I didn’t really enter the fandom until I after attending my first con. I inexplicably loved Supernatural, but I wasn’t in the fandom–I didn’t belong to any pages or groups, didn’t have a “fave” or follow the cast on social media. When I first heard the term “family” as applied to the fans, I didn’t take it at literally as it is intended or as it turned out to be. What I found at the con, and subsequently online and at Station Breaks and Louden Swain shows, has been nothing short of family. I’ve spent most the last year writing a book with strangers I met online. They are my sisters; I’ve learned to depend on and trust this family in a way that seems unbelievable to those outside of it.
Here’s the thing though: I have a family, a husband and children, who haven’t met my other family yet. I’m fortunate that my husband and kids are also fans of the show, as are most of our friends that we had pre-con. But they haven’t met my SPN family. In all honesty, at first I was kinda embarrassed. It was silly, right? To find family at a convention, in a group of strangers? Once I got past that, I just wanted to be selfish for awhile. At a con hotel in Charlotte or Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, I didn’t have to be a grown up. I could be silly if I wanted to be, stay up too late and make poor nutritional choices. I could start a conversation with anyone knowing that they were just as passionate about the same things as me. I didn’t want to share that withy anyone, nor did I want to assume my role as wife or mother in this newfound home.
Now it appears it is time: my husband wants to meet my family, and I want him to. It’s become apparent to both of us that the “one and done” approach we thought I would take to the cons is not going to happen–this is going to be habit, a hobby. This is where my friends are; my family. If my husband and children are to really understand the changes the cons have brought about in me, and the friendships I’ve made, they need to meet my family. I have reservations, I wonder if my families can be blended, if my roles in each can exist simultaneously.
I’ve started slowly. My husband came with me to see Jason Manns last night. He met a few of the family members when I made him sit with people we didn’t know. Next month I’ll take him to a con. I’ll introduce him to my family and see what he thinks. I’m finding this takes an unexpected amount of vulnerability, to bring someone else in, to show them the place I’ve found solace, and hope there is no judgement. This family can lift you up and drive you crazy, but for me at least, it is more than a fandom. This wouldn’t be the same as him not liking the show; it’s far more personal if he doesn’t like my family.
So, what are your thoughts? Have you brought anyone into the fandom? Do you share your fandom activities and go to cons with your family and/or SO? Have you ever brought someone who only went because of you and would never have gone otherwise? Advice? Commentary?