What Wayward Means to Me

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I don’t remember exactly when I first heard the term “Wayward Daughters.” It was probably around the time Claire uttered the term “Wayward girls” in the episode “Angel Heart.” But I know that ever since that day my life has never been the same.

It’s hard to quantify in words what Wayward has meant in my life for the past two and a half years. For starters, there are the friends I’ve made both in person and through the good ole’ internet. Coming into college, I was terrified about making new friends, as social stuff had been difficult in the past. On the first day of orientation, I wore my Always Keep Fighting shirt, to hopefully attract some fellow SPNFamily members, and met a girl named Zoe. We immediately started talking about Supernatural and watched season 11 live every week. When episode seven aired, “Plush,” featuring Donna, we realized we were both big supporters of the Wayward movement. Since then, every Wayward episode, campaign and spinoff development I have had someone to cheer alongside me that I may never have met without Supernatural and Wayward.

For two years now I have attended TorCon, the Supernatural convention in Toronto, Ontario, At TorCon 2017 I was lucky enough to go to the Wayward Pajama party, and I can honestly say it was one of the best nights of my life. Not only was it amazing to talk to and hang with Kim and Briana in a very real way, but for the first time I felt the Wayward community in real life. I made new friends and felt so comfortable and realized and confident in myself in a way I hadn’t before. It was magical. It was wayward.

Wayward, by definition, means deviating from what is expected. I’ve lived a fairly wayward life. An adolescence filled with mental illness and social struggles led to a life off the beaten path that could only be considered wayward. For a long time I felt ashamed of it and tried to hide it. But the Wayward movement has helped me to accept myself and the path my life has taken. Because not only does the Wayward ideology promote confidence and acceptance, but it has also created a community around it that has helped me and so many others realize that I am not alone. None of us are.

And it’s this community that has made this spinoff a reality.

It’s no secret that Supernatural doesn’t do so well when it comes to representation, whether that be of women, people of color, LGBTQ folk, etc. So when the idea came about for four, now six, beloved female characters to have their stories told – not just as foils to Sam and Dean, many fans were on board. We yelled. And someone listened. If there was ever evidence of the power of fandom, Wayward Sisters is it. How often do fans say “We want this!” and studio executives say “Yeah, okay. We’ll give it a shot.” Never. Literally never. But the Wayward community made enough noise that it’s happening. We fucking did it. Thursday, January 18th at 8 p.m. on the CW, “Wayward Sisters” will premiere. It will be magical. It will be Wayward.

As Kim Rhodes said in Alana King’s, “Wayward: The Documentary,” “By the time it became a spinoff, we had released any attachment to employment around the movement… that when they came in and said ‘Hey, do you want to do a spinoff,’ I was kind of like ‘… Oh! Oh, yeah! Oh, right, TV, right, yes! Yes, I do!'” I also feel that way. Not that I’m not ecstatic about the pilot as my non-SPNFamily friends will assure you by my frequent squealing. But Wayward is so much more than a TV show. It’s a movement. It’s a community. It’s a feeling deep in your gut. I am so grateful to be a part of Wayward. And I’m so grateful Wayward is a part of me.

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By Emily
Emily is a a graduate of Simmons University with a Bachelor's Public Relations and Journalism and former Disney World Cast Member. An avid fangirl and media connoisseur, when Emily is not thinking of her next article topic, she is planning for her next convention, chatting about the latest book she has read or binge-watching her favorite nerdy shows on Netflix. Find Emily on Instagram and Twitter at @emilycoleyeah
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