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Gerard Butler GALS

The POSITIVE side of Fandom


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I've seen some criticisms of late regarding Gerard Butler fans and I thought I would address some issues here.

There are some who think we Gerry fans need to, "Get a life," which for me, I find extremely ironic as through my association with other GALS, my life is so full that there are times I just want a rest!

Most of you know the story of how GALS began, but let me brief you. One day I got a silly idea and wrote a tongue-in-cheek post regarding a new syndrome with Gerry fans. This was a total joke and I remember hitting the post button thinking, "Oh, please don't hate me for this!" And, "I hope SOMEONE posts on this thread."

Much to my surpirse, the thread took off like wildfire and my life hasn't been the same since. Trust me, I never dreamed I'd be running (with loads of help from our capable and talented Admins. and Mods.) a website for Gerry or ANY actor!

So, going back to the criticisms, I would like to address those by stating some of the things which have happened PROFESSIONALLY since posting the above thread and through my associations with other Gerry fans.

Through Gerry Fandom I met Jennifer St. Giles, my best-friend and recent Bestselling Author.

Through Jenni, I met Annette Batista, another of my best-friends, FOX director and fabulous photographer.

Through GALS, I met Stef, another best-friend and brilliant web designer.

Because of my friendship with these amazing women, we began www.betweenyoursheets.com.

Though GALS, I met Ashley Kath-Bilsky, site admin for The Butler Did It Group, who is now a published author, BYS hosted author and good friend.

Through Jenni, I met her wonderful sister, and best-friend, Tracy Clark, who is also now a partner with BYS.

Though these women and because of our new business, I attended the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention where I met amazing men and women and our company began taking off. Also through that convention we were able to network with other authors, both famous and working on becoming famous.

Through the RT Convention, I was privileged to meet and talk in length with the owner of the Romantic Times Magazine, Kathryn Falk, who has been a great inspiration.

Because of some things I have seen, I began Day Agency, a talent management company and have added a terrific partner who, as I have said 100 times is THE coolest man I've ever met.

Through our convention in Vegas 2006, I met Suzi who is a friend and talent and my go-to gal when I need help with events.

Through our convention in Vegas 2006, I met Tonya, Jereme and Gerry….nuff said.

Ladies, I could go on and on and ON! I haven't even put half here!

Through GALS, I have truly found my purpose – which is to empower women of all ages! It is this passion, the personal need for me to see every woman I come in contact with – either online or in life – realize they are valued and that they can achieve all of their dreams if they but believe in themselves, which makes me feel that perhaps I have made even a small difference in this world.

I have many, many more irons in the fire which I can HONESTLY say originated due to my associations with TALENTED, WITTY, BRILLIANT, GENEROUS Gerry fans.

There is no doubt that I do see that negative side of fandom and there are times I just need a good cry after dealing with drama, but when I get down about things, Jenni reminds me what our purpose is and to stay focused on our goals. She also reminds me of all the extraordinary events which have played out in my life due to GALS.

I guess anyone can choose to see only the negative side of fandom (which is most assuredly there), but I prefer to look for the positive instead.

So, this is what I would like to see in this thread, I would like to see you all post how your association with other Gerry fans has POSITIVELY impacted your life.

DO NOT post ragging on the NEGATIVE site of fandom; that is NOT what I want us to concentrate on. There are plenty of those kinds of posts elsewhere.

:hugs:

Dr. Em

Edited by Stef with an F
I am over tired and just took a muscle relaxant. Sorry this is so fracutred sounding, but I felt I needed to put this on the forum ASAP.
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Dayna.....Hope this is what your looking for.....

Since become a Gerry Butler fan almost 2 years ago, and since coming to GALS a little over a year ago, my life has never been the same.....my life had become a dark abyss, that I just kept falling deeper and deeper into.I was on the edge of a deep depression, I think, now that I look back on it.My marriage was on the brink of not surviving, and I simply felt I had no life of my own.After I discovered Gerry and found this realm of fans, esspecially here at GALS, I began to care about ME too.For once, I stopped and thought about what would make me happy,and I started making things happen for myself instead of always focusing on everyone else's happiness.Gerry and this place ignited fires inside of me , some that had burnt out, some that I didn't know were there.After his initial discomfort passed, my husband started to see a new woman emerge from the shell that was left of his wife.I started telling him what would make me happy and he has begun to listen........the Vegas 07 convention was a huge turning point for me....it encouraged me to feel beautiful for the first time in my life......for the first time, I felt like I could do something for me, all on my own.At first it was hard to convince my husband that I needed that trip, but when I returned he understood.I never felt happier in my life....the friends I have made, I feel closer to some than people I've known all my life.I came back from Vegas feeling important, wanted, loved, beautiful, sexy...everything I had forgotten how to feel.....and my husband saw it, and he liked it.This place is part of my daily life that I crave and absolutely hate if I ever have to be away from....

