Are you Steampunk enough?
Are you geeky enough?
Are you good enough?
Yes. You are.
And I don’t mean that in the sense of unthinking compliment. I don’t mean it as cheering. I mean it as simple truth.
In almost every space where you might question whether or not you’re “enough”, the question defines you. If you’re thinking about it, if you’re considering it, if you’re putting out the effort of thought, then you almost certainly are. Unless it’s a contest, your first and best judge is yourself. If it’s a contest – then test yourself!
There are a few times when that question might go to others – if someone’s creating a safe space, for example, for some specific piece of identity. But even then – most of the time, you are still the best first judge. It might be a good idea to ask the space organizers if your identity fits their ideas on identity. But that’s not necessarily because you might not be “enough” – that’s because creating any space involves a number of decisions, and they might not align wholly with who and what you are. That’s still not on you – and again, if you have the politeness to ask, you’re still showing qualities which would make most spaces into better ones.
It’s the ones whose confidence is automatic and not based in life experience, it’s the ones whose assumption is that they’re always a perfect fit, who give me pause. Not because they’re necessarily bad, and not because they’re necessarily wrong, but because not considering that you might be wrong is a danger and luxury. It relies, at the very best, on other people telling you when you are wrong – and not everyone is willing to do that.
Are you “enough”? You are more than enough. You are a multitude of enough.
Jeff Mach runs Just Magical Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks). He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.