A few days ago our very own Globe wrote a story about courage, friendship and smiles. It's such a heart-touching story that we just have to share it with you.
Vor einigen Tagen hat unsere höchst geschätzte Globe eine Geschichte geschrieben - über Mut, Freundschaft und über ein breites Lächeln im Gesicht. Es ist so eine berührende Geschichte, dass wir sie mit euch teilen wollen. In einem nostalgischen Moment blickt sie zurück auf ihren Weg ins Jemma Fandom und erzählt uns, wie eine Serienfigur ihr bei einem mutigen Schritt in ein neues Leben geholfen hat.
🎶 I need
another story, something to get off my chest. 🎶
Warning: Nostalgic moment ahead ...
Recently, I was driving through the broken and dry hills of a fault-zone complex on a back road in southern California. The radio station was fading in and out and a certain song came on (Secrets by One Republic). The song crackled, but ... I didn't change the station. Why not? Because the memories it brings are not faded and the automatic smile that comes to my face also is not broken. It is pertinent to my story and I think it always will be.
You see, four years ago I got caught up in my very first online fandom. I think I am very lucky - I inadvertently chose wisely. I believe now that it was and always will be one of the best fandoms ever.
Somehow back then I read a blog on AfterEllen by Heather Hogan about Jenny and Emma. That blog led me to a Youtube channel showing small clips from episodes of a German soap opera called Hand aufs Herz. When that YT channel was taken down for copyright infringement, I was compelled to go looking for the story online, somehow, somewhere, ANYWHERE! And heck, it was even in a language of which I knew only a handful of words. I had to, because it was ... such a good story. And luckily I landed in a unique board on L Chat. I say unique because we got to know one another rather than remaining anonymous. And the whole experience was timely for me, for that moment in 2011.
That summer the debate was raging on whether gays could serve openly in the US Armed Services. As a prior military person who hid her sexual orientation, who learned to hide herself, who dared not come out fully, not even then in 2011, I knew all too well what the significance of that debate meant for those serving in the armed services. I knew the fear and ache and the hope ... and that what really was needed was courage.
I found courage in a fictional teen named Emma.
I won't go into the details of Emma's courage, nor of the Hand aufs Herz story overall (but think Glee, only better), nor of Jenny and Emma (Jemma!). But I will say this: there still is no better lesbian teen couple storyline that I know of. But wait, how does this relate to the song? Well, the song Secrets happens to be a bookends song. It is played within both the first and last episodes of Hand aufs Herz, which has much more than just the Jemma love story, of course.
So I drove along smiling as the song faded in and out, and it seemed a metaphor for how the fandom now fades in and out. But what doesn't fade? The memories of a shared experience with many brilliant, beautiful and kind people from all over the world. Many of them I now hold as dear friends. I hope time will never fade that.
Things change though. I since then have indeed come out. It was a huge relief and a start of my openly true life. Sometimes it still feels a little shaky (the hills are broken from occasional earthquakes), but I know the road can be patched when necessary.
So now you know my Secrets: that I needed a new story. I needed courage and I found that courage through a fictional character. That I wanted to connect with awesome people, and I luckily found new friends through social media and fictional characters. Hopefully this is no secret: that I think the world is a better place because of Jemma. Also hopefully not a secret is that I wish for all of you to find magic in a story, maybe even in the Jemma story. Love and laughter, especially laughter, and music are rather pertinent, after all. Broken hills and fluctuating signals? Those are truly only temporary.
The next song on that crackling radio station? I honestly don't remember. It apparently wasn't pertinent to my story. But rest assured, my smile remained. 😊
PS: I am always happy to meet new Jemmalings. Please feel free to reach out if you are a newcomer! :-)