Fandom Grandma (Dee)

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Fan
Name: Fandom Grandma
Alias(es): Dee, spockslash
Type: fanzine publisher, fan club organizer
Fandoms: Star Trek
Communities:
Other:
URL: https://spockslash.tumblr.com, https://earlytrekfandom.tumblr.com/
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Fandom Grandma

She is not be confused with either of the Dee Beetems.

See her interview: Fandom Grandma: From my chat with a journalist.

She passed in February 2018.

Farewell Post

After she passed, her children posted the following letter to her Tumblr blog at her request:

"I hope you know that you have enriched my life immensely in what turn out to be my final months. What fun it has been to be a fan among fans again! I feel so lucky to have discovered modern fandom and this community when I did. You have taught me so much. You’ve impressed me, moved me, made me laugh, and brought a whole lot of happiness to my days.

I hope you know how honored I feel to have been embraced by you as your Fandom Grandma and your friend. It’s humbling to be given this opportunity to care so openly, so freely. I am touched by this, daily, more than I can say.

I know that some of my adopted family here are not in happy family situations in their off-screen lives. It troubles me that I will not have further opportunity to tell you how special you are, how unique, how precious. That you are worthy of love and happiness. Please know that wherever I am, my caring about you and believing in you will still go on.

Dear beautiful hearts — and that means every one of you — please be kind to yourselves. And to each other. Please, please keep fandom a place where we are welcoming to newcomers. Where we value each other, even if we don’t agree on specific ideas.

And please go on enjoying fandom, as long as it is meaningful and positive for you. I hope many of you will be fandom grandparents to the generations that will follow! Please keep writing and creating art. Keep our traditions alive. I’m passing the torch of this historic fandom on to you now.

You are amazing. I love you. I know you will make me proud.[1]

Reactions/Recollections To Spockslash' Farewell Post

[plaidshirtjimkirk]
She touched us all, inspired us all and we'll always remember her and be grateful to her. I don't have to say this, but your mother was an extraordinary person. Thank you for posting this on behalf of her. You and your family are in my thoughts.
[trek-tracks]
Dee was so wonderful, and this message is making me bawl with the sheer love it contains. We love you back, Dee.I want to thank all of you who have reached out in the past two days to share your stories about Dee and your love and grief with me. It’s been an honour and just the sort of connecting I think she’d want to inspire.I can’t claim to be a Fandom Grandma or even a Fandom Mom, but I am a little older than many of you on this site (early 30s). I just want to say that my inbox is always for whatever advice, comfort, love, commiseration, or encouragement I can provide. We can’t replace Dee, but we can honour her memory. LLAP from your Fandom Sister and Friend, everyone.#spockslash #personal #i miss dee #this was beautiful and devastating simultaneously#thank you so much to dee’s kids #hugs to everyone
[starkweather-moore in response to trek-tracks]
I saw this in the reblogs, and maybe this is presumptuous of me, I don’t know, but if there is to be a gathering of Fandom Parents who are ready to attempt to live up to Dee’s example then I would humbly submit myself as well. I exchanged like five sentences with her ever, I’m not active in any Star Trek fan communities, so I don’t have great credentials in that area. But I am turning 37 this year, and I have had incredibly strong feelings about this franchise since about 1990, and my inbox is also open to anyone who just wants some emotional support.
[timebird84]
Okay, though this comes from a complete different fandom I think it’s worth reading for everyone. For its message is precious beyond words apart from any fan community.

It is still unbelievable to me how much the passing of Dee aka “Star Trek Grandma” hurts me. I read this letter and actually had to cry, I couldn’t help it. Rarely have I known such an open-minded elderly lady, completely free from any prejudice, kind to everyone.

May she be remembered and her kindness live on amongst fans from all over the world, no matter from which fandom. May we learn from the short time she shared with us. That being a fan of something knows no age and a different opinion on something is never a reason to let a community friendship break. We are all connected in one big fandom (no matter which one), in the arts of drawing and writing, in sharing the things we love. Her posts will be painfully missed on my dash.

Sorry for being emotional. I just had to write it down.

I wish all the best and much strength for her family and friends in these hard times of loss and sadness.
[sexy-crow]
Thanks for everything Dee, wish I would have gotten the courage to send you a message rather than just look at all your posts. ♡
[meedee]
So I was pulled away today from working on the Tumblr Strikethrough pages on Fanlore for another project. But if there is anyone who wonders about the value of finding fandom spaces and a place for our own community, I give you Exhibit A: Fandom Grandma Dee. As fan artist @equalopportunityenby said best: "LLAP She Did”
[yoyo-inspace reblogged this from meeedeee]
#wow #I didn't know about this until now #and despite being pretty upset by it - it brought some good as well because I ended up going through her blog again #and just reliving all over again what a wonderful presence she was in fandom space# fandom grandma #fandom
[nivael]
I solemnly swear to always be kind to myself. And to others. I swear that i will do my best to keep fandom a place where everyone is welcoming to newcomers. Where we value each other, even if we don’t agree on specific ideas.

"For all the gay and trans people who wrote messages..."

[From Dee @spockslash ‘s son again]
For all the gay and trans people who wrote messages to my family about what my mom meant to you, my husband and I want to respond. First, thank you. It was great to hear. I’m proud of my mom for many things but the most for what an ally and advocate she was to the gay community. Especially for kids. Obviously I’m gay and I feel very lucky that my mom was my mom. She was the best. Not merely accepting but celebrating who I am. Adopting my husband and loving him like her own son. When I was in high school and college all the gay and questioning kids hung out at my house because of her. One trans boy lived at our house for over a year when his parents threw him out. She showered us with love and pride. I’ve read through some of her blog and can see that she was doing online what she did in real life. I’m glad and proud that she did that even when she was old. An old lady on tumblr because she always was the coolest though she didn’t know it. Now she’s gone, please, gay and trans kids who wrote to my family about her, honor her by loving yourselves and never, ever doing yourself harm. It’s what she would want. It’s really important. Thanks. -Zachary

Reactions

[burning--amber]
This is absolutely beautiful. If each of us can remember to be like her, be an ally to each other, no matter what our orientation, we can make 23rd century happen.Let’s be the change we want to see in this world. 🖖🏼
[elian-na-eldari]
"This was something I just sent her, and I hope her family sees it too:I just heard. I didn't know you long, but you meant so, so much. I'm sitting hear with tears pouring down my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your memory will be a blessing, as was your life. You have inspired me, and I hope to lead life according to the example you have shown us."
[butwhatistrue]
Thank you so much. She was amazing, and we're really grateful we got to meet her. I hope I can stick to that promise. It's so lovely to hear that she was as wonderful IRL as she was on here. And she really was the coolest!! Tumblr can be a confusing mess of a site, but she navigated it beautifully. Clearly she was as smart as she was wise. Thanks to the family for having shared her with us, and for what you do. I hope it doesn't complicate your process of grief. Love, K

References