Hey, psst?
Is your imposter syndrome acting up?
Let me tell you a story that might help.

So, it’s known that I’m the founder of BADASS, and it’s well documented how/why I got there, but let me tell you about how I joined the hacking/Infosec community.
So, for a long time, I didn’t have a personal twitter. I used the badass twitter to share information, and once I was comfortable on the platform, shitpost.
After awhile, someone I befriended through that (🧡humanmalware, miss him) told me that I should make a personal acc.
Once I did, I expected to maybe join the feminist community, maybe make friends in the activism world.
I did NOT expect to suddenly have a ton of people in tech/hacking following me, interacting, and making friends.

See, I’m NOT GOOD at tech.
The only things I know how to do are the things I needed to in order to help with BADASS- privacy info, policy, opsec, etc.
I knew OSINT- but I didn’t even know the NAME of it. I thought I was just really good at googling.
I knew steganography (also, not by name) because I was curious and started playing with images. It was part of my BADASS work. I could do very specific things related to work- but I was REALLY uncomfy identifying as a hacker or even a techie.
And suddenly, all these people I’ve befriended are talking about defcon and it looks fun and like a good chance to connect to people who could help fight NCP with me- and a joke turned into a huge fundraiser. and then I get invited to speak in a village. And then on a panel.
And I went, absolutely FUCKING TERRIFIED that I was going to be embarassed as hell, and laughed out of the conference- because I am NOT a techie.
For instance- literally HOURS before I said it on stage, TC corrected my pronunciation of Linux.
And you know what?
It went well.
Better- it was AWESOME.
And yeah- there were a few people that were mad that I hadn’t had the hurdles they experienced to get to do the things I was doing, but that’s their insecurity, not mine.
They still try to gatekeep.
Because I realized something- I didn’t need to be good at tech to be here. That was never my role.
My place was in providing an outside view on sexism in the industry- helping bridge the gap between security and privacy for users, in a way most people couldn’t or werent.
I’m not a college graduate- although I do have a mixology degree from a 3 day class. I can’t code worth shit, I don’t have any legal experience, and I never pretended to be anything else than who I am. Yet I changed policy- both in orgs, and in state legislature.
now, im part of the oldest active hacktivist group (cult of the dead cow), and I’m doing things that I didn’t think I could- part of me is still terrified that I’m going to be called a fraud/laughed out of every building, it hasn’t happened.
I’m still here. Doing things.
So the next time you feel unqualified or like you don’t belong- remember that you are absolutely perfect for your role, whatever you choose it to be. That your unique combination of knowledge and talent is needed, and that you are more qualified than you know.
And remember- knowledge can ALWAYS be gained. Not knowing something- that can change. We are all smart and capable enough to learn, and expand our abilities.
You can follow @medus4_cdc.
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