Today, Mulder attended a meeting while I studied for the PMP exam, then we had dinner with a techie friend who operated on our TV Mac and made us dinner. What a guy, eh?
The funny, or more likely “funny” thing is that the meeting was with a group of nerds, the dinner was with a group of nerds, and there were individuals in both groups that would have probably gotten along quite well together – but aside from via the influence of Mulder and I, these two groups of people will likely never meet. They’re from non-overlapping fandoms(link here), and people from fandoms tend to run fairly tightly in their preferred fandom, without crossing over much. Mulder and I are fairly rare in that we cross over a lot into different fandoms, and spend fairly serious amounts of time and energy on them.
Furry is how Mulder and I met, long long ago. Briefly infamous in the early 2000s, thanks to a CSI: Las Vegas episode, an ER episode, and a really shitty Vanity Fair article, furries are at heart people who really enjoy anthropomorphized animals. That’s it. The really complicated stuff hits when you start trying to figure out what furry means to a given individual. For Mulder, furry is about the artwork, and the people. For me… it’s about the people. Always has been. I found furry when I was very confused about my place in the world, and who I could be, much less who I was. In furry I found an extremely, wonderfully open and welcoming community – over the years, I figured out that furry’s incredibly open arms have a downside, too. In furry, there is no positive pressure for change at all. As much as high-status furries might joke about no-job slackers who live in their parents’ basements, in furry there isn’t much real opprobrium for there. But, for a long time, that sense of welcome is exactly what I needed, and in addition to the love of my life, it’s given me an amazing circle of friends.
The SCA is, according to legend, described in an FBI file as “harmless weirdos”, despite the fact that it’s a very enthusiastic private army – one of the world’s largest. (Yeah, the gear’s a little out of date… but it’s easier to repair!) It’s a nonprofit living history group dedicated to researching, recreating, and educating about the world prior to 1600. The SCA has been very welcoming, too, but in a different way than furry is. F’example, almost nobody cares that I’m queer and poly, but it’s as a whole much more hetero and monogamous. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not how I live my life. So there’s a certain… distance. On the other hand, there’s a lot of very positive, encouraging gentle pressure to improve yourself and make life, and the organization, better. This works because the SCA is highly centralized, while furry grew… much more organically. The award structure just wouldn’t work. I’ve got an amazing group of friends there, too, in a totally different way than furry.
We have really loose connections to the larger sci-fi/fantasy community, and watch quite a few geeky/fannish shows, but it’s not like we’re Browncoats, y’know?