I don’t think I’ve ever been to BayCon, but I might have attended one or more back in the eighties. At that time I lived in San Jose, and I spent my time with the RPG-fannish, nascent computer nerd population. There was some overlap with the science fiction fannish East Bay including the SCA and the neopagans and hippies and so on. I stayed around the fringes until the early part of this century, at which point I sort of gave up on the subculture(s).
Ironically, over issues they’re furiously trying to rectify now – sexual harassment. I’ve hopefully aged out of getting harassed myself. My last straw happened while comforting people who had been subjected to sexual predation, and yeah, at one time the community was full of it. Maybe I’ll write about that some day.
It left me with a residual sense of social distrust. These days I am a confirmed loner, aside from my cat and a handful of friends I’ve known for a long time. While I love socializing with the other nerds, and filking, and discovering mutual obsessions, and dissolving into a froth of bad puns, obscure references and congenial laughter, I’m not too inclined to enter into any social bonding that’s likely to earn me subpoenas in the future.
I’m kind of socially warped myself. My dad had this weird thing about constantly moving to new houses, and never having social friends. I’m not sure if there was a deep dark story behind that, or if he was just trying to encourage familial closeness inside his delusional bubble, but I was the kind of kid who could cheerfully spend a weekend alone in my room so I took the isolation a step further. Then when I left home in my teens I spent a few years being very social – in nerdish circles, where many awkward tendencies were forgiven, especially for young blondes, because we had our own way of interacting that was very different from how the "mundanes" (or whatever fond nickname you gave them) did it, with nerdish references rather than discussions of TV and sports.
Socializing with non-nerds is something I try to avoid whenever possible, because I don't speak their language at all. Even socializing with nerds can sometimes set off anxiety attacks, so I always make sure I have an escape route. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to accommodate my tendencies and still do PR, so it’s kind of a learning phase.
Maybe I’ll spend most of Baycon lurking in my hotel room reading books on my kindle. Maybe I’ll get my extroversion mojo working in time. Maybe the french toast will be delicious. Crossing my fingers.