Gatekeepers – You’re not “Moderates”, You’re Ignorant Bigots

Gatekeeping has been a significant topic in pop culture as the nerd world (and the larger society it reflects) grows more diverse. There’s been a backlash against women, PoC, LGBT+, etc. individuals and their inclusion in a traditionally cis-het, white, male geek world.

Even as these populations grow (or reveal themselves, as many have existed since geekdom began), you’ll find endless anecdotes on how they’ve been treated. FLGS employees talking down to women customers, racial and homophobic comments in multiplayer games, and even in-game rape at tabletop RPGs.

We often focus on the flagrant gatekeepers, the people who are unabashedly racist, misogynistic, or homophobic. As expected, even the most ignorant geek has no problem disavowing Neo-Nazis, sex offenders, and the like.


Nobody wants to game with this guy

The threat isn’t from these blatant bigots, but instead from geeks who claim, “I’m not like that,” while simultaneously saying or doing things that reinforce the gatekeeping. These self-proclaimed “moderates,” “centrists”, “true liberals,” etc. talk about how they’re the reasonable ones, but then turn around and label people “SJWs” and “snowflakes” while spouting the same rhetoric and myths the alt-right uses.

You’ll find these people everywhere, from convention halls to gaming tournaments, and into fandoms beyond. Often, they’re single, straight white men, probably sporting fedoras (and neckbeards) while feigning some fake academic demeanor (and “chivalry” to any females” they meet).

There’s always some excuse about how they’re not bigoted, but you are; almost always, these excuses are steeped in fallacy, delusion, and social awkwardness. They poison team chats and gaming tables with insensitive jokes or sexist behavior and then claim to be the victim when called on it.

Well, guess what: to all the fedora-tipping, “m’lady” types, you’re not a “true” liberal. You’re not a centrist. You’re not a moderate. You’re not logical or reasonable or a paragon of critical thought.

You’re an ignorant bigot, just as guilty of gatekeeping as the flagrant ones (if not more so), whether you realize it or not.


“I’m not a bigot because…”

Let’s stop this right there, because if you must explain how you’re not racist? You’re probably racist.

Having PoC or gay friends doesn’t mean anything; it just means they tolerate you as I tolerate my bible-thumping, sexist father. Of course, that’s if they even know the real you and the things you think or say.

Have you even spouted your theories or ideology to them in-person? Or do you save that for the safety from behind a keyboard and a screen name? I’m betting none of you have had the audacity to use the N-word in real life like you do online, or make a joke about transgender people in front of your LGBT+ friends.

If you have to hide your true behavior or mentality from your gaming buddies because “they wouldn’t understand,” then your ideology isn’t an inclusive one, and it certainly isn’t a “moderate” one. “Moderates” avoid extremism, they don’t hide it until they’re on the Internet or with like-minded people.

If you weren’t a bigot, you’d recognize the importance of civility and respect for fellow gamers… whether in-person or behind their back.


He said WHAT?!

“You’re the one causing the divide…”

This, “I don’t see color/gender/sexual orientation,” “you’re the one bringing it up” victim-blaming BS is not a “liberal” ideology or reasonable argument. X-blindness is bigotry because your fellow gamers are different and it affects their lives.

That is why inclusion and representation in gaming keep being brought up!

When specific demographics see just as many people like them among game designers, at conventions, or on the screen? Maybe then we can all “not see X” and get along because the divide will be gone.

Until that point? The logical thing to do is to recognize our differences, listen to the groups affected, and try to fix the disparity. A “moderate” wouldn’t deny and dismiss the experiences of the disenfranchised, and claim they’re the ones causing the problem.

Also, stop practicing mental gymnastics to defend your behavior, claiming “double-standards” when called out by, well… everybody. Whining because you don’t get to use the N-word, have to stop using “gay” as a slur, or because rape isn’t funny, isn’t a “centrist” ideology – it’s a self-centered, ignorant mindset.

You’re like a pre-schooler being told to stop using potty language, share with your sister, and play nicely, throwing a temper tantrum.


If you can use racial slurs, so can I! You’re all just trying to censor me!

“I respect women/African-Americans/LGBT…”

No, you don’t.

You put on the airs of the educated, progressive individual, accepting of everyone. You probably even display some fake Arthurian or Shakespearean Renaissance festival flourish, to show how unique and chivalrous you are.

