The Force Is Strong With This One: Formerly Self-Conscious Girl Still Loves Star Wars!

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A long time ago (about a year), in a galaxy far, far away (or just on Geekosystem), Susana wrote about the story of first-grader Katie Goldman. Katie became a huge fan of Star Wars, and when the school year started, she was excited to bring along her Star Wars water bottle and a Star Wars backpack … until some bullies at school told her that Star Wars was “only for boys.” We all know that’s a load of Tauntaun hockey, and so did the rest of the internet, including Felicia Day, who quickly came to Katie’s defense after her mother, adoption blogger Carrie Goldman, wrote about it. Well, just over a year later, there’s great news! Katie is still proudly into Star Wars and has even stepped up to helped other bullied kids in her school. But that’s not the only way Katie made a difference: she got her whole school on board to help fight against bullying!

Now eight years old, Katie’s fandom has only thrived since tons of proud elder geeks stood up for her right to express herself on Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #maytheforcebewithkatie). And while some may not have learned their lesson completely, Katie has inspired other girls to wave their geek flag high. She still carries around her Star Wars backpack and even defended a boy who wanted to wear nail polish. But the real impact has changed her whole entire school, which has fully embraced anti-bullying techniques and honors December 16 as Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day. But that’s not limited to Katie’s school! From Carrie Goldman’s blog:

Please join us in the second annual Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars event on December 16, 2011. Celebrate this day of geek pride and anti-bullying by wearing something Star Wars or science fiction-related.

Since it is the holiday season, please also celebrate the day by donating a Star Wars or science fiction toy to a child in need (but be sure to put a post-it note on the new, unwrapped toy specifying that it can go to a girl or a boy; otherwise, these traditional “boy toys” will be given only to boys!)

You can bring the toy to a hospital, a shelter, or drop it off with any organization collecting toys. Feel free to host a similar toy drive at your child’s school, although you could call it “Proud To Be Me Day”, like Katie’s school does, so that the reach goes beyond science fiction.

Here’s our goal: let’s get Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars to spread to as many people as possible! Every time you read or write a blog post about the event or upload a photo of what you’ll be wearing, share it on Twitter with the hashtag #wearstarwarssharestarwars.

But Katie is not the only science fiction-loving little girl who is still overcoming some (frankly, rude) people who have a problem with kids like them. Over at Epbot, a mom named Rachel wrote about her 6-year-old daughter, Bryden. Bryden loves Star Trek, and for Halloween, she wanted to dress up as Mr. Spock. We will not keep you in suspense — here is just one awesome picture of her excellent costume:

If you can believe it, kids were not the only ones making snide comments to Bryden about her costume. Rachel writes:

Only the teachers had any clue what Star Trek was, and several kids made fun of her for being a character that was a boy. I even overheard one of the teachers saying she looked ‘weird’ in her costume. That comment nearly brought out the protective lioness in me, but I settled for a sharp glare.

And that means Rachel has better self-control than I do had that been my daughter. But you read that right: A teacher. Of children. Said a 6-year-old girl looked “weird” in her Halloween costume. Oh, those freaking philistines. Anyway, before we start sounding like bullies ourselves, let us cast one very enthusiastic vote for Bryden and her awesome Spock costume!

Obviously, we at The Mary Sue obviously support this kind of effort every day. But we are happy to celebrate Katie, Bryden, and their overcoming the opinions of others in their respective quests to be proud of who they are. Some of us even have little girls in our lives who have faced the same kind of comments, and we are here to tell them: YES — IT IS VERY COOL TO BE A FAN OF SCI-FI IF YOU’RE A GIRL. (That’s for you, Julia!)

Also, if this can’t bring William Shatner and Carrie Fisher together, I don’t know what will.

(All pics of Katie by Carrie Goldman, pic of Bryden by her mother Rachel)

(Portrait of an Adoption via The Official Star Wars Blog via Geek Out! at CNN, Epbot)

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