Awful Gays vs. Awful Nerds

posted 02 December 2008, updated 02 December 2008

Isaac and I were chatting about our respective subcultures, geeks and gays*, and we noted that both groups have a bad reputation in certain quarters. In both cases, the bad reputation stems from a tiny minority who take some parts of the lifestyle** to unnecessary and irritating extremes, while neglecting some of the better parts. I call the homosexual variant of this breed "awful gays" (a term borrowed from Matt Lock), so we decided to call the other side awful nerds.

Twenty minutes in a Google spreadsheet later, we had hammered out a pretty good list of direct and indirect parallels between these two aggravating groups. If a couple of these sound like you, don't worry: we all have a little awful inside of us. But if all of these sound like you, you should probably take action, preferably something that involves me never meeting you.

Awful Gays Awful Nerds
Affected lispAffected lack of social skills
Wears makeupWears a pocket protector
Plucks eyebrowsDoesn't shave (but probably should)
Has never had a relationshipHas never had a relationship
Has a little dogHas an epic mount
Wears clothing appropriate for somebody 5 years youngerSpends an inordinate amount of time outfitting his WoW characters
Everything he knows about gays he learned from Bravoeverything he knows about computers he learned from Slashdot comments
Is a total slutDoesn't leave the house
Achieves nothingAchieves nothing
Has no real fashion senseCan't code
Is misogynisticIs misogynistic
Will buy anything rainbow-colouredWill buy anything from ThinkGeek
Speaks in shebonicsSpeaks Klingon
Reads celebrity gossip ragsreads Popular Science
"I am so over that bar.""This site used to be interesting, but now it's as bad as Digg."
Endlessly talks about vaginas, often mentioning fishHates Windows, but has never used anything else
Spends entire life at gay clubsSpends entire life on WoW
Is a hairdresserWorks at Circuit City
Dances. Often, and badly.Plays chess. Often, and badly.
Endlessly rewatches Queer as FolkEndessly rewatches Star Trek
Wears too-tight pantsWears too-tight pants
Makes outsiders hate gaysMakes outsiders hate nerds
Was a Goth in high schoolWas a Goth in high school
Pretends any topic of which he is ignorant is beneath himSpeaks with feigned knowledgeability on any topic, including politics, popular culture, and romance
Aspires to be: Nathan LaneAspires to be Eric S Raymond
Religious affiliation: Buddhism, Kabbalah, "spiritual, but not religious", ScientologyReligious affiliation (pick one): Jedi, Tolkienian, Matrix Accolyte, NeoPagan, Scientology

I don't think I'm going to make a poster out of this one...

* though I fall into both, hence the community site for gay geeks that I run.

** insert usual caveat about there being no such thing as a "gay lifestyle", it not being a choice and there being a number of styles to choose from. Likewise, there are lots of types of geekery. Just go with us here.