@danapiccoli alternating fluffy fanfics w/ super angsty ones. Then drink. Rinse & repeat until I need to reconsider my life choices & detox
— Kait Rizzo (@KaitRizzo) May 19, 2013
@danapiccoli Read and/or write fanfic, preferably happy or funny fanfic! Also moral support from Twitter friends.
— Diane Nowlan (@JustTrulySo) May 19, 2013
I talk about fan fiction often in this column, because I think it’s such a vital and creative part of the fandom experience. I think fan fiction is a really constructive and positive way to deal with fan feelings. It’s not about disrespecting the narrative. It’s about continuing your emotional arc. In addition to fanfic, fans come up with the most amazing ways to express themselves. I’ve seen fan art, gifsets, and fan videos that actually brought tears to my eyes. The love and care that goes into any of these creations comes from the heart. You’d be amazed how much better you feel when you channel all those feels into something creative. Make a music mix, cry it out. Bust out your Photoshop skills and create something that will have fellow fans laughing in spite of ourselves.
4. Flail with respect.
Fangirls sometimes get a bad rep because a small percentage of us have a difficult time dealing with their shit. Don’t be one of those fans. Those fans are why we can’t have nice things. While I’m sure that I don’t need to say this to any of you, dear readers, but it’s not OK to threaten to asphyxiate an actress because her character cheated on her wife. You just can’t go around cursing out Shonda Rhimes or Ryan Murphy and expect to be treated like your voice deserves to be heard. Right now, our voices are being heard, and I think we can all agree that we would like it to stay that way. We don’t always get what we want, but as a community of gay fans, we get a chance to be a part of influencing our entertainment. The anonymity of the internet provides people opportunities to act out in ways they would never dream of in their daily life. Rise above fangirls. Flail with purpose and heart.
5. Move on.
Is that an adorable, healthy, functioning lesbian couple in bed, or is the delirium finally setting in?
“How can I move on, Dana?” you say. “I have so much invested in this god forsaken fandom!” I get it. You are talking to a person who likes to pretend Buffy ended after “Once More with Feeling.” The thing is we have a lot to look forward to. New characters and stories that can fill the void, and maybe bring a little joy back into our empty, wounded, fangirl hearts. I for one, plan on falling deeply in love with The Fosters. True Blood is coming back, and with it, vamp lady loving. The Killing is introducing a new, intense lesbian character that is bound to have a lot of depth. Pretty Little Liars is mere weeks away. So take a chance on something new, or at least open yourself to the possibility that being a fangirl can be fun again.
Finally, fangirls, please know you have an ally in me. I am honored to be able to write about the world of fandom and I’m proud to be a fangirl, even in our ugly-cry moments. I invite you to send me your thoughts, your ideas, links to your creations. This column is about you and your world. We will get through the rough times together. As always, flail on fangirl, flail on.
Biweekly, Notes on a Fandom will feature a different fandom-centric topic. Stay tuned to my Twitter (@danapiccoli) and Tumblr for updates. I’ll also be looking for your input to include in future columns. Tweet me your thoughts on what you’d like to see covered with the hashtag #notesfandom, and send me links to your Tumblr.