Interview with a Fangirl: Mel
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, Podcaster and Blogger Mel Perez, @jane_anon.
I became aware of Mel through the Black Girl Nerds blog and the Twitter Star Wars and Doctor Who Fan Communities.
Welcome Mel 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 don’t have a specific moment that I can look to and say that’s when I realized it. I grew up loving 80s fantasy, science fiction and anime. Until maybe high school, I thought this was completely normal. It’s only later that I discovered that everyone wasn’t always watching Conan, Star Wars or some anime dubbed in Spanish in their free time. If I had to pick a time, I would probably say high school. That’s when I become involved in message boards, chat rooms and websites for the shows I loved. Shout out to AOL Chat. I guess that’s when my fangirling leveled up.
How has social media helped or hindered you?
For the most part, social media has helped me. It got me involved with Black Girl Nerds. It helped me find a group to start a podcast with. It’s how I find people who are interested in the same things as me. It’s not all positive though. There’s something about being a woman and especially a woman of color on social media that almost invites trolls. It paints a target on your back saying please question everything I say, assume I don’t know anything and basically treat me like an idiot. I’m not the best at dealing with them. It does make me want to leave sometimes. I’ve had periods when I had to lock my account just to avoid all of the people attacking me.
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 was really young when I first saw Star Wars so I can’t say exactly when. I think my first clearest memory of seeing it was when I was 10. I was riveted to the screen. I remember my cousins trying to get my attention to go play outside but they would have had to drag me to get me away from that movie. The moment I saw Luke watch the twin suns setting on Tatooine with the John Williams score swelling in the background, I knew I was in love.
Star Trek, on the other hand, is a more interesting story. My mother and my grandmother loved the original show. I didn’t. It took me until after college to start watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. It took some time but I did fall in love with it and Deep Space Nine which took me even longer to watch. I still haven’t seen the original series though I did take my mother and grandmother to see the first reboot for Mother’s Day.
What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?
I’m not as involved in the Star Wars fan community as I would like. The fan communities I think of fondly are Harry Potter, Supernatural, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even Teen Wolf. I think fondly of these communities made up of mostly women who loved to talk about the works, write about them, vid them, etc. Being involved in these communities helped me come out of my shell. It pushed me to start writing. These communities emphasized that my opinion mattered and that it was okay emotionally invested in these properties. I’ve met so many amazing fangirls who have become true friends. Fangirls have brought so much joy into my life.
What else do you Fangirl about?
I named a few of them in the last answer. I’ve spent the past year fangirling about Yuri on Ice. It rekindled my love of figure skating which I am also now fangirling about. I’m still an MCU fangirl though I may get superhero fatigue now and then. Also comic books, marine animals, 80s fantasy movies forever, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Bob’s Burgers and mid to late 90s/early 2000s anime. After Star Wars, Doctor Who is probably my biggest fandom.
Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?
It’s awesome. It’s empowering. It’s fun. It’s fulfilling.
Where can others interact with you?
I can be found tweeting about comics, Yuri on Ice, Doctor Who or Star Wars at @jane_anon.