On Fandom and Community

The Weapon we Have is Love

Sometimes I think about all of the things Fandom has done in my life. The majority of my friends are my friends because of Fandom. One of my best friends and I were introduced to each other by a mutual friend because we “both liked Harry Potter.” Another one of my best friends I met at a Harry Potter convention in Oregon in the hotel lobby. Even more than just friends, many of my role models and idols came from Fandom. Many of the people I strive to be like come from Fandom. I’ve been lucky enough to become a part of an incredible community. A community of acceptance and love. A community of innovation and good-doing. A community of world change.

Recently, the peacefulness of this community was shaken. Some of these idols we looked up to were revealed to have done terrible things to people in our community. It hurt us that these role models were not who we thought they were. It hurt us that people in our community were treated terribly. It’s okay to feel hurt. It’s okay to feel betrayed. As the Harry Potter Alliance said in their statement on Tumblr, “Fandom is an act of trust. Admiration is an act of trust. When that trust is violated, it is not your fault.” It is totally okay to take some time to step back and re-evaluate everything that has happened. But don’t think that the community you were a part of has changed or abandoned you. If anything, we have been encouraged to rebuild and grow stronger.

This community will always be there to support and to grow. Now, I would like to quote Maureen Johnson’s statement on the topic, because I could not find a way to word this any better:

“Those of us who have crashed on the rocks – well, we climbed the rocks and built a lighthouse. And we keep the lights on for you, and we will always be here, and the light will remain on no matter how great the storm. And when the storm is over, we will still be here.”

No matter what we have thrown our way, we will always be here. We will always have this bond. We will continue to gather together at conventions and sing about magic and love together. We will continue to share our favorite stories forever.

Above anything and everything else, “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” This is a dark time for our community, but just as Harry and his friends stood together against Voldemort, we must stand together against the bad and together we can prevail and arrive to a brighter day.

The HPA Post is here.

Maureen Johnson’s post is here.

“Being a part of a fandom is a shared responsibility. If fandom is a place that you love and call home – if fandom is your Hogwarts – now is not the time to abandon it. Now is the time to stay and defend it.”

          – The Harry Potter Alliance

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