In your own space, share a favorite memory about fandom: the first time you got into fandom, the last time a fanwork touched your heart, crazy times with fellow fans (whether on-line or off-line), a lovely comment you’ve received or have left for someone. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
My earliest "best memories of fandom" cluster around inclusivity and peerage. That is, fandom gave me a sense that other people like me actually exist. The time I mentioned creating my own monsters and the person I was talking to said, "Doesn't everybody?" The first time I saw someone else crawl under a table because it was the most expedient path. Being able to talk with people who actually know what quantum physics or Jovian moons or fewmets even are. To be real, to be seen, to be in a room full of people instead of sleepwalkers. It was very startling at first.
Fandom hasn't ever stopped surprising me, which is quite an accomplishment, because not much really does. I got to know how fans think, but sometimes they still do something amazing. I never expected to find people who would spend $100 in a year on poetry, but that happened -- and the first time someone did that in a lump sum blew my mind. Later on, as the Poetry Fishbowl grew, I got used to it. And then one time, someone sent me a donation of $500. I was so stunned, I had to check if they meant it -- I thought it was a typo for $50 -- but it was real. I've had folks writing in some of my settings, and most of that is little tidbit stuff, not surprising since other fans have always wanted to get into my settings, that's how I got into roleplaying. But when a couple of people started writing novels set in Terramagne? I didn't expect that. Fandom is amazing; my fans are amazing.