Gatekeepers and why I'm not a fan

I have a problem with Gatekeepers in geekdom and fandom. Self-appointed guardians of what it means to be a fan. Those who have a personal credo and if you don’t know the answers to the questions or you weren’t there at the beginning then you can’t be a real fan.
I’m quite a sensitive person, I’m a survivor of bullying and I hate us and them mentalities. I understand the need for folks to create their own communities where they create safe spaces and the desire to control that space by building walls around it and pulling up the drawbridge. I am someone who usually ends up outside the castle and from the outside all these coteries, cliques and fandom look mean.
I also struggle with those who can only things their way and who insist others follow their example whether it is right for them or not. Those who create a cult of personality around them to ensure that they get their own way. It is a subtle form of bullying but it is a form of bullying, especially when their own rules are used to put others down.
I avoid these spaces and folks who behave this way – that said you can stumble across these people accidentally and before you know it you are feeling like you have done something unforgivable when all you have done is expressed an opinion.
I think what I’m trying to put forward, rather inelegantly is that there is always a plurality of ways of looking at things and there are no definitive answers when it comes to fandoms. Anything can and indeed will go. Judging people who do not conform to your expectations is not good, snarking about them or their fandom or the way they take part in fandom is just low and if its being done to make themselves feel better, then maybe some time reflecting on this is the best way forward.

Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in Durrey. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her

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