Notes on a Fandom is a column dedicated to lesbian/bi fandom in its various incarnations. It also feature thoughts and comments from you, the fans. Follow @DanaPiccoli on Twitter and Tumblr to keep up with the latest topics and questions.
It’s been a rough road lately for fangirls. In just the last few months, Brittana broke up, Bomb Girls was cancelled, Doccubus is on the rocks-ubus, Arizona cheated death then cheated on Callie, and Joss Whedon killed off Tara. Wait, sorry, that was 12 years ago. A fangirl’s memory is long, Joss. Long and vivid.
Anyway, to say that a case of the Fangirl Blues is going around is an understatement. I spend a lot of time reading your tweets and Tumblr pages, trying to get a real sense the emotional fallout of being a fan. As a fan myself, I have my own personal perspective, and I’d like to share in the hope that maybe it helps you deal with your feels.
1. Don’t worry about those who say, “It’s not real.”
You know what? Nothing ticks me off more than when people say this. It insults the intelligence of fangirls across the world. Yes, 99.9% of us know that Santana Lopez does not really exist. (This is a damn shame, but I digress.) What are real however, are the feelings that you are experiencing. We don’t watch television or movies just to look at the pretty pictures. We don’t read books and listen to music only because it fills the time. We do it because it makes us feel. Big, beautiful, scary feelings. So go ahead and feel. Feel like your heart is bursting, and don’t let anyone shame you about it.
Famous gay playwright and feeler of feels, Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” I tend to go with Oscar in this notion. Great art makes us long for something we can hold in our hands. It’s not just about the characters we love. It’s how they remind us of our humanity. Perhaps Paige McCullers made you feel safe to come out, or Callie and Arizona’s struggle helped you open up in your own relationship. Whatever the case, own those feelings. They are deeper and more connected to who you are than you even realize.
2. Talk to your fellow fangirls.
I’ve always thought that lesbians are the fiercest of fans. Millions of teenage girls may disagree with me and flood my inbox with Spoby memes, but hear me out. Lesbian fans are the fiercest because we have the most to lose. We only have a fraction of the characters and storylines that straight audiences do. Also, as lesbians, we get attached easily. Come on, the U-Haul jokes exist for a reason and I’ve got a coupon if you need it. So, use your community of fellow fans on Tumblr and Twitter to talk it out. Now that Twitter has become part of our collective watching experience, there is never a reason to be isolated in your joy and/or anguish.
Think you are alone in your crazy? Nope. Never. Make new friends. Yes, they are real friends even if you never get to meet them in person. Who knows, you may even meet your own Betty McRae while hashtagging away to Save Bomb Girls.