Meme Studies

Pony Up Haters: How 4chan Gave Birth to the Bronies

bronyfinal walter newton2 Pony Up Haters: How 4chan Gave Birth to the Bronies

Illustration by Walter Newton

On a recent sweltering Saturday afternoon, a group of young men gathered in a dance studio in midtown overlooking Eighth Avenue. The room, oddly but appropriately, smelled faintly of hay.

A grand piano had been pushed to the wall to accommodate a series of folding tables, and a fan was rotating lazily, attempting to combat the 98-degree heat. At the door, a volunteer handed out raffle tickets and solicited pizza preferences for lunch. The guests—mostly in their 20s and overwhelmingly in favor of facial hair and cargo shorts—milled around, but no one strayed far from a table at the front of the room, which was covered end-to-end with My Little Pony merchandise.

Lording over the spread of glittering pastel wares was a stocky man with graying hair and glasses who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with a pink pony and the words “HATERS GONNA HATE.” Hello, his name tag read, My name is Cupcakes.

Welcome to the world of the Bronies.

Brony, short for “bro pony,” refers to an unusual audience demographic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a cartoon that began airing on the new cable network the Hub in October of last year. The show, based on the seminal 1980s toy franchise, was created for Hasbro by Lauren Faust, a former writer and director on The Powerpuff Girls. While it is marketed to children, it has quickly amassed a legion of fanboys between the ages of 18 and 35 who obsess over characters with names like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Pinkie Pie. Predictably, this has led to some confusion.

“Everyone thought I was a girl,” said a mop-topped young man wearing a Friendship Is Magic T-shirt and a name tag that identified him as Strawberry Spice (Purple Tinker, the head of the Bronies’ New York chapter, calls these alter egos“pony-sonas”). Mr. Spice, 18, was at the Brony meetup partially to establish his gender in person, but also to hand out homemade stickers and pony-themed fruit snacks.

Across from him a slightly older Brony named Sean Levine sat quietly, sketching a series of ponies on a small pad of graph paper. “My hesitation wasn’t that it was a girl show,” Mr. Levine said. “It was that it was a kid show.” Mr. Levine added that he had just finished reading War and Peace. “Being an adult isn’t a bad thing,” he said. “And this show is created by adults who respect their audience. When you watch it you’re indulging in a story you can be vulnerable to.”

It’s easy to imagine such a thoughtful, sugar-coated group originating from convivial Hasbro fan boards, but the Bronies’ origin story is far darker and more complicated. Before there was BroNYCon, which debuted this June in “wonderful Manehattan,” before there was Equestria Daily, a candy-color web hub described by Bronies as the Huffington Post of the community, before there were meetups and raffles and fruit snacks, there was only one major gathering spot for pony fanatics. There was only 4chan.

4chan, a vast image-sharing site created in 2003 by Christopher Poole, who goes by the alias moot, is home to numerous boards where anonymous posters discuss everything from anime to sports to paranormal activity to torture porn. The comics and cartoons board,/co/, was fertile ground for Bronies, many of whom started out as animation geeks. But the “random” board, /b/, famous as the Internet’s ultimate id for its violent and sexual content (think less My Little Pony, more Equus), was also a meeting place.

SEE Also: 4Chan Forever Alone Prank Brings Out the Best and Worst in New Yorkers

The /b/ board, strangely enough, is also a haven for those who enjoy more cute and cuddly fetishes. “Before the whole Brony movement, people were attracted to the cuteness of the pony avatars,” said Riley Kilo, a 25-year-old transgendered woman who, prior to becoming a Friendship Is Magic fan, used 4chan to discuss age play, specifically paraphilic infantilism, or the practice of being an “adult baby.” Many came to /b/ as part of other fandoms. “There were Bronies in just about every single group imaginable, from furries to Trekkies to otaku,” said Nanashi Tanaka, the Bronies’ security chief and one of many who were active on 4chan before the show aired. “You can see how word of pony ended up spreading to every corner of the Internet.”

It’s hard to identify a Patient Zero in the pony fandom of 4chan, but Mr. Tanaka remembers an article posted in October 2010 on the /co/ board titled “The End of the Creator-Driven Era in TV Animation.” It linked back to a post on the site Cartoon Brew that targeted not only Friendship Is Magic but also the Hub’s other toy-themed programming, including Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures and G.I. Joe: Renegades. “It was pretty alarmist, but it also got a lot of us going over to watch the show,” he said. “We were going to make fun of it, but instead everybody got hooked. And then the first pony threads exploded.” Mr. Tanaka estimates that by February 2011 there were 6,000-plus daily pony threads on /co/.

