I’m very comfortable with my self-identity: a geeky, socially awkward, men’s clothes wearing lesbian. What I am becoming more aware of is how I really don’t seem to fit in anywhere. I was aware I was different when I lived in Australia but I was lucky to have a group of friends who were just as geeky as I was or with whom it didn’t really matter. What I’m finding in Hamburg is that, amongst the expat group especially, the geek girl subgroup is non existent.
I joined a women’s international meetup group here but so far have been totally unmotivated to go to any events as they revolve around shopping (dislike), day spas (not my thing) or mummy meet-ups (not relevant). Their regular dinners are advertised so incredibly girly eg Sparkle It’s Summer and being told to Think Pink, that I get a clear picture in my head of the type of women who would attend them that I am immediately turned off. Yes, I know this is stereotyping but I also know from long years of experience that I am not particularly welcome amongst the fashionista feminine set nor do I enjoy their company.
Even amongst my fellow geeks I’m somewhat of an oddity. I was introduced to a group of gamers (all male) at a party on the weekend as a female gamer. This was met with a lukewarm reception until my friend explained that I was a girl who gamed on her own and not because her boyfriend did. At that point, I was immediately drawn into a long discussion about gaming systems and welcomed quite warmly. Now, I’ve got no problem with hanging out with all guys but I would love to meet some girl geeks as well. I thought I would meet them through geeky pasttimes like gaming, but it seems that majority of girls here game only cause their boyfriends do, not because they were introduced to gaming by their boyfriends and have grown to love it and would willingly do it without their menfolk. Major disappointment.
I’m sure that a fair bit of this feeling out of place is due to the cultural adjustment one needs to go through when moving to a foreign country compounded by a language barrier. But when I’m different from the vast majority of female expats as well, it becomes just that bit more frustrating.
Yes, I’m going through a low point, further heightened by the incredibly shitty weather we are currently having. Seriously 13C, rain and fog in the middle of summer is a real mood dampener. I knew this low point would happen, now it’s here and I’m going to have to deal with it. I have made some great friends here and I feel very fortunate to have them in my life. There are just some things I wish were different. Having a group of like-minded geek girls to hang out with is one of them.