“You haven’t watched all the movies!”
“You like Star Trek: Enterprise? Really?”
So, my fellow Trekkies, how many times, probably after binge-watching Star Trek, have you visited one of the forums, Twitter or Tumblr and been bombarded with any of these accusations? Despite presenting a wonderful and encouraging message of unity and equality, when joining the Star Trek fandom, sometimes one’s fan status comes under question. It feels as though you must conform, or fit into a certain box. This is not okay.
When I searched the title of this article on the internet, I was surprised by the number of articles with titles such as “Only Real Fans Understand This” and “How to Be a Trekkie” (in twelve easy steps I must add). Each article presented suggestions on how one may improve their fan status and offered readers ways in which they could potentially dampen it. For example, one article in particular suggested that you must have watched every single Star Trek series and movie, that you must join the forums, read the fan fiction, play the video games, collect all the memorabilia and my absolute favourite:
To consider yourself a true Trek fan and not a ‘dabbler’, you must have read some of the books.
Really? A “dabbler”? Anyway…
What amazes me the most about the Star Trek fandom is how numerous fans are put down. For example, if somebody is a fan of the new 2009 movies, then they are not considered a true fan. If they haven’t watched the entire Original series, but have watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, they are not considered a true fan either. And don’t even get me started on those that enjoy Star Trek: Enterprise, because I have received a number of comments about liking it from “real Star Trek fans.”
Truly, the saddest aspect of this is that these supposed “die-hard fans” have obviously completely missed the point of liking Star Trek. The themes of the power of unity, equality, tolerance, determination and passion are echoed throughout every Star Trek series and movie. It encourages individuals to strive for these qualities. Now, not everybody is going to enjoy every single part of the Stark Trek franchise, that’s just life. It doesn’t matter if somebody doesn’t enjoy the technobabble or the Andorians. But to attempt to make somebody uncomfortable or unwelcome in the Star Trek community based on what part of the franchise they enjoy the most is incomprehensible.
So, next time, my fellow Trekkies, no matter what aspect of the Star Trek franchise you enjoy, please don’t bring anyone down simply because they don’t agree with you. Instead, remember what Star Trek is about, and how it brought you all together in the first place. Everybody is different, and thus, they enjoy different things. That doesn’t make them any less or any more of a fan. It instead says more about you as a person if you try to bring them down because of it.
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