Gate

Jan. 18th, 2016 09:02 am
kiki_eng: striped mug held by a woman wearing a sleeveless top (Hawaii Five-0) (mug held by Kono)
[personal profile] kiki_eng
[personal profile] readbystarlight asked: "What do you consider your gateway fandoms?"

I didn't start with one fandom, like a fair number of people seem to do; I started multi-fannish, looking for fic with fantasy and sci-fi canons. The ones that pulled me more into the community were Harry Potter and Stargate: Atlantis.

I used to hang out at Fiction Alley a lot, and I still stop in on occasion, actually. I read fic and got sorted and hung out in the games and SCUSA. I wrote my first ficlet in those forums, and then I went on to write a bunch of drabbles, mostly wolfstar, and probably all very angsty or tentative. I read every wolfstar fic in a dedicated archive on slashcity, I think? There was... a lot, but not an insurmountable quantity, evidently. Snupin was a thing, Luna/Neville was also a minor thing, and Oliver/Percy is my, like, to the battle stations ship; Percy and Oliver are married with children in the epilogue and no one can tell me any different, including JK Rowling. It's facts, that's just how it is.

...but, yeah, someone pulled me into SGA fandom, probably during a lull between Harry Potter books sometime after our great hero was extinguished by some drapery, and that was around the same time someone gave me rec lists and I think I coincidentally started reccing (I feel so much less bad for pulling you into random shit like Teen Wolf and Suits now; everything is clearly your fault, starwire.) about then and that was sort of the end for me. I think [community profile] veni_vidi_vids was really important for me, because I think that was the first time anything that I'd made had ever shown up on a list, and there was this sense of involvement and contribution with that.

Honestly, there have been fandoms that have been important to me, but in terms of what brought me into fandom and what has made fandom home for me that's been people, and things that people have done like build message boards and mod drabble challenges and put out a weekly newsletter of recs. Like, fandom is people to me, my gateway to people is people- this is not coherent.

I think that the reason that so many people cite their fannish gateway as being some major fandom isn't just statistical probability - that there were a lot of people in those fandoms period, but that those fandoms had such well-developed communities and cultures that drew people in.

Fandom does a lot of things that are very interesting to me, like, I love the many variations we create of the same story so much, and I have for as long as I can remember. A lot of the things about fandom make it seem like an inevitable path to me, that I was always going to end up here, but I don't know that that's actually the case, like, if I hadn't met starwire when I did I might have stopped reading fic and never become part of the community, never felt that way about fandom. Like, we mostly talked about gate-verse stuff, but I was reading so much Bruce/Dick bat-verse stuff around then, and I think I probably would have ended up going on DnD campaigns with another friend if starwire hadn't been there, and, like, publishing geeky lists in different places. I think I would have ended up in a comic shop arguing with guys about Tim Drake, maybe, instead of where I am.

I think the people that we meet in fandom are so important, and that the relationships that we forge with them, while founded on the shared love of a canon, have less and less to do with that as we go on and are more linked to our shared cultural values in a lot of ways.

It is really, really not any of the canons that have kept me in fandom, but the people I have met there. I think that there are a lot of people that feel that way in fandom, I think that for a lot of us fandom is people. What canon I met someone through can be pretty incidental.

Like, I met [personal profile] calvinahobbes because of Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Bill Watterson, I am pretty sure(?) and that is- what even is that? I feel that is so random and such a strange confluence of things and- we're going to have known each other for five years pretty soon? (I went and looked this up and apparently we were co-organisers of a thing before we talked? ...and then we just started throwing tropes and story ideas at each other in a comment meme? I had totally forgotten that there was a time in my life I was sending reminder e-mails to people for ace manifestos.) So, yeah, fannish community is clearly really important in terms of engagement, and I feel like it is that culture that connects people.

I am not sure that fandom has ever really been about a particular fandom for me, even when I've been obsessively reading through a ship archive or making rec list after rec list about the same pairing or posting comment fic at two in the morning and going about the next day in a character-inspired polyvore-type outfit. I think that the thing that keeps me in fandom is the people I've met there. Harry Potter and SGA were the two fandoms where I started talking to people about fanworks and shipping and things and got drawn into a wider community, but that was never about the canon; I went where there were people, really, or stayed with them.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-01-18 07:39 pm (UTC)
lucifuge5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lucifuge5
Ah, this is such a great post! I like what you said about how people is what solidifies a Fandom for you. That's something that is v., v. true.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-01-19 06:13 am (UTC)
akamine_chan: Created by me; please don't take (Default)
From: [personal profile] akamine_chan
I think that the reason that so many people cite their fannish gateway as being some major fandom isn't just statistical probability - that there were a lot of people in those fandoms period, but that those fandoms had such well-developed communities and cultures that drew people in.

I think this is true. Or older fandoms, where there's a fannish infrastructure that's already been built. When I got into fandom, due South was already on the wane, but there was this huge legacy of communities that made it easy to be a fan.

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