Since starting this blog I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what a fandom is. I realized recently that the word is a combination of “fan” and “kingdom.” This made sense, and I probably should have realized it sooner, but it’s one of those words I’ve just always used without stopping to think about where it came from. Like never (not ever) and studying (student dying).
So a fandom is a kingdom, or group, of fans all united in their love of one thing, be it a sport, movie, TV show, singer, book, or other interest. I started this blog under premise that fiction can be integrated with faith, and that fandoms are just large groups of people who enjoy fiction. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that fandoms are much more than that. They’re a community. They provide a common interest that people can unite around in order to socialize. Socialization is a core human need, and as an introvert I find it difficult to engage in social interaction. My fandoms provide a community of people I can interact with who all have a common interest and who I’m generally much more comfortable talking to. In many cases, the conversation then spreads from there. I’ve seen many examples of people who found each other through fandoms becoming good friends, or even of total strangers whose only commonality is their love of a TV show supporting each other through issues like depression or anxiety. A fandom is a community, and a community is support.
Lastly, I’ve been tossing around the idea that a fandom is power. Wherever you have a group of people united together you have the power to make positive change. Fans have banded together to get canceled shows back on the air. If we have the power to do that, what else could we do? Maybe we could change the world.