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There are very few people who openly attend Trek, Media and SF conventions equally, though there are some SF fans who have attended Media/Trek cons a few times on the quiet. There's no point in me naming them - it would only ruin their fannish credibility! Those few of us who are known to be Trek or Media fans are branded "those Trekkies leaping about in stupid costumes." Chris Priest vehemently attacked the idea of his Australian friend Randall Flynn going to a Trek con and tried hard to persuade him not to. Greg Pickersgill (to name but one) has for years regarded me with a glance of silent, but contemptuous, dismissal if he deigned to notice me at all. It has not mattered whether I read SF from childhood, whether or not I had a brain (try talking to me sometime and find out yourselves!) as a fan who started off in Trek fandom I have to be educationally sub-normal, with a reading age of 7 or 8, and like wearing as little clothes as possible for all the "wrong" reasons.

I really enjoy my Trek and Media cons although I'm not strictly a Trek fan. How I became involved with Trek cons first as a guest, then as an MC is another story, but because they found me first I will never have street credibility in SF fandom. Only one person has achieved that goal, and magnificently so, and that is Kate Davies. Katie has proved to be an "acceptable" writer and has finally, after many years, won the respect due to her. I don't wish to write, am not capable of such standards of writing, would fail dismally if I tried and thus underline most people's views of Trekkies being stupid. What I want and what other hopeful Media fan attendees of SF cons want is to be accepted for ourselves and not be sneered at or looked down on as a sub group of illiterates.

Do you know how distressing the wall of anti-Trek/Media attitude can be to someone trying to enjoy a con? Or how often nasty comments about Trek/Media fandom and fans are slung into conversation, panels, discussions etc? I am constantly made to feel I am only tolerated as "that dumb blonde Trekkie who does the Fancy Dress" - a second class citizen who isn't really accepted into fandom but is allowed to orbit the edge.

Yes, it's easier for me at Media cons, there are no barriers to the kind of fans accepted. Sure, there are wimps and morons, but there are a hell of a lot of those at SF cons, many of them long standing fans. There isn't the same kind of clique set up in Trek fandom, or the same kind of "inner ring" fandom either. There are only the close friendships that have developed between all of the long term fans, whether they run cons or not. Newcomers are always welcomed (livens things up a bit) and our committees and stewards have a policy of keeping an eye out for neos to see that they meet people and have a good time.

The best convention runner I ever knew was a great lady called Dot Owens, who spearheaded many a committee, usually having two others plus herself involved. She never ran a bad convention or even a mediocre one. They were all superb. That's not the only reason Trek fandom mourns her, but it's part of it. She did what no large SF con has managed to do: she gave it warmth and the personal touch. I went to my first con at her invitation knowing nobody and came away with what felt like 400 friends. They take you to their hearts easily and if you reciprocate it's easy to be happy and have fun. Strange that an SF group, who should have a special tolerance of the stranger or the alien, are some of the most hostile to the outsider. God help any alien race trying to get in touch with the world through some of our SF fans. They'd probably never deign to speak to them in case they were Trekkies in fancy dress!


This page updated on 09 July 1999