Now Playing

Nerd Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Introducing "Affinities," our new pictorial study of uniquely Bay Area tribes. This month: The women of BANG (Bay Area Nerd Girls).

Elise Peterson
(1 of 11)

Cassandra Dart
(2 of 11)

Bianna Bates
(3 of 11)

Joanna Marquiz
(4 of 11)

Kenna Shapiro
(5 of 11)

Jessica Johnson
(6 of 11)

Monserrate Galdamez
(7 of 11)

Karina Baylocq
(8 of 11)

Lulu Wu
(9 of 11)

Krista Hauser
(10 of 11)

Lipa Long
(11 of 11)


See all the Affinities here.

Gathering 20 strangers at LOL Cafe for the inaugural meeting of the Bay Area Nerd Girls (BANG) was stressful, says founder Karina Baylocq, but not for the obvious reasons. Comic-Con tickets had gone on sale that day, and “girls were frantically trying to buy tickets on their iPhones.” Baylocq, a 22-year-old interactive media student at the San Francisco Art Institute, launched the online community two years ago as a place for “nerdy girls to meet like-minded lady friends.”

Members gather at least once a month to bask in their shared obsession with sci-fi, anime, comics, board games, computer science, and Japanese cosplay. San Francisco being a sort of Renaissance Florence of nerddom, it should come as no surprise that BANG has exploded since its inception. It now counts as members more than 550 women, most aged 22 to 30, from programmers in hoodies to community organizers in sundresses. “Most of us do wear glasses, though,” says Baylocq.

Find out more at

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of San Francisco.

Have feedback? Email us at
Follow us on Twitter
Follow Lauren Murrow