Don’t be a Drama-Cunt or How to be a Laidback Fangirl

At the moment, everywhere I turn, fandom seems to be filled with drama. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but those of us who’ve been in fandom a long time know i’s nothing new—drama comes and goes in waves.

My approach is to stay out of it; I don’t engage in bullshit, I don’t partake in drama, and I don’t force my opinion on anyone. 

Of course, I don’t always agree with everyone, and sometimes it’s a struggle not to comment, not to get involved; let’s be honest, fandom does attract a lot of… unique individuals. 

But I’m not going to change their minds or personalities, so why waste time or energy being upset or engaging them?

My approach to fandom is a laidback one, and it’s worked for a long time. So, for those of you feeling overwhelmed or fed-up with the drama, let me tell you about another approach to fandom.  

Xenodike presents: How to be a laid-back fangirl — a survival guide. 


Look, fandom drama doesn’t appear out of nowhere; it doesn’t just pop up. We create it. Not them. We

Every time you engage, you’re part of it; you might have the best intentions, you might feel like you’re defending something you love, but you’re still an active participant in the drama. Every time you engage, you invite your “opponent” into your space; you give them a platform, a voice. 

Have you ever tried screaming into a void? Not very satisfying, is it? 

Like fire, fandom drama needs oxygen and fuel to thrive; your emotions are their oxygen, your attention their fule.  

If you hate what they say, why are you boosting them by retweeting their Twitter post, citing their words, and giving their opinion a platform to spread; why not ignore it and let it be swallowed by the Twitter void? 

You don’t have to get smack into the middle of it all; it’s perfectly fine not to jump into shipwars, drama, arguments about canon, plot, or defending your favorite actor, etcetera, etcetera.  

You don’t have to get involved; stay in your lane, do your thing and fuck all the drama. You’re not a bad fangirl or unsportive of your favorite show/actor because you don’t join the arguments or passionately advocate for your ship, kink, or favorite character/actor. 

You don’t have to engage when someone says something you don’t agree with.  

But… But… But… they’re wrong/mean/delusional, etcetera, etcetera. 

Listen, you think they’re stupid and wrong, well, they think you’re stupid and wrong, and no matter how much drama either of you stirs up, you’re not going to change each other’s minds. 

There will always be people willing to fule and fan the drama; with every new generation that enters fandom, a new group of drama-loving cunts comes along. 

Don’t engage, don’t give them attention—they feed on your anger and outrage—mute the fuckers and move on. 


There’s a feeling in fandom right now that “purists” are trying to ruin it for everyone by advocating against kinks and “problematic” pairings. Listen, it’s nothing new. 

Some of you reading this might remember—but a lot of you probably won’t—there was a time when fanfiction was controversial. 

When I entered fandom in the early two-thousands, there were still authors—Anne Rice is the one that comes to mind most clearly—that had lawyers actively search out and make people take down their stories from the internet. Fanfiction was not always accepted or even tolerated by creators, writers, actors, and showrunners the way it is today. 

When we weren’t worried about getting sued or having our stories removed from the internet, we had to fight fandom purists, our crime? Writings slash. Writings slash was like painting a bullseye on your forehead, and we “hid” at LiveJournal, in our corner of fandom. 

The I-don’t-like-it-therefore-it-must-be-morally-reprehensible-and-super-icky-Puritans have always been there, always; it might be a new generation using a different platform, and they might have changed their focus, but it’s the same old attitude.  

Twenty years ago, the pure-punanis advocated against slash, today they’ve hijacked social justice and mental health language to validate what they’re saying, but it’s all bullshit.  

Like the drama-cunts, the pure-punanis live to stir up shit and create issues out of nothing to make themselves feel more important—don’t listen to them. 

Don’t give them attention, and don’t let their words affect you; seventy years ago, these people would be throwing books on a bonfire—fuck them.  


Fandom is full of fans who watch and read every interview and obsessively follow all social media of their favorite actors. 

They buy every piece of merchandise, know the name of every episode, own all the companions, and dissect every single word said at a convention panel, and are generally extremely into it. 

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing—I have a room full of collectibles and my own obsessive streaks—but you don’t have to do all this to be a fan. 