Then you turn around and quote Milo Yiannopoulos or Jordan Peterson. You spout MRA “Red Pill” garbage about how feminism is destroying masculinity; you can’t even look (i.e. leer) at a woman without being called a creep. “Why would she dress like that if she didn’t want the attention anyway?”

You support hate speech and anti-gay business in the name of the First Amendment. Instead of defending the victims, you champion their oppressors under claims of a “war” on white heritage, Christians, and conservative values. “Just take a moment to talk with that person calling for you to be lynched and burned in Hell – otherwise you’re closed-minded.”

You believe the same myth about how medieval Europe had no PoC, so there’s no reason they should be in a fantasy game based on it. You even present the same fallacious “make your own game” argument, rather than support representation in current ones. “If you want to see black characters, go watch a show set in ancient Africa!”

If you genuinely respected other types of people, you wouldn’t defend hate groups, repeat bigoted nonsense, or try to espouse fake history to protect your precious fantasy worlds. Respect isn’t just putting on airs, it’s believing in the worth of your fellow geeks, including their representation, inclusion, and consideration.

But you’re about as much about “respect” as you are “ethics in journalism.”


Keep telling yourself that…

“You’re the hypocrite by being intolerant!”

I don’t know how many times we have to explain Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance, but here we go again. For a society to be truly inclusive, you cannot tolerate the intolerant, and that goes double for gaming and geekdom.

  • We do NOT have to tolerate your inappropriate remarks or offensive humor.
  • We do NOT have to listen to your slurs or rape jokes.
  • We do NOT have to accept “both sides” in an argument, when one of them is spouting ignorant, bigoted nonsense that excludes people based on their race, gender, etc.

If you don’t have a valid point, based on education, reason, and empathy? If all you have is alt-right, prejudiced rhetoric? Then you don’t belong here; there’s no room at the table, the raid team, or the con booth.

It’s not hypocrisy or a double-standard – we’re not “discriminating” against you because you have a “different opinion.” We deny you because your opinion is ignorant bullshit and has no place in a civil society (including the geek one).

And no amount of all the fallacious claims above, the “I’m not racist,” “I respect women,” “You’re the one causing the problem,” faux-centrist, anti-SJW, outrage will hide who you truly are.


Both suck, by the way…

I keep saying “you,” but this rant actually isn’t meant for you; there’s no way to reason with fedora-tipping, basement-dwelling, neckbeards, and you’ll just brush this off as another example of “the intolerant left” attacking them. You’ll make claims about my identity, political ideology, etc., without knowing a thing about me, or probably just dismiss this article as, “they can’t possibly be talking about me.”

This article is here to unify gamers and geeks and let them know, these fake moderates and wannabe-academicians are not conveyors of “truth” or “critical thought”. They’re just another deluded example of gatekeeping in gaming, geekdom, and society, and we see them for who they really are.

This editorial is a warning shot that we don’t have to accept or tolerate them. Our numbers are larger and growing; our beliefs stronger and more supported in reason, empathy, and civility.

Gaming and geekdom are ours and if you can’t accept concepts like diversity, social justice, and controlling your mouth?

How about you go “make your own” games or “find your own” groups.

giphy (10)

From Comic to Screen – Diversity and Representation

From Comic to Screen – Diversity and Representation


The Internet is in an outrage again over the latest “race-swapped” character, as Biracial Zendaya Coleman is cast as Mary Jane Watson, a character that has been White since the 1960s. From reasonable discussions to personal attacks, this is just the latest upset among geeks over changes to their favorite characters. This isn’t the first time, as there’s been backlash against everything from Michael B. Jordan cast as Johnny Storm to even Samuel L. Jackson’s casting as Nick Fury (a role that was actually based on him in the Ultimate comic series years prior to the movies!).

In all the debates about these changes, its important to avoid fallacious arguments or perceptions. I’ve compiled some of these below, primarily based on statements made by those who oppose these changes. Even then, I’ll start with a single point that those who support diverse casting often glaze over: the logic and humanity of the opposition.


For those upset at the haters, please understand they do have a valid argument… even if you or I don’t agree or have good counterpoints. There is something to be said for consistency and continuity for characters; we all get upset when a preferred actor is replaced, so the same applies to changes between page and screen. When creating a movie or TV representation of a comic character, it makes sense people will be upset when they don’t match the visuals we’ve grown accustomed to.

