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Day 15

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Dear fandom,

You’ve brought me more than I could ever really enumerate here. I mean, it was because I went to Azkatraz, a Potter con in 2009, that I met many of the people who are now close friends in RL. A lot of those people no longer share a fandom with me, but it doesn’t matter.

When I was twenty-one, I slapped my sister in the face and my mum kicked me out. It was November after I graduated and I was unemployed (this was in 2011, described in the papers the day I handed in my dissertation as “the worst time to graduate for thirty years”). So no money, nowhere to go, no help from my parents - unless you count my mum offering to let me leave my laptop with her since it might get stolen in a homeless shelter.

Now in the end I was lucky; my parents agreed to lend me the money for a deposit and first month’s rent, to get a room. I’ve even moved back with my parents for brief periods between homes or jobs since. But that was a horrible, scary time - my parents hadn’t promised help of any kind and I didn’t have any savings and I spent a month homeless. But I didn’t have to go to a shelter (or stay on the streets if none had an empty bed, which is far from unlikely in London).

That’s because of fandomers. I emailed a bunch of people in a panic, and then couldn’t see my emails for hours (this was years before I owned a smartphone). When I could see the email again, a massive thread had appeared with people worrying about me, people offering money (and most of us were broke) and places to stay. I spent the month couchsurfing among fans. I stayed with best friends, with good friends, with people who didn’t know me that well at that point but were just kind, generous people who wanted to help one of their own.

You guys really don’t know how much that meant to me. My parents have lent me money a couple of times since, for planes to new jobs and that - I’m middle class and I have something of a safety net. But… well, I don’t want to go to my parents; they make it hard, and I can’t rely on them in ways I might otherwise. And money and shelter-related disasters aren’t the only sorts that can befall a person. The sense of safety from knowing that I have friends - a community - behind me, that if I’m really in trouble I will be okay because these people will help, is just. Indescribably helpful and comforting. ♥ ♥ ♥

Fandom really gives me a sense of hope for the world. It occasionally drives me mad, of course. I feel like UGH noises are a big part of my conversational repertoire when discussing recent happenings with my mates :) But that’s part of what happens in a community, and I really do think communities are vital.

Fandom is made up of people who, to quote the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] sistermagpie, “by definition… care more than the average person”. We don’t give in to apathy or cynicism, we create and rage and commune with each other. We quietly read and give kudos. Even the ships - okay, I don’t want this to sound like I think hateshippers are better people or something because I don’t think that at ALL. But antagonistic ships tend to be super popular in almost every fandom, and that makes me think of something I saw on [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets literal years ago but has stayed with me. Paraphrased: enemy ships might be dismissed as OOC and dumb, and maybe they are sometimes; but the fact that they’re so popular gives me hope that people will choose love over hate. People really, passionately want love to win.

I’ve just been renewing my efforts to reply to comments, and dig my LJ inbox from under the avalanche of love meme comments it’s still suffering under :D Which just reminds me how much love there is in fandom. Even as I’m thinking of people I should’ve mentioned or threads I should’ve added to - it’s over a thousand comments of people telling each other how much they love each other. Of doing their best for each other. There’s no possible gain or reward but renewing the bonds between us.

I love you all ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2/2/17 02:20 pm (UTC)
drinkingcocoa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drinkingcocoa
I didn't know that. Wow. Parents.

And in a different way, wow. Fandom.

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