Last year, one of my best friends, Rob Mcaninch, passed away. He was one of the kindest and most selfless people I had ever known; he ran an anti-bullying initiative known as “Justice Theatre.” It was my first acting job but at the same time for two years I got to be a part of something very rewarding. Every week we would travel to about six schools and perform mock trials for kids to show them the ramifications of bullying, whether it be in school or online. We heard back from students a lot and we knew we were making a difference. Since Rob passed away, I’ve been thinking of a way to keep his legacy alive.
For the past six years I’ve been a part of an amazing show where I’ve met some of the greatest individuals I have had the pleasure of working with, my now best friends. Along with that, unfortunately, I have seen a lot of negativity and people starting to bully other people in the name of their shows and in the name of shipping.
Initially, I thought shipping was the issue, but I now realize shipping is beautiful and just shows that you care deeply about the characters on the show.
The problem arises when people turn shipping into bullying. When they attack people or actors in the name of characters or in the names of people who would hate to have you use their name in order to hurt another person. No one behind or in front of the camera wants that, and it’s given shipping a bad name. It’s given fandoms and loving shows a reputation and I’m here to try, with your help, to bring the fun back to fandoms. That’s what loving a show has always been about! FUN!
The Ships Alliance is centered around people having a safe space to “Love what they love, and let others do the same.”
We’ve all dealt with this: our friends and people we love have been bullied, and it’s time for it to end.
Proceeds for these shirts are going to STOMP Out Bullying™, which is the leading national anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization for kids and teens in the U.S. I’m also going to keep it growing from there into a full online daily positivity center with a lot of fun, giveaways, advice, and general ways to keep the experience online a fun one.
This is for everyone, no matter what fandom you’re in, who you ship, or what you like, you’re valid and I want you to HAVE FUN!
More importantly, I want kids who come online and join in to conversations to not think they have to be negative to be a part of a fandom, to learn that you can love your show in a positive way and have beautiful discussions with people who may not share your views, without being mean or bullying anyone.