thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2011-06-16 04:48 pm

[Poll] Sharing the Love

So, recently I've had a few conversations that have indicated to me just how much fandom and the rest of my life are integrated. The first one was at preschool drop-off time a few weeks ago. Ms. Carro, the earthling's main (and much-loved) preschool teacher came up to me and said, "So, this is awkward, but do you keep a blog?"

I said, "Uh, yes," probably with a but I really hope you aren't reading it expression on my face.

She explained to me that at an SCA event that weekend, a friend of a friend had come up and said, "You're Ms. Carro? You must know this kid I read about online! I mean, how many preschool teachers are there named Ms. Carro?" She described the earthling, and Ms. Carro, who could identify all of her students in the dark, with ear plugs in, from fifty feet away, correctly named the earthling.

My reaction to this was an instinctive flinch. But it wasn't because my fannish activities had been exposed to the world; it was because I like people to stay in their boxes. If they start out in the preschool box, I want them to stay there. If they start out in the internet box, I want them to stay there. Box-hopping makes me twitchy.

Then we had dinner out with my sister and her family, at which we learned that:
  1. My sister and her older son, Z, had read my Doctor Who x Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video (the true sign of a Yuletide fandom - there's no easy way to describe it, let alone a convenient acronym) Yuletide story.
  2. To prepare themselves, they watched the Lady Gaga video. (Of course they needed no additional Doctor Who background; in retrospect, I should have asked my sister for a canon beta for that story. She could have provided it for basically any Doctor you care to name. It's ironic, really, that I am the person in the family who has written DW fan fiction.)
  3. My sister's younger son, A, came into the room while they were watching the video, and was stricken immediately with a severe case of Lady Gaga love. He has now watched far more of her videos than I have (although my sister, ever appropriate, nixed Alejandro as perhaps a little too explicit for the pre-teen set, which was amusing to me since I had to really think to remember the bits she thought were too much for A), and is deep in the throes of early fannishness.
My sister blames me for turning her younger son into a Lady Gaga fan. I hold that I am blameless, because it is not like she had to watch that video. (Actual feedback from Z: "I didn't understand the video at all until I read your story." I have a hard time believing he understands the video now, since it makes no sense. But I guess for Z all things make sense through the lens of Doctor Who.) No one was making her! Also, she should know by now that A has a gift for sensing when people are consuming media they would rather not share with him. She should have sent him outside, ideally to a distant city, before pressing play. In short: HER FAULT. Not mine.

But after I had worked out exactly how I was not at all to blame, I started to consider this. I mean, I got feedback from family members on both my stories from last Yuletide. (My mother gave me feedback on the other story, based on Evanescence's Call Me When You're Sober video. This year, at signup time, someone please tell me not to sign up for so many video fandoms, okay? Please?) My son's preschool teacher apparently hangs out with someone who knows someone who reads my LJ or DW and is on the earthling filter, which stretches credibility, but there you go.

My fannish life is inextricable from my real life, is my point. My friends know! My family knows! Apparently now the preschool people do, too! So my question is: how are things in your life? Do you talk about fan fiction at the dinner table? Can you imagine no more horrible fate?

Obviously, there is a poll; the last time I did a poll like this, it was in 2004, so I'm curious to see how things have changed. Also, of course, feel free to tell stories in the comments. (And even if you are totally unfannish, please answer the last question. This has been a topic of debate in my household!)

Poll #7287 Openness
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 655

Who knows you're in fandom?

View Answers

My significant other(s).
306 (47.2%)

My parent(s).
314 (48.5%)

My sibling(s).
312 (48.1%)

My child(ren).
60 (9.3%)

More distant relative(s).
77 (11.9%)

544 (84.0%)

People I work with or know in a professional capacity.
158 (24.4%)

117 (18.1%)

People I know from other hobbies or interests.
160 (24.7%)

People I know from my religious activities.
37 (5.7%)

Everyone. Everyone knows.
40 (6.2%)

No one knows.
38 (5.9%)

I'm not in fandom.
3 (0.5%)

Who do you really NOT want to know you're in fandom?

