girl. So there's that.
But also, I sometimes like surprising people. And staff in game shops are usually really nice to me.

Ha, I wish that was the case. I walked into the local Games Workshop a year ago, thinking about picking up a starter's kit (always wanted to, but they are so pricey). The guy running the table game looked at me and asked if I was lost, or if I was looking for modell's.

I told him I was now. Glad he lost his store some business.

Dansen:

When I was a Freshman, I had some misgivings about a guy that my friends introduced me to online. The guy didn't sound like a nerd and didn't have many nerdy friends. I wasn't sure if he would accept me or make fun of me. Two years later he is one of my best friends. A lot of people are afraid of rejection, that is probably the biggest barrier you are facing right now. To them you don't look like some one who would accept them, but if you can get past that and once they get to know you I'm sure they will become a lot nicer. You just have to change their perseption of you, which is certainly do able.

You know... in all honesty, this actually gave me a lot of hope. I thank you for that.

I don't (usually) appear as anything... but since breaking up with my ex, have started wearing geekier t-shirts... I am an officer in the RAF, so tend to dress the part for that... smart Jeans/chinos and a polo shirt/collared shirt. I also wear rugby shirts often...

Saying that I have a side-parting... and currently a moustache (left over from being in the middle east).

My avatar shows my hair and moustache...! I also smoke a pipe (part of what lead me to grow the tache) and I am well spoken. Is that geeky? Or more just like I was born in the wrong century?

EeveeElectro:
I've seen some gorgeous geeks. A few of the people on here are very sexy too and I wouldn't think they were into geeky stuff by looking at them.
It just goes to show you can't really judge a book by it's cover.

I fit the geek description unfortunately :( Short fat, pale, dumpy... Although a few people look taken aback when I start spouting off about games and memes.
I accept anyone, no matter what they look like. I think I've said "Oh, you don't look like the sort of person who would be into gaming/cosplay/manga/etc..." but I don't mean anything nasty by it.

...How can you tell what people look like?

Elementary - Dear Watson:
I don't (usually) appear as anything... but since breaking up with my ex, have started wearing geekier t-shirts... I am an officer in the RAF, so tend to dress the part for that... smart Jeans/chinos and a polo shirt/collared shirt. I also wear rugby shirts often...

Saying that I have a side-parting... and currently a moustache (left over from being in the middle east).

My avatar shows my hair and moustache...! I also smoke a pipe (part of what lead me to grow the tache) and I am well spoken. Is that geeky? Or more just like I was born in the wrong century?

You look very..... British.

Sort of how I had always imagined Sherlock Holmes looks like. Honestly though, that's a lot more awesome than the stereotypical 'gamer', lol!

ObsidianJones:
le snip

Honestly while I don't look the part, I rarely actually want to socialize with out and out geeks because most of the time I feel unbridled contempt for them. I dislike putting all my eggs into one basket as well. I know that due to your job you must know some non-geeky folks so why not see if they are kool and the gang?

I hate the insular nerd concept of all your friends being geeks, of fantasizing about going out with a gamer girl who plays DnD or WoW. But then again I am kind of weird about this.

So I don't find resistance due to not wanting to spend time with most of these individuals.

geK0:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
I don't (usually) appear as anything... but since breaking up with my ex, have started wearing geekier t-shirts... I am an officer in the RAF, so tend to dress the part for that... smart Jeans/chinos and a polo shirt/collared shirt. I also wear rugby shirts often...

Saying that I have a side-parting... and currently a moustache (left over from being in the middle east).

My avatar shows my hair and moustache...! I also smoke a pipe (part of what lead me to grow the tache) and I am well spoken. Is that geeky? Or more just like I was born in the wrong century?

You look very..... British.

Sort of how I had always imagined Sherlock Holmes looks like. Honestly though, that's a lot more awesome than the stereotypical 'gamer', lol!

