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5 Fandom Friday: Gateway Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am Today

This week’s 5 Fandom Friday: Gateway Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am Today.

Over the past 10-15 years, I’ve gone through a metamorphosis.
I’ve changed from a weird, awkward preteen to a weird, awkward adult (who’s way more at peace with herself with a better sense of style).

I’ve gone back and forth between hiding what I like and being proud of what I’m into. Life is weird. I’ve settled at mostly being proud (although that Yaoi phase was a real kicker, ha).

But, to get to who I am today, here are 5 Fandoms that made me into who I am today.

1). Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a big gateway fandom for me, mostly because I started so young, and that’s what geared me towards my fantasy and scifi book preferences today.
I was 9 or 10 (maybe even 11) when the first book came out, so it felt like I was reading about kids just like me. Especially Hermione, as I was a weird-toothed, bushy haired, nerdy girl myself.Plus, the books came out as I aged with them, so it felt like I grew up with the characters. It needed up being a really important part of my life. My mom would drive me to the bookstores for the midnight releases (one year, we discovered that going two towns over, to the tiny Walmart, was the best way to buy it without waiting in line). I think my technical first cosplay was actually as Hermione- I dressed as her when I was 17 to go to a Harry Potter release party with my friends! We even played ‘quidditch’ in the back yard (i.e., we tied hoops to the trees, ran around the yard with brooms between our legs, and tried to throw balls in the hoops).Good times. That’s a gateway I don’t regret crossing through.

2). Goosebumps

Does this count as a fandom? Because it definitely should. Goosebumps books were the things as a kid that made me get into creepy things and horror (although reading them now shows me that they seriously aren’t scary). But, those stories helped me learn that I had fun being ‘artificially scared’- like going to haunted houses, watching horror movies, and reading spooky books. Without Goosebumps (and their dozens of super interesting books for kids), I really doubt that would be a part of my identity now (which coincidentally would change my entire friend group)!

3). Star Trek

I didn’t get into Star Trek until a little bit later, developmentally- and I’ll be the first to admit that I originally watched it as a gag. I thought young Shatner was super cute, and I loved things that poked fun at his acting style. But then, a few episodes in, it suddenly became very, very important to me. I loved the diversity of the cast (especially considering the age of the show), and I’ve always been IN LOVE with space. So, if you piece together amazing people having fun and adventures in deep space, you’ve pegged my dream genre. I started with TOS, but as things have moved on, I’m even really digging the new reboot, honestly. I even have a Leonard Nimoy Spock plushie, and a Kirk plushie that a great friend won for me from a machine! I also met William Shatner for my birthday this year!!! (How did I not start with that????)

4). “Adult Animation”

Honestly, I think all animation is ‘adult animation,’ but what I actually mean here is animated series with adults as their specific audience. Flat out, I NEED to mention Futurama, and I also really like Bob’s Burgers. I won’t lie, I started with the genre back when I was 9-10, watching Family Guy, then American Dad, etc. But the two that I love the most, and will never tire of are Futurama and now, more recently, Bob’s Burgers. Futurama fit in with my love for space, craving to know what the future was like, and my need for humor. One of the best parts to me is that they”re mostly just regular people in the future. I love it. I still binge watch Futurama and Bob’s burgers all the time. They’re definitely two of my favorite shows ever.

5). Pokemon and Digimon

These used to be real big for me as a kid. My brothers and I used to LOOOOVE Pokemon so much- we’d play a game where we launched ourselves at the couch while yelling out names of Pokemon. Somehow, I almost always yelled “Tauros” – despite him not being my favorite. I just thought it was so funny to charge at the couch, like a bull, and yell it out. I also remember my sister waking me up on weekends, asking if I watched to watch Digimon down in her room, in the early mornings. It was very special for me, since my sister is 10 years older. I had this cool teenager that I looked up to, with a private room on the other side of the house, waking me up to watch a cartoon she knew I liked. It’s a good memory for me. The Digimon movie ended up being my favorite for YEARS. I saw it in theaters at a big point in my life – it was right after my parents divorced, and I was moved three states away. It was something familiar in a new places, and I clung to it. I loved it so much. I STILL love the Digimon movie to the moon and back. The Pokemon movies are also always fun, and I still have some old cards and my Pikachu slippers!

Those are 5 ‘Fandoms’ that have essentially shaped who I am now. I’m sure there will be more in the future- but right now, these all were (and most still are) very important to me.

What about you? TELL ME. I NEED TO KNOW.

Learn about 5 Fandom Fridays Here!

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