The first gatekeepers pointed to are the bullies that are self-appointed identifiers of "real" fans. 'Nuf said. They're full of it and we know it.
The second gatekeeper was more interesting. I didn't identify her as a gatekeeper at first, but now I see that for what it is. This particular woman made a test to tell if you are a "real" author. The result? John Scalzi failed the test with flying colors. Even more important, this test became just as much of a gatekeeper as over-fannish fans. This is important to state: not only should fandom welcome all who self-identify as fans, but must also welcome all those who self-identify as creators (writers, artists, etc).
What do we want in fandom? No gatekeepers. When do we want it? Yesterday.
Here's my metrics for identify fans:
- Do you call yourself a fan?
- Do you spend money on your fandom? (Or would you, if you had the money?)
That's is. A bad artist is still and artist. A lame fan is still a fan. An unsuccessful writer is still a writer.