1. The generosity of fandom knows no bounds
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised for charity by fans in most fandoms. Benedict Cumberbatch’s fans raised over £15,040 ($23,000) for the Myeloma (UK) Foundation in his name this year alone. David Tennant fans raised £1,400 (their goal was £500) for the ACCORD Hospice for his birthday. These are just two examples of the good fandoms do in the world.
2. Fandom creates deep friendships
Fandom brings people together with a common interest and often creates lifelong friendships and even marriages. A mutual love of Supernatural may have introduced two people who otherwise would never have met, and friendship grows. Countless stories permeate the web of people who are extremely grateful for the wonderful friends they have made through fandom.
3. Extremely talented artists within every single fandom
Within every fandom there is a subgroup of incredibly talented artists who create true pieces of beauty. Unfortunately, the media often chooses to dig out the… naughtier side of fandom by purposefully embarrassing celebrities with the pornier art. There’s a place for that as well, but look at this piece by artist Alice Zhang. The BBC loved her work so much they have commissioned her to create official artwork for Sherlock and Doctor Who.
4. Fandom broadens horizons
One of the best things about fandom is its ability to broaden a person’s interests. Through the discovery of an actor’s filmography, we see films we might not have heard of otherwise - in my case, being a fan of Cumberbatch introduced me to the heartbreaking, beautiful film Third Star, something I never would have seen and that I now consider one of my top 10 movies. I wouldn’t have heard the beautiful classical music of his best friend James Rhodes. Or figured out that, wow, Sigur Rós is just lovely.
Being a part of a fandom is more than just drooling over pretty pictures or fangirling/boying whenever there is something new. It’s being a part of something. It awakens creativity. It broadens views. It brings people together in a way that unless you are involved in it, you might not understand. And I don’t think the mainstream media understands either. It’s easier to laugh at us and make us seem creepy or weird. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see members of a fandom who are intelligent, who have normal lives with families and friends, who go about those lives like everyone else,but happen to have something else - a hobby, let’s say - that makes them happy, be it an actor or actress, a band, an author, a book or book series.
What is wrong with that?