Dear, fangirl, it’s ok not to care so much it hurts. It’s ok if your world isn’t falling apart because a show is ending, and it’s ok if your mental health isn’t tied to the actions of an actor or your favorite fictional character.  

It’s ok if you read an interview and go: “Oh, that’s nice.” 

You don’t have to pick every single word apart and go: “Ahah! I knew it!!! *insert actor name* was seen eating peaches in TWO SEPARATE INSTAGRAM POSTS. Clearly, their marriage is all a SHAM, and they want BUTTSEX ALL DAY LONG!!! 

You don’t have to be obsessed; it’s ok to watch a show, enjoy it, read some fanfic, engage casually in fandom, and then calmly go about your business—you’re still a fan. 


My first fandom love was Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I enjoyed James Marsters immensely in that role; I also thought he was fantastic in Torchwood. I never watched him in Smallville, Dragonball, Hawaii Five-O, Runaways, or any of his other projects, and I don’t listen to his music—I don’t like it.

It’s perfectly fine if you watch everything an actor does, but it’s equally fine if you don’t; it’s ok if you only love an actor in one particular role. 

You’re not unsupportive or a bad fan if you don’t know their entire acting catalog by heart, support their business, buy the merc they’re pushing, read their spouse’s blog, or watch some random movie their production company is backing. 

It’s ok to fall in love with the character, not the actor. 


Sigh, the early days; those blissful, innocent years at the beginning of this millennium, when I believed, really believed, Spike and Angel was my One True Pairing, the only ship I could ever love… I’m laughing just writing this. 

Spike and Angel weren’t even my first OTP; I was shipping people long before I knew the term or entered fandom. 

There are a lot of ships out there, and if the fandom you’re in feels toxic and filled with negativity or just stale and uninspiring, maybe you need a change of scenery. 

There’s so much passion and so much judgment in fandom. You have to be so into it to be a real fangirl. But you don’t. Shop around, girl, let your slutty fangirl eyes wander. What about that ship over there… nice, right?

Like the first love, your first OTP is always special, but it’s ok to fall out of love and find a new one; it’s ok to dabble in other fandoms and, when the time feels right, it’s ok to change fandoms. 


Somewhere around late 2017, I got fed up with the negativity and bullshit that was rampant in my main fandom at that time. There was so much toxic energy, and I got depressed every time I opened Twitter.  

So, I left fandom, and I didn’t go back for over three years. Instead, I read books, started a book blog, began collecting figures and statues, and focused my attention on other things; I was still passionate about stories and characters, only not as part of a fandom. 

If fandom is making you depressed, take a break, or maybe it’s run its course for you. I came back, and I enjoy it again, but on my terms. 

It’s a big world out there, and you don’t owe anyone anything; if fandom isn’t fun for you anymore, it’s ok to leave.  


Fandom is not a chore; it’s not an obligation. It’s somewhere we go to share in our enjoyment and find like-minded people who love the same thing we do.

Fandom is what you make it; curate your own fandom experience.

Whether you’re a lurker, a prolific fanfic writer, or a superfan who writes detailed accounts of every convention, it doesn’t matter; engage and contribute in a way that makes you happy and ignore the rest.   

There are no musts, no right or wrong way to be a part of fandom, 

figure out why you enjoy it and curate an experience that fits that; who knows, maybe your reasons have changed, and you didn’t notice.  

Me, I’ve been in fandom for many reasons, and they continue to shift and change. I’ve done the lurker and the obsessive fanfic reader; I’ve been in it for the porn, then the angst and the fluff. 

For years now, my main reason has been writing; fandom is where I discovered how much I enjoy it and where I love sharing my stories.

That’s why I’m in fandom, and I curate my experience to make sure that’s what I get out of it. 

And, most importantly, I make sure I stay out of it, that I don’t engage, that my contribution to fandom is a positive one. Even when I don’t agree or when I think people are fucking morons, I bite my tongue, go about my business and focus on the things that give me joy. 

(Mostly. I’m not completely immune to stupid.)

More than anything, I’m in fandom for the sense of belonging, for the joy of knowing there are more people like me out there; people who go gaga over Tolkien lore, who’d rather miss a party over an episode of their favorite show, and who fall in love with fictional characters. 

That’s why I’m here; that’s my fandom joy.  

Why are you here?

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