I. I acknowledge that fandom can, has, and will exist without me. I am not important. What I can do, someone else could easily take over. Even if the fandom is tiny, there are probably many more fans of whom I simply have not heard that write/draw/dream things that could blow my mind. Fandom would not fall apart without me.
II. I acknowledge that no matter what I've contributed to it, the fandom owes me absolutely nothing. I will not look for fame, nor will I expect a certain type of treatment from anyone else in the fandom. If people respect me, let them; if people dislike me, let them. I certainly will not threaten to leave and expect anyone to care.
III. I acknowledge that no matter what sort of "credentials" I have in the real world, in fandom, I am merely just another "fan." I might be a published author, a famous artist, or hell, Brad Pitt, but in fandom, if I am not the creator of the canon material, I am merely a follower and I will remember that.
IV. I acknowledge that fandom is a thing created and kept alive by more than one person. People will disagree with me; I will disagree with people. Although I reserve the right to leave the premises or disagree/rant/make snide comments in relative private, I will never flame someone publically or personally for their opinions. If there is discussion in public, it will be civil and I will keep the peace.
V. I acknowledge that there will always be parts of fandom that I dislike; I also acknowledge that there will always be parts of fandom that dislike me; these parts, I will ignore. There will always be people who will never see things my way, no matter what anyone says or does, and there will always be people who keep producing works with which I completely disagree. Again, although I reserve the right to leave the premises or disagree/rant/make snide comments in relative private, I will make no move to actually stop them. They have the right to imagine their versions of characters, just as I have the right to imagine mine.
VI. I acknowledge that, just as fandom owes me nothing, neither do other fans. It doesn't matter who I am; just because I created a community or many people agree with my portrayal of Character A does not give me rights to anything in the fandom. If I receive praise, I will always remember that it is given freely, not due; if I receive criticism, I will take it and remember that criticism, too, is freely given. Regardless of which it is, I will always feel thankful for the time.
VII. I acknowledge that fandom is fandom and how certain people act/how certain people's tastes run in fandom has no relation to them in real life. Although I reserve the right to like or dislike someone based on their OOC/non-fandom-related comments, I will neither judge nor form opinions about someone as a person purely through fandom. Just as slash writers are not always gay and RPers are not always self-inserts, I acknowledge that the fandom-image I know and the real life-person that I do not may be completely different people.
VIII. I acknowledge that there will be other fans that I dislike personally; I also acknowledge that there will be other fans that dislike me personally; these fans, I will ignore. Again, although I reserve the right to leave the premises or disagree/rant/make snide comments in relative private, I will make no move to actually confront them if they have done no wrong. Being a jerk may have them kicked out of communities and forums, but I will always remember that they have as much right to be in the actual fandom as I do. And I will always remember that I do have that right.
IX. I acknowledge that just as I am in fandom to have fun, other people are in fandom for the exact same reason, and I will remember that. I will never do anything to actively try to stop other people's fun, regardless of how much I may disagree with what they are doing. Clause reserving the right to leave the premises or disagree/rant/make snide comments in relative private still holds here, but I will never tell another fan to stop having fun in whatever way they want to have fun. And I will never pay any attention when someone tells me to stop having fun myself.
X. I acknowledge that just as everyone else is a person, that I am a person, too. No matter what other fans may think of me from what they have seen in fandom, I will never let that persona/image/reputation get in the way of being myself if/when I should communicate with them outside of fandom. If they respect me, I will thank them, and if they dislike me, I will accept it, but these things I will strictly keep in fandom only and will not allow them to interfere with my friendships or real life.
XI. I acknowledge that there are people uninterested in my fandom and I will not press my fandom upon them. I will not speak of certain fandoms to those that have no interest in them, nor will I pressure anyone to look at/read/otherwise be forced to come up with reactions to things that they couldn't care less about. I know that fandoms are very specific things, that being pressured into looking at them is highly uncomfortable, and I will not impose that way upon others.
XII. I acknowledge that, in the end, real life is real life and fandom is only fandom. If fandom begins to affects my real life in negative ways, I will remember that I have the option to simply leave and if it gets bad enough, I will. If I am truly unhappy with a certain fandom or the way a certain fandom is going, I will remember that I have the option of simply creating another community for people who share the same interests as me, or the option of just staying and refusing to go with the flow. I will remember that fandom is a simple trade of time with fun, and that if the fun is not worth the cost, I will remember that I am merely wasting time. Above all else, I will remember that remaining in fandom is an entirely voluntary action.
If you follow this creed, please post it in your journal.