Also remember that this isn’t a perspective unique to a singular, dominant demographic: White, heterosexual, CIS-males. Discussions with women, minorities, and LGBT individuals have shown no small number who are unhappy with recent changes, both on-screen and in comics. They don’t like the changes because (to them) these aren’t the characters they grew up with… regardless of how lacking in diversity or sensitivity those characters were. They expect Johnny Storm to be a cocky White guy or Thor to be the name of a Nordic man… they don’t expect them to change anymore than Black Panther not being an African prince or the Ancient One not being an elderly Asian man.

The point is, while there are a number of haters that simply can’t stand changes and/or may harbor discriminatory beliefs… there are also people with valid arguments against changes in movies and comics. While we may disagree with them, we can’t just disregard them as “haters”. Don’t try to dehumanize your opposition, talk to them… you’ll sway people’s opinions more with reasonable discourse than simply demonizing them.


Now, that being said, many more fallacious arguments arise from those opposed to the changes from the comics. Some of these are based on personal preference and others on ignorance, but they’re all easily countered. (I’m not going to even go into those who use these arguments to cover up their own inherent discrimination.) The following are simply some of the most common claims against “x-swapping” in comic book adaptations.

“It changes the character!”

Unless race, ethnicity, or gender is key to the character’s personality or plot, it changes nothing. The Ultimate universe (and MCU) changed Nick Fury to African-American with no problem because race wasn’t important to the original character. You couldn’t do that to Black Panther or Luke Cage because their ethnicity is important to their origin, story, etc.

You can see this by looking at many of the replaced characters in comic book adaptations. Wilson Fiske, Heimdall, Johnny Storm, Tulip O’Hare, etc… while the adaptation may have criticisms, the character’s were not “ruined” by a PoC actor. In fact, these same performances were often praised even despite the movie or show. Since there’s no evidence that changing an unimportant physical aspect hurts the adaptation, and in fact evidence it helps, then there’s no support for this assertion.

“It doesn’t make sense!”

It only doesn’t make sense if you won’t let it. It’s amazing how people can accept all manner of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror nonsense, and yet not accept a race- or gender-swapped character. They can even change entire origin stories and characters for the movies, yet make someone Black or gay and people throw a fit.

No one said all Asgardians are White; this is an assumption based on the Norse ethnicity that produced the mythology… which the comic adapted. Yet, the comic isn’t faithful to that mythology in the slightest, so why should the Asgardians be anything like real-world Nordic people? Plus, Heimdall could easily be Asgardian (a culture) but from another realm (a race). After all, Hogun wasn’t Aesir (the movies claim he’s Vanir) and yet he’s considered Asgardian and a decorated warrior of that society.

Similarly, Johnny Storm and Sue Storm don’t have to be the same race. Adoptions, re-marriage, and extended families are nothing new and quite common in the 21st century. If someone easily accepts fantastic elements (aliens, magic, etc.) but can’t grasp elements based on our own reality… then that’s a problem with the viewer, not the material. If you’re willing to suspend disbelief or logic for everything else, you can certainly do it for things easily explained.

“If minorities can swap, then White actors can too!”

Ummm, no. This perception ignores the entire problem in current society regarding representation and opportunity. I’ve already covered the difference between equality and equity numerous times. This isn’t about equality but equity and equal opportunity. A White actor losing a role to a PoC doesn’t affect the larger picture, because there will always be more roles for White people. The same cannot be said when Native American actors are passed over for an American Indian character for a popular White actor.

When a playing field is unfair to start, fairness is not doing the same for both sides. In tabletop gaming, players in a lop-sided scenario are often given bonuses or extra points to compensate. You don’t see the player who starts with the advantage complaining about that, do you? No, because they realize that the fairness in the game is by helping the disadvantaged player through other routes.

The same should occur in society, from Hollywood to social support, with those who have the advantage helping the disadvantaged. Groups who are disenfranchised need extra opportunities to compensate for their lack to begin with. That’s why African-Americans and women need organizations dedicated toward equal opportunities while those with special needs receive additional support like parking spaces or closed captioning.

Yet those with the advantage ignore this, concerned only with themselves. Then they create all sorts of fallacious claims to justify their disregard for other people. In fact, I’ve already discussed this (and many more of those poor arguments) before. The point is, casting Mary Jane with a Biracial actor doesn’t strip White actors of anything; casting the Ancient One as White does do that to Asian actors.

“It feels shoe-horned, unnecessary, inorganic, etc.”

