Away with the Steampunks

One of the things I love about Steampunks is the number of people who are full on doing the thing they love without apology. Many of the people I’ll see in Lincoln over the weekend will be playing at being something they aren’t, whether that’s with extraordinary costumes, membership of some fictional team (like The Mars Expeditionary Force), tea duellers, leather batpersons…. there will be a lot of happy messing about.

Alongside that, there will be a lot of people who are being who they really are. Makers, creators, musicians, performers, costumers, tea duellers, leather batpersons.

I have yet to figure out quite what it is about Steampunk spaces that allows people to deselect the mute button and let all the glorious passionate madness out into the world, but it does. No doubt this is a big part of why I feel so secure and at home in these spaces.

Most of the time, the expectation is that we will dress in bland, sensible, unimaginative ways to blend in with all the bland people around us. We’ll keep our obsessions to ourselves. We certainly won’t paint nerf guns to look like brass and carry them in the street in case of zombie bankrobbers. Most of the time, we won’t let ourselves love anything enough to let it come pouring out into the world as some large and dramatic wave. But this weekend there will probably be jetpack races, and it takes a lot of love to build a jetpack and then run with it in a public place on a warm summer’s day.

This weekend the odds are I will laugh loudly, hug fiercely, share without hesitation, dress outlandishly, and move confidently. For a few days, I won’t be awkward in my body because this is a space where I know I won’t be fat shamed, or ridiculed for any aspect of my appearance. I’m going to sing loudly too (on Monday morning at the Cathedral Centre) and talk about the project I love (Saturday afternoon 3pm, also Cathedral Centre).

And when I come back next week, I will wonder, as I wonder every year, why more spaces can’t be like this.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

3 responses to “Away with the Steampunks

  • Siobhan Johnson

    I used to live near Lincoln, and Lincoln on a normal day is faintly, joyously barmy. I’m under no doubts whatsoever why it’s the Steampunk Capital of Britain. Sad to miss this years, but will be returning next year with my newly converted mother in tow.

  • EbonDragon

    Salem, Mass tends to catch a lot of crap from Pagans of every stripe online, calling those of us who live here flakes, wanna-be’s, showboat Pagans, and one of my favorite insults “renn-fair rejects.” But then I see many of the same people posting memes online about wishing they lived someplace where capes and corset dresses, cloaks and top hats could be worn everyday and not be looked twice at. That’s Salem! It may seem we have more than our fair share of drama and negative Pagan politics at times (we really don’t but anything that can put the Salem Pagan community in a negative light always generates the most click bait), but there is also no more accepting place to let your “freak flag fly” so to speak, be it super Witchy, Gypsy rover, Victorian goth, Caribbean pirate, or Steampunk seven days a week if you want to.

    I would love to see a Steampunk Ball to go along with our annual Witches Ball, Vampire and Victims Ball, our Zombie walks, and Haunted Happenings Parade. It would be a hoot!

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