Once upon a time there was a little girl who was way too precocious for her own good. This little girl really loved reading and lived in her head much of the time. She was never quite comfortable with the people she knew in primary school, since there was just the slightest thing off about her in comparison with the other children. This isn’t to say that she was an unpopular recluse with no friends, far from it in fact. The little girl knew she was different and the other girls knew it too. She was quite accustomed to her friends telling her that she was weird and at some point early on embraced it. Luckily, she did have a sibling with some similar interests so she never felt completely alone but he would never completely understand how she felt about certain things.
She finally found girls similar to her in secondary school. The now teenage girl found friends who were into things like: books, anime, manga, soap operas, cartoons, sports, dramas, movies, music etc. Hell she even made one friend in particular who. like her, was interested in all of these things. Now it doesn’t seem strange that she would find people who were fans of these things; but her friend were not merely fans. They were fangirls. They cared about the objects of their interest passionately and remembered minute details that escaped the attention of the casual observer. To this day, these girls remain her closest friends because their fannish tendencies bonded them irrevocably (well that and going to an all female school).
Later on, she made new friends both online and off; because of, rather than in spite of, her fangirl proclivities. This girl’s story is most likely not unique but it hers. Moreover as a consequence of her experiences, fandom is such a personal and important part of her life.