I learned about fan fiction when i was working with Henry Jenkins. Henry and i both shared a love of subcultures, but he knew a side of it that was totally unknown to me. Fan fiction brings out the creativity in kids, letting them insert ideas into the popular culture that they know. It is storytelling; it is writing; it is community. (And of course, sometimes, it is sexual exploration.) It is a subculture that truly helps kids find themselves.
Of course, not all adults understand the value of fan fiction. (And then there’s the ridiculous copyright problem.) Thankfully, Henry is telling their story and the tension that emerges between the kids and the adults.