When I came out in RAworld two years ago, my blogs were only ever meant to be about the object of my
desire dreams. Well, and possibly about my own interest, photography. Being an experienced multiple and serial blogger at that stage, I had sworn to myself that *this time* I would remain anonymous and keep the blog strictly á point. Nothing about myself, my age, my situation in life, my work, my family. That plan didn’t last very long. I blame you! Yes, all of you, my dear friends and readers, who very quickly made my RAblogging a personal experience rather than an anonymous outlet for my fangirling activities. Gradually many virtual friendships developed – from initial cross-commenting on tumblr and on the blogs I was reading, on to behind-the-scenes e-mailing. Many of you I now know by your real names thanks to your parcels and communications for my pocket shrine project. Our dear Mr A continues to be at the centre of my fangirling activities – but he has got strong competition in the shape of the fandom.
A community is described and called by its defining characteristics. We are a “fandom” – by virtue of our shared occupation as fans of Mr A. The word “fan” is controversial in our circle – constant critical (self)analysis and unfavourable outside judgment (of which we have just had another example in the shape of the recent ST article) make it hard for anyone to feel comfortable with the adage. Even our admired Mr A is uncomfortable with the notion of having “fans”. He has coined the moniker “well-wisher”. That title certainly sounds dignified and respectable, but a little bit too
lame tame for *my* taste. But I have learnt during my most recent experience while being a member of this community that it is extremely fitting. Your good wishes have occupied, consoled, comforted and accompanied me during these personally painful and tough last two and a half weeks. You have proven without any doubt that you are more than “fans”, who are simply thrown together by the shared admiration for Mr A. You are an extraordinarily compassionate, warm, considerate, generous and kind group of people. You have become – literally – well-wishers for me. Not in the sense of “fan”, I hasten to point out. I do know my place 😉 But as people who have been wishing me well. You have been true friends, and I feel myself part of a frienddom, not a fandom, because for me the defining characteristic of our community has become the way you conduct yourselves in relation to other community members, not just your interest in Mr A.
Beside the publicly visible number of comments on my WP and tumblr blogs I have received many, many private messages on tumblr and Dreamerfiction, and many, many e-mails. You have written and reblogged blog-posts for me, and you have responded to the suggestion of donating in honour of my dad’s passing. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have been completely overwhelmed by the latter initiative – which was unexpected and beyond anything I have ever experienced. Every word I have received – publicly and privately – has crossed the threshold from virtual to real life because they have touched me. And I thank you for that. You have done more for me than you will ever know!
I long to be home – in my own surroundings, with my books, my music, my shrining utensils. I also long to enjoy the exciting time that the
fandom frienddom is experiencing at the moment, with daily updates on Mr A’s latest stage-door-outfit, the mastery of his acting, and the state of his chest hair ;-). So far I have only cursorily followed any of it – I could not devote my full attention to it, and as we all know, Mr A demands and absorbs his well-wishers’ attention completely, so I didn’t want to botch it 😉 But I have something to look forward to: catching up on all the articles, reviews, photos, and stage-door reports.
In the next few days I will return to work, to my blogs, and I also hope to gradually catch up on all the messages I have been sent, personally and one-by-one. That is the least I can do besides asking the universe to repay your amazing care for me in kind, preferably many times. I still believe in the universe, even though it has taken away my dad way before his time. And I stand by my pronouncement from early January 2014: This year is going to be brilliant. Ok, I’d prefer to delete June 25th 2014 from the calendar for the rest of time, but every other day has proven that 2014 is a fantastic year. Because of you. Thank you!