Fans are generally nerds. They’re people who are more thoughtful than your average person and also a little more devoted. They’re people who can obsess over things, and really get into the minutiae, and who may also be more likely to step into a fantasy world.
They spend more time at their computers, more time reading books, more time imagining. I think genre and fantasy shows like Supernatural appeal to these people, and I think that disproportionately, those are also people who are seeking greater community in their lives. I’ve met a lot of people in fandom who for one reason or another have felt like they don’t totally fit in to normal society. For them, this fandom has served as a conduit to finding one another—it has helped them forge community. And I think, in a nutshell, that feeling of community is what makes fandom so powerful.
I did a global scavenger hunt for the past two years called GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen). At every convention since, at least a half-dozen people have come up to me and said something, sometimes (no joke) with tears welling in their eyes, about how transformative the experience was for them. Their best friends are now people they met on their team, or their roommates are people they met on their team, or they were agoraphobic and hadn’t left the house for years and now a curtain has been lifted. I met a woman who had not been out of her house in three years before participating in GISHWHES. She was trembling and crying; it had been a major breakthrough for her. When I hear things like that, I can’t help tearing up myself. It makes this job that I have lucked into so much more fulfilling. For some people, fandom is an essential and powerful force in their lives. For others, fandom serves as a whimsical little romp or an erotic fantasy or a writing workshop. For me, Sera Gamble was right – fandom has changed my life.
—Misha Collins, “Life Changing: Supernatural and the Power of Fandom.” In Fan Phenomenon: Supernatural, edited by Lynn Zubernis & Katherine Larsen (Intellect Books, 2014). (via violue)
(Source: press.uchicago.edu, via heyheyassbutt)