The trolls descended immediately, especially on the /b/ board, where pony threads had also begun to proliferate, and thus began the Pony Wars.

Ms. Kilo, who admits that she is “not a hardcore Brony” and was skeptical at first, described the Bronies’ appearance on /b/ as polarizing. “There were healthy conversations about how cool the show was, or the importance of nostalgia,” she said. “And then on the other hand there were pictures of big black dicks and dead horses.”

Even on the relatively tame /co/ board, threads were invaded. “Basically we got the cancer treatment from 4chan,” Mr. Tanaka said.

At some point in the fall of 2010, a 4chan moderator decided to take matters into his or her own hands. “They decided that the best solution to the combative atmosphere would be to ban ponies,” Mr. Tanaka said. “‘Ponies’ became a banable word, and posting would get you a one-day ban from the site.” (He added that the ban also affected people from animal boards who were discussing real ponies—a senseless casualty.) But for Bronies who were themselves seasoned tech geeks, the ban proved easily circumvented. “Our saying was ‘Banned from /b/, back in 10 seconds flat,’” Mr. Tanaka said proudly.

“It was a civil war,” Mr. Levine said. “Ponies were all over /b/.” He smiled. “And of course the ultimate way to troll on 4chan is to antagonize /b/.” The Bronies fought back with the one thing the trolls didn’t expect: apathy, tolerance and, of course, a whole lot of pony pictures. “The aggressors became more and more enraged that they couldn’t get what trolls thrive on the most: a negative response,” Mr. Tanaka said.

The white flag in the Pony Wars was officially waved by none other than moot himself, who fired the offending moderator and subsequently mentioned the pony phenomenon in his keynote speech at SXSW in March. “My Little Pony … is really popular on 4chan right now for whatever reason,” he said. Not exactly a love letter, but the Bronies celebrated it. “My Little Pony is the only group to take on 4chan and win,” Mr. Levine said. “4chan once took on the F.B.I. and won. So you might say that My Little Pony is more powerful than the F.B.I.”

Bronies may feel safer on 4chan now than they did last fall, but many have decamped to sites like Equestria Daily, RainbowDash.net and the thinly-veiled homage site Ponychan, which were created by members of the community as safe, pony-only spaces for those who can no longer abide the trolls of the /co/ and /b/ boards.
“4chan is known for being hateful, but ponies are all about love!” Mr. Spice said.

Mr. Levine agreed. “4chan is the manifestation of absolute cynicism and apathy,” he said. “For that to be the cradle of such a caring movement … ” He trailed off, as if in disbelief, then regained his confidence: “As a community, we’ve become extremely bored with putting up with other people’s shit.” It’s worth noting that the feeling appears to be mutual.

“People on 4chan seem a bit tired of ponies,” said a Brony named Aether Naut. And indeed, when The Observer posted a query about the /b/ board’s current feelings about the show, we received in reply a photograph of a woman’s anus.

“4chan is full of a lot of broken people,” Mr. Spice said solemnly.

Ms. Kilo was more blunt. “4chan is a total fucking joke,” she said. “I mean, a lot of people spend a lot of time on there. If it gets down to the war of net neutrality, 4chan will be the last thing standing. But it’s the worst website in the world.”

Shaun Scotellaro, who runs Equestria Daily under the alias Sethisto, said that he started his blog less as a reaction to animosity on 4chan and more because he worried that Friendship Is Magic needed a unified fan base. “A lot of us were worried that Hasbro would cut the show off at the end of Season 1,” he said (a second season has since been green-lit). “I wanted to keep the pony train going, so to speak.”

The founder of RainbowDash.net, another popular Brony hub, who goes by Cabal, said that he broke off from 4chan “to bring the Bronies out from their anonymous roots and into the open.” (While emailing about scheduling an interview, however, Cabal cautioned The Observer to use his real name when we called his home, asking that we not mention Bronies or anything related to 4chan if someone else answered the phone.)

Any real names in this story are used with permission. But the fact that some Bronies remain closeted raises some questions. Is there a safe place for the sensitive, gender-stereotype-challenging Bronies in the public eye, outside of internal meetups?

