When I was three or four years old, in the mid ’80s, I fell in love with My Little Pony. I begged my parents for the little plastic figurines, but they were reluctant to indulge my overtly girly interest. Being a boy, there were clear, acceptable expectations for my play habits: Batman and Transformers yes, ponies no. I can imagine my parents worried thoughts about how my subversive pony phase would play out through the rest of my life: would other kids make fun of me? Would that make me unhappy? Would I turn to drugs to compensate? Would that ruin my chances at university? Would that mean I would be living with them until I was forty?
One Christmas I asked my mom for a figurine. I balled my eyes out after I opened all my presents and didn’t get one. Eventually, through pestering, she gave me a Blue Belle and a Butterscotch. I loved brushing their silky hair and making up little games for them. Of course, this was probably the first sign that I was gay (the second coming soon after when I dropped out of hockey and took up gymnastics, the third being when I discovered Barbie), but none of my peers, that I remember, really gave me a hard time about it. The difficult part was convincing my parents that playing with ponies was fine. Maybe if there had been less stigma surrounding my girly interest, there would have been less shame in my teen years when I was coming to grips with my sexuality.
Twenty something years later, boys and men can openly, shamelessly profess their love for My Little Pony. At least they did this past weekend at BronyCon, a New Jersey-based, semi-annual conference for bros who like the “colourful and innocent” creatures. As one of the 4,000 convention goers told the CBC: “I discovered that there’s nothing to be ashamed of being a Brony…People are into what they’re into.”
I’m long past my pony phase so I don’t think I’ll be hitting up a BronyCon anytime soon, But to all the other dudes out there who like My Little Pony (especially those that are still in the closet), I say strap on your flutter wings and have at it. Because, really, aren’t there so many worse things in life than caring about cute little toys? Er, like this?
Read more here: Dudes who like ‘My Little Pony’ trot to BronyCon.