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Of Fandom and Friendship

For as long as science fiction has been around, people have been geeking out about it with their friends. Science fiction and fantasy allow us to imagine what’s possible – advanced technology, life on other planets, and scientific progress, just to name a few things. It also holds up a mirror to our own society – as Arthur Dent said in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “From our observations of their behavior we were able to learn all sorts of things about our own.”

Many commentaries on human nature and political systems have been made via storytelling set in other, fantastical worlds:  Star Trek envisioned people of many races working together in harmony, The Day Of The Triffids speculated about the dangers of genetic modification run amok, and, more recently, Lost Girl came along and totally changed the landscape for representation of same-sex relationships on TV. Science fiction and fantasy imagine the world as it could be, rather than being constrained to show the world as it is.

Especially for girls and women – while we still have a way to go, genre entertainment has made some real progress in representing strong female characters. We wanted to do something to help support awesome female characters, the awesome shows that bring them to us, and the awesome women and men who are fans of strong female characters.

Hi! We are Sally and Rebecca. Sally lives in the USA and Rebecca lives in Canada.
Hi! We are Sally and Rebecca. Sally lives in the USA and Rebecca lives in Canada.

When the two of us met on Twitter in 2014, it was because we were both fans of an awesome show called Lost Girl – a supernatural show about a succubus that features many strong female characters and dares to imagine a world where women can be strong, save themselves and each other, and find joy in expressing their sexuality without being shamed for it. If you haven’t seen it, then go watch it now! It’s a great show and you won’t regret it.

We had a lot in common – parenting, running, and an interest in science, just to name a few things. The better we got to know each other, the more similarities we started to discover – to the point where we started referring to each other as clones! Obviously, we had similar taste in television and fangirled about Lost Girl and our other favorite shows, which include, but are not limited to:

…and many others. And of course there were shows that one of us had watched and the other hadn’t, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and Xena, Warrior Princess – so we did some cross-pollination. There are some awesome new shows that are premiering later this year, too – Killjoys and Dark Matter, just to name a couple, and we’re SUPER EXCITED about them.

How did Fangirl Shirts come about? Several years ago, Rebecca heard a segment on The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart had used the word “fangirl” in a less-than-complimentary manner. This made her think that somebody ought to get started reclaiming the word, and redefining it as something positive. When she shared that idea with Sally, she was incredibly inspired and immediately realized the potential of the idea to be a positive voice for girls and women in fandom and, more broadly, in their own lives.

Girls and women should be able to achieve their dreams, and part of achieving a dream is being able to dream big. Science fiction and fantasy are a big part of inspiring dreams about all kinds of things, including being a strong woman. Most of the shows we watch have strong female characters that we admire and in some cases, would like to be more like. Ten or twenty years ago, there weren’t very many strong, independent women at the center of a TV series – but these days, there is an ever-increasing number of strong female characters in all genre entertainment – TV, movies, comics, and more. And when the women characters are put in refrigerators or shoved aside, people are speaking up about it.

We think that being a fangirl is something to be proud of. That’s why we make beautiful, comfortable T-shirts that state proudly that we are fangirls, and in some cases, are an homage to the shows we love. Right now we have shirts that were inspired by Lost Girl and Orphan Black, and we’re planning several more for the future (watch this space!). Wearing a Fangirl Shirt might generate a smile and a nod anywhere from the grocery store to a crowded con, and can enable you to instantly recognize a fellow fangirl of the same show you love. After all, it’s twice as fun to fangirl with a friend! We can attest to that.

Check out our shirts and go get your fangirl on! We love seeing pictures of people wearing our shirts, also, so make sure you send us a photo, if you buy one!

We love hearing from people – here are all the ways you can get in touch with us:

Sally and Rebecca high-fiving - this is photoshopped together
Coast-to-coast bi-national USA-Canadian high five!