I warn you: this will be a bit of a long read. But if you are going to read it at all, read the whole thing before commenting.
I believe in right and wrong.
The brony community as a whole doesn't have a defined belief in anything but "love and tolerance." This means that people can pretty much do whatever they want, with no thought to the consequences, and it's okay. It's perfectly acceptable for people to make erotic artwork of ponies, and for people openly admit to pleasuring themselves to such images. And if anyone in the brony community is offended by the application of Rule 34 to the characters of the show, they sure aren't very loud about it. And I know why: for whatever reason, negative opinions concerning things that go against the unwritten rules of decency and propriety are immediately flagged as hate or ignorance, and the purveyors of said opinions are viciously attacked.
As someone who's been on the receiving end of actual hate, I can understand how hard it is to stick by your beliefs and say them out loud. But if more members of the community who shared the same views on the aforementioned rules of decency and propriety could agree long enough to unite with one mind and one voice, supporting each other like an actual community, fewer members would feel the need to hide how they feel. Fewer members would be forced to tolerate things that offend or hurt them.
Which brings me to my next point:
I don't love and tolerate.
The slogan "Love and Tolerate" was not given much thought. The phrase itself is actually quite contradictory. Love is the single most powerful force in the known world. It forms bonds that cannot be broken by time, distance, or the most daunting of trials. It drives people to perform selfless acts of compassion. Its children are Faith and Sacrifice, and without it the Elements of Harmony themselves would not exist.
Tolerance, by stark contrast, is the allowance of existence within one's sphere of influence. It is passive. It is neutral. It is indifferent. It neither gives nor takes. It demands that the person practicing it abandon personal convictions or founded beliefs in favor of popular opinion.
Let me put it in a different light: If you were to ask me if I loved you, and I said, "Well, I tolerate you," how would that make you feel? Would you not rather be loved than tolerated? Truly, you cannot do both at once. I would much rather practice a more powerful principle called "respect," and be loved or hated than simply allowed to exist in your sphere of influence with no inclination to how you feel about me.
Now, don't misunderstand me. There is balance in everything. I don't go looking for things to be offended at, but if someone does something near me that I find inappropriate or offensive, I'm going to say something about it, because it's not okay. My eyes and ears aren't your garbage cans.
I speak English.
I was a fan of the English language long before I was a fan of My Little Pony. You know what the word "Plot" means? According to dictionary.com, it's this:
1. a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, especially a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose: a plot to overthrow the government.
2. Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.
3. a small piece or area of ground: a garden plot; burial plot.
4. a measured piece or parcel of land: a house on a two-acre plot.
5. a plan, map, diagram, or other graphic representation, as of land, a building, etc.
You know what it doesn't mean? A horse's ass.
And I understand the origin of it. It stemmed from the idea of watching the show "for the plot," which then got turned into a perverted joke. I get the joke, okay? It's just not as funny when it's been repeated the fifty billionth time.
And the other one, "Clop." It means:
1. a sound made by or as if by a horse's hoof striking the ground.
Guess what it doesn't mean.
Which brings me to my next point:
I'm only sexually attracted to members of my own species.
Ponies are cute. Bunnies are cute. Kittens and puppies and baby seals and cheetah cubs and jumping spiders are cute. Little girls, like my best friends' nine-and-eight-year-old daughters, are cute. Are they sexy? No. Blood doesn't rush into my male organs when I see a horse's rear end. My heart doesn't skip beats when they bat their eyelashes. My cheeks don't flush when I see them in the bath tub.
Because I'm a human being, and I'm attracted to other human beings (of the female variety, mind you). Animals are wonderful, beautiful things God put on this earth for our enjoyment. They provide a great deal of happiness, companionship, even inspiration. But I do not feel physically attracted to them. And that is as it should be.
I don't fret over pointless things that don't matter.
Prime example: Vinyl Scratch's eye color. Before her shadeless appearance in the Season 2 finale, people had been drawing her with red eyes. It was then revealed that her eyes are magenta, like Rainbow Dash's. That was on April 21st. People are still arguing and living in denial over her eye color.
I see it as a good thing that the creators of the show exercised their creative prerogative and did what they wanted. It shows that they still keep a healthy distance from the fans. And for God's sake, it's just eye color. Get over it. It's not like they changed one of the Main Six's personalities or (God forbid) one of their voice actors.
And if I may be so bold as to open another can of worms, how about the whole Derpy fiasco? People lost their minds when Hasbro changed her voice and pulled her name, then gave their reason for doing so. Was I shocked and annoyed at the change? Of course I was. I didn't see the point. I thought the "concerned parents" who thought the show was making fun of (to use the politically incorrect term) mentally retarded people were total idiots.
