Proving ourselves, over and over again.
The first challenge is met with confusion. The second with contention. The third, and all others, with exasperation and desperation: see me, let me be, leave me alone, allow me to exist.
Every cred check, or even shadow of a cred check, is starting to lead to this defensiveness: we're not looking for common ground anymore, we're just looking for the right to keep the ground we already have. And there's the concern that this is going to start driving new female fans away, because all the women who are already there have these laundry lists of "I am a fan because I ________," and some of them are just like "uh, I watch some TV shows?" That's not good. We don't want to lose the next generation of female fans, both because they have a right to this ground, too, and because it would show the cred checkers that they can win: push us hard enough and we go away, or at least stop coming, which can look like the same thing.
I don't think the laundry lists are going to go away. They're bruises, left from being hit too many times, and bruises don't heal instantly. But we should be aware of why the bruises are there, and promise each other not to cred check.
You are safe here. No matter what kind of geek you are, or whether or not I understand your passions.
This ground is yours.