View Answers

My significant other(s).
14 (2.3%)

My parent(s).
195 (32.5%)

My sibling(s).
64 (10.7%)

My child(ren).
12 (2.0%)

More distant relative(s).
209 (34.8%)

30 (5.0%)

People I work with or know in a professional capacity.
374 (62.3%)

135 (22.5%)

People I know from other hobbies or interests.
67 (11.2%)

People I know from my religious activities.
69 (11.5%)

Everyone. I don't want ANY non-fannish people to know.
80 (13.3%)

No one. Anyone who wants to know is welcome to.
118 (19.7%)

I'm not in fandom; there's nothing to know.
1 (0.2%)

What percentage of your non-fannish circle knows about your fannish pursuits?

View Answers
Mean: 36.26 Median: 30 Std. Dev 28.85
067 (10.7%)
10148 (23.7%)
2072 (11.5%)
3065 (10.4%)
4041 (6.6%)
5054 (8.6%)
6034 (5.4%)
7059 (9.4%)
8046 (7.4%)
9030 (4.8%)
1009 (1.4%)

You're getting to know someone. The question of hobbies comes up.

View Answers

I tell. "Fandom. I [write fan fiction/create fan art/make vids/consume a lot of works where Harry Potter tops Methos/make erotic stained-glass window depictions of Jim and Blair fucking/etc.], and it's totally awesome."
52 (8.2%)

I say something that another fan would get, but someone clueless would probably not. "Uh, well, I'm really into these TV shows, the Sentinel and due South. Ever heard of them?"
185 (29.0%)

I say something inclusive of the fannish aspects of my life, but blandify it. "I read/write/draw/make videos/put song mixes together/etc."
291 (45.6%)

I only talk about other hobbies. "Gardening! Photography! The life cycle of snails!"
97 (15.2%)

I cannot imagine being in circumstances where this would come up.
13 (2.0%)

If you've told someone from your non-fannish life about your fannish activities, how did it go? (Obviously, if you've told more than one person, check all that apply.)

View Answers

Really well.
202 (32.3%)

Fairly well.
334 (53.4%)

290 (46.3%)

Not that well.
68 (10.9%)

It was a fucking disaster. I can still feel the place in cold weather.
27 (4.3%)

I haven't told anyone.
63 (10.1%)

A QUESTION OF KEY IMPORTANCE. Which job title would you rather have?

View Answers

International Rectifier.
176 (27.3%)

Vice President of Cake.
469 (72.7%)

musesfool: text icon: Gryffindor: We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty. (we have done the impossible)

[personal profile] musesfool 2011-06-17 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
It's not so much that I care about my work acquaintances know about fandom as that I don't want them to know how much fannish stuff I do on work time.

So I went with the "online writers group" cover story.

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[personal profile] umbo 2011-06-17 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, so my parents SORT OF know I'm in fandom? I've talked vaguely about writing fanfic and that sort of thing, but they have NO IDEA what that actually entails. As in, they have no clue about the explicit (often gay) sex. AND I DEFINITELY WANT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.

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[personal profile] lomedet 2011-06-17 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
So, my cousin is fannish in very different ways than me, and we had each other friended on LJ (still do, actually). She has very different boundaries with her parents than I do, which led to my aunt leaving a surprise!comment on my journal lo these many years ago. We have each other friended there, but I tend to live in denial of this fact. She is not on dreamwidth, which is one of the reasons why I post more (and more locked) here.

Then I got a real-name LJ for travelling, and my dad set one up, too. I would be very surprised if chats with his sister hadn't led him to my fannish LJ at some point, but we never, ever talk about it.

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[personal profile] calathea 2011-06-17 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
More than anything I am afraid of my parents finding out. I know they would enact scenes of disapproval and sorrow and possibly, given the slash element and certain opinions my dad has, disgust. I am fully aware that at 35 I should probably care rather less about their opinions than I do, but as it stands I will probably always hide it from them. At the moment they hate how I spend my leisure time without knowing precisely what I am doing, and that is quite bad enough. (I was about to write that I don't know what they think I should do with my time instead, except I do know: my mother thinks I should be taking care of a husband and children, and since I don't have them any I should spend every free moment trying to fix that.)

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labellementeuse: in the foreground a silhouette of a Dalek; in the distance River Song, framed in a doorway. (dw river is epic)

[personal profile] labellementeuse 2011-06-17 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
I said 60% of my social circle knows, but of the people I'm voluntarily social with (i.e. people to whom I am not related and with whom I do not work), it's more like 100%, because I just kind of try not to have non-fannish friends! I mean, why bother?

