Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be a nerd.

My awesome friend was nice enough to take me to the dining hall last weekend. While we were eating, a friend of hers, and an acquaintance of mine, decided to join us.

I had only talked to this kid a few times. We had a couple of classes together, but that was about it. So we proceeded to engage in the typical small talk: How’s your summer been? Oh, you’re taking classes. You found a co-op? Congrats! 

As he stood up to leave, he casually commented,

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My friend and I both looked down in confusion, since she was wearing a normal pair of boots and I was wearing an ordinary pair of sneakers. We looked at each other. We all laughed. And then my friend excitedly blurts out,

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I froze.

Because I was. But it wasn’t obvious. At that moment, I was dressed as a character from the Disney show Gravity Falls:

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Since, that weekend, I was attending Anime Boston. I hadn’t bothered changing my outfit because I knew that, unless you watched the show, it would look like I was wearing normal clothes.

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My friend didn’t recognize my plea and went on.

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AHHHH!! HEY!! WAIT!! STOP! I barely know this kid!

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I had no choice but to admit to it.

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He gave me an odd look, assured me he didn’t judge about that kind of thing, and walked away.

I was mortified.

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Later on I was still beating myself up about it. Darnit, now I’ve been forever branded as the weirdo who dresses up in costumes. And then I realized something even worse:

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Which almost seems absurd, considering what I do. I write a blog using comics. I have a tumblr full of nothing but anime gifs and Pokemon fan art. My current Facebook profile picture is me, dressed as Link, next to a Skyward Sword Zelda. I love this stuff so much that I’ll dish out fifty bucks to attend a con with other nerds.

Still, I know that not everyone thinks highly of the dorks. When the Prudential Center was overrun by people with costume this weekend…

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The lines for Panda Express and Sarku Japan were loonnnnnnnnnnnng.

…it was hard to miss the looks of pure judgement from the passerby.

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Despite what I do online, when I meet people in real life I don’t exactly advertise that I like to draw comics or dress up in costume or spend hours and hours playing Katamari Damacy.

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Being a nerd nowadays is less of a stigma than it was, say, 20 years ago. Still, at moments like those, I can’t help but think

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Because the fact is, to a lot of people, my interests automatically make me “strange.” Or a “freak.” Or a “loser.” Even some of my friends think it’s weird. If I wasn’t into all of these things, what would my life be like? Would I have more friends? Be more fashionable? Party hard?

Yeah, if I wasn’t a nerd, I definitely wouldn’t have gone to Anime Boston this weekend.

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I wouldn’t have gone to see the great performances by Yousei Teikoku, Raj Ramaaya, or Origa.

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I wouldn’t have seen this ballin’ One Piece figurine set in the Dealer’s Room…

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…or this Heart Container necklace…

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…or this orgasmic wall of tapestries.

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I wouldn’t have 400+ photos sitting on my hard drive from last weekend, when I accosted tons and tons of people to get a shot of their awesome costumes.

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Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

A very good-looking Flynn Rider from Tangled.

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Lightning in her Final Fantasy XIII-2 armor.

And most importantly, I wouldn’t have had a blast bonding with fellow Gravity Falls fans

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and Legend of Zelda fans

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A fellow Link!

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Groose!

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Skyward Sword Zelda!

…who had traveled miles and miles to Boston last weekend to share our love for these series together.

If I wasn’t into all of this stuff, maybe I could actually be a cool cat. But if I wasn’t into comics and video games and… *sigh* cosplay, then I’d miss out on awesome things like Anime Boston. I wouldn’t get that little bit of happiness every time I see the Kotetsu Kaburagi keychain on my phone. And I most certainly wouldn’t be drawing comics.

Yeah, sometimes I’m embarrassed to be a nerd. But I sure as hell will never stop being one.

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Anyway, I had a lot of fun at Anime Boston this year! Here’s some of my favorite photos from the weekend. Also, I made a video last year if you feel like watching me awkwardly talk to a camera. Enjoy!~

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