Fandom is nuts, yo.

Why do people continue to interact with prejudiced fans when they end up repeatedly hurt by virulent bigotry? I don’t understand why some people subject themselves to abuse. Listen, I’m not saying that one shouldn’t take a clear stand against racism, sexism, homophobia, and more, but shouldn’t those efforts be focused on trying to eliminate those things within the products being created? Arguing with an intolerant fan on a message board won’t help eliminate or reduce bigotry in comics (or video games, or music). It’s only going to cause stress and take an emotional toll. Having a polite and respectful discussion with a creator or editor about what steps he or she can take to eliminate or reduce bigotry in comics and reach new markets? That’s something can work wonders.

Being a fan of comics and video games can get lonely at times, but I’d rather be lonely than deal with intolerant people bashing minority groups on a regular basis. I avoid message boards where those fans are known to congregate. Of course, not all places where fans congregate start out as a bastion of intolerance, but there are often clues to let one know that the environment will soon be taking a turn for the worse.

Has someone started to complain about how his or her right not to be subjected to homosexuality has been violated? One should probably leave. Is someone using the word feminazi in a manner that is not facetious? Yeah, it’s about time to go. Has someone decided to announce that “blacks are the most racist race” and routinely brings up Al Sharpton, gangsta rap, and how unfair it is that “white people can’t say the n-word” even though none of those things have anything to do with the topic at hand? Bounce.

These are just a handful of clues out of many. I may be a little isolated, but I’m a great deal happier not having to deal with bigotry. And those bigoted fans are probably happier not having to interact with me as well.