Being a geek was no longer something one "suffered" from. We were a community!
Hi there. My name is Joe Hatfield and, like Star Trek I turn 50 years old this year. I mention Star Trek because it, specifically, will play a role in my story.
Today "cosplay" is so widely accepted that it has become mainstream, just as other elements of the geek community have. Comics, science fiction and fantasy books, tv shows and movies are hot sellers to the nerds and masses alike. Conventions that once boasted hundreds in attendance now claim thousands around the globe on a regular basis. Yes, it is a good time to be a geek.
But it hasn't always been so.
I was first introduced into the geek / nerd culture when I was the ripe old age of 12, discovering the glories of role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and then other tabletop board games. The glorious 1970's! I guess the first time I "cosplayed" (many, many years before the term was invented) was at a local gaming convention in 1982. Sure I was a bit nervous to step out of the car all dressed up in a makeshift costume, but I wasn’t the only one and with numbers there was confidence.
A few years later I joined an international Star Trek fan organization and the geek world broke wide open for me. It was time to wear uniforms and costumes, walk parades, attend meetings, do charity work, invade conventions (still a budding process back then) and, most importantly, make new friends who were passionate about the same things I was. Being a geek was no longer something one "suffered" from. We were a community!
Most of us cosplay these days at conventions, occasionally strutting our stuff across the stage in the costume contests or just filling the halls of the hotels and convention centres, frequently posing for pictures. But for me the idea of getting dressed up is more about celebrating our collective sense of community and every costume for me is a uniform, one that represents all the things our community has done throughout the years, for myself and for one another.
Interested in connecting with Joe? You can beam into his Facebook page and say hello anytime. He loves chatting with people! https://www.facebook.com/joe.hatfield.180
By: Joe Hatfield