But then I got over it. Why? Because it's just a cartoon. I don't lie awake at night worrying about the show getting canceled. I was able to function as a human being long before I found Friendship is Magic, and I'll continue functioning when it's gone.
Will I be sad when the show does go off the air? I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be. Of course I love the show. I'm a generally negative person (which you probably could have guessed by now), and it's brought a ray of happiness into my life that didn't exist before.
But when your biggest problems are ponies' eye color and voice changes, you're really not doing that bad. Some people have real problems in the real world in their real lives that actually matter.
I have the capacity to hate.
And I use it. Don't misunderstand: I do not hate people (as difficult as it is; sometimes it takes a lot of effort). But I do hate some of the things they do. I hate things that are morally wrong. I hate things that violate my conscience. I hate the blatant violation of innocence that is so readily accepted by so many people. I hate shipping. And as a personal preference, I hate humanized ponies almost as much as I hate Rule 34.
That being said, my next point is this:
I wouldn't be caught dead at Bronycon.
Unless someone killed me and dragged my rotting carcass there against my will (you'd better believe I'll still have a will after I'm dead). I don't need an excuse to make fun of people. Which is what I'd be doing the whole time I was there, and I'd have to ask God to forgive me later.
Honestly, though, if you think your Rainbow Dash costume is awesome, think again. I hope you're not surprised or offended when people are laughing at how ridiculous you look.
Don't misunderstand and think I'm only targeting bronies here. I actually think most cosplayers look stupid. I just can't take you seriously when you're dressed as a yellow-haired kid with whiskers in pajamas.
I don't read fan fictions.
And it's not for lack of trying. I tried to read "My Little Dashie" once, and I just couldn't get through it. Not because it was sad, but because it was written by someone who doesn't understand the basic fundamentals of good writing: tone vs. mood, a strong persona narrator, distance between the narrator and the main character (yes, you can have distance between the two even if the main character is the narrator). It's like the narrator was trying to depress me. I'd have been much more interested if the narrator was showing me how depressed the main character was with a tone that contrasted the mood, instead of dragging me through all the emotional sludge he felt so eagerly inclined to share.
But that's just one example. I've looked at others, and every single one I've seen has been written by someone who thinks talent alone will let him or her tell a good story. It won't. Writing is a delicate, multifaceted craft. I haven't been twiddling my thumbs at the Writers Studio for the past sixteen weeks; I've been learning. I can look back at a lot of my old writing and shake my head at how bad it really is. Most of the online writers I've seen can't do that because they haven't taken the time to learn.
I used to write a Star Fox fan fiction, you know. Way back when I was a teenager. Then something wonderful happened: I grew up.
But I digress.
You're a brony and proud... but only in front of other bronies?
It's great to share your interests and hobbies with people you love and care about, isn't it? Only... a lot of bronies can't, because they're afraid their parents will kick them out of the house for being gay.
I started watching the show because I was curious. I found out I liked it, and started watching it with my sister. She also liked it. In the same night, my mom, dad, and brother all found out. My brother was aghast, and my dad... well, he thought it was the worst thing ever. But you know what? They didn't disown me or kick me out of the house or assume I'd undergone a drastic change in my sexuality. My family loves me and accepts me for who I am. It took some time and a lot of effort, but I eventually got my whole family to watch the show and (for the most part) enjoy it. Because I had the balls to like what I like because I like it, without fear of what the people I love would think of me. It's not like I was doing anything wrong, and they knew it.
"There are worse things he could be getting into," my mom wisely admitted.
I'm not ashamed of what I like, is my point. If your friends make fun of you because you watch something that makes you happy, are they really your friends after all?
The answer may actually be yes. One of my best friends teases me about it (not mercilessly, mind you), and I still love him.
I don't believe in fanon.
Rainbow Dash is not a lesbian. Pinkie Pie is not a psychotic killer (no, I haven't read Cupcakes, and I will not; I can't help it if I absorb a few things here and there). Princess Celestia is not a troll. Lyra and BonBon are not a lesbian couple.
That's like saying Bert and Ernie are gay. They're not gay, for God's sake, they're puppets! They've never even slept in the same bed! Get your head out of the gutter.
I'm not saying that all bronies are sexually attracted to ponies, or that they're all bad writers, or that they all dress up in stupid costumes and make shameless fools of themselves in front of God and everybody (yes, I said everybody, not everypony). I'm not saying that all bronies have no concept of right or wrong or that they all fight over a pony's eye color or that they all use words out of context.
But there are too many things about the community that I would rather not associate myself with. It's bad enough I have to put up with people's uneducated assumptions when I tell them I'm a Christian. I just don't need another headache.
So, to be perfectly clear, and to make no room for doubt or debate: I am not a Brony, and I never will be. And I will thank you to remember that.
Listening to: Epic Score
Reading: A Game of Thrones
Watching: Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 1
Playing: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn