|Don't love the word, but I love the concept.|
At present though I know considerably fewer people who would identify themselves as nerds. For some reason as you become an adult, some people believe it's time to put aside such "childish" pursuits (sometimes replacing them with other interests which are far less clever and more infantile, but I will leave that for another post.) Perhaps this is why I have met less adults who indulge in these sorts of interests and of course much fewer women as well.
Once again though the internet's ability to bring together cliques across miles and boundaries unearths transformative revelations. Where else would I find female nerds of varying ages and descriptions watching and critiquing "The Big Bang Theory" or putting out amazing efforts of creativity and craft skills to produce eye popping cosplay or just being crafty with crochet, metal work or a myriad of other skills? Where else would I go to find massive viewing parties of new Sherlock episodes or fan fiction which covers every scenario and pairing almost before I knew I wanted to read about them?
Black nerds with similar interests were not immediately visible. Not because they didn't exist but because of course with the internet you do not necessarily know what faces are behind the comments and artwork and fanvids. I know I fall into the trap in defaulting to white faces when it comes to certain areas especially the internet. Something I try to work on, but a recent discovery has helped me vastly in diversifying the internet community out there in my mind's eye. I cannot remember where I first saw the mention of Black Girl Nerds on Twitter, but how can you help noticing something with a title that succinctly describes you? I found myself on a website which promptly changed the composition of my internet family. I was looking at a page that had been created by people who thought the way I did, and probably felt at times that they were the only ones. Wading into this whole new hidden ocean has been a joy because the discoveries and sensations that have come with it have been joyful ones. Of course once you find one internet community, it opens you up to so much. I now have new podcasts to listen to, new twitter friends who are feeding my obsession for retweets, and I recently got pulled into a discussion on "blerds". Despite the fact that the sound of the word does not sit well with my inner word cadence, the fact that there are enough blerds out there to give them a community name is delightful and very comforting.
We've all experienced the sensation of feeling alone both literally and figuratively and then suddenly discovering that you are among friends. For other nerds of colour out there, I invite you to stop thinking of yourself as a lonely loner, and check out this side of the world. You may find that the nerd population of the world has grown even bigger and more diverse than you imagined.
I'm still exploring this more diverse world of nerdiness. If you want to find out more, I suggest you start with Black Girl Nerds as I did. http://blackgirlnerds.com/ Please let me know in the comments
if you have other suggestions of sites I should visit which promote a more diverse nerd culture.