My sister and I live together and our conversation is increasingly about fandom, although mostly it's about me being a bitter fandom hag (which I'm not, but in comparison to her I am!) and criticising her tastes in Harry Potter pairings.

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flugantamuso: (Default)

[personal profile] flugantamuso 2011-06-17 12:15 am (UTC)(link)
My mother caught me reading explicit fanfiction about 10 years ago and it scarred me for life.

She has problems with depression, so I've always been leery of upsetting her, and she's a strong religious conservative, which means that I'm probably lucky I didn't give her a heart attack.

No one's found out about my fannish habits since then and I'll probably never tell anyone.
anoneknewmoose: man with curly hair wearing eyepatch (Default)

[personal profile] anoneknewmoose 2011-06-17 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
I am AWFUL at keeping secrets so I'm sure everyone knows the gist by now. The "secrets" come in how much detail I give people. Everyone knows I went to an HP con and I have internet friends and I'm into bands, but I say that I met them on "message boards" and I definitely don't mention the porn until the topic's been carefully explored.
reflectedeve: Sokka stuck in the ground, looking up at a contented mooselion cub perching on his head. (sheepish - stuck - you win)

[personal profile] reflectedeve 2011-06-17 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
I had what might appear to be a contradictory set of answers, so: one of my parents knows I'm in fandom! My mother read my first-ever baby!fanfic, which I wish she had not, but ... I can talk to her about these things in general, and do. She and her high school friends even co-wrote an epic Star Trek self-insertion story when they were quite a lot younger (which she wisely will not share with me), though they didn't know the terminology or of the existence of zines.

My father, the mildly snobby high school English teacher who doesn't like science fiction and took years to come around re: me writing/drawing comic books of any kind, should probably never find out. You know, for his sake.
Edited 2011-06-17 00:22 (UTC)
fiveforsilver: (Default)

[personal profile] fiveforsilver 2011-06-17 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
I don't write or anything anymore, but I read and discuss. My parents would probably shake their heads and roll their eyes - or try to suss out the psychological reasons behind why we read and write what we do - which is not really a big deal, but I'd still rather they didn't know the details.

I have friends who watch the same shows I watch, but I don't have any friends except my sister who are actually involved in or interested in fandom. Well, a few lj friends, but not anyone I'm really close to at this point.
stasia: (Default)

[personal profile] stasia 2011-06-17 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
Hmmm. I got into fandom whilst married to my ex and, for all that he's a schmuck in many ways, he not only supported me in my fannish, slashy habits, he grew his very own set of slash-goggles and Joined The Club. (There were very good reasons to be with him. They just eventually became outnumbered by the bad ones.)

I haven't told my uncle, but that's more because we don't talk to each other much and I have no idea how to open that conversation.

("So, Morrie, one of the things I do for fun is write explicit gay sex about fictional characters who aren't gay in their respective canons. You're gay and have been single for a while, would you be interested in beta-reading my stories for, erm, hotness?" Yeah, NO. *dies, just thinking about it*)

However, if it came up, I'd talk about it.

Merrie knows, Geordie knows (and is bemused by it, but amused at the same time.). I don't talk about it whilst teaching people knitting, because one really can't tell how strangers will react. Also, most of those people think that I exist only to help them with their knitting, and some of them can barely keep one new fact in their heads, so I don't like to stretch them.

I don't talk about it much on my journal, but that's more because it's, um, not as currently Important to me as, say, clearing out the clutter in the craft room and struggling with my damned inability to lose the weight I'd like to lose. Fandom is simply one part of my life.

I can't think of anyone I wouldn't tell, but I can think of people I just don't bring it up with. I've cheerfully used the Writing Group Cover Story (which isn't exactly un-true - it's just a writing group with a specific bent) to protect a friend from an inquisitive family member. It wasn't the family member's business how we, my friend and I, met. (Well, that and I saw my friend freeze when the family member asked the question, so I jumped in.)