“A lot of what happens on 4chan happens because it’s anonymous,” Mr. Tanaka explained. “It wouldn’t be as rude if people couldn’t hide. But by the same token, people wouldn’t be man enough to go out and say, ‘I love ponies!’”

There are some exceptions to this rule, of course, such as the guileless Strawberry Spice, who wears his pony love like a sandwich board. “Everyone who knows me knows!” he said, adding that the pink T-shirt he was wearing—featuring one of the show’s catch phrases—was a gift from his mother. But while being an adult My Little Pony fan has nothing to do with masculinity (despite the moniker, a quarter of the country’s 1,600-plus active Bronies are female) or sexuality (while 5 percent to 10 percent of female Bronies are transgendered, Purple Tinker says that she has never met a gay male Brony), many still grapple with their love of the brand.

We approached a young man with close-cropped blond hair and a vaguely frat boy vibe—Rainbro Dash, according to his name tag—who explained that the merchandise table at meetups is popular because it is the only way many Bronies are comfortable buying pony products. “I’m not sure these guys want to be walking around a toy store carrying My Little Pony merch,” he said. “Dude—it’s bad enough we like the show.”

Comments

  1. Cabal says:

    How… witty. Shows I should have directed you to my PR person.

  2. Strawberry Spice says:

    Really great article! There were two problems that I saw though. One, my shirt was blue, not pink. And second, it was a birthday gift from my mother, I had no idea she even knew I wanted the thing. 

    But otherwise, great article!
    -Strawberry Spice

  3. Cupcakes says:

    Ahem, excuse me, but I’m not greying. I’m BALDING. Hmph.

  4. Gareth Prentice says:

    For the amount of time I’ve studied 4chan’s antics, it’s just gotten to become a rubbish dump, no matter which board you’re browsing. I’ve personally enjoyed places like Ponychan and 420chan, since the people there are usually more constructive, fun and friendly. Sometimes the best friends can be found in the most difficult places.

    1. LucasGAN says:

      ” Sometimes the best friends can be found in the most difficult places”. Put that on a letter to celestia

    2. dasdsaad ass says:

      dsdas

  5. Silver Aura says:

    your article is incorrect about 4chan being the only place that had bronies before equestria daily.  I am a brony that came from Fur Affinity, not 4chan.

  6. Elliot Mayo says:

    Wow, I had no idea… I’m the only Brony in my town, I didn’t know we had meetups!

    1. Purple Tinker says:

      Have you looked at http://www.bronies.com/map/ ?

  7. HungrymaN says:

    YOU FORGOT ABOUT RARITY AND FLUTTERSHY! AND SPIKE

  8. Josh Busuito says:

    ~yay /Fluttershy

    Nice article; does a pretty good job explaining the phenomenon.

  9. Andromeda W. Fireball says:

    Hey, I am a male gay brony, maybe I am the first…

    1. mfeige says:

      I’m a gay male brony too! We’re out there!

      1. Asdf says:

        pretty sure all of you are faggots. no surprise. 

      2. anon. says:

        they are the first gay male bronies i have ever met. 
        just you keep on thinking that. there is no problem with anyone who is gay at all.
        /straitmalebrony

  10. Anonymous says:

    i love that you embedded episode one in the article

  11. Anonymous says:

    The idea of “4chan giving birth” is not an image I want put in my head.

    Jokes aside, a very thorough article. Nothing I haven’t heard before, but it’s nice to see it all in one comprehensive place.

  12. Gfdsdfsg says:

    Me Gusta

  13. its scary kuz im such a huge fan of the show cuz its well written and hilarious, 23/male, and i cant for the life of me remember the first time i watched, who showed it to me, how i found it, or why i watched. it feels like ive been watching this show all my life, it just knows my/our humor!

  14. Girlponyguyman says:

    im not gay but i am transpony

    1. Ivan2294 says:

      DA PUNS! DEY HURTZ!

  15. Steven says:

    Kind of odd that I found out about ponies on a Robotic Combat forum around February. It shows that even at that early stage the craze was spreading. Also, it is key to note that not all Bronies are American. A moderately large percentage of the total brony population is British, I am what we call a BritBrony on Ponychan, which is odd seeing as that the show only recently aired here. That is not to be said that only Americans and the British like ponies, I know of French, German, Aussie and Brazilian Bronies.

    1. Elrond says:

      I’m a Brony from Norway.

