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I've talked about a lot of hows, whens, wheres and whys, but now is the time to talk about the elephant in the room:

The "what?!" factor.

Being as open about my love for Jean-Luc as I am doesn't exactly bring in approval all the time (although I do feel the need to point out that a lot of people are very supportive) - many of those who encounter me probably wonder just how screwed up I must be to have fallen in love with a fictional character.

My first instinct is to react to this with anger, but then I remember that I have chosen to look at things from a different perspective these days: It's true that I'm a victim of severe (male) emotional abuse that went on every day for about 25 years of my life and that this still haunts me today in more ways than I care to count - but that is precisely why it's actually a miracle that I'm still capable of loving another person (real or not), much less a man.

Of course people who glance at my social media profiles think I'm "crazy", but since they don't know the backstory of it all, I can't really blame them.

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There is one question I have asked myself many, many times (and about which I have written endless fan fics): What would it actually mean to be in a relationship with Jean-Luc Picard?

A few thoughts before I give an answer:

I am well aware of the fact that Jean-Luc is a starship captain first and foremost. His ship is more important than anything else, including a potential partner. For example, if Jean-Luc was forced to choose between saving his ship and saving me, it would be his duty to choose the ship. I would understand (I would even go as far as to say I would tell him to "get the hell on with it and save the fucking ship already"), but it would probably still not be as easy as it sounds now.

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A fairly frequent question I get is "Why Picard? I get it, he's a great guy - but why him?"

First of all: I answer this question quite literally, because to me it means what it says - "why do you love this person?", and not "why do you like Picard, of all people?"

I have never believed in the concept of a soulmate - it's a much too romantic idea for my taste - and yet it's the closest analogy I can think of when I'm asked to describe the reasons for my love for Jean-Luc. He completes me in ways I never thought anyone could complete me, and the foundation of it all is the fact that we have a lot of things in common, despite our difference in age and/or universe:

We both grew up in a small European village - in fact, our home villages are only 3 and a half hours apart by car since I grew up (and still live) on the German side of the French/German border. I'm very familiar with French traditions, food, and culture - some French expressions even found their way into my local dialect (my French is somewhat rusty, but it's there). France has always been close to me in more than one way, and therefore it seems very fitting for me to have fallen in love with a proud Frenchman like Jean-Luc.

It doesn't stop at heritage, however: Jean-Luc and I both spent a lot of time on a vineyard when we were kids, we both play the piano and the flute/recorder, we both love philosophy (I studied it, in fact), history (I also studied that), and my love for paleontology is somewhat mirrored by his love for archeology. We both prefer books over PADDs, we are both introverts... and so on, and so on; the list is too long to write down.

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The weirdest thing about the day on which I went to see Star Trek: Nemesis is how clearly I remember the moment that changed everything.

I remember sitting in that movie theater wearing my TNG captain's uniform shirt (I can act like a Trekkie if I choose to), excited for the movie that had just started with the assassination of the Romulan Senate, and then the scenery changed into Jean-Luc's face that filled the huge theater screen.

And time suddenly stood still.

The emotions I had bottled up so carefully washed over me as I sat there, staring at Jean-Luc's face, realizing that, somehow, this quiet and adorable nerd had sneaked into my heart with his gray-green eyes, his shy smile and that ridiculously cute gap between his front teeth, and his nostrils that weren't the same size, and... oh, those details, I had noticed them all but hadn't wanted to face just why I had done so.

I was in love with him - no, had been in love with him for months without wanting to admit it to either myself or others.

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March 2013

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