That picture was taken in fancy dress... I was working with other nations, so stereotypes were banded about a lot! I didn't realise how much I fitted with the UK stereotypes until then, so played on it massively...! I enjoyed it so much it kind of stuck! :P

That's when I changed my name on this site too! I am also a Shelock Holmes fan... or rather a Dr Watson fan...! I read the books years ago, when I was young, and you always connect more with a first person character in a story. So Watson is my favourite! :D

I've never been the best looking chap, so since splitting with my ex I have been reinventing myself...! Might as well habe fun whilst doing it! :P

Phasmal:

But also, I sometimes like surprising people. And staff in game shops are usually really nice to me.

same here....I often get asked if I need any help...and Ive even had them double check "is this for you?"

but hey...I'd be lying if I said I didnt like people being nice to me :P

as for weather or not I look the part...hmmm well aside from the being female thing I dont put "that" much effort into my apearence or wearing "nice" cloths (and i got a dr who/yoshi t shit), so mabye a little but generally not that much...and when I go to the game/geeky stuff store Im often in my work cloths..(I think I get recognised now) to be hoenst Im not entrily sure what a "geek" is suposed to look liek anyway

its not really my apearence thats the giveaway but my living space...Im a hoarder of all things geeky...I got a whole bunch of action figures/posters...even yesterday I got a scale model of the deloran from BTTF because why not? its useless...but AWSOME

Ive never really encounteres anyone "questioning" my geek cred since I dont have any "geek" freinds so its never really been a thing...I do wonder somtimes

but if anything I know its stupid to judge people based soley on apearence or your perception of how much of a "geek" they are, because they might surprise you

meh I'm a well build tattooed marine and dress the part... when I go to the comic book shop or something most of the time everyone looks at me like I'm about to start jamming people into lockers, dragging kids off to the bathroom for swirlies, or pulling underware over their heads.. except for the store owner... he looks at me like I'm about to rob the place but that happens everywhere... it's rather difficult to try and have a conversation with a store clerk about the latest Sci-fi series when they always seem like they are just agreeing with you so you don't hit them

370999:

ObsidianJones:
le snip

Honestly while I don't look the part, I rarely actually want to socialize with out and out geeks because most of the time I feel unbridled contempt for them. I dislike putting all my eggs into one basket as well. I know that due to your job you must know some non-geeky folks so why not see if they are kool and the gang?

I hate the insular nerd concept of all your friends being geeks, of fantasizing about going out with a gamer girl who plays DnD or WoW. But then again I am kind of weird about this.

So I don't find resistance due to not wanting to spend time with most of these individuals.

These are good points. But for the job aspect, a lot of my clients are rich older people. Who try (and fail) to live life vicariously through me. They want to talk about sexual escapes I must be having and the latest sports match or whatever (yes, I said sports match. it was the first thing that came to mind). I'm furious about the DC resign mess and I'm wondering why Michael Bay hates my childhood.

Also, the friendlier clients get with you, the more they try to get things for free. Sad, but true.

I would like a mixture of friends. It should be easy for me, since I live thirty minutes out of new york city. But how do you make friends outside of work? Especially when you barely have co-workers? Also, I start talking about engineering (What I'm going back to school for) and science and... people tend to stop wanting to talk to me. It seems the only people who want to listen are well, Geeks, Nerds, and Dorks.

~edit Elementary pointed out his avatar to show what he looks like. I guess I should follow suit.

It's not even necessarily how you look, it may also have something to do with the way you come across in conversations.

I hate to toot my own horn, I always subscribe to 'modesty is the best policy', but for this occassion, I'll just have to keep my chin up. Stiff upper lip and all that.

I'm funny, confident, and hold myself to a certain degree of... class.

I'm also a sexy of piece of arse.

Well, that's what I've been told, anyway.

Gah, now I feel dirty. It's simply not British to proclaim one's own greatness.

ObsidianJones:
Captcha: Watch me.

Seriously, people, Captcha is sentient and toying with us! Why do my warnings go unheeded?!

I know! That's what I've been saying for days.
Mine is 'until tomorrow'
...
I'm creeped out.

OT: I sit here in my Questionable Content shirt, with my skin so pale I look like I'm about to audition for an ill-advised Twilight spin-off, and think "Nah. I don't look that geeky."

Elementary - Dear Watson:

geK0:

Sort of how I had always imagined Sherlock Holmes looks like.

I am also a Shelock Holmes fan... or rather a Dr Watson fan...! I read the books years ago, when I was young, and you always connect more with a first person character in a story. So Watson is my favourite! :D

Honestly, I didn't even notice your user name when I pointed that out.

