Editorial: Brohoof, or How I Stopped Freaking Out and Started Accepting the Fandom

When I went to BroNYCon, one of the most popular questions asked was “How did you get into MLP?”  Truth be told, I could not answer that because I really could not remember.  I said something along the lines of “I don’t really remember, but I think I kept hearing about it from friends and decided to give it a go.”  Normally at some anime/gaming cons, people would look at you funny and give you this look of “WTF” and walk away.  That didn’t happen.  Instead, I got responses of “Okay, cool.”

That shocked me.  But then it reminded me of when I went to anime cons about ten years ago.  Back when the fandom was more fun and a lot less anal retentive.

Up until two weeks of the con, I was quite psyched about going.  This is the first time in a long time that I was going to a themed convention. I was quite curious as to how they were going to pull this off in two days.

And then I saw a Brony Mockumentary video.  From that point I said to myself, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?”  Up until that point, I’ve called myself a Brony.  After watching that video I said, “If that’s what a Brony is, I’d rather be a gentlecolt… At least I carry myself with a bit more respect.”

I got paranoid about the con.  I did not know what I was getting myself into now.  Time went on until that fateful Saturday.  I went to the con and walked into the Meadowlands Exposition Center.  I walked into a pack of fans.  I expected the doors to open and people going in like a stampede to Ride of the Valkyries (something that I have seen before).  The doors opened up and people went in, a few at a time.

I noticed upon walking into the expo hall, the majority of the people were nice and courteous.  No pushing or shoving others to get to various booths.  As I walked past various booths, I noticed that a lot of merchandise was quickly running out.  I did speak to a few booth sellers and they were all in agreement that the clientele there were a lot more respectful and appreciative than most fans in the anime and video gaming community.

Bronies are a lot more respectful and appreciative than most fans in the anime and video gaming community.  For example… At most cons when there’s a guest around, fans will convey and ask for photos, autographs, voices, etc… At BroNYCon, whenever you saw a guest with their handler, very cordial conversations and chats.  There were requests for photos, but it was far and few, plus the fans asked a lot nicer.

I was in awe upon discovering this, but when I think about it, it goes back to what I said originally that the general atmosphere of the convention is very reminiscent of conventions in the 2000s.

But I do understand that the criticism that Bronies get.  How can you watch “My Little Pony”, a cartoon for girls?!  So how is that different from “Powerpuff Girls”, also a cartoon for girls.  The answer I think is quite simple.  The storylines are somewhat gender neutral.  Yes, the main characters are female from both shows, but when you sit there and watch an episode, you realize that what they’re going through can be applied to either sex.

During both days of me walking around, things felt different.  I didn’t feel any kind of hostility, drama, chaos, or anything of the sort while I was checking out panels, dealer’s hall, etc…

On Sunday, I hung out after closing ceremonies.  As people were pouring out of the expo center, me, along with others we handing out brohoofs (aka brofists) all over the place.  Once the place was emptied out, the big rig truck outside with the giant television screen began to play episodes of MLP.  Bronies gathered on the steps and started watching.

I stood there in amazement.  I have never seen such camaraderie amongst fans in a community like this in a very long time.  I hope that other fandoms and communities can take a page from the Brony Playbook and learn a little something here.

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S is cosplay veteran. He has won numerous performance awards with his friends over the years. He has staffed conventions in the past, ran panels, judged a couple of masquerades, a jack of all trades. He's worked dealer's room too! Running this site is his way of giving back to the cosplay community. He feels that it's his turn to give a future cosplayer their fifteen minutes of fame.

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