I haven't had my Two Worlds cross over, but I have made several in-person friends from fandom, so I'm pretty open to crossing over. If that doesn't sound too bizarre.

ifreet: Black and white picture of a vaulted library (dream of books)

[personal profile] ifreet 2011-06-17 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
People who know I'm geeky/fannish: Everyone.
People who know I read/write fanfic and watch vids: Parents, sister, pretty much all my friends, and some coworkers.
People who know I read/write slash fanfic: Parents, sister, and not quite as many friends.
People who know my fannish name: Sister, friends who are also fannish in some sense (even if they aren't necessarily into fanworks).
ifreet: Kirk leaning on McCoy  (kirk/mccoy)

[personal profile] ifreet 2011-06-17 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
Actually, the revelation to my parents that I'm into slash fic was predicated by my dad the Trek fan reading an article about the release of the reboot and asking me if I knew about this wild Kirk/Spock slash thing the article mentioned. Nothing like an opening!
fox: my left eye.  "ceci n'est pas une fox." (Default)

[personal profile] fox 2011-06-17 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
I have a hard time with the middle questions. I think it comes down to definitions of "know" as well as "in fandom". I generally don't make a song about what it is we get up to in here, but I do label myself as a bit of a fangirl, for example. And I don't talk about anything sexually explicit with my parents, so the fact that I don't tell them I write explicit fanfic isn't indicative. :-)

[personal profile] gwynevere1 2011-06-17 05:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree about that question being problematic, as was the "hobbies" question. Just *who* is asking about my hobbies? Is it a social situation? Is it one of those "what do you do in your free time" questions during a job interview? My answer would be totally different!

marginaliana: Sam Eagle - "You are all weirdos." (Muppets - You are all weirdos)

[personal profile] marginaliana 2011-06-17 12:35 am (UTC)(link)
I, too, tell my coworkers and new acquaintances that I "write short stories." They are generally not too inclined to ask for more info. And when I've taken time off at work to go to cons, I tell my coworkers it's a "nerd convention" and they leave it at that (so painfully mundane they are).

With my mother I've been more specific about the conventions, but not specific enough to get into the "gay porn!" aspect of it. "Oh, we sit around and talk about, you know, TV shows and stuff. Nerd stuff."

Actually, 'nerd stuff' is a pretty excellent all-purpose term for use with people who are just not the fannish type. If you say 'nerd stuff' to someone and they ask you to be more specific, then you can trust that they probably have heard of fandom before.
pocketmouse: pocketmouse default icon: abstract blue (Default)

[personal profile] pocketmouse 2011-06-17 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
My parents know I'm fannish, and my mom knows I write fic, but they don't know about the slash/porn aspect of it. My sister's a lurker - she used to be more in fandom back in the X-Files' heyday. Some of my coworkers know, because they're fannish too. Which I either find out because they friend me on DW or because they ask me if I know what fanfic is. And then there was the time several of us were coming back from a Great Big Sea concert and mentioned Paul Gross, and someone in the crowd ahead of us stopped, turned around, marched over to us, and did Paul Gross Arms. Most of my friends IRL I met through fandom.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)

[personal profile] wneleh 2011-06-17 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
I'm pretty open - I'd be more open, but nobody really cares - only a few nonfannish people in my life have read my fic, and only when I've made it hard for them not to, and that's kind of depressing. And when I'm playing wanna-be-friends with people, other things are more important - mostly parenting style.

OTOH, a couple of times I've discovered people I know IRL are involved in my fandoms, and then I feel stupid for talking around things with them in the past. So now I try to sound out people who might be fannish. Most people I meet are differently odd, though.

I'd fan under my complete RL identity, but I don't want people who know me only professionally (as in, from papers only) stumbling upon my fic. But I have a pretty common name, so I go back and forth. One thing that keeps me semi-anonymous is the feeling that I shouldn't show off being privileged enough that my fannishness probably couldn't hurt me.

I have similar issues with other aspects of my life: I don't mention my education, for example, around random other mommies; I don't talk about religion/my church unless the topic is unavoidable; I have very strong opinions about breastfeeding, education, discipline (or not), and most people really don't need to hear them; I'm quite open about some issues about my kids IRL and in some on-line forums, but not really around fannish people because their issues are not common in fandom.... There's quite a bit more, actually. I talk/write about a lot of stuff with a lot of people, and some people know everything, but most just don't need/want to.
phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)

[personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist 2011-06-17 12:39 am (UTC)(link)
My life is complicated, enough so that I checked "people I work with in a professional capacity" in both the question about who might know I was in fandom and the one about who I'd rather die than tell about it. This only appears contradictory on the surface; it's different circles/kinds of work, and I make damned sure they never overlap. Compartmentalization, it's practically my religion.

