Indulge me for a moment if you will, because there’s a lot to this.
I cannot properly explain how stressed I was in the weeks leading up to Trotcon this year. Many of my close friends will tell you how much the last few months have burnt me out on the fandom as a whole. How I believed that the bad out-weighed the good.
I asked myself on more than one occasion “Why do I put myself through all this?”
And yes, Trotcon from my end (as a staffer) was very stressful, but by the time the con was over and I saw how happy all this hard work made people and how nothing had actually gone terribly wrong, I do feel like my faith was restored. I heard praise upon praise for the attitude the convention had and how positive and forward the fans were, attendes and staff alike.
But this story does not end there.
As I said, I did wonder for quite some time why I continue to identify with a group that is looked upon the way it is. Yes, I did feel reassured that there truly is far more good in this fandom than there is bad, but there is still that lack of outside understanding.
Case in point:
Three weeks ago, I received an angry note on my car referring to bronies with unsavory and grotesque terms I do not wish to repeat. I tried not to think about it, as I’ve heard this kind of sentiment before, and shrugged it off as a harmless prank attributed to someone who doesn’t have anything better to do than pass their anger and frustration off onto others.
Then, after an eight hour drive back home from Trotcon, I pulled into my home at 1:30 AM Monday, and awoke for work a mere six hours later.
In that short time span, someone had slashed my two left tires and gouged/keyed three of the doors, my trunk, and the left front and back panel of the body. My mother’s car was directly next to mine and unharmed.
I can only assume this to be a deliberate attack on me because of a small Pinkie Pie sticker next to my license plate singling me out as a brony. I hope it is just local random vandals, but there’s a but too much coincidence for me to shrug it off as being no connection.
Now, please rest assured the police are involved and my safety is not at risk. Unfortunately I only have liability insurance and had to replace the tires out of my own pocket to the tune of $550 (which was slightly eased by a gracious $250 gift certificate to the local tire shop my boss gave me), but repairs to the body damage, sadly, are not in my budget or necessary.
Still, I can’t help but look at the marks in my car and see them as scars there to remind me what the world thinks of me for being a brony. And as quickly as Trotcon restored my faith in how wonderful and joyous this fandom is, my mind immediately went back to ‘Why do I let myself go through this? Why do I choose to be a brony when this is how the world treats us?’
And immediately I thought of the moment in the video above. As I sat in the autograph room between Peter New and M.A. Larson’s table, this little girl who I estimate at 5 years old ran in and started bouncing up and down as she made it to Peter’s table. She dumped out a mess of miniature size pony toys she was carrying and proclaimed how she had gone 'pony crazy’ today. I started shooting the video while she was spelling out her name for Peter’s personalized autograph.
She then took the print and immedately started pointing out the characters she recognized, starting with the most minor of the characters, Smarty Pants. As my phone cut out and the video ended, she gathered her toys from the table and hopped over to Andrea Libman’s, eager to share her own impression of Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy.
This little girl melted my heart. She reminded me what we all do this for.