    2. vulcan539 says:

      Brony from New Zealand

    3. Xenedon says:

      Brony from QUÉBEC, Canada…… yay

    4. Rainbow Dude says:

      BRony. A Brazilian Brony.

  16. Sam says:

    Nice article, but I thought I’d point out a couple minor corrections: 4-chan got up to 6000 posts/day, not threads, though this only counted for the posts in /co/ and not /b/. also the pony banning that occured happened in march of 2011, not in fall.

  17. K-Ten says:

    A pretty good article.  =] I’m definitely happy to see us get some positive (or at least neutral) press; I only wish there were an Albany chapter of BroNY for me to be a part of. =P Maybe I’ll make one (if one doesn’t already exist.)

    1. K-Ten says:

       For those in the area who are interested, here’s a link:
       http://www.meetup.com/Bronies-Albany/

  18. Dazaduo says:

    CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS ~ YAY!

  19. Purple Tinker says:

    See, Cupcakes? I told you you should start an Albany brony meetup group.

    1. K-Ten says:

       It’s a Work In Progress, but I started a Meetup Group for what it’s worth. I hope nopony minds me doing this. >.<

      1. Purple Tinker says:

        Email me (prpltnkr at gmail dot com) with a link to your group and I’ll linky it to the map.

  20. Ajax says:

    lol being a brony is actually a great conversation starter, I’ve made so many friends who weren’t bronies due to My Little Pony.

  21. Elky says:

    >Riley Kilo
    I laughed. Also, nice article.

  22. LorinaDante says:

    Very interesting article! I wish it was actually in French so I could show it to some friends and family who simply don’t get why anyone but little girls could be interested in the show.

  23. Mojo says:

    heh I should have actually paid attention to those emails, I would have been much less friendly to our own fandom than any of the people interviewd.

    I mean back in the day the pony fandom on 4chan was great, but well the people who are STILL on 4chan really aren’t the best of bronies to put it lightly.anyway other than a bunch of errors (the great pony war of 4chan was late Feburary 2011) decent article but hell some of this stuff really does not make us look good (really Riley WHY WOULD YOU SHARE THAT INFORMATION ON YOUR FETISH’s that make’s us look terrible in the eyes of the average person) Tinker mentioning PonySona’s also makes us some odd, nothing wrong with them but it’s not the first thing you want people to know, especially since people will draw connection with Fursona’s which isn’t good as the furry fandom is not looked well upon by most, another thing is honestly we have to mention the more negative parts of our fandom too or else we seem sorta too fanatical.

    also the article places too much importance on /b/, Ponies did not become big on /b/ till late Januray, /co/ is far more important to the fandom’s genesis than /b/, regardless of what it is now.

    1. Mojo says:

       fuck now that im calmer most of what i said here seems douchey and stupid.

      also id like to say I have no problem with Furries just that they don’t have the best reputation on the internet, mainly due to the very loud actions of a few very odd people.

      now i want to delete that comment but I can’t haha :(

      1. Bunny says:

        It’s fascinating to hear bronies struggle with the same issues furries have had forever… Fetishy laundry being aired, embarrassing lingo, the furry flight from EFnet to their own digs to avoid trolls.

        mojo, don’t worry about the rep others give. You can’t control them. Just be a good being yourself, that means far more to the folks who care about you than what those folks think about others you may our may not hang with anyway.

      2. Mojo says:

        yeah it is isn’t it, though I am personally not a furry, nor did I stop frequenting the 4chan threads due to trolls, I stopped cause they really really declined in quality and ended up getting filled with the worst part of the fandom (you know the part that REALLY REALLY REALLY loves R34) and I do not frequent Ponychan, I only go there once in a while but generally I find it a bit too hugboxy.

        and I know I shouldn’t worry about what other people do, I should try to make my reputation be MY reputation alone.

      3. Zach says:

        Im a furry and a brony but sometimes I find that due to what others do im labled as immature for ponies or perverted for furries. Its hard to get by stereotypes and try to expain that just cuz I enjoy something like MLP dosen’t mean im going gay or that my personnality will change at all, I just like how funny it is and how it feels like its a kids show but made for adults to laugh with them. Like I think spongbob is funny but just beacause he is retarded…MLP just seems to have nice clean humor…Like fosters home for imaginairy friends (I think its the same creator :D)

      4. Anonymous says:

        I must say, after the first season had ended in May, Mojo, Many bronies had left while others stayed  and new people joined in which lead to the biggest shitstorm in the middle of may. (Warning gets NFSW : http://arch.413chan.net/co26010233.html)

        Some threads (Just a few) are decent at times( mostly in night thread then day threads). If you can’t deal with the constant degrading threads, I recommend waiting till the 2nd season starts, I believe the threads would go up in quality and return back to normal.

