An open Tumblr letter to younger fans, from a 77-year-old TOS fangirl
* who has shipped Spirk since that night in 1967 that Amok Time first aired
* and helped storm NBC to keep TOS on the air for a 3rd season
* and wrote fanfic way back in the day
* and was privileged to be around for the earliest days of fandom, when Leonard used to come to your house if that’s where the fan club was meeting and sit on the sofa with you in that Spock hair cut and eat cake
All of you who are writing TOS/AOS fan fiction and creating fan art now: remember, YOU are the ones shaping the traditions of fandom. You have inherited the kingdom. Bless you for keeping it vibrant, growing, alive. In fifty years, you will be the ones who are remembered for molding it and handing it down to the future. It probably doesn’t feel like now, but you are making history.
Your current addiction to TOS and the feels you get when you contemplate the love between Jim and Spock will be with you for life. It won’t always be in the forefront; you will sometimes go years, sometimes go a decade, without Star Trek being more than a passing thought. But then something will remind you and every consuming feeling you feel right now will come rushing back, every bit as powerful and deep and strong as it is today. All there, right where you left it.
The friendships you make in fandom will be with you for life. Like all friendships, they will wax and wane as the focus of your life shifts over time, but you will always be able to pick up the thread. You will — to give you a hypothetical example — be 77 years old and discover Tumblr and get a rush of Spirk feels after a decade of not giving TOS a thought, and contact your 83-year-old fangirl friend in the nursing home, to whom you haven’t spoken in several years. You will open the conversation with, “So, Jim and Spock love each other and that just makes me so happy.” And your friend in the nursing home will sigh and say, “Yes. They do love each other. It’s such a comfort.”
That look that Jim and Spock give each other, of absolute adoration and acceptance and love? That’s real. It’s rare, but it’s real. One of my greatest joys in life is to see my son and his husband give each other looks like that. Of course I don’t know you; I don’t know your strengths and struggles or your place on the spectrum of gender or anything about your sexuality or what you look like or what your life has taught you to believe about yourself, but I do know this: YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED AND LOOKED AT THE WAY JIM AND SPOCK LOOK AT EACH OTHER. Please don’t accept less than that in your life.
The future of our planet does not seem very hopeful at the moment. But please remember that when Gene created Star Trek, the world was in turmoil and the future seemed very bleak. Star Trek is, was, always shall be about hope. Reach for it. When TOS first aired, we hoped to see some form of a Starfleet on the horizon in our lifetimes. That vision must be passed on to you. Do it. Make the world worthy of launching the human race out into space. CREATE STARFLEET.
You are all creative and funny and amazing. Far more amazing than you know. Be kind to yourselves. Live long and prosper, kids.
Tags are in reference to my first bullet point. Meant as a kudos to your work, but feel free to untag yourself if you don’t want to be linked to my ramblings; I won’t be offended! (Also, this extends to a thousand other artists and writers out there who deserve kudos. tag at will.)