There Is No “Right” Way To Be A Fan

I can’t believe I have to do another post like this.

Cause this isn’t the first though admittedly it’s for the most upsetting reasons, this go around.

But given the many tweets I’ve seen after AJ got voted off of DWTS, here I am again. Because it’s aggrevating. Then I decided to postpone this because of more recent drama I touched upon back in July. But this post needs to be said. Fans need to be reminded of this, no matter what you think or who you support. Sara wrote a wonderful post as well addressing the other situation though I’m probably going to talk about it myself in here. Well, maybe. I keep going back and forth upon it. We’ll see cause I’m writing this off the cuff, in all honesty. Like I said, this was originally started because of the reactions I saw following AJ being voted off but now it’s grown to envelop the entire Brian issue as well. Like literally, I started this post on the nineth, put it on ice cause it felt too soon to post and today I’ve been editing, changing it, and adding to it tonight because I can’t keep ignoring things.

You see there’s this crazy idea that you need to support every little thing a Backstreet Boy does solo. And honestly? I disagree here. The reason we all became fans to begin was because of a group. Five men who came together and found that their voices blended in such a beautiful way that it propelled them into stardom. That gift that each of them bring to the table helped them become the best selling boyband in music history. That’s what made us fans. While each of them has diverged over the years to find their own ways and paths when it came to their solo projects, the group was the origin story for all of us within this fandom. That’s just the truth of it.

But lately I see this narrative, this idea of having to support and take part of any solo project a Backstreet Boy does. Now you guys ALL know I’m deep into this fandom. I’m a hard core fan. I’m crazy for Backstreet. But I’m not into every project a Backstreet Boy does. And that’s okay. No one should feel like they have to be! Some fans aren’t interested in Nick’s Twitch Streams. I obviously am. That’s cool. Some fans don’t like Dancing With The Stars so they weren’t watching or voting for AJ. That’s okay too.

No one is a bad fan or whatever the new name for this is, for feeling like they don’t agree with a Backstreet Boy. No one is a bad fan for feeling like they’re just not into a certain Boy’s solo work. Why is that an expectation? I really, truly want to understand this. Because I saw people incredibly upset over the fact not everyone was watching DWTS for AJ and voting for him. I saw people saying that it’s wrong for people to like Nick more than AJ. I saw people getting upset at other fans for not agreeing with Brian right now. Or for being upset with Leighanne due to her posts.

Since when is it a rule for fans to support every single thing they do?

Why are you trying to tell fans what they NEED to do, to be a “true” fan?

It’s bullshit.

I love the Boys, I truly do. And I will promote their projects (key note here is THEIR projects, you guys know about my rule for no wives/family’s projects) but I don’t expect every fan to go for it. I don’t even do that. It’s a bit messed up, and definitely wrong to assume so. I do see and know some fans are frustrated. They feel it’s unfair that some Boys get more attention than others. I understand that too. But that’s always been the case, hasn’t it? One BSB will appeal to you solo, some don’t. But that doesn’t mean you don’t love them any less. It doesn’t mean you don’t love the group as a whole.

That’s a crazy assumption to make.

There’s just no right or wrong way to be a fan guys. That’s what this whole thing is about. There’s no set way to support them. You’re just as much a fan if you only like AJ’s solo work, and hate Nick’s, but still love the group. You’re as much a fan if you do fifty VIPs than if you never do one in your entire life. You can disagree with one’s beliefs and views, but still adore the music they put out. Fandom is just, enjoying the artistry of what they create. That’s it. It’s what you decide it is.

There is only one thing that makes someone a terrible fan however, and that is sending them pure undiluted hate. Like say, wishing a Backstreet Boy or someone they love dead. Hoping they get sick. Or sending said BSB insults or sending insults to those they love. Or wishing him exhiled from the group. That is not okay. It’s never okay. I don’t care what they think, there is no excuse for that. Period. And honestly if you think that, leave the fandom. It’s not that serious. It should never be that serious. I’m sorry but that’s just how it is. And you can disagree with someone’s views, you can be upset, you can protest their choices. All of that is totally fine. But to say they need to die, get sick, be kicked out of the group…I’m sorry but that is way too extreme. If you truly feel this way then take a break from the fandom. Seriously. Because obviously fandom is making you miserable and you need that break.

I get that the whole Brian thing makes everything complicated. There’s fans who are torn, there’s fans who are standing by their choices, and there’s fans who disagree. All of that? Totally okay. It’s how you react and how you act that matters in all this. There’s room for discussion and I’m open to it. I think we all should be. I have my own thoughts but they don’t matter right now. And besides I’ve said them before. This isn’t about what you think about that, this is about how fans are behaving. Because in acting like this, you are being hateful as well and that’s not okay. Is it the same? No. I won’t say that. But it doesn’t make it acceptable either.

In the end, fandom is supposed to be something that gives you joy. If it doesn’t give you joy anymore? Walk away! No one will judge you for doing so. No one will stop you. It is a choice to stay. And come on guys, we’re better than this. We’re better than trying to demand all fans support a Boy’s solo stuff even if it’s not their cup of tea. We’re better than sending the Boys insults, or getting mad if one gets more attention than another. We’re better than wishing a Boy sick, or out of the group. This isn’t what we’re about. This isn’t what we should be.

So let being a fan be what it’s designed to be, something you are because they give you joy. If that feeling is gone, take a step back. Don’t try to dictate to others what they should or shouldn’t be. Don’t spread hateful thoughts or words. Feel how you feel, but do better. Be better.

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