      5. Anonymous says:

        Link broken, wish I can edit it but here’s working (Again it’s NSFW: http://arch.413chan.net/co26010233.html )

      6. Bunny says:

        But “bucking” (sorry) the stereotypes is a bit what bronyism is all about tho, no? You’re not quite the target demographic, but you have the balls to stand up and say, “You know what, this show is good, the characters wormed into my brain, and I really like it!” Even though it might be embarassing and make you catch hell.

        Personally i think it’s awesome. Feeling “out of place” with most folks because I loved to watch animated movies is why I decided to seek out furries. It’s really not that different than why ponies seek out each other for support and company.

        You’re only immature if you let yourself act that way; and a furry seriously calling you out as “perverted” for watching MLP is about the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while.

        Buck the stereotype, boys. It rocks.

    2. John Collins says:

      I actually wholeheartedly agree with you. This article does get a bit odd. In fact none of the bronies I know have ponysonas. I never really got those. Also yeah why bring up someones personal fetish? Thats private stuff and also completely unrelated to the fandom

    3. plumberscrack says:

      >  hell some of this stuff really does not make us look good
      > implying there is anything that makes bronies look good
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…COUGHWEEZE…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  24. Abby McKrell says:

    In the second to last paragraph you called Purple Tinker a she.

    1. Purple Tinker says:

      I -am- a she. The paragraph where Ms. LaMarche talks about Strawberry Spice has confused some readers. It discusses his gender (male) and has a quote from me. I am not Strawberry Spice. He is a he, I am a she.

  25. Austin Eurton says:

    Nice to know MLP:FiM is now stronger than the F.B.I. hehehe

  26. John Roberts says:

    It’s grown well beyond the internet now.  That’s where it started, so that’s where the roots are, but more and more you find courageous, committed bronies “coming out of the stable”, so to speak, and being ever more open about their love for cute, candy-colored, marshmallow ponies.  Hasbro’s marketing department must be having a ball trying to catch up…

  27. Che says:

    < Gay 19 year old Brony.

  28. silent majority says:

    don’t forget about the silent majority of people who don’t buy the merch/go to meet ups.  The people who just like to enjoy the show and the culture in its entirety.

    -One of the silent fans

  29. Yuri says:

    Solid article!!

  30. Dessa says:

    (…  a quarter of the country’s 1,600-plus
    active Bronies are female) …
    ( …5 percent to 10 percent
    of female Bronies are transgendered)

    I’m curious where you found these stats.

    1. UniGaiGar says:

      Only 1600?  The Something Awful pony spinoff has had over 130 people in the main IRC channel, (Currently 82 at 522 am EST), and their forum mlponies has 878 users.  So.. half the fanbase is also at one of the smaller and less well known forums?

  31. Prozzak says:

    And this is how you write an excellent brony article

    Also best picture describing the whole situation

  32. Nanashi Tanaka says:

    A few minor discrepancies/misunderstandings, as somebody else here mentioned, but other than that, a very well written article. I am glad I could help contribute to it.

  33. Anon3mous says:

    To be honest when I first watched the show, I didn’t know it was a children’s show – I thought it was going to be one of those shows which ‘looks’ like a children’s show, but actually contained mature humor like Robot Chicken, or South Park.  (based on the framgrabs I saw). Not being a 4chan guy I was unaware of the pony wars until last month!

  34. anonymous says:

    I like how it says the bannings happened in Fall 2010 when they actually took place at the end of February and into the first of March.

    And how it places significantly more importance on /b/ than /co/ despite the fact it took until halfway through the season for /b/ to have Pony threads regularly.

    And how that Ponychanners have the nerve to call 4chan a place full of “broken people” when they’re the most dysfunctional clique I’ve seen in years.

    Also, ” 6,000-plus daily pony threads”? You probably mean posts. 4chan barely has 6000 new threads made daily across all four dozen boards, much less /co/.

