As you might have deduced from my blog so far, I am pretty fandom-oriented. I have always been a fan of something and for all their faults and mine, my family has never really stopped me from loving things that I loved. It is possible that they never quite understood what I actually loved and that worked to my benefit so I am taking it as a win. I used to feel like the odd duck in a family that loved academia more than anything, that wanted to just live their life to a set pattern that their parents had set for themselves. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with wanting that but when you don’t want the same things as others in your family, it creates a kind of distance that cannot be bridged.
So, I fell into fan spaces far more easily than would have happened otherwise. From exploring western music to reading voraciously about genres that others in my family could not imagine liking, it’s been a wild journey. I have only brought my sister along with me so far. I have always been a fan of something or other and it’s only made my life better. So, I find it very silly to corrupt that experience of joy when people go out of their ways to belittle people for enjoying things.
I guess you might be wondering why I am talking about it now. Well, a couple of reasons for that. The first one is, I never really fit into my family because I never felt that I was an intellectual equal because I wasn’t academically successful or even had a career that was traditional in a sense. Another one is, well, for a family that is so academia (mind you, being Asian they were all for sciences) obsessed, me reading any literature felt like I was downgrading myself. They truly cannot imagine why I would read as obsessively as I do even now. Even my father, at times, wants to know why I bought so many books when I am probably never going to read them again. He’s happily ignorant about how many times I have re-read my favourite books. The third reason is a bit more recent. I have always liked music of all kinds, so when I ventured into K-pop, I never thought how it might create an opportunity for some of my same-age cousins to mock the genre itself because they don’t understand it nor are they interested in learning. Of course, a little bit of xenophobia that is so casual in my country also gets its moment to shine.
I guess what I really want to say is that something keeps opening my eyes to the fact that there are so many in my family and friends who are steeped in this prejudice and xenophobia and will happily remain that way in their ignorance. For someone who’s forever curious about things, it’s very hard to relate to those people. It sometimes feels incredibly alienating. There’s just my sister and one of my cousins who are always open about things. I think what I wanted to know is whether you have also faced the same thing in one form or other? I have become fairly intolerant of people who close themselves off deliberately and I am not sure if that’s a good thing or not. What do you think?
I am aware that this is a rambling mess but I am trying to get back into blogging, very slowly. So, please, bear with me while I get my bearings.