By BRYCE CASSELMAN
When people heard I was attending Comic-Con this year, they would often ask me if I was going to dress up. “No,” I’d say, “I’m a fan, not a freak.”
I’ve used this response for a while now, mostly to defend myself against being mocked by the ‘normal’ people in my life, for enjoying the things that I love.
However, what I discovered about those ‘freaks’ when I actually attended the convention this year…you know the folks that go to conventions and dress up as their favorite character, genre or even something brand new, was that I was not only wrong…but that I’d seriously misjudged them.
What I found was that these are truly good people, with giant hearts and that they’ve simply found something they love and want to express it.
If you think about it, this is actually no different from people that dress up as bikers to go riding on their hogs…or people that paint their bodies and to go to sporting events…or heck, even people who wear the jersey of their favorite athletic team. There’s really no difference, other than the fact that the convention-goers may simply be more committed to their passions than the rest of us.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you loved something enough to make a fool of yourself for it? Was it back when you were a kid and dressed up as your heroes to play with your friends? Or was it the night you got down on your knee and asked your significant other to marry you? Or was it the last time you held a newborn and made stupid funny faces at it, just to get them to smile? I really don’t see a difference here…love is love is love.
So, if loving something enough to pay money to travel to a different city, dress up to show your love and support for it and have a blast doing so makes you a freak, then fine… I’m a freak.
And maybe… just maybe, you and I should take a long, long look out ourselves and think before we start pointing our finger and making fun at the overweight guy in the Spider-Man costume, because there are more than a few of us that would benefit from having that kind of passion in our lives and, honestly, could probably stand to drop a few ourselves.