Crowding around the showfloor at the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention, you would see magical fantasy, military men, and anime highschoolers. Then there was the particular subculture I was there at the convention to meet: The Bronies.
I was only on the showfloor on Saturday, but I saw my fair share of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic enthusiasts at the convention. Dressed in wigs and pegasi wings were mainly girls (pegasisters). The male bronies (bro+ponies), like me, were rather conservative, happily limiting themselves to shirts to declare themselves a fan. I had some questions for them, especially those who were male, to have some local opinion of the subculture.
The responses that follow are from self-declared fans of the show on the showfloor, both male and female, ranging from the ages of 16 to 30.
What got you into this new generation of My Little Pony, ie. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?
“My friend couldn’t stop talking about it so I got curious and I started to get addicted.”
“I got it through the My Little Brony Memebase website. I didn’t understand the memes and jokes on the website and so I was curious enough to search for the first episode of the show and I was loving each other episode following that.”
“I got into the show become someone said I was like Pinkie Pie, and I watched it and it turns out they were right.”
Do you believe you’re part of something really special as a person enjoying a show not targeted at the adult demographic?
“Of course. It’s not often that you get accepted into a group that chooses their members based on nothing but the interest of the show; especially in this day and age, where racism and religious intolerance roams free.”
“Yes. The show was pretty much not what I was expecting. I thought it would’ve been some silly kids show, but it turns out to be really good and not stupid and girly.”
Since the franchise is mainly targeted towards children, have you gotten chided at when you started following MLPFIM?
“Yes. My sister refused to let me watch the show on the big TV because ‘I’m too old to be watching this’. So I actually have to watch it on my tiny computer screen. I can’t share the love because nobody in the house likes ponies.”
“There have been numerous occasions where my sexuality had been questioned, just because I watch a show aimed towards female toddlers. But, as the saying goes, “Love and Tolerate”. I stick by this definition as not only is it cute and funny, if you look at it this way, it is the Pony-version of The Golden Rule, which is to treat others the same way you want to be treated.”
“My cousin started making fun of me at first, until I got her influenced and soon she started watching the show as well.
Do you feel the line between what a gender can like and don’t like should be erased from the mindsets of people?
“There should be equality. We’re for equality.”
“Most definitely. To be honest, I don’t see why that fine line is not yet erased. I mean, look around. Females are becoming pilots, males are staying at home and becoming “House-husbands”. What separates us Bronies from the norm? And who are we to say that the Bronies are not the new-age norm?”
“Whatever you choose to like, is fine. It’s just that bronies are more vocal about what they like, in a sense, even when we don’t necessarily shove it down people’s throats.”
Do you feel that you are being a part of that change (of misogyny, what guys can like or don’t like)?
“Yes. Being on tumblr has help that change to move along.”
“Yes. It doesn’t hurt for a guy to like ponies, because you like what you like, whether it’s cute or not.”
“Sure. Almost everywhere on the Internet, there’s some sort of Pony-related content. There’s an Internet Rule citing, “If it exists, there IS a pony version of it.” Despite being discriminated against, I feel that the Bronies are the new society. Nobody can stop the Brony.”
And of course, which pony is best pony?
“Doctor Whooves. It would be a tie between Doctor Whooves and Derpy.”
“Everypony is best pony.”