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From the Editor
Proud Queer Goes Proud Nerd
When talking to people about this edition’s theme, I discovered that there exists a wide range of opinions about what is considered “nerdy.” Certain things are undisputed—comic books, tabletop games, cosplay—but other interests that have traditionally been designated to the realm of the nerds—sci-fi, computer programming, video games—are now considered by many to be as cool and trendy as it gets. Making this edition, our definition of “nerdy” includes anything and everything that people get passionate about: from the joys of cosplay Summer Seasons waxes poetic about (page 20) to the traditionally punk zines Liz Yerby celebrates (page 21). Even our own queer history is something to get nerdy about, as youth writer Monty Archambo tell us (page 11).
Nerdy communities have long served as havens for many people of marginalized identities—rallying around niche interests often allows us to be more fully ourselves because we ourselves are considered “niche.” But within these communities, a lot of work remains to be done to lift up the voices of the most underrepresented, the most invisible. In this edition, Clara Emiliana tells Luis Silva about how she is pushing boundaries in the world of indie comics (page 7), and Dakky Comics describes the progress in representation at comic cons as well as the significant room for improvement that remains (page 8).
For many nerds, “nerd” is a proudly self-assigned label. It is a way of saying, “I get excited about something!” Perhaps nerdiness is becoming more of a source of pride because of the added visibility the internet and social media has granted to nerd factions of all stripes. People who care about something niche have an easier time finding others who share that interest than we used to, and in some cases, we even discover that it is not so niche after all. So in many ways, celebrating nerdiness is also a way of celebrating visibility, and the freedom that visibility gives us to care about the things we care about with pride.
I encourage everyone to draw inspiration from this edition to go forth and be nerdy. Let your eyes light up when you talk about whatever it is you get nerdy about—be it bikes, makeup, coffee, activism, crocheting, astrology, sex education, renaissance fairs, 1970s architecture, medieval choral music, or the life and accomplishments of Edith Windsor (rest in power, Edie). Let’s celebrate how radical it can be to proudly display our nerdiness. We are here, and we are passionate, and that passion deserves to be seen and shared.
Editor-in-Chief, Brilliant Media