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I was online one day a while back and saw a heated debate over the terms “Trekker” and “Trekkie.” Among Star Trek fans there is apparently quite the war going on about what they call themselves, and the distinction between the two terms. There are also “Warsies” and “Star Woidz,” and much like the Trek fans, those who love Star Wars argue over the terms.
The debate among those who choose to call themselves Goth is even worse, since there seem to be at least three types: those who are goth based on music, lifestyle or fashion. Arguments over what a Goth is seem to be some of the most angry of all, and people have entire forums dedicated to tearing apart people who classify themselves in a way that offends the other group.
In the case of fans, the whole argument seems ridiculous. If you’re all fans, why not just be fans and leave it at that? Even the advent of a new term for Doctor Who fans shouldn’t have been a big deal. I think the new generation are calling themselves Dworks or Dweeks or something like that, instead of “Whovians,” but I don’t see how any of it matters. A fan is a fan, and all fans should be more focused on what it is they love and have in common than what they call themselves.
On the Goth front, I honestly have never been able to find a specific origin. It seems that Gothic fashion came before Goth music which came before Goth lifestyle, so if anything, the ones who base it on Victorian clothing style are probably the most “authentic,” but does it really matter? You can either argue over who’s using the term “correctly,” or come up with a new term that is better for your group.
What it all boils down to is people yet again trying to divide themselves. By needing labels and arguing over those labels, they drive themselves further apart. They create more reasons to dislike other people. You’re all people, you’re all into something, just accept it and move on. While you may think that using a label makes you belong, all labels really do is separate you from others and give someone somewhere a reason to not like you.
I happen to be a fan of both Star Trek and Doctor Who, but I rarely label myself outside of joking around. Why? Because it’s good enough for me to just say that I’m a fan. I can interact with other fans and that’s good. If someone doesn’t like me because I refuse to accept a certain label, well, I don’t really want to associate with such a closed-minded person. Labels are trouble, plain and simple.
So do me a favor and quit fighting over labels. If you call yourself a Trekker and someone else calls themselves a Trekkie, just let it go. Embrace your shared fanship and focus on that. Shit, I don’t care if you call yourself a Superkirkatarian, as long as you’re happy. And you Goths? Just stop being so friggin’ fussy. It’s no wonder most of you are so damn depressed. Learn some acceptance of other people and you might make a few friends and be happier.
Oh, and don’t invent or use derogatory terms for people in your fandom. Just because someone shows their love of something in a way that you don’t, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong with you either. You’re just different. That’s fine. Really. There’s no one right way to be a fan or express your appreciation for or interest in something.
**Note: I just invented Superkirkatarian, you saw it here first! So if you use it, be cool and pay me something or give me credit. Mm’kay? Thanks.**