Q&A: “I’m a sex repulsed Aromantic asexual non binary and fandom shipping really bothers me…”
I’m a sex repulsed Aromantic asexual non binary and fandom shipping really bothers me , like really hurts me , I’ve spent seven years warring with shippers to prove my favorite character deserved better than a straight ship , his co star has a shady background and I don’t trust her either , anyway I’m done fighting , I know I’ve lost the war , the ship is cannon and I’m sunk , and I’m at a loss what to do , I want to die , I feel like a samurai that lost the war you know ? How do I get over it ?
hi, anon. first of all, sorry for taking so long to get to your ask. i hope you feel at least somewhat better now compared to when you sent this 10 days ago.
going to be completely honest with you, anon……. i feel like i am The Worst Possible Person to come to for advice about a situation like this. i have almost zero experience with fandom, i try to avoid all things fandom like the plague because me and fandom do not get along. at all. i’m afraid that i haven’t the slightest bit of experience with what you’ve been going through these past seven years…. which is why i can’t help but feel like anything i say would just be me talking out of my ass to you when you’re genuinely hurting……..
……..but seeing as how that is the best that i can offer you, i’ll try my best. please feel free to disregard.
thinking back on what little experience i do have with fandom– all of which is 10+ years out of touch with fandom today and thus may be irrelevant– i seem to remember the reason why i enjoyed fanfiction, text-based RPGs, fanart (things that would be considered “fandom” nowadays) was because in fandom “canon” wasn’t really important…? i feel like that was the very thing that drew people to fandom in the first place– the fact that as a fan, you could go beyond whatever’s canon, disregard whatever’s canon– you could create an alternate storyline or even an alternate universe that diverges from whatever’s canon at a specific point in the storyline before X, Y or Z even happens and use your own creativity, passion, dreams as fuel to create something new– if not even better than what’s canon.
nowadays i see people refer to canon as “Word of God” or whatever, but to be honest, i can’t for the life of me understand canon being treated as the be all, end all of any work of fiction? whatever happens to be canon is what it is, but it is in no way reason to limit or police others’ art, fanfiction, ships, etc. when you say that you’ve been “warring” with people, i imagine that that’s what you mean– that you’ve had people walking all over, dismissing or attacking you and / or your ships…?
perhaps it’s naive of me to say this, but you don’t have to fight or prove anything to those people? and not fighting doesn’t mean that you’ve lost anything. rather than trying to get over how you feel, perhaps try approaching it in a different way…?
first of all, right now it feels like you’re possibly a bit too close to this figurative fire and at too much risk of getting burned. again. it’s probably wise to take a step back from all of the chaos that has caused you such strong emotions and so much pain. take a break from fandom; give yourself some time to breathe and take care of yourself. i’m sure that the character(s) and ship(s) that you’ve been fighting so passionately for are all awesome, but don’t forget that you are awesome too and you need to take care of yourself. give yourself the TLC you deserve.
when you’re feeling better and up to it, perhaps you could return to your favorite fandom slowly, preferably offline / in private at first. if you’re into making fanart, trying make fanart offline. if you write fanfiction, you can do that offline as well, or you could type it out on your computer while offline and save a copy of it to your hard drive without sharing it anywhere. whatever you make, focus on making it for yourself. there is value in making things purely for your own enjoyment, to the complete disregard of anyone else and their feelings. alternatively, if you generally consume fandom rather than create it, perhaps make a private Tumblr blog or Twitter account where you can reblog / retweet your favorite things and accumulate it all in one place without the anxiety or stress of others’ prying eyes. that said, doing it this way isn’t without its risks; in order to find content to reblog / retweet, you will more than likely have to sift through potentially unpleasant things to get to the pleasant things… exercise caution when navigating tags and if you do come across something upsetting, don’t engage with it. scroll on.
at this point it’s good to realize that at any given time, there are a million and one different ships going on in any given fandom, but these ship are not in competition with the canon story, nor are they in competition with each other. all of it– the fandom, your ship, some other person’s ship, etc– can coexist simultaneously without one erasing the other. just like how video games sometimes have multiple different potential storylines or endings that run parallel to each other rather than competing with one another to be The Canon Ending?
i don’t know if you’ll find this at all helpful for you, but for me personally, i feel like viewing fandom in this way makes it easier for me to roll my eyes and brush off others who would take issue with my side of the fandom. those people are not guard dogs who have been sic’d on you by the author(s) / writer(s) themselves in order to enforce whatever’s canon. such people may see themselves as being “faithful” to whatever’s canon– to be doing the author’s / writer’s “God’s divine work” (*cough* ””””WordOfGod”””””” *cough*) by attacking you for your ships, but in actuality they’re not and you do not need to waste your time or energy giving them the audience that they seek. similarly, try not to waste your time or energy fighting against whatever’s canon or others people’s ships. if you feel yourself on the verge of engaging in an argument with someone, remember:
you don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
while having others respect you and your ships is the ideal, you do not need others to agree with or respect you or your ships for your ships to be valid.
all ships, all fandom can and simultaneously coexist; the existence of one (be it canon or not) does not erase or invalidate the existence of another, no matter what others say.
if someone or something bothers you, the block button and blacklisting is your best friend. stay out of hashtags if you have a history of being triggered or hurt by the content in them.
……………………………………..and i’ll shut up now. for someone who’s totally talking out of their ass about something that they really don’t know even the first thing about, i sure did manage to talk a lot. sorry….
all the best, anon