I found myself thinking recently about the lack of gender neutral or non-binary language for the terms fangirl and fanboy. I understand that ‘fan’ is actually gender neutral, but it doesn’t transfer to the verb form very well – ‘fanning out’ doesn’t quite work like ‘fangirling out’ does.
Anyway, a combination of googling and a call-out to my friends on facebook produced some pretty great options, and I wanted to share them here!
I only found one specifically non-binary term, but I’m ok with that because I kind of love it:
- fanby. It’s a portmanteau of fan and enby, and I think it’s lovely.
Even given that, though gender neutral options are useful for talking a collective groups of fanbies, fangirls, and fanboys. So here’s the highlights of what my awesome friends (plus google) turned up:
- Fanbody. I’m not even sure what I like about this one, but it definitely works. Fanbodies works too.
- Fanchild/Fankid. I like that these linguistically matches boy/girl to some extent. They also seem to be what my enby friends use for the most part, so! I find fanchildren weirdly hilarious, and definitely like fankids as well.
- Fanfolk. Or alternatively, fannish folk. This is only useful in the plural sense, I think, but I quite like it for that.
- Fanpeep. So cute! Fanpeeps is also fab.
What do y’all think? Any other ideas?