• Daniélle Awogbemi

F*ck A Fandom: Why I'm a Fan Squad of One

Updated: Jul 25, 2018



You will NEVER find me on a post, forum, or fan page. Thank, but no thanks, I get enough shitty treatment in retail. Why the hell would I add to it by frequenting a fan page?


Some may know--and some may not--that being a black person in society is hard. The stigmas are stifling, the stereotypes are infuriating, and the underestimation of intelligence is nothing short of goddamned astounding.


To be black is to be hated while simultaneously being imitated. To have the entirety of your being critiqued to ruin, while seeing replicas of your originality lauded on high.


It is, without a doubt, one of the most exhausting existences one can have.


And online, it's no different. The internet mimics everyday life, but it's also much more ruthless. Under the guise of anonymity and a sense of security stemming from it, people often unleash the worst of themselves online.


So imagine a giant gaggle of racists with time on their hands, a series/anime that they love, and a lot of whoooooole lot of shitty things to say. Doesn't make for a fun environment for any POC or woman, much less a black person, because those are two main demographics that The Cheeto Dust Clan tend to target on forums and fan pages.


Now imagine being both the black AND a woman. The disrespect comes almost instantly. It's a blitzkrieg of the worst kind because here you are enjoying being part of a community that loves the same thing that you do, and BAM--that's ruined thanks to your friendly neighborhood A-holes. For lack of a more accurate phrase, it. Sucks.


After that, you're left with a sour taste in your mouth and the weird, kind of disturbing knowledge that you like something that a bunch of racists also like--a connection that you damn sure do not want.


Y'all think I'm exaggerating? I'm surely not. I've got a plethora of experiences, but I'll share my most recent one. Up until about two years ago, I belonged to a Star Trek fan group on Facebook. I didn't participate much outside of liking posts, but one day, I decided to answer a post question about my favorite villain in the series.


My pick was one that I knew wouldn't be too common, but there was no way in hell that I could've predicted the scores of degrading, rude, disgusting replies I would get from typing said villain's name. From typing the character's name--ONE F*CKING LETTER--I'd somehow, some way incurred the wrath of over thirty grown-ass, white men.


I was called awful names by a few and had my intelligence insulted by all of them. And if you know anything about me, it's that I cannot STAND when people act like I'm not smart. (My biggest vice is probably that I'm arrogant when it comes to my intelligence. Working on it, y'all...working on it.)


One man even went so far as to message me to tell me that "though [I] spoke well," I was "obviously wrong." He then proceeded to try to get my number because he thought I was "quite pretty." And before anyone asks, my answer to that was *BLOCKKKKKKK.*



The multitude of angry replies confused the hell out of me for two reasons.


1) Why was it that damn serious that I thought that Q was an effective, well-written villain? and 2) Why did these guys choose me to target when my comment wasn't the first or even the last to name Q? There was several other people--none of whom were black or women, BTW--who also said the same thing I'd said, but their comments had no responses, angry or otherwise.


And the most annoying thing? That wasn't the first or last time that I had the same kind of experience with nerd fandoms. Everything made me feel the same cold sense of unwelcoming. Anime, comics, superhero toons, movies, it was all more of the same crap. Even among nerds of color, misogynoir (an intersection of racism and sexism directed specifically at black women) runs wild and free when you least expect it.


Look, I'm not that antisocial. Like most people, I like the feeling of being a part of a community. However, I'll be thrice damned if I'm going to be dealing with racist and/or misogynoir bullsh*t in my down time. Thanks, but no thanks. I deal with quite enough of that nonsense at work.


In the words of the illustrious Frozone: I'm good. I'm good.



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