Sometimes fandom sucks.
As much as we can, and do, find little niches of friends (who sometimes become family), or enjoy consuming created content, there’s no way around the fact that sometimes things can be really shitty. It happens in all fandoms. Unfortunately, bigots have a way of being some of the loudest members of a fandom, making participation in a fandom—or simply association with it—exhausting and downright harrowing for those who don’t fit in the majority. While many of these spaces exist, it’s not always easy to find them; there are, after all, many sites on the internet. One such site I have for you today builds its own castle amidst the plague infested lands of the fantasy genre, a bastion for trans women who seek to find more people like themselves in the genre they adore so much.
Trans Girls of Myth and Legend is a Tumblr maintained by Rose, a trans woman who is enthusiastic about both expressing her joy of fantasy as a genre and as it pertains to hobbies, and showing that trans girls and women absolutely have a place in the fantasy niche. As she explains in the blog’s mission statement:
“This blog is designed to be a safe space for trans women/non-binary amab individuals especially those who have been [sic] marginalized identities. This blog is just as much about the trans women fans of fantasy as it is about the trans woman [sic] who occupy the settings.”
Trans Girls of Myth and Legend offers its visitors and followers a collection of interesting pieces of fantasy art along with discussion of various aspects of being trans and a fantasy lover. From reblogs of general fantasy artworks to posts about how “your favorite fantasy character is a trans woman/girl” and conversations concerning general nerdery (like playing DnD and WoW), Rose presents a warm and welcoming safe space for trans lady fantasy lovers from all walks of life. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for beautiful fantasy art, be they drawn images or incredible weapons that have been smithed by artisans, and this blog delivers on that front fully. More importantly, however, is how devoted Rose is to sharing her experiences and struggles with coming out as trans, and how her hobbies helped her accept this and become comfortable with it. Rose is very supportive of those who come to her with their own stories and struggles, and it’s clear that a community has been formed in part to her efforts.
While it’s true that fandoms sometimes suck, it’s thanks to the efforts of people like Rose that the obnoxious shouts of the majority can begin to be quelled. Getting diversity in media is proving a slower task than it should be; however, by having these safe spaces for marginalized groups, their voices can grow and show content creators that the naysayers aren’t in the majority any longer. While headcanons can be a comfort, what the world really needs is more open diversity so that all fans can see themselves in the media that they love.