OT:

I'm just a short guy who has long hair and looks about 6 years younger than his actual age. There's not much about me other than some of my shirts that looks 'gamer', more people mistake me for a high school pot-head; but I don't think people are too surprised upon discovering my obsession...probably more surprised when they discover that I'm 21, not 15 (dating will be less awkward when I start to look 18+)

370999:

ObsidianJones:
le snip

Honestly while I don't look the part, I rarely actually want to socialize with out and out geeks because most of the time I feel unbridled contempt for them. I dislike putting all my eggs into one basket as well. I know that due to your job you must know some non-geeky folks so why not see if they are kool and the gang?

I hate the insular nerd concept of all your friends being geeks, of fantasizing about going out with a gamer girl who plays DnD or WoW. But then again I am kind of weird about this.

So I don't find resistance due to not wanting to spend time with most of these individuals.

I used to really hate the "steryoype" of geek..like "stop being so fucking pathetic and giving the rest of us a bad rep"

but anyway...

I guess peopel need a group/identity to belong, I mean somone might be freinds with only geeks because they share a common interest and can share it with each other, and particually if your not into "normal" stuff like partys or whatever

of coarse that said having a wide range of interests is good and you should never write people off based on arbitray things liek their interests...

I did have a "geek supiriority complex" moment when my older sister lamented the fact that I didnt want to go see a movie with her...to which (in my infinate wisdom) I said "you want to see a movie? go see the godman movie"

she said she didnt want ot see it on her own and that "defeated the purpose" of going to see it..to which I said

"so its less about the movie and more about "somthign to go do" I said then I eather said or implyed "if you want to be alone, miserable and do nothing this weekend thats entirly up to you"

then she just hand waved it in that stupid "omg your soo WEIRD I dont get what your saying" way...and accused me of being closed minded (this bothered me)

all I was trying to say was...somtimes in life you dont have anyone to see a movie with..so you go on your own...because fuck them /bitterness

......sorry that rant went off on a tangent

ObsidianJones:
Seriously, people, Captcha is sentient and toying with us! Why do my warnings go unheeded?!

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlord. pleasedon'teatme

But I don't have any trouble with non-stereotypical geeks/nerds. If someone says they are, they probably are. It has everything to do with actions, not looks. But that's just my opinion.

Vault101:
-tangent-
......sorry that rant went off on a tangent

I noticed you tend to do that a lot, Vault. :p
See you 'round the forums!

geK0:

Elementary - Dear Watson:

geK0:

Sort of how I had always imagined Sherlock Holmes looks like.

I am also a Shelock Holmes fan... or rather a Dr Watson fan...! I read the books years ago, when I was young, and you always connect more with a first person character in a story. So Watson is my favourite! :D

Honestly, I didn't even notice your user name when I pointed that out.

Haha! I didn't think you had...! :P I was slightly confused for a bit! :D

Zen Toombs:

Vault101:
-tangent-
......sorry that rant went off on a tangent

I noticed you tend to do that a lot, Vault. :p
See you 'round the forums!

.....I DO NOT

....do I?..hmmm

ObsidianJones:
Ok, so this is a problem that a few of us have, but no one seems to really talk about. Probably because it's a problem few of us have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a geek. I've been one since I can remember. However, I never looked the part. Not really. My core group of friends known me forever, and seemingly 'overlook my condition'. But when I'm introduced to their geek friends... those other friends seem to take forever to accept that I'm really who I say I am. They treat me like some type of undercover agent trying to weaken their defenses or something.

Ever since high school, when I first really embraced what I was, I was always met with incredulous distrust. When I say I was actually subjected to literal exams on geek culture, I mean it. It was explained to me months after they finally realized I was who I said I am, that a friend told me that because of how I look, they weren't sure that I wasn't some jock who was trying to lure them to an ambush or something.

I get it. I'm a 6'2 black guy whose source of income is personal training. I also devour Warhammer Lore, I will put my trivia of Red Dwarf against anyone, 'I liked video games before they were cool', and I probably watch more cartoons than is recommended by the Surgeon General.

So, I'd like to hear from both parties. To my other non stereotypical looking geeks, do you find that you have a hard time fitting in at first? Do you get confusion from both sides of the fence: Geeky and non Geeky? Have you had to do anything extreme to eventually gain trust?

