Interview with a Fangirl: Kelly from Team Ahsoka
I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!
Today, it is my pleasure to interview Fangirl Kelly McGuire, who is freelance translator by day and a hopeless nerd by night. Hailing from the tiny nation of Gibraltar, she now lives in the Netherlands and spends nearly every waking moment thinking about, tweeting about, or blogging about that galaxy far, far away. Or serving her feline overlords.
Welcome Kelly to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.
When do you realize you were a Fangirl?
I guess I’ve always been a fangirl at heart but it wasn’t until my late teens – when the Internet really took off – that I started following fandom news closely and started visiting websites and message boards to see what other fans had to say.
How has social media helped or hindered you?
Trolls and all-too-frequent fandom dramas aside, I’m extremely grateful for social media. I’ve met a lot of enthusiastic, kind, creative, and talented people from all around the world and have spent countless hours discussing the finer points of Force lore, promoting my Team Ahsoka articles, sharing fan art, chuckling at memes, admiring cosplayers’ handiwork, and conveying my thoughts through well-chosen GIFs.
Social media may not do much for my overall productivity but the people I’ve met through Twitter more than make up for it.
When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?
I can’t really pinpoint when I was first introduced to Star Wars. It must have been sometime in the 1980s, when the Original Trilogy was out on VHS. Admittedly, I don’t remember much about my first viewing of A New Hope, but I do remember being very taken by Darth Vader. I was hooked from the moment he walked onto the Tantive IV and while most female fans my age were drawn to Princess Leia or Han Solo, I was smitten with the Dark Lord of the Sith. I was an odd kid.
Since I never delved into the Expanded Universe (or Legends as it’s called today), my love for Star Wars didn’t really blossom until the release of the prequels. I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly impressed with The Phantom Menace when it first came out (I’ve changed my mind about it since then) but I was back on board the Star Wars hype train in time for Attack of the Clones… and have been a pretty devoted fan ever since.
What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?
One of the key things I’ve learnt – and one I wish I could tell my younger self about – is that there’s a community of like-minded fans out there who will support you and geek out with you when you’re feeling down. I’ve seen how people are always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it’s offering cosplay advice, helping them secure tickets for conventions, or simply supporting them through life’s ups and downs. And, thanks to the Internet, this community is even closer than you think.
As a female Star Wars fan from a tiny nation of only 30,000 people, there were times when I felt quite lonely, especially as a teenager at an all-female school. My peers were more interested in discussing boy bands than Max Rebo bands and very few of them played video games, so I didn’t really have anyone I could geek out with.
Nowadays, not a day goes by when I don’t chat with a friend I’ve met through social media and I often think back to that amazing weekend I had at Star Wars Celebration 2016 in London, where I was finally amongst “my people”.
What else do you Fangirl about?
Anyone who knows me well will know I’m somewhat obsessed with the Tomb Raider video game series (and its spin-off media), South Park, and Star Trek, particularly Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and the criminally underappreciated Enterprise.
I’m also a bit of an anime nerd and am always on the lookout for new series to watch. I used to watch series like Naruto and Bleach religiously a few years ago but I tend to favour the so-called “slice of life” series, such as Genshiken, Azumanga Daioh, and Himouto! Umaru-chan (its protagonist is my kindred spirit).
Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?
Never let anyone dictate what you’re allowed to enjoy. Beware the fandom gate-keepers and those who try to gauge if you’re a “true fan” (a term that really should be dumped in the nearest trash compactor).
And if you ever feel like you’re alone and don’t know anyone nearby who shares your hobbies and interests, jump onto Twitter. You’ll find plenty of other fangirls there who will happily nerd out with you. 😊
How can readers find and interact with you?