Welcome back to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, have you declared which #ThreeFictionalCharacters best represent you?
There was sadness and dismay this week over the quasi-shutdown of the queer-women-focused media website AfterEllen. Former Editor in Chief Trish Bendix wrote a personal essay / open letter about the site’s changes on her Tumblr, and it was picked up by Advocate. Bendix explains that “Evolve Media purchased AfterEllen from Viacom two years ago. They gave us two fiscal years to become their LGBT property and profit in that space, and they found we are not as profitable as moms and fashion… Evolve has decided to keep the site and its archives alive for now, with a promise of periodically publishing freelance pieces in the future. I am not sure what that will look like.”
Bendix’s post focuses on the personal effect of the changes for both herself and the site’s readers. “I’m overcome with loss, but not just for me, for my community. For every single woman who has ever come up to me, tweeted us, sent us an email or a Facebook message or written a blog post about how much AfterEllen has meant to them at some point in their life, I am grieving this with you. We had so much ahead of us — more than ever before — and I’m sorry there won’t be an opportunity for us to do that work together.”
AfterEllen was quick to make a post stressing that the site will still operate, but many users echoed Bendix’s grief about the loss of the community, as well as the doubt about how much new content the site would have.
Alas, poor Yorick. A queer media site deserves an editor & fresh, informed daily content. AE now has none of that. https://t.co/31GBebR6h3
— Dorothy Snarker (@dorothysnarker) September 21, 2016
In other news, The Learned Fangirl started a new series of meta essays about fandom. The first installment discusses the enjoyment of being a “solitary fan” in a pre-internet world. “There’s a liberating feeling that comes from being a fandom of one. You can take the time to develop your own tastes entirely on your own terms, figuring out what you like and what you don’t like about an artist or media without having to defend yourself to your peers publicly and in real time. You can immerse yourself in something you really love, a particular line from a song, a sentence from a book, a scene in a movie, and have it belong only to you. It’s an admittedly selfish feeling, but it also has a certain kind of purity to it for me, and I still cling to it.”
Have you ever been a big fan of something without participating in its fandom? Tell us about it in the comments! Even better, write about the thing you loved on Fanlore! Additions are welcome from all fans.
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