This marks my 7th March of having Stitch’s Media Mix be a thing.
7 years of functionally doing the same thing – for someone who has 2 of their three degrees in different things and the attention span of a hard boiled egg – is incredible. And of course, it hasn’t been easy. A lot of people in fandom hate me. Which fandom? All fandoms!
(Seriously, I don’t even watch 99% of modern anime series that blow up or talk about them/their fandoms and yet so many weebs hate me because they think I care about their latest lolic0n fixation? Meanwhile the weebiest thing I’ve done recently is call Megan Thee Stallion one!)
But I’m still here!
A lot of people miss what Stitch’s Media Mix is all about. Whether it’s on accident because they caught me on a single-minded spiral or on purpose because they’re a situationally illiterate racist who can’t read what Black people have written on racism… I’m always stunned by how many people miss what I’ve been doing from the jump.
The site is called Stitch’s Media Mix because I’ve got my eyes on many things – just… not most anime series unless it’s Horimiya or the latest installment of the Gundam franchise.
I care about a lot of different forms of media and the fandoms around them. I don’t see everything, of course, and it’s wild to think that I do even with how nosy I am, but god do I do my best.
But at the end of the day, Stitch’s Media Mix exists to provide accessible media commentary, criticism, and theory. The fandom stuff has been present from that first year too – and neither the dudebros nor the Livejournal Libertarians (ht/ my friend spacedog) liked me back then either for doing that – but it became my focus when I realized that things really were just vastly different from what I was used to in fandom.
When I was a teenager in fandom, I didn’t have many problems. The adults and the white people around me were great. I never dealt with folks overstepping my boundaries, I didn’t ever have trouble with an overly interested adult, and I had adults who were genuinely kind to me even though I was definitely Me on Main back then too.
And here’s the thing: I was not subject to racism in fandom until I started talking about racism in fandom. But that meant that when I saw people being racist in fandom as an older teenager and younger adult, I had no idea what to do about it. For me, sci-fi/fantasy fandom’s Racefail 09 was a huge pivot point for me even though I didn’t start actively going “so that thing is racist” in transformative fandom publicly until about 2-3 years later.
Because it boggled my mind how unwilling people were to admit that they’ve messed up and to promise that they’d do better. Like people actively chose digital violence – blocklists, threats of physical violence, threatening to destroy people’s careers, doxing and threats of such, and the like – rather than simply not be racist.
And I know many BIPOC in fandom who ate the line of “fandom is fun, fandom is for everyone” and got burnt when they dared to remind the people around them that they were a BIPOC before they were a member of fandom.
They’re who I’m writing for.
The people who just want to have fun sans racism. The people who are tired of being told they’re imagining an issue. The people who have been harassed for raising their voices to the point where they’re scared to speak up even when they’re hurting.
My platform is my own. I offer it to anyone I can – and I do try to pay people for guest posts when I can get them – but most of the time all I can do is share my experiences and observations across a lifetime in fandom in the hopes that it’ll help other people know they’re not alone, that they’re not wrong for expressing discomfort or not expressing discomfort.
And I’m glad I can be here for folks who need me and my brand of accessible fandom and media studies.
Now, this stuff is not easy.
It may seem that way, but it’s clear that a lot of people miss how much work goes into Stitch’s Media Mix and my external writing projects.
The haters (literal anti fans at this point despite how much they claim to be against that poisonous fandom mentality) definitely don’t get that I research and workshop the hell out of everything I get out there. I have editors. I have beta readers. I have people from communities I’m writing about go over stuff when I dare to stray out of my lane just in case. I spent most of 2020 reading non-fiction in my off-time from work. I attended so many virtual conferences and talks on theory so I could incorporate it effectively.
I watch so many fucking documentaries.
Because I’m trying to make sure I come correct every time because at this point it is bigger than me and my needs.
And I do.
And that’s what I’ll continue to do. Even once my run at Teen Vogue is over, I’ll still be around writing about the things I write about – Korean pop and hip hop, antiblackness in as many fandoms as possible, tired tropes, and omegaverse worldbuilding.
Because I’m here to write about what isn’t being written about by anyone but a scant few over at other nerd media outlets. The harassment hurts and I really wish people would learn to fucking read and stop being racist sheep, but… it’s not going to stop me from doing the things I’ve been technically doing for about a decade. It’s just going to make me go on Twitter less and that just gives me more reading and research time.
Fandom may not be better by the time I get fully fed up… but I sure as hell will be.
So, here’s to seven more Marches on my site.
Thank you for supporting me.