And those who are the stereotypical geeks, do you find that you have a hard time accepting those who do not fit the stereotype? If so, is there a reason?

Captcha: Watch me.

Seriously, people, Captcha is sentient and toying with us! Why do my warnings go unheeded?!

Similar boat, different gender, when I'm with a crowd and I target out my fellow nerds, I just get the 'look' as well. I'm told I look like I belong more in a mall giggling with some dumb bitches strutting around with shopping bags, so I always try to actually play some games or bring my laptop with me when possible to diffuse the tension and actually provide a demonstration.

But really I shouldn't have to, the second you talk to me about something that interests me I conduct word vomit-itis and can't shut up about [insert game] Lore.

But the bottom line is, yes, I have been on the receiving end of the 'look'. It sucks, and I try really hard not to pre-judge based on appearances.

I'm not sure if I classify as a geek/dork by looks. Honestly, I look more like someone you'd see standing somewhere next to Lenin on grainy old photos. Give me some more years, and I could pass for a stereotypical absent-minded professor.

Noone's exactly surprised I've got some nerdy interests, but it's not usually the first thing I'm accociated with.

EeveeElectro:
I've seen some gorgeous geeks. A few of the people on here are very sexy too and I wouldn't think they were into geeky stuff by looking at them.
It just goes to show you can't really judge a book by it's cover.

Would you say I'm one of those? ;D

Haha, seriously though, I wouldn't say I fit the stereotype. I try to go for an air of 'indie rocker', but with Beatles hair (it just naturally grows that way and I don't like using hair gel to make it spiy at the front, my preferred style, since it just leaves my hair looking greasy and nasty :P). Still, I've never really had that problem. I seem to be one of the sort of people who drifts easily from one social group to another, and I tend to keep my geekiness away from my non-geek friends, not deliberately but just that it never really comes up. As for my geeky friends, they don't really fit the stereotypical description either.

That being said, here in the UK there has always seemed to me to be much less emphasis placed on specific social groups compared to the USA, with jocks and nerds and goths and whatever. Except for racial groups, who do seem to hang around together and not mix much - kind of a shame, but oh well...

I have always had a hard time fitting in with the general geek culture as im rather fit and can't use big words to save myself, and for some reason just can not remember usless facts about anything im interested in. i cant tell you the names of the bands i listen to, nor who directed and wrote my favourite epp of star trek. so when i get the geek test i always fail even though i really enjoy all the same things. to be honest i find it easier being the nerd who hangs with the jocks than it is being the jock who hangs with the nerds.

I think I look like an average white girl, but soon after I open my mouth, it's pretty obvious I'm a geek. Also, I certainly looked more geeky in my younger days, so never really had that problem. On the other hand, my boyfriend is one of those people who were transients almost in high school. He said he had friends in just about every clique you can imagine. However, he is most definitely a geek. He has his obsessive streaks about knowledge and genres, and he plays Magic: the Gathering. Of course, me being a kindred soul and all, I'm just like, "One of us..." XD

Admittedly I was a little surprised to learn that my 6'2" black guy rugby captain friend also devours Skyrim like a pro... I did get over it withing about 5 minutes though. So either I can adjust very quickly or the people you were talking to were from the 'us and them' crowd.

Huh this is really funny. I was just talking to my best friend, or at least one of my better friends, today about something just like this. He admitted to me that when we first met he was terrified of me because I played football (he actually did to but never really saw the field) and had a reputation as a really hard hitter. But then we talked a lot once we found out we both loved programming and boom, insta-friends. So I guess in a way yes I did have trouble fitting in because the people I wanted to be friends with, Geeks if you will, feared me. (which is ridiculous. I'm a total wimp, I love cats, hate scary movies, watch a cartoon about pastel colored pony's and now only play golf for a sport.)

ObsidianJones:

I removed the stuff that doesn't matter.

If you enjoy what you do then enjoy it. Don't let others perception of you matter. Next time someone tries to "Quiz" you just ask what difference it makes. Don't go out of your way to prove something to others. Every time you tell them something about yourself you define yourself as a single group. Be an individual and do what you love.

Also 6'2" black...what are you? A black midget =D

Sorry I know it's bad. Couldn't help myself.

Hah, by everyone on the Chemistry course I was on. Those were fun times.

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