This is one I’ve heard from the original group I was discussing. Unfortunately, I feel this is still based on a lack of larger picture. At times, as a society, we have to force people to change… because otherwise, they won’t. It took major social movements, full of protests and civil disobedience, before laws were altered to allow equal opportunities for women and Blacks. Even then, you had to have the federal government step in, to force local governments and citizens to adhere to the new social norms. That’s not even going into the continuing fights by women and minorities today despite those same laws, plus newer social movements.

The same is true in geek media, where newfound popularity, exposure, and changes in demographics have warranted new standards in comics, games, and fiction. Many involved, from fans to industry, have been slow in adapting and adhering to these new norms of inclusion and representation. That means someone has to force them to change, complying with the new diverse standard. You could consider the gender- and race-swapping as the “National Guard”, sent in to force the “integration” of Hollywood and its audiences despite their resistance to the “Civil Rights Laws” of an increasingly diverse popular culture.

“These aren’t my characters!”

This is another common claim by those I talked to in my original point. The truth is… they’re absolutely right. These aren’t your characters, not anymore. The new adaptations weren’t necessarily made for you, they’re more likely for a new generation and society. One that is more diverse and open-minded than the generations prior, and faces many different social and political issues.

The original Star Trek was made for an era full of racial discrimination and wars. The Matrix targeted the tech-savvy, alt-culture, anti-establishment people sick of the dystopian corporatocracy behind their socioeconomic woes. Now we have new movies and shows intended for audiences that have become far more diverse, inclusive, and sensitive.

Many of the geeks throwing fits refuse to accept a fact: we are old and society has changed. The same way we look at racial insensitivity, exclusion, and female stereotypes from the early- to mid-20th century? That’s how younger generations look at current whitewashing, appropriation, and tropes. Just like how Jar-Jar Binks was targeting the youngest Star Wars fans and the new Ghostbusters was meant to inspire a new generation, these new versions of comic characters are meant for the latest generation of audiences.

Your choice is to adapt and accept them… or become reclusive and exclusive. Do you want to be the cool older person, like Betty White, changing with the times? Or do you want to be the bitter asshole, like Clint Eastwood, clinging blindly to archaic values.

To summarize this, there is a lot of reason why arguments against “x-swapping” in comic adaptations are unfounded. In fact, the opposite can be said in that changing a character’s race, gender, orientation, etc. is a good and necessary thing, given changing demographics and societal norms. That being said, understand that some who argue against the changes may have a valid argument. The best way to convince them is to not disregard them, but instead to discuss the matter. We may not come to a complete agreement, but we can at least find some mutual ground in our fandom and its effects on society.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars -Helping the Prequels


This article is not a debate about the quality or enjoyment of the Star Wars prequels. I’ve made my philosophy about movies clear before. Instead, I watch them for what they are even as I recognize their flaws. I will focus on one some of those flaws in this post, but that does not mean I’m here to deride or debate Episodes I – III.

I’ve been watching “The Clone Wars” animated series for a while now, getting in an episode where I can. Overall it was enjoyable and, while it was sort of cliché to start, it became really enjoyable about the 4th season. Story arcs became longer and more complex and the characters really began to develop. Finishing up one multi-episode plot, I became focused on how well it related to the fall of Anakin in “Revenge of the Sith”. That made me take a step back and look at those episodes (and the entire series so far) in relation to the prequels. I realized that “The Clone Wars” not only filled in plot holes but also compensated for problems with characters during Episode III.

In particular, the fall of Anakin just felt so fast and unrealistic. The plot made sense, given his abandonment issues and previous losses, but it was not that believable. To see him build up trust in Palpatine that fast, easily turn on the Jedi he’d lived with, and then resort to Sith-like tactics and behaviors… none of it sat well with me.

Now, many people blame Hayden Christensen for his acting. I won’t disagree that his portrayal did no justice to the character and its story arc. I will note that I’m not sure I blame the actor, so much as the director, given that he’s not that bad in other films. (Especially seeing as Natalie Portman is a fantastic actress, and she was just as bad.) So, we might also blame Lucas’ poor skill at directing scenes and stories involving drama.

Still, I believe the daunting task of portraying such a complex fall may have been too much for a single movie. If you watch the originals, the character development is cliché: rural boy becomes superhero, rugged loner reveals his heart of gold, fallen villain redeems himself, etc. Trying to show the rise of an ex-slave who turns into the Übermensch, suffering from abandonment and loss issues, all while keeping a secret relationship in the midst of a war… that’s more like an Alan Moore series than classic space opera tropes. I theorize that such a complex issue is better served in a TV series than in a 2-3 hour film.

