I don't often say this, but this is NOT okay.
I've received many posts and messages today concerning vulnerable members of our community and as I was writing my response, it quickly became apparent that 140 characters was nowhere near sufficient to express all the thoughts that I had.
Being apart of a fandom is a wonderful thing. We find those that share in what we love, those that share in what we hate, and those that share in everything in every which way we never thought possible and in between, and we get to talk about it. In this internet nation, we not only have the right to Freedom of Speech, but we have the support and empowerment to practice it.
Tumblr has become one of those hearths where fandoms gather. A place where we can find a community of people who feel the exact same way that we do and avoid those who don't. For some of us it's where we've found our closest friends. For others, it's where we've found family. It's within these communities that we learn to be vulnerable. We learn to love and be loved and we get to meet people for the first time and feel like we've known them our whole lives. We feel safe. We share our innermost thoughts and pour our hearts out because we feel safe. When that information is exploited with malicious intent, our community is in jeopardy, our friends, our family.
We all have the right to communicate our opinions and ideas to anyone who's willing to receive them. If we choose to hate, we hate with others who hate with us, what we don't do is shove that hate in anyone else's face, let alone the person the hate is directed at. Targeting and attacking someone in a vulnerable position is so far beyond wank, and I have enough faith to believe that 99% of people would not consciously make such attacks.
With all that in mind, it's time to go back to the building blocks of fandom and remember that at its core, is love. We come together because of a love that we share. Hate does not exist in a world without love, we come together to hate because of an alternative that we do love. So the one thing I think we need to come together and avoid is neglect, because enough apathy towards someone can be so much worse than hate.
This fandom has given me a career I never deserved and a life I thought I could only dream of. You better believe it that I hear when the fandom cries. And it hurts.
We've learned to wear our fandoms on our sleeve and be proud, now it's time to remind ourselves that our fandom is the wonderful thing that it is because of the involvement of every single one of its members.
I urge you to be that community that I know you can be. Reach out, show your love, and find support to tackle those tough issues together. We're good at reading subtext, and there's plenty of it when someone's crying out for help.
Nothing worth having comes easy, let me tell you that this is worth it.
Humans are social creatures, lonely is hard to survive.