Courtney Kidd LCSW

Courtney Kidd LCSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Why Fandoms Are Important

It’s obvious to anyone who has had to spend the last few weeks with me that I am missing my fan favorites since the season finale of Game of Thrones. It’s now the wait for either Doctor Who, Walking Dead, and even Sherlock. It’s not just Game of Thrones that leaves me feeling like a kid on Christmas eve though(see What Doctor Who Has Taught Me About Social Work), it’s a number of series, generally referred to as “fandoms,” or a collection of fans for a particular interest. I’m a busy person and don’t generally spend my miniscule amount of free time watching TV. What I’ve realized is that it isn’t really about the books or the show as a time wasters, it’s about the stories.

These stories change our lives somehow, they shape how we view the world, and if we allow them to they change who we are. Harry Potter isn’t just a story about wizards; it is a reminder that goodness, loyalty, and bravery can succeed regardless of odds. Doctor Who is more than just a cheesy sci-fi show about time travel because it teaches us that we are all important. Sherlock demonstrates that our friends become our family, no matter how alienated we might think we are. Name of the Wind is an unbelievably flawed “hero” who we root for despite it all. Game of Thrones is about family, betrayal, and what you are willing to stand for. Firefly, oh man, let’s just say “you can’t take the sky from me” (no I will not be talking about Twilight in this sanctuary!). By now, you might be thinking, “ok…we get it, you have some nerdy hobbies.” Yes, but that’s not my point.

A good friend of mine has been going through some rough times. The kind of rough times that makes you re-evaluate what you consider a bad day. And although she handles these troubles with more grace and love than I could ever hope to have on a good day, it has been a reminder to me to consider what is really important. Our stories. So this weekend as I put the finishing touches on an Iron Man toy-chest for her two little boys I realized that my hope was they could draw strength from superheroes. Teamwork, love, a common cause. That our true strength is found not in our superpower, but in the bonds we forge, and our greatest bond is family(whichever definition of family you choose).

We go through life waiting for things to happen, waiting for a chance to show our best traits and who we really are as a person, all the while forgetting that we have this chance every moment. Fandoms allow us to align with those concepts, see them played out and connect with characters in a way that opens our minds and our hearts again and again. Sometimes it is easier to heal from the pain in our lives by seeing the loss and gains of a character we identify with, realizing that things don’t always work out. You see that pain, the devastation and the losses in these fandoms. Sometimes the good and honorable man doesn’t win, sometimes they do. Life isn’t a fairytale where everything works out the way we want it to; we can’t escape the hurt, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have an amazing story.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” –George R.R. Martin

By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
Staff Writer

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