Why The Demonization of Yaoi Fangirls?

Alright, let's make this opening short and sweet: being an otaku has both its good sides and bad sides. The good side: you get to participate in a massive group of people because of one shared love made up of so many sub-parts it's too confusing to keep track. The bad side: everyone else not involved is going to be at least a bit put-off by the things you do.

As I am an otaku of the female variety, I do squee at the sight of bishonen, write whacked fanfiction, and a myriad of other things, probably the most prominent one being my constant participation in a dreaded group of fans known commonly as yaoi fangirls.

But why are we so dreaded? I never really considered being a yaoi fan a bad thing until one day at school, where I ended up meeting some male otaku by chance, and they asked me what I was into. Deciding to be completely honest, I stated my dedication to the shonen ai/yaoi crowd. Of course, I expected the squick reactions i received, but I didn't expect one guy to bluntly come out and say, "I hate fangirls." Then, to add insult to injury (or perhaps the other way around), he said, "My girlfriend told me to kill any fangirls I met."

...Now, if that doesn't startle a person a bit (even if they know they're in no danger), I don't really know what does.

Why all this fangirl hate? Or more specifically, yaoi fangirl hate? Sure, the constant all-caps screams of our most lucrative OTPs is annoying, but if you actually got to know the fan behind the fandom, you might find out that they're not so sick and twisted and annoying as you thought they were.

In my lifetime I have only met two yaoi fangirls face-to-face, and aside from their love of pairing guys with guys, they were some of the coolest people I've ever known. They both have brilliant minds and excellent writing abilities that I envy.

Writing...that brings me to another point. Not all yaoi-related things are completely NC-17; most fanfiction only scratches the surface as shonen ai, with some of the greatest works I've ever read centering around simple romance between bishies and nothing more (although this is biased; I've only ever read one lemon, but God was it romantic and powerfully moving). In fact, most writers of these fics haven't had the romantic experience to write something on a lemon level (no offense, because neither have I).

On some levels, the yaoi fangirl has much in common with the yuri fanboy. Both sets of fans obsess over pairings of characters of the same sex, resulting in fanfiction, doujinshi, fanart, and tons of other related material...and yet I've never seen yuri fanboys get the smackdown. Only yaoi fangirls, it seems, get stereotyped as obnoxious weirdos.

Also something of interest: not all fangirls like yaoi. I met most of my yaoi buddies through the internet, while many of my real world female friends cringe when I talk about subtext between (insert two bishonen and their series here). The moral of this part of the essay: Don't rag on female fans.

The point of the entire essay? Well, it's hard to tell. The demonization of the yaoi fangirl could come from the small proportion of annoying fans, the "horror stories" of fanworks gone wrong, possibly even a little bit of female stereotyping, although the last idea is only speculation and probably not true.

Or maybe it's just a simple misunderstanding of fandoms, a kind of thing that's lost in translation from outsider to fan within the otaku community.

Either way, think a bit the next time you feel like scaring/scarring an innocent fan because they dig guys kissing guys. They could be a really cool person.