Gender roles are often a concept challenged by fanaticism and the things people choose to align themselves with. It seems, specifically, if you are a man, you are expected to like the following: baseball, football, hockey, MMA fighting, maybe even wrestling or boxing, rap music, and sure, titillating magazines. Manly stuff.
A fan community over the last couple years skimming this topic has been male fans, whether adult or teenaged, who love Lauren Faust’s “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” animated show. The Bronies, as they are called, are the subject of the film “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony”, in which the positive and negative aspects of the community are highlighted.
The fandom is well aware of public short-sighted, negative perception about them, since most of the plot focuses on individuals defending themselves. During an interview segment with regular folks on the street, people call the Bronies gay, old men, pedophiles, weird, creepy. “There are worse hobbies for a young lad to have, like terrorism,” one newscaster utters while the screen shows some colorful photos of males participating in this fandom.
The documentary definitely accomplishes the goal to show that the Bronies are not deviant, and are actually really terrific, normal people. When it comes down to it, to my understanding as an observer, this fan community loves the show because it is not only cheerful, but it can also in a sense be viewed as a type of Anime, really.
Charitable efforts the fan community makes are highlighted, as well as a group of military Bronies filmed at a private brunch while at a convention for their fan group. One soldier gripes about how fellow military may perceive him as either feminine or gay just because he loves the show, to which he says “watch the show yourselves”, saying it’s ridiculous that people think you’ll “catch the gay’ or you are gay if you watch the show.
There is nothing wrong with being gay, obviously, but it is apparent from speaking to the Bronies, including Alex from North Carolina or Lyle from Maine, that the stereotype is close-minded to them. Lyle was afraid to tell his father he liked the show for this reason, and Alex’s rear windshield with a custom MLP:FiM decal on the back was smashed by rednecks who yelled at him to “quit the gay, girlie, pony (expletive)”.
There are many amazing stories within this documentary and it is highly recommended you check it out. It’s on Netflix and the website for the doc is http://bronydoc.com/. Also, check out The Living Tombstone’s free Pony-inspired techno music here https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLivingTombstone, or really friendly representatives of the fan community like https://twitter.com/BronyHotline on Twitter.