NYCC-BANNER0

Last weekend I attended New York Comic Con 2015 and it was fabulous. There’s something thrilling about being surrounded by hundreds of other geeks and some of the biggest names in the industry. Now, this wasn’t my first convention and it wasn’t even my first time at NYCC. I went four years ago in 2011 with my sister, when she attended school in New York.

Back then NYCC was large but not in the same sense that it is today. I remember buying my tickets a month after they went on sale and still snagging a three day pass. This year the four day passes were sold out after a few hours and nearly all tickets were gone by the end of the day. So, if you were planning on going next year, buy those tickets as soon as possible. The Convention has grown a lot, but to be honest, geek culture has grown a lot. This is clearer than ever when you visit the same convention four years later and see what has changed.

To Whom It May Concern,

Fandom is a means of expression, much like the clothes you choose to wear. Choosing what shows to watch or what books to read is not so different than choosing a new pair of shoes. We each have our own criteria: do we pick them because they’re comfortable? Because they’re attractive? Because everyone else has?

The reason I choose my fandoms, and my shoes, are my own and they are no less valid than yours. 

I write in response to recent events in one particular fandom, but what I say concerns all fandoms: the shaming of fans because of their interests not only contributes to the negative stigma of fan culture, it promotes it. When you tell me that I’m not a “real” fan for not having seen every episode or having read the books or shipping a particular couple, you are perpetuating the idea that to participate in fandom, you have to know the specific combination of elements, the “formula,” that makes you a fan.