Memorable Mondays is a meme in which we feature a favorite quote from the books we’ve read. The quote I’m sharing this week comes from Felicia Day’s memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).
I joined the world of gaming as a little girl. … It’s hard for me to imagine how that same fourteen-year-old girl might find a place to belong in the gaming world that exists today, with strong voices pushing her back, harassing her, questioning her authenticity with the unspoken threat: Fit in the way we want you to or get out. I don’t know if I could handle that kind of environment. Perhaps I would hide my gender. Or just quit games entirely.
But I don’t think those choices are acceptable for anyone. So if my speaking up made one person feel like they belong or prevented one person from stifling their voice, then it was absolutely worth it.
Because if you can’t be your own weird self on the internet, where can you be? And what would be the point?
I waited until almost midnight at Powell’s Books last August to get my copy of Never Weird signed by Felicia Day (and Felicia graciously remained signing books, also!). Her total willingness to be her goofy, geeky self, in the face of sometimes crippling anxiety and the insanity of the Internet, is extremely commendable. I definitely consider her a role model. The Internet has been a haven for her since she was young, a place where she could be wholly herself and find equally unique individuals to talk to and game with — as was the case for me, too — and she has made it an even better place by crushing stereotypes and crazy ideas of who is and isn’t allowed to be in the geek club.
When I met her, I babbled for a few minutes about how grateful I am that she’s given geeky people, particularly women, the confidence to be themselves and not have to wear a facade; I spent years pretending I wasn’t a gamer because it was unbelievable to many people, and I was pretty thoroughly rejected for it (how silly is that?). Felicia looked me squarely in the eye and responded, “Never be embarrassed about what you love.” Of course, my husband has been telling me that for years, but it’s different when it’s coming out of the mouth of your super hero!
If you’re a fan and haven’t read Never Weird yet, definitely check it out! It is absolutely hilarious and heartfelt, and a really honest memoir of her quirky childhood through the creation and success of The Guild, Geek & Sundry, and her other pursuits. And if you’ve never heard of Felicia Day, a) do you even Internet?!, and b) check out what she’s known for, the YouTube channel of her brain-child Geek & Sundry, and (especially if you’re an MMO gamer) watch the amazing show she created and starred in (and which I can essentially quote line for line — I’m not obsessed…), The Guild, free via Youtube or on Netflix.
Here’s a taste of her goofiness: