It hasn’t happened and it may still not happen, but I have considered leaving the multiple fandoms that I have been a part of, as well as have grown in. The thought of leaving them makes me sad but lately the thought has become quite real. Fandoms have been such a great part of my life that I am not even sure how I would function outside of any of them and I often wonder how people function without having one. For as long as we have been an existence of beings within this world we have been surrounded by fandoms, even if the word “fandom” itself has seemed relatively new in the past few years, and they have been something that we can’t seem to want to get rid of. Whether it is a sport, a book, a show or movie, even a band, we have found ourselves attaching to them and creating a fan-base. This world of ours would be a little off without these fandoms, it would cease to be exciting.
So why would I want to leave my own if I am quite aware how important they are? Why would I want to leave things that have helped me become who I am, to help me survive in hard times, have opened my eyes to many new possibilities, and have helped me create great friendships within them?
It’s a simple yet complex answer.
The fandoms themselves and the groups of the wonderful nerdy things they have been based off of have not made me want to leave. It is actually some of the fans the reside within them that have made me consider leaving. These fans make me want to drop every last thing that I love because they have caused a bit of a bad name for the shared things that we love. They make me want to pack up my merch; put my books, movies, and video games into storage; and become such a dull person. *shutter* Even the thought of putting all that away makes me upset and that I have let these people, that I don’t even know, get to me.
Honestly, all fans have good intentions with the things that they do and say within the fandom. Unfortunately, this can become quite problematic because of the things they say or do. Whatever it is, it ends up almost becoming a generalization for all fans and I really don’t appreciate that. And you may think I am crazy or too sensitive for saying or thinking that but hear me out. Think of a time you have been with a group of people, maybe some friends, and you all are having a great time. But there is someone within this group that says or does something really off color and it embarrasses you. You become afraid that those around you and this group of people are all like that because they have no idea how you think or function. And you’ll probably never get that chance to explain to them that you aren’t like that person in your group or maybe you don’t want to, but that little stain is still on you. In a way, it is like guilty by association but it is also like group embarrassment. It isn’t a feeling that anyone enjoys and it is such a terrible feeling when you have anxiety.
I’m going to give some examples of the things that have made me feel this way within a fandom and have caused me to recently consider to pack up my nerd life:
Recently Doctor Strange came out and Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the Dr. Stephen Strange. I had been waiting for about a year and half for this movie to finally premier, constantly grabbing at anything that was released about the movie so that I could get even more excited. Everything about this superhero appealed to me. So, when the time finally came around for the big countdown in the past couple of months, there was a lot trending on the movie. Everything was running smoothly but then one day I saw something on one of the lighter/darker parts of the internet -Tumblr- that caused me to lose my mind. I read that so many people were going to boycott this movie because they were white-washing the cast, which is a bit typical for Hollywood. Now, I stepped lightly around this until I could do my own research on the matter but a lot of people were angry at Benedict Cumberbatch for that matter. *heavy sigh* Here’s the thing that people have not learned from John Green: HE IS NOT THE CASTING DIRECTOR; THIS IS NOT HIS FAULT. Cumberbatch has little to no say to the matters of casting, so don’t take the idea of white-washing out on him. And let me tell you a thing, that cast is pretty diverse. I watched the movie and was so impressed that I think it is insane that people would not go see it. Biased? Yeah, maybe a little but also not at all. Admittedly people would be up in arms about the fact that the Ancient One is a white person but they are also a woman. In the origin story of this comic arc, the Ancient One is a Himalayan man…a freaking man. And just like most superhero movies do, they create a little bit of their own origin story. So even though it could be argued that they “weren’t” diverse, Marvel did a pretty great job with casting a great range of actors.
Next one: There is a wonderful K-Pop group called BTS that I have recently majorly gotten into. I cannot express how great and inspiring these boys are; they seriously make me so proud and feel so alive. The fandom has been an interesting one to be a part of but as always, there has been a few sets of people that have come to almost ruin the good time for everyone. Recently, BTS has made a huge comeback along with a few other groups and they have been a part of a few competitions (that you have won most of). There is a voting competition of some awards going on right now and it is causing quite a fan war moment and I cannot stand it. They have gone at each other’s throats, bashing the K-Pop groups, and doing everything they can to tear each other down. This isn’t just not tolerated by the fans with some sense of reasonability, but the groups do not approve of it either. It has seemed to come to the point that they are a little irritated and even hurt by the actions of their fans. Everyone is here and creating to have a good time, to uplift one another, and to inspire, not destroy. And this kind of bashing behavior can cause the groups to not be able to be considered for these awards and competitions again. See, now that is just ruining it for everyone. Take a step back, chill, and support one another as well as respect the other groups of fans and the K-Pop groups themselves.
These are just two instances lately that have seriously bothered me because they dig up the memories of past times that similar situations have occurred. I’ve been quite upset with the Trenchers (Marianas’ Trench fandom) because they were getting angry with the band for not playing very personal songs that they had written. These fans wanted the members to go through nightly depression and anxiety just so that they could listen to the songs live. Unacceptable. In the past I have gotten upset with the Sherlockians because they were angry that Johnlock was not going to happen within the show, thus accusing Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat being homophobic. Newsflash Sherlockians: Johnlock is not cannon thus meaning since it wasn’t in the books, it will more than likely not be in the show, and Gatiss is homosexual so you may want to rethink your insults.
Honestly, I could go on forever about the irksome happenings from crazy fans that have made me want to punch the fandom into oblivion. Should I let these things get to me as much as they do? No, I probably shouldn’t but when they happen within a “world” that you have grown to love and be loved in and to love the reasons why they were created, it is hard to let it go. I’ve turned my cheek several thousand times and gone on my merry way, but after a while it just builds up. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do about the few bad apples that can inevitably ruin all the fun or stain the image. I could stand up against them, confronting them about their wrong doings but in a way, that just causes more problems than needed. Instead I will lead by example and show that not all fans are insane.
I won’t leave these many fandoms that I am in now, although I have left one already -sorry Harry Potter, it was real but your crazy fans got too much for me. I will continue to turn away and seethe in silence. My love won’t waiver and I’ll continue to grow within them; learning more about myself, the expansive “worlds,” and making new memories.
It will never be easy but in the end, it will have been worth the adventures. I just hope that all the fans will take a step back, chill, and think reasonably before they decide to try to tear down these fandoms.
So do what you can to not push people out of the fandoms, after all we are all here to have a good time.