Thus why I feel “The Clone Wars” helps answer so many questions and fleshes out character development and relationships. By the end of Season 4, you begin to see Anakin giving into his passion and rage. You see the Jedi Council start using more unethical tactics and push Anakin away (out of concern for his behavior), which makes him lose trust and faith in them. You also see how Palpatine uses these opportunities to slowly build a relationship with Anakin, laying the groundwork for what is to come. In fact, knowing that Palpatine set up those opportunities, and watching his behavior during the “plots” on his life, you really begin to appreciate just how devious, intelligent, and Machiavellian the Chancellor/Emperor is.

In addition to the Anakin story, you really begin to appreciate other characters that were barely touched. Count Dooku is no longer a weird-named replacement for Darth Maul; he’s a force to be reckoned with, on par with Darth Vader, and everyone’s fear (and hate) for him makes so much more sense. Similarly, General Grievous also takes on a larger role, becoming the danger and weapon he should have been rather than some asthmatic guy stupidly spinning his lightsbers while Obi-Wan cuts each hand off. More Padme (and even Jar-Jar) provides insight into the changes of the Senate that made Palpatine’s rise so much easier, not to mention laying the groundwork for the Rebellion that was in deleted scenes from Episode III.

People may dislike the prequels and point out all sorts of questions and plot holes. Yet the Clone Wars does a great job at answering so many of these concerns and making developments in “Revenge of the Sith” understandable. Looking at the movies, I’m not sure the complexities of these arcs and characters could have accurately been done in a single movie, even if given a different writer and director. Such a story required many tales told over a long period of time to accurately explain all the manipulations, relationships, and character changes. Thus, I praise “The Clone Wars” for making the prequels (particularly Episode III) so much better and allowing me to appreciate Lucas’ creations and story.

Nerd Culture – Supporting Inappropriate Behavior?


Before I start this, let me emphasize the difference between “Geeks” and “Nerds”. Geeks are hobbyists, often obsessed with some popular entertainment or fiction. Geek culture is at a high point right now, with comics, fantasy, and science-fiction all acceptable (and profitable) parts of modern society. Even normally marginalized practices, like gaming and cosplay, are not nearly as ostracized as they once were. This discussion is not about geeks or “geek culture”… it’s about nerds.

“Nerd” has many different definitions, but in most of them it’s recognized as someone who is socially awkward. Psychologically, this could be understood as a lack of social intelligence and/or emotional maturity. This means many nerds often suffer from a lack of self-awareness, awareness (or acceptance) of social norms, lack of adaptation to social change, maladaptive emotional development, poor emotional control, or any combination of these psychological issues. Many nerds pursue geek hobbies… but not all geeks are socially-inept like nerds. Thus my distinction between the larger “geek culture” and the more defined “nerd culture”, even if the two are often intertwined (or stereotyped onto each other).

Prior to the advent of the Internet, nerds most likely were limited by their geographical area. Certainly there have been conventions, magazines, etc. for decades that allowed like-minded individuals to gather, but most “nerd cultures” would likely have developed among local social groups. If someone practiced negative social or emotional behaviors, they more easily faced negative consequences that would punish the inappropriate behavior. This might have led to changes in behavior or simple exclusion of the individual, but there was minimal reinforcement for the behavior in question.

The Internet, especially into the 21st century, changed all that. Suddenly like-minded groups could discuss similar perspectives over great distances. Social media allowed real-time sharing, and support, of each other’s perceptions, cognition, and behaviors. Socially-inept groups that might have been limited to a half-dozen friends in a county suddenly exploded into hundreds or thousands. These negative social and emotional perspectives were socially reinforced by similar individuals. Worse, with the acceptance of many geek hobbies as mainstream pursuits, suddenly these groups felt their perceptions and opinions were valid in mainstream society.

So, today “nerd culture” is the source for such indefensible movements as GamerGate, Sad Puppies, and other groups that tout themselves as promoting ethics when they are doing anything but that. Decades ago if someone had spouted something misogynistic, racist, or similarly inappropriate in a geek group, most often they would have been ostracized. Now, though, they have the sounding board of forums and blogs that only reinforce these maladaptive cognitions. It’s like giving a child with a violent, destructive temperament a lighter and letting them loose with other psychopathic children.

