On Alter Egos

People often come up with things to do or be at conventions, gatherings and events. This ranges from simple things, like dressing up in their favorite geek attire to cosplaying to inventing a steampunk persona for the day.

Who hasn’t felt it would be a great idea to be a mad scientist, adventurer, aristocrat or sky pirate?

Now you can do two things:

  1. Dress up in the style you like, make the persona and still be yourself. You still use your own name and that’s fine.
  2. Or you can go all-out and invent a name for your persona and that’s absolutely fine too!

What is not fine is the lack of respect I keep on seeing for people that do X or Y.

I myself have chosen not to take on a persona, a character, an alter ego if you please. I have been in a LARP group for over eleven years and frankly I’m fed up being someone else.

The beauty of steampunk is that I can still make up personas and yet stay myself! That’s awesome, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just like there is nothing wrong with choosing to make a character for yourself with its own history and its own name.

Steampunk allows both options, so I fail to see why so many steampunks can’t just accept that someone has chosen the other one and agree to disagree.

In my local group, Artifakt, I am the only one without an alter ego and no one will hold that against me.

In the Steampunk Objective, my husband and I are the only ones without one, same story. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it should be.

Having, or not having, an alter ego doesn’t make someone a better or worthier steampunk.

The only thing I want to really press upon is: You do not have to have an alter ego to be a steampunk. Regardless of what others may claim, it is OK to be yourself. Just like it is OK to be someone else. Do what feels right to you and respect others if they make a different choice.

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