For the record, since it’s an ongoing source of frustration for me and a lot of other people, I have zero patience for anyone trying to gatekeep whether or not someone is a Real Fan.
So I’m reposting my own personal decision tree on Real Fandom.
Please note the lack of anything like:
- Whether I like your politics
- Whether I personally like the thing you like
- Whether I think you’re an asshole
- Whether I know more about the thing you like than you do
- Whether I’ve been a fan of the thing longer than you have
- Whether you’ve ever been to a convention
- Whether you prefer the movie or the book
- Your gender
- Your age
- Your race
- Your sexual preference
If you and I both like the thing, then guess what – we’re both fans. Yay, us!
And if anyone gives you crap about not being a Real Fan, feel free to show them this Real Fan Certificate, signed by a Real Fan who also happens to be a Real Author. (The “Real Author” argument is another, similar rant, but I’ll save that for another time.)
ETA: Updated with a higher-resolution certificate, for anyone who really wants to print it out 🙂
So, is that clear enough? Can we stop arguing about who gets to be a Real Fan now?