Needless to say, your story leaves me with a pricking of cold dread along all my nerves. It probably won't change anything I do, but maybe it should.
eleveninches: (Default)

[personal profile] eleveninches 2011-06-17 12:49 am (UTC)(link)
My sister's in fandom, so she knows, but not the rest of my family. And my only friends who know are people I've met through fandom. The majority of people in my life, though, don't know, and I'd like to keep it that way.
weesaw: cow wearing heart sunglasses (Default)

[personal profile] weesaw 2011-06-17 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
i actually don't really have non-fannish friends anymore, but at some point in college i had to explain to my best friend that some people wrote stories about harry potter, and a lot of those stories involved him fucking draco malfoy against a wall. her face was pretty priceless! i was definitely more of a normie in college though- crazy about fandom online, but didn't know anyone fannish in real life and spent all my time on more mundane hobbies. now my real life friends are all fannish, so i've found myself using the internet for the more mundane stuff, heh.

my coworkers know i'm weird and have fannish hobbies (they know i go to wizard rock shows and nerd conventions) but i don't actually consider them friends. and actually, while at a completely non-fannish concert (popular indie hipster band, actually), my roommate and i were totally outed when someone else heard us talking about bandom and doctor who and became our friend! i think i'm just lucky to live in such a nerd-friendly city.
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[personal profile] vickita 2011-06-17 12:53 am (UTC)(link)
Everyone. Everyone knows. *g* The only reason I didn't check "children" or "siblings" is because I don't have any of those. And I am invisible to my extended family. (No. Really. It's like I have a super power, but only in one county of southern Oklahoma.)

I don't really care who knows, except for a couple of people that I have had occasion to photograph who... well. Someday I might know these people well enough to cop to it all, but today is not that day. Heh. I don't bring it up with every single person that I meet -- I'm FAR more likely to start chattering away about photography and websites -- but if it comes up in conversation, I don't shy away from it.

The responses I've had have mostly ranged from interest to amusement to "huh?" It was never bad, but I haven't really found any fellow fangirls that way, either.
sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2011-06-17 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
True story: the topic of my being in fandom came up with my boyfriend, who was a "fanworks are inherently inferior" kind of person, and I convinced him of the validity of transformative fanworks in less than 100 words. \o/

I am happy to be out as fannish to just about everybody, although I exercise caution with regards to coworkers, especially my bosses.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)

[personal profile] samvara 2011-06-17 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
I'm pretty relaxed about who knows about my fannish loves, I get into more trouble being a feminist :(

The hardest reveal was my mother although to be fair she wasn't keen on my doing gym or owning a mobile phone either.

[personal profile] adina 2011-06-17 01:01 am (UTC)(link)
My boss doesn't know that I write fan fiction, but mostly because I think it broke his mind that I had formerly worked at a nude resort. After telling people about the nude resort, nothing else registers, in my experience.

One of my coworkers definitely knows, however--we met through Sentinel fandom and I recruited her into the company.
sqbr: calvin and hobbes with a duplicator, Copyright violation: ho! ( not intended to encourage copyright violation) (yay copyright)

[personal profile] sqbr 2011-06-17 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
I'm pretty open about it, but it probably helps that I don't write or draw anything very explicit. Plus pretty much all my friends and a large chunk of my family and past coworkers are nerds of some description anyway :)
james: trees against a cloudy night sky (Default)

[personal profile] james 2011-06-17 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
I want to be Rectifier so I can SMITE PEOPLE. And cake is bad for me (diabetic). If the job were Vice President of Ice Cream, we would have issues with my ability to choose.
gabolange: (sam smiles)

[personal profile] gabolange 2011-06-17 01:07 am (UTC)(link)
My parents know I'm in fandom, in part because they used to have to drive me to Trek conventions and put up with my friends and I chattering away. Now, a decade and more later, my mother is on my flist, and so she knows I write fic and have met (and continue to meet) awesome people in fandom.

I do, however, always tell my father that the fanfic is "good practice" for my original fic. As if I've written original fic in, oh, nine years . . .

As for everybody else, I only ever share if the fannish radar goes off. Which isn't often, but happens now and then. Online writing group does help a lot, though!

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