This is a really interesting project for me, because there are plenty of people in the world who have recognised themselves as steampunks long before I did. So why does that make me the person to write guidelines on the subject?
I’ve tried to approach the task with common sense and an open mind. I don’t want anyone reading these articles to think that I’m trying to take over anything or deem myself as “in charge”.
My method of writing these articles is to analyse how I regard steampunk and take a logical approach to how it could be viewed by the most people without damaging anyone else’s views. It seems to me that the best way to do this is to accept that every single person in the global community of steampunk has their own take on it and its machinations.
The way to proclaim yourself King of Steampunk is to simply tell enough people that you are. Eventually the message will ingrain itself into the minds of enough people that it becomes accepted. For the most part, it’s already happened. I’m hoping that these articles can prevent more people buying into an agenda based on profit.
Steampunk isn’t about who is in charge. There are people around who are natural leaders and highly organised. They’ll generally be the ones creating events or running pages. Interestingly, most of the time, they’re also the ones who strictly don’t want to be considered a leader of the genre.
I’ve said it before and I’m happy to keep saying it, because it’s something I’m proud of; Steampunk is a very welcoming and tolerant culture.
Recently, though, the world seems to have taken a step backwards in acceptability. Gay people are being more and more ostracised, religion is fighting harder against free thinking, racism seems to be on the increase and it’s still seen as weird to be born the wrong gender. Steampunks don’t judge people based on their views, skin colour, gender or outlook. We don’t judge at all, but we do appreciate fascinating art, hard work and a creative mind. We appreciate etiquette and we appreciate tolerance in others. We appreciate cake as well. Maybe a bit too much sometimes, but who cares when faced with a slab of Battenburg?
The point is that as steampunks we see each other as equals and by doing that, no-one can really be the leader.