1. How old are you? When did you first discover My Little Pony and what did you initially think? I am presently 18 years old. I first discovered <<My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic>> back in late 2011, I was around 13-14 years old that year. When I discovered the show, it was via Internet. The internet started to be overflowing with ponies, mlp memes, quotes on youtube, fan arts, users, etc. They were everywhere. I first thought it was pretty weird, but funny to see such a phenomenon. It seriously made me curious after a week or two, so I decided to make some research on WHY this show was so popular toward teenagers and adults in all of a sudden. I decided to watch the first episodes of season 1, and see where it leads, I really wanted to understand what was so good and successful in this show. And now, here I am, waiting for season 6, haha.
2. The words like friendship, loyalty and honesty seem to come up often when describing the show. Do you think these values are important to the Brony community?
There was a moto back then in 2011-2012, that the brony community used a lot. It was ''love and tolerate''. It was taken very seriously back then, as a precious value. But it died out rather quickly in late 2013, not be used anymore by the majority of the community, it became a forgotten memory. There is some hypocrisy in this fandom somehow, and other bad behaviors coming from the community. However, these are a minority, a huge part of the fandom is composed of lots of good, fun, gentle, helpful and cool people and fans. There have been an uncountable number of new friendships created between fans. A lot of people didn't have many great friends, or having none before coming into the fandom. But since MLP:FIM started airing, lots of people in the fandom made new friends, had the chance to meet and know other people with the same interests, and even met their new best friends!
Friendship is magic they say, and it's true. MLP is like a huge bridge, permitting people accross the world to meet others in a very friendly way. It's great, really.
3. What do you like about identifying as a Brony or being active in the Brony community? Is there anything you dislike about it?
It's pretty much the first time I feel being part of something big really. Nothing else made me feel that way. As for being active in the community, I'm just a spectator of the show, and I occasionally watch the community's videos, fanfics, listen to bronies music talent, and participate on this forum. I had so much great fun and I still am so far today.
4. How do you feel about the term "Brony"?
...meh. Nothing much, really. It's pretty much the same for other fandoms as well, like whovians, potterheads etc. There's names for every fandom. So I don't feel anything wrong about it really.
5. In watching Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, a few Brony members appeared to have "coming out" stories to their family and friends. In other words, there seemed to be this moment of revealing their Brony Fandom to others. Can you relate to this? Did you ever feel like you needed to tell other people about identifying as a Brony. If so, please describe the experience. Where you hesitant? Did people react positively or negatively? Both?
I felt the need to come out of the closet at some point, because sooner or later, my friends and my parents would discover about it sooner or later. It was already hard enough to keep MLP for myself and not being able to express my passion for this show. My friends were seriously weirded out, but laughed it off at the end and didn't care much about it, which is good. My brother was a brony with me back then, we shared our pony interests together and had fun with the community, until he started to lose interest in it and left the fandom, but it's okay. People come and go every now and then.
As for my parents, I had to explain them the whole thing, it was quite an obnoxious moment in a certain way. They still had the idea of ''ponies are for girls'' mentality, until I showed them the whole opposite with the fandom and the show's success. They (luckily) became okay with it, and didn't make a big deal of it at all. Whew.
It was a struggle, but I'm glad that it worked out at the end.
6. How many hours a week do you spend engaging in the Brony Community?
I spend my free time in a huge mixed bowl. I do a little bit of everything. But I'm still active enough in the fandom. I would say at least 10 hours a week if I'm not very busy. If I get busy with school projects and what not, 6 hours.
7. What do you feel makes you a Brony?
Being part of this huge, very unexpected phenomenon when it started. This fandom is so joyful and happy. I thank god and the universe to have made me stumble on this treasure that is MLP:FIM.
8. Who is your most and least favorite character and why?
Favorite: Princess Luna. There is so much mysterious things about her that I want to know. Unfortunately she doesn't get enough episodes. She still has a very interesting character tho.
Least favorite: Before the Season 5 episode ''crusaders of the lost mark'', it was with doubt Diamond Tiara. I HATE bullies.
9. Lastly, is there an episode that I should absolutely watch?
Gosh, there is so much episodes that I loved. If I had to name one of them, it would be ''Pinkie Pride'' from Season 4. It's one of my favorites.