  35. Voltaire says:

    4chan is like the gutters of new york. All kinds of nasty crap gets washed down there, but sometimes something valuable ends up there. When that happens, it goes viral. MLP is an outstanding example of that. Not only has it spread all over the internet and taken over various websites, it’s spread into reality too, something very few memes ever do. It’s been mentioned on the news, it’s been mentioned on TV shows, it even has the power to influence the show itself and it’s advertisements (see equestria girls, you’ll hear bronies being called out)

    Anyway, I recommend you give this show a chance. It gives me hope that future cartoons won’t be mind numbing slush for the next generation of kids.

  36. Agnitio Ex Machina says:

     Allow me to announce right here and now that 4chan’s /b/ has been 99.9% cancer ever since ’07-’08. For them to “chemo” bronies is ironic at best since they’re the cancer anyways.

  37. British Army says:

    Hullo, I’m actually one of the few bronies from /b/. Yeah, the damned place is filled to the brim with trolls, and infighting, I’m not gonna lie. But… we do have a strong comradery there. We’re brothers in arms in a frontier that started it all, and we mean to keep that frontier, despite what others have said about us. We’re not the nicest, and certainly not exactly the best example of bronies out there. But we’ve stuck it out this far, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hell, the hostile environment’s got me writing again.

  38. The Illusive Brony says:

    Ah nostalgia. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the neutrals and their impact during the shitstorm in late Feb and through March. Combine bronies, neutrals, trolls and spammers and you had crazy fun threads with intelligent (as intelligent as 4chan can be) conversation. Most of that has faded away now, so new bronies wouldn’t know about them. 

  39. pony-up says:

    Being a filly (female brony), I love bronies and I love ponies. My little pony FIM is a beautifully art designed, wonderfully animated, and well-written show. But it’s kind of creepy that people love it so much that they give themselves pony names and make up theories about the anatomy and lifespan of the ponies. But then, I guess every fandom has fans like these. Thanks for making a positive, non-biased article about this  phenomenon.

  40. Riley K. says:

    Great article, kinda curious about the statistics, I guess in that room you may have come up with those stats, especially the amount of transpeople, they seem to express the demographics of the event and not so much the community. The fans of the show are largely anonymous (the concept not the hackers on steroids terrorist group lol) and often communicate through avatars, so who’s to know? I wonder how the statistics would have changed if I wouldn’t have mentioned being trans or into ageplay, but it was relevant, the girlhood I never had etc, but that’s just me. You’ll never get a good grip on such a diverse group, that’s the fun of it.

    You can just smell the 4chan on this movement, and the (unicorn)meat of the adult fans have likely heard of it. I anticipated the convention was going to be more 4chan-esq, but it had a pleasant Anime convention vibe to it. You just couldn’t have a “fans of 4chan” group, it’s too volatile and it ultimately defeats the reason why 4chan is such a unique place. There would be bomb threats and nobody would come, brony fandom seems to be a means to /soc/ialize without admitting to browsing 4chan. And of course there’s people that just like the show :)

    I enjoyed the article, pretty perfect pony PR (pony puns pwn) <3

    Riley K.

  41. Riley K. says:

    Quick note, I made a friend at the convention who later came to an event of mine. This individual was friendly, good company and will likely hangout with my friends and I again. I’m new to the city and it was awesome to meet someone likeminded. Friendship IS magic!

  42. Pixel Coder says:

    Awesome article! Great to see another media source get it right. I’m one of those transgender female bronies (and also happen to be a closeted furry) and it’s great to see an article mention all these underrepresented sections of the brony community. :)

  43. Dillman502 says:

    I would like to point out that there are Bronies younger than 18 such as me (I am 15), although we are kind of a minority because most people my age are trying to “grow up”.

  44. David Camp says:

    I refuse to let us stand at a mere 1600!!!

  45. Crazyking says:

    I really like this article, it’s been unlike many of the other news sources I’ve seen about bronies and presents us in a neutral, pseudo-positive manner.

  46. Morph94 says:

    Is it sad that I came into the Brony culture AFTER the trouble with 4Chan? 

    I mean, I don’t even post on there.

    I learned about it from Newgrounds.

  47. BoardPony says:

    I found out about FiM through memebase in late May 2011, so I’m a latecomer and missed the 4chan stuff altogether. Membase is another place where pony haters were very active. Fortunately there was a separate brony section on that site opened recently, but so far there don’t appear to have been a lot of new posts.

