I have never quite fit into science fiction, fantasy, and fandom in general. I hung about fandom, but also never quite fit in. I got started in organized fandom both early (Balticon in 83-84, while in high school and among 70's fans), and late (21+). I seemed to have skipped those formative years, where fandom becomes part of identity. So I hung about fandom, but never quite seemed part of it. No one ever pointed these things out to me. There were all these jokes that I never really understood. There were fashions that I didn't get or follow. There were whole subcultures that I barely even suspected, such a fanfic, slash, bsdm, furries, etc, and others that I never bothered with, like vampires, costuming, SCA, and series fandom (Star Trek, Star Wars, Tolkien, etc.).
Past a certain point, I would have abandoned cons but for the LARPs. Those were fun for quite a few years. I enjoyed writing and running them, but enjoyed playing in them less. Eventually, they got pretty dull, too. I am not quick at making friends, and even LARP culture has its own insulation. I got frustrated and bored of the same groups always getting together and playing with themselves. Who needs that?
Admittedly, I'm not very quick at making friends. That's me. That's my personality. However, even being slow at making friends, I'm better at befriending than that.
A big turning point happened when I realized that fandom was actually an insular subculture and a lifestyle, and that is why I never really fit into fandom. I was a fan because of enjoyment, but not a fan in identity. Fandom was never my "real" life. F/SF was just a hobby or an interest, like computers or pez collecting. I was never really introduced to it. It was fun, and rewarding, but in no way important. Once I realized that, my fannish hobbies became much more fun again. They were hobbies!!! Yay. That really opened my life up to being a richer tapestry. Simply because fandom was stuck on itself didn't mean that I had to be.
That, and fandom gets more boring as the years go by. Apathy, folks.
FYI, I am still very fandom and other subculture ignorant or opinionated. Know that when you talk about fannish things, I likely don't get it. I try to be open minded and accepting, but I've got my opinions, too, and few are kind. I don't waggle rightousness too much, because in some form or another, I could have or did do some of those subculture things in my earlier years. On the other hand, I may not know what they hell you mean by this or that word. I didn't know what slash or shippers were until a few years ago. I don't get continuity beyond the need to tell a coherent story. I don't care about many fen subjects, and don't give a damned about fen vocabulary.
How can I not know about some things? I mean, *everyone* knows about these things. Well, I don't. Deal with it.
I'm not pointing fingers or targeting anyone. I'm just coming clean on the subject, so if I ask questions, you know I'm being ernest, and if I spout an opinion, I'm not being personal.