It’s a sad case when things so positive, including the creativity of geek pursuits and the Internet itself, can be turned into something so socially and psychologically destructive. Sadly, these individuals not only ruin the quality of life for the majority but also will never receive the mental help they so desperately need. We simply need to strive to create a new balance among nerd and geek cultures, to once more teach the socially inept and emotionally immature proper behavior.

The Harsh Truth about American Fans and Other Cultures


Some friends posted something the other day that berated American “otaku” for their ignorant, naïve obsession with Japan and living there. The article went into detail on how different things are from the perception of anime fans. Although harsh, the post spoke truth about the unrealistic perceptions of many enthusiasts… but did little to wonder “Why?” I posit two important reasons why anime nerds live in this dream world.

Americans Love to Romanticize Everything

Actually, most countries do, from England’s obsession with the Wild West and American Indians to the global appropriation of Hip-Hop and African-American Culture. Americans, however, really take the cake for their ridiculous fantasies. We think Japan is a non-stop anime convention, with shows on every channel, vending machines selling dealer goods on every corner, and regularly seeing people in cosplay. Of course, we also think the British Isles and Ireland are one giant Renaissance Festival, where the pagan traditions are alive, mead and turkey legs abound, and it’s perfectly acceptable to speak in Shakespearean English. Hell, even in our own backyards, we think Native American culture is all about holding pow-wows, living as one with about Mother Nature, and wise sayings.

The truth is most Americans don’t have a clue about anything beyond their immediate surroundings. The majority of us live in a white-washed world, where Hollywood and the Internet are their only exposure to foreign cultures. Most are simply ignorant, raised on stereotypes and rumor, as that’s all they’ve ever known. You can almost forgive these uneducated individuals, although their lack of motivation to actually learn is still reprehensible. The worst, though, are the half-educated, who spout opinions based on biased nonsense they found in some book or website. They stand tall on their “expertise”, created from their own preconceptions and reinforced by only surrounding themselves with similar, ignorant social circles.

So, Americans go on with their fantasies, so sure in their subjective truth that they remain oblivious to how wrong they are. They prefer the comfortable, romantic vision because it includes them and allows them ignore one simple fact: they are outsiders. Americans can’t stand being excluded because it triggers their inferiority complex, so their defense mechanism is to develop this ridiculous fiction where everything they want is true. We’re like the spoiled brat having a birthday party, but when people start to play games that we suck at, we make up our own rules… and then whine when no one wants to play by them.

The Socially Inept Exacerbate Everything

Nerds, dorks, etc. take this messed up American viewpoint and blow it up even worse. They not only romanticize other cultures, they externalize their self-identity into that fantasy. Their entire psychology is based on escaping the real world that has so often disappointed them. They develop a schema through the lens of their obsession and are reinforced by like-minded social circles. It’s hard to tell an otaku they’re wrong when they only hang around other fans who assure them they’re right.

Of course, when the fantasy and reality don’t mesh, they react like their very reason for living has been attacked. You could explain that no, people don’t walk around with Naruto headbands or cat ears, and they’ll claim that you don’t know what you’re talking about. These individuals often react with the emotional maturity of a toddler, including tears, raised voices, angry outbursts, and even full-blown temper tantrums. They’ll even rationalize their own poor experiences, claiming a conflictive incident was the exception and maintaining their belief in the fantasy. When an otaku tries to speak their broken Japanese in some street restaurant and treated poorly, they claim that it was just that restaurant and not their own lack of cultural understanding.

American nerds really don’t have a clue, even more-so than others of the same country. They are so entrenched in their fantasy world that they can’t accept reality, even when confronted with it. Thus, they cling to the romanticized fantasy of Japan and other locations like an extreme fundamentalist Christian clings to their belief that gays will burn in Hell. Which makes it all the harder when the reality is encountered….

I’ll fully admit, I do relish when someone gets a healthy dose of the real world. Native American-lovers who find out not everyone has descriptive names and many nations were violent, full of warmongering and slavery. Celtophiles who find out it’s not all about Guinness and faeries, and that few people actually speak Gaelic or practice paganism. Like a child who finally learns they can’t get their way, some people need to be taught a lesson. My hope is that, with enough wake-up calls, they’ll realize the difference between appreciating and participating in a culture… and simply obsessing or appropriating it.