If you’re the sort of person who frequents the outskirts of the Internet then there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled upon the curiosity known as a Brony. If you haven’t, they’re the 16-34 year old male whose frightening devotion to the children’s cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic takes awkwardness to new heights.
And for the longest time – ever since I heard of Bronies on whatever cesspool of humanity’s website it was (4chan I’m looking at you!) – I just couldn’t accept them.
It seemed ludicrous, absurd even, for grown men to act like girls in preschool. Worse still, they wouldn’t just do it quietly. They had to be loud and in your face with it, begging for someone to give them the equivalent of a high-five, the bro-hoof /)
And perhaps most innervating was the apparent growth of the Brony population. It just wouldn’t go away. If anything, Bronies (and their female PegaSis counterparts) are more prevalent than ever before.
So, for the longest time, I stood beside the average teenage gamer and Youtube commenter, condoning the open ridicule and scorn of anything Pony related.
But then I had a moment of clarity. An epiphany, if you will.
These Bronies represent something that makes me feel awkward. It’s not about what they are doing… it was about how it made me feel – uncomfortable – because no proper human male behaves as such. And it was this realization – that my own indoctrination about acceptable social norms was prejudicing me – which exposed the fear-rooted negativity being roused by the Brony population.
Why can’t a man openly love a cartoon show about magic ponies and then gather frequently with other like-minded men to watch something that seems to be written for little girls? If it’s not hurting anyone, then there is no harm.
So now I can accept Bronies. I still don’t approve of their lifestyle choices. But it’s their choice and whatever they do will no longer evoke hateful emotions from me.
And if you yourself are a Brony, thank you for exposing me to my own prejudices and challenging me to expand my horizons. While you’re unlikely to get a bro-hoof back, at least you’ll no longer get a bro-slap.