Welcome from Supreme Overlord Kaitie

Hello internet people! Allow me to personally welcome you to Garden Variety Geek (or “GVG” for those of you, like me, who prefer to use shorthand whenever possible). I'm Kaitie. We love to play here, so for the purposes of this blog, I am Supreme Overlord Kaitie. Muahahahaha! I am, however, benevolent. Lucky you.

GVG is such a special project, a real labor of love. We want to make sure it is more than just a blog, more than just entertainment. We really want to build an inclusive community for feminine geeks all across the web.

When I first started conceptualizing GVG… I was so frustrated. Like… really frustrated. Bowzer-losing-Peach-for-the-millionth-time, I’ve-been-gaming-for-six-hours-and-didn’t-save-then-my-system-went-down, the-bookstore- was-out-of-stock-in-the-only-book-I-was-looking-for and the-barista-burnt-my-coffee frustrated. You get it, I was fed up. But why? AH-HA! Because I had been trying to find a community that really *fit* and I was getting nowhere fast. I saw so many pages for geeks that focused on niches or specific fandoms, and while that's totally amazing, I wanted something that could bring together women of all fandoms and walks of life and I just wasn’t finding the variety and inclusivity I was searching for. We have so much to learn from each other, it’s time we as a community branch out and get to know each other. I also got quite tired of having to follow a billion blogs and pages on social media just to interact with people who like the same stuff I do. You guys, I have a lot of interests. A LOT. It needs to be condensed into one place.

What I desperately sought, but never found, was a *community* of open minded, supportive, relatively mature, geeky women. Women whose interests spanned many fields and many fandoms. I wanted to interact with every-day, kick-ass people who could expand my own view of the world and empathize with my experiences. I wanted to be that for them, too. I felt like all the groups I was part of lacked… substance. I want to talk about Star Wars and gardening. Asimov and mental health. Comic Con and child rearing. Gaming and discrimination. I wanted to talk to real people about real things, and I wanted the common bond to be that fact that we are all grown ass, giant geeks. To me, this doesn’t feel like much to ask.

Needless to say, I never found this haven I was searching for. So, with a lot of help from some very wonderful people in my life, I decided to build it. You guys, I really thought it was gonna be easy. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more wrong in my life. This has been a journey, no lie. But you know what? The more challenges we faced and the more people I spoke to, the more I realized that there were a lot of people who felt the same way I do. There is a real need for this. All of that feedback caused me to massively expand my view of what GVG can be.

Because we are so new, things are still under construction, I haven’t quite accomplished the goal I set out to… but I don’t intend to stop pushing until I do. Thank you so much for being part of this evolution. It genuinely is a dream come true.

Disclaimer: Woman: A term which here means “someone who identifies as female all or some of the time”. Y’all, I don’t care what you have in your pants, but no hateful speech or misogynistic baloney will be tolerated here. We get enough of that on the regular.

Welcome from Mum

Greetings, beautiful humans! I'm Kaitie's mum, Kelly. I'm also her partner in this venture. While I am not a gamer or lover of comics, Kaitie came by her love of Verne, Tolkien, and Harry Potter, among other things, through me. (Actually, Harry Potter came first from her great-grandmother, and Tolkien came from her grandfather, so we are a long line of nerds, geeks and overall odd ducks.) Kaitie may or may not have also been spoken to in Elvish from a very young age, and she definitely could recite the table of elements by the age of five. (I tricked her with a penguin. The chemistry book had a picture of a penguin on the cover. If you want to show Kaitie you love her…send her a penguin.)

I think GVG is such an important project. When Kaitie first brought the idea to me, I was shocked and horrified to see all the discussion and data demonstrating how geeky women are both marginalized and fetishized. It appeared to me that there were two prevailing stereotypes of what constitutes a geeky woman, and if a woman doesn't fit either steroetype, she is virtually nonexistant; there is just no discussion around her at all. In reality, geeky women are your mothers and grandmothers, your sisters and best friends, your wives and your daughters. We come from all walks of life, races and ethnicities. We are doctors and bookkeepers, attorneys and secretaries, programmers and shopkeepers. We like to do the same things everyone else does in a life: care for our families, participate in our communities, shop, cook, garden, and so on. We just want to be able to incorporate our interests into that daily life. I want a steampunk-inspired light switch, not a Joanna Gaines table. And I want people who will understand that choice, and not call me eccentric. (Well, not all the time anyway.) Kaitie has created a community where women like us can join forces, find common ground, generate new ideas and geek out to our hearts content without the burden of judgement or stereotypes. It is my honor to support her efforts. Welcome home, ladies. I hope you love being here as much as we love creating this space.

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