I don’t know if my story is all that different than a lot of the others you’ve had on display here, but here goes. I started in with this show when there were only three episodes, based on an e-mail tip from one of my writing friends. I found myself pretty hooked despite my expectations, of course, and did some Google searching only to find that I wasn’t alone. “Oh, neat,” I thought to myself, “there’s other guys that like this too. Oh, ‘brony’, is that what it’s called? Alright, guess I’m a brony.” I even went so far as to create a group for it on that writing website, so all the bronies there could get together and have a good time.
And then I noticed some of the things that were actually getting posted on that group page.
Like plenty of other people, I saw my hopes that this was some kind of loving, tolerant community dashed in a heartbeat. People were throwing bitch fits when someone said they didn’t so much like the latest episode, whenever they happened to butt heads on the topic of best pony, and especially Derpygate. The first time I even saw it called that, I damn near flipped the table my laptop was on…but then I got into the comments themselves.
You guys must know by now what I saw. Cries of her being the favorite, accusing Hasbro of murder, and, of course, some very rude things said about anyone involved in the decision, especially the ones that brought their complaints to Hasbro.
I was later banned and IP-blocked from the writing site for unrelated reasons (the fact that I had self-published a novella ran against the website’s policy somehow), but once I got access to the site again, the group had only gotten worse. The kicker was when I went to a guy in real life who I didn’t know well, but was obviously a brony (lots of pony clothes). After all, now that I no longer had admin powers, the only thing I could do to make the place less hostile was to talk people out of their worst.
“Hey guy,” I told him after a fairly good conversation about other stuff, “I run a brony group on the Internet, and some of them are saying some really nasty things. I’m not sure what to tell them in order to get them to be a little less…you know, passionate about this Derpy stuff—”
And that’s about when this guy, who had been civilized and a joy to talk to up to that point, pushed me. Just shoved my ass into the grass. “You want them to just forgive a bunch of murderers?” he growled, before turning his nose up and walking away.
That’s about when my mind associated “brony” with “rabid” and “neurotic”, and about when I stopped calling myself one. I still watch the show because it’s better than most cartoons on these days, and I poke my nose into some EQD comments because it’s how I discuss the latest episodes with others, but I’ve definitely given up on trying to do anything with that group on the writing website.