The Kids Are All Right

In Blog by flagg0 Comments

I learned a lot working at TNG 3.

I have never been a big part of the TNG crowd, even when I was “of age”. I never felt much of a kinship with the community that was forming, and in general my feeling was more of a live-and-let-live kinda thing. I supported the right for an age-restricted group in a general way.

 

I got asked, last minute, to run security for TNG3, and have my animal speak on the submission panel. We found the time, and I figured I’d pitch in. Besides, it’s better to have a second BoD member in case things get odd.

 

There IS a difference between TNG events and regular TES events. Politics and programming aside, the fundamental difference is the feeling, the energy, the thing that drew them all together, the identifying nature of their SIG.

They are not protecting themselves from anything. They are not dodging the swooping chickenhawks, they are not keeping secrets, they are not keeping all the hot youngun’s to themselves.

They are 20 something. That’s what it looks like, feels  like, sounds like.  How many 20 year olds want to hang out with 40 and 50 year olds in any OTHER part of society? Why would they?

 

They start out among their own. They have good teachers and mentors among their number. They have respect for their “leather elders” based on experience and acheivement, but not blind obligation. They are friends and young’uns who have more in common with each other than most of the rest of us, at this point in their lives. Sometimes it’s like the Novice Group Advanced, finding out who they are; and sometimes it’s advanced, edgy hot play among people who know exactly who they are and what moves them. They ran a great event with very, very few bumps, they got a kickass speaker and some kickass presenters, ran great parties, and as Security head I’ll tell you this: They behaved a hell of a lot better than some of the rest of us.

 

Think of it more like having kids, and less about “Where I can’t go” or “What I am missing” or “discrimination“. I support gender safe space, orientation space… why not TNG? It IS different. I felt welcome- but I knew I was not really a PART of what was going on. But you know what? They know where we are. They know who we are. They take good care of their own, but they don’t smother each other in the name of “protecting the newbies” from the boogeyman. (As “Boogeyman -in- Residence”, I know this for a fact.)

When your kids get to a certain age, it seems to me that you let them take care of themselves and their own, and you step back to arms reach. If we stop nagging them, they’ll be more likely to come and talk to us… and they know where to find us.(They are so gonna hate being referred to as “kids”, but screw ’em. they’re big boys and girls, they can take it. I’m not writing this to make them happy.)


I don’t expect to spend a lot of time at TNG functions. Yes, I can get in- but I’m not any more likely to than I was. It’s not my scene… but that very feeling of difference is what makes me feel that they are a valid SIG group. TNG is a legitamite SIG. The kids are alright. It has a reason to exist; and a reason to want some of it’s own space.

It was well worth working the weekend to get a personal understanding of why.