I hope Rosianna will forgive me posting this video she made six years ago after meeting Hank and me for the first time.
Today, Rosianna Rojas is my close friend and colleague. (She is often called my assistant, but she does many things—from project management to helping shape the strategic direction of our educational and charity projects.)
And six years ago, when we met for the first time, she was a self-described fangirl.
This term has become pejorative—fangirls are dismissed for their over-the-top enthusiasm; they are described as rabid and obsessive and ridiculed for screaming/shaking/crying.
As pointed out in this great post by Emily, there’s a lot of misogyny involved in this way of imagining teenage girls and their interests. The truth is, many of the brightest and most enthusiastic young people today are fangirls, and if you’re a creator with those viewers/readers/whatever, you’re lucky as hell to have them. It’s not just that they’ll grow up to do important and fascinating work; they’re doing that work now, online and off, creating art and community and nonprofit initiatives and much else.
So Rosianna, on your birthday: Thank you. Thank you for watching vlogbrothers starting on January 1, 2007. Thank you for sharing your talents with the nerdfighter community all these years. Thank you for your professionalism and wit and unironic enthusiasm. I am your biggest fan.