You hear all these “you’re not a real fan unless” and it lists a hundred things, but I met a dude today who saw my Deadpool pin and asked what my favorite story arc was, and I explained that while I loved Deadpool, I was new to Marvel (I only really got into it a year and a half ago) and hadn’t been able to find a lot of the comics. Instead of making a face or a derogatory comment, he just offered to send me all the stuff he had. That is a true fan.
I told the guy at the comic shop when I went in for Black Widow that I’d seen a few Harley Quinn panels on Tumblr and thought it looked badass but didn’t know where to start because my entire involvement in DC fandom was watching the Batman cartoon as a kid. This guy sitting at one of the tables playing Yu-Gi-Oh, wearing a comic shirt and carrying a definitely-hardcore-fan amount of swag, spins around and goes “dude! You’ve never read DC? Check out the back issues wall. They’ve got all kinds of Harley Quinn.” He then proceeded to explain how “New 52″ was a spinoff, and had some split opinions in the fandom, but either continuity is good as long as you pick one and stay with it so you don’t get mixed on what’s going on.
True fans love to see other people loving the stuff they love.
See how easy it is to be “that cool person who helped me get into X” instead of “that asshole who made me feel bad for not knowing everything about X”?
IT’S NOT EVEN DIFFICULT TO NOT BE A SHITLORD. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE. And you never had one.
This. Be a helping hand not an asshole gatekeeper
True fans just want to share their love. Hell, we just consider it more people to talk to.