Dayna, I've told you how I feel about you...you are simply an angel....

and Gerry, you'll just never know how you touch people.......you have been and always will be my gift from God!

Amy

Edited by redroseblackribbon
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Thank you so much Dayna! This thread is very timely, as I have had an ugly education this week, in regards to "some" low opinions about Gerry's fans.

My entire list of positives would take up too much bandwidth, LOL..... but I will share a few:

Through Gerry fandom, I began writing my novel, Chanson de L'ange in Feb 2005. I am now completing the first draft, and by January 2008, I will begin work on the second draft. My hope is to either have the book published or to publish it myself sometime in 2008!

I have NEVER written, or even THOUGHT about writing a novel in my life... and yet here I am already working on an idea for my second.

Through my Gerry fandom, I began to sing and write songs again, after a very rough few years of no creativity when Nathan was ill.

My writing the song, Chanson de L'ange, lead to Nathan composing again, after over a year of the studio being dark!

Because he began composing music again, Nathan pulled out of a very dark place, and now he is actually composing as a professional, and getting paid for his work!

Through my Gerry fandom, a wonderful friend made it possible for me to go to Vegas last year, where I met Dayna, and Pammie, and Annette, and Libby, and so many WONDERUL people, who welcomed me with so much love.

Through the Vegas trip, I met HIMSELF.... not only did I meet him, but he saw the video of my song! I met Tonya, and my son Nathan, may in the future, work on a project with Jereme!

Through my Gerry fandom, I connected with real people, on a deep level of support and caring friendships. We pray for each other, and support one another. I have received HUNDREDS of PMs and emails from Gerry fans, who have openly shared with me their personal stories about how Gerry and being his fan, have positively impacted their lives. I have heard from women from all walks of life, who say that their Gerry fandom has made a HUGE difference. They've made new friends, they've traveled, discovered artistic talent and tried new things! Lots of the women I've heard from have lost weight, and made positive changes for a healthier lifestyle!

Through my Gerry fandom, Nathan met Diana, a beautiful young lady who I met in the GALS chatroom before Nathan was even active on the board. Nathan and Diana met face to face, and now they have a very special relationship! She's coming here for a visit in a few weeks!

Through my Gerry fandom, I re-discovered my inner Diva... I feel younger, dress younger, and I've been successfully losing weight. I feel better than I have in years!

Through my Gerry fandom, I've had fun, I've been naughtier, happier, friendlier, and just overall better in so many ways.

Through my Gerry fandom, I have come to care for and support some wonderful people, including Gerry Butler.... who puts a smile on my face.

Through my Gerry fandom, I've been able to visit Las Vegas twice! I've seen shows! I've watched the Bellagio fountains! I've danced and played and had a blast!

Through my Gerry fandom.... I have GROWN as a person, not only because of how Gerry has inspired me, but because of the women who inspire me every single day!

Gerry fandom has brought nothing but positives in my life, and in the lives of my family..... and I cannot wait to see what comes next!

Swannie

Edited by Swansong
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THE ABCs OF FANDOM:

ACTING 13 YRS OLD AGAIN!

BOOSTING EACH OTHER UP IN TIMES OF NEED

CHARITY

DIVERSITY

EVERLASTING

FRIENDSHIPS

GENEROSITY

HAPPINESS

IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS REALIZED

JOY

KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR EACH OTHER

LAUGHTER TILL YOU ALMOST PEE YOURSELF!

MEETING PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD

NEW FRIENDS QUICKLY FEELING LIKE

OLD FRIENDS

PUSHING YOURSELF TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON

QUALITIES REDISCOVERED

REBUILDING YOUR SELF-ESTEEM

SUPPORT

TRAVELING (EVEN WHEN IT SCARES YOU!)

UNDERSTANDING THAT SOMETIMES FRIENDS DON'T AGREE

VISITING PLACES YOU NEVER DREAMED YOU'D GET TO

WONDERFUL TIMES

XERXES (lame, I know, but it was better than xylophone!)

YEARNING

ZANINESS BEYOND BELIEF!

Edited by Isabeau