    I’ve been very open about my enjoyment of FiM and own (and wear) quite a bit of fan-made merch. It’s been fairly easy though, because I’m known as a toy collector and animation enthusiast.

    Because I’m a 30 year old male, there have of course been questions raised about “why My Little Pony” and the main reason I give is the amazing writing. FiM’s dialogue is a breath of fresh air compared to most of what passes for animation these days.

    Thanks for a good read!

  48. Cyan Spiral says:

    Haha, I feel almost left out that Im 17! Ah… I love this community.

  49. guest says:

    There are already 3000+ active members/watchers on ONE of the Deviantart pony groups alone

  50. Pingas says:

    The Pony Purge was in February 2011, not Fall 2010.

  51. PoohBear says:

    LOL Great article,by the way
    Wat is 4chan anyway!???

  52. Elizabeth Edwards says:

    My 14 year old son is proud to be a Brony!

  53. Derian_orman says:

    HOW DARE YOU MOCK US BASED ON WHAT THOSE LITTLE PONY FAGGOTS DO. they’ve stoped being a part of /b/ beforefor they even started this bullshit.

  54. Bronie Mum says:

    When I first found out that my17-yr-old  son and  his friends were bronies, I found it absolutely hysterical and, yeah, well, adorable.  Were he not my son, maybe it would be odd, but hell… how sweet and harmless can that be?  They aren’t doing drugs, they’re not robbing people or in gangs or killing people and the stories are cute and have a really good message to them and “good moral values.”  Jeeze….  just go rag on the fundamentalists why don’t you. 

    1. Filipe1020 says:

      if i was you, i should kill my son, BRONIES ARE FAGGOTS, AND I CANT LET THIS

      1. Moises2127 says:

        Keep on trollin’! We love parasprites but we leave them to Pinkie Pie

      2. Bronie Mum says:

        ROFLMAO!!!  Go Pinkie Pie!  (Some people just shouldn’t have a caps lock)

      3. Noway says:

        Nobody is trolling. You are a cancerous fuck that needs to be chemo’d immediately.

      4. Rainbow Dude says:

        Mmm… Nah, I don’t think so. I think you’re just trying to make us unhappy. And you’re not sucessful at that.

    2. Blaze O'Rama says:

      I applaud you for recognizing that it is fine to embrace the simple joys a kid can find in a harmless pursuit with his friends. 

      Your son has a wonderful Mom.  Mothers everywhere should have the sort of nonjudgmental relationships with their children that this exemplifies.

      Why people are so tied to gender biases is beyond me.  Perhaps it is because we have ceased to fund art and music in our public schools? 

      In any case, I am on the side of bronies, of happy interactive activities that don’t involve violence, and in a world without bias labels.

      1. fuck you says:

        shut the fuck up. you and the rest of your faggot friends should be burned at the stake

  55. plumberscrack says:

    herp doublepost

  56. plumberscrack says:

    lol silly furries

  57. (QUOTE) “A lot of what happens on 4chan happens because it’s anonymous,” Mr. Tanaka explained. “It wouldn’t be as rude if people couldn’t hide. But by the same token, people wouldn’t be man enough to go out and say, ‘I love ponies!’” (END QUOTE) No people on 4chan are man enough to come out into the public! My whole family, and friends know im a brony. Infact, to  all of you… I am!

  58. Anonymous says:

    Gay Brony Reporting In.  Read my Blog: http://www.mynationalistpony.tumblr.com

  59. anon1 says:

    Why do these articles always have to tie in weird fetishes or emotionally disturbed people?
    I mean I know ponies had their stint on /b/ but just look at it, it’s a harmless cartoon that many normal people enjoy.  It’s not a fetish ffs.

  60. Bobmuffin5 says:

    /co/ does not contain bronies, it contains ponyfags. What’s the difference? Bronies run around like a bunch of neckbearded autistic faggots preaching about the beautiful message of love and tolerance (a phrase never spoken once in the show itself) to every single person they meet, trying to spread the show like a religion. Ponyfags are very secretive about liking the show. We tell no one. Nobody knows. If I told my friends I liked ponies, they’d probably shun me, for good reason.  Well, not all of them, but a good chunk of them anyway. Remember, bronies are fans of the fandom, ponyfags just like the pretty colors and idiotic jokes (and our sense of humor is absolutely disgusting).