First things first when I am talking about fanfiction, I am not talking about the general public’s view of it. There are so many fanfictions that do not involve sex scenes or gore or anything that is over eighteens. I will be discussing these types of fanfictions. I would also like to explain what fanfiction actually means.

Fanfiction is written by a fan of and featuring characters from a particular TV show, film, book etc.

To put it simply fanfiction is a way of escaping. It is no different from any other book except the characters were created in someone else’s mind and that it is typically read online. It is a way for people to read or write about things that they wanted to see from the piece of media. It is a particularly way for autistic people to engage with new media because they don’t have to learn about and ‘meet’ an entire cast of characters. It also gives people the diversity that is sorely lacking in modern media. For example, I have seen Harry Potter being deaf, Ginny being bisexual, epileptic Remus Lupin and trans Regulus Black. It allows for so much inclusivity because it is the people who are consuming the media in the first place knowing what they wanted and needed from it and giving other people the chance to have that.

However, there are two reasons it has become so taboo to talk about the first being the reason I just mentioned. Some people are elitist about the original works and believe that nothing should be changed. But if all the popular books star a straight cisgender white able male, the majority of the population will not relate to this and when we change it to better suit the actual demographics of our world. With the everchanging times so must the media we consume. The other being the sexual side of fanfiction. I am not denying that it exists, there have been some beautiful works that happen to have sex scenes not unlike the movies you may watch with your parents. And there are some horrid pieces of fanfiction that I will not mention. But you don’t shout or shame a child for reading Percy Jackson just because other books have sex scenes.

Reading fanfiction has changed my life. It has allowed me to accept and celebrate my sexuality, my gender identity, and my autism because the people I read about are similar to me. The characters might also dogear the pages of their books, or they really wanted to play drums as a kid, but their parents said no. I can see myself in these characters because someone somewhere didn’t have that and wanted someone else to. And I love my community and fandom and all the amazing fanfiction writers and readers out there. And if you enjoy a piece of media maybe have a try at writing some too or find a fanfiction that will leave you sobbing or hysterical with laughter. Trust me. It will change your life.