this is my family (i found it all on my own)

– Radha, II B.Com

 
Fandom is a very wide space, a spectrum of people from all over the world belonging to different races, with different life experiences falling outside the constraint of age.

I found fandom during a very trying period of my life. I’d just read the absolutely terrible, terrible ending of Mark of Athena, a literal cliff-hanger if you will, and I was very lost because it was the first time I’d read a book and the sequel hadn’t been published yet.

 

No one I knew in real life had read the book and no one I knew could speak to me about it. And I needed answers, barring which I needed someone to scream with about all the possible plot lines that could converge in the next book.

 

And so, I googled it. Very millennial, I know.

 

The first thing I saw was burdge-bug’s stunning fanart of the characters in the books. I clicked on it and haven’t turned back since.
Fandom is such a unique space and it’s one of my favourite places in the world.

The thing is though, fandom isn’t really physical, there is no ‘place’ where you can go to visit a fandom. The spaces we’ve carved for ourselves are largely virtual and as such, they still exist because of the people who keep coming back to them.

 

So the conclusion of that long winded sentence, is that fandom is people, not a place.

 

Which really, brings me to the actual reason I started writing this article, the people I’ve met through fandom.

 

I’ve made my best friends through fandom.

 

People whom I know have my back, and will stick with me till the very end. (Do you understand that reference?)

 

Family if you will.

 

See, I’m not very sure exactly which show/book/person said the words I took the title from, but that quote is something that’s stuck with me for a long, long time. The exact words are,

 

This is my family.

I found it all on my own.

It’s little, and broken,

But still good.

Yeah.

Still good.

 

For all of its shortcomings, fandom is inclusive, diverse and welcoming. It’s fun!

 

And to be entirely honest, it’s changed my life.

 

Truth be told, you know what? I worked for this family. I worked for this space, and in the true legacy of the fans who’ve come before me, I carved out this space.

 

Now that I’m writing this, I realise that maybe I’ve done that for someone else.

 

Maybe I gave somebody else hope. Maybe I’ve been a friend.

 

Maybe I made someone else feel like they belonged.

 

I hope that one day, you, whoever you are, get to experience the joy of fandom.

 

And if you already have, why the heck are you reading this instead of fanfiction?

 

Go!

 

Have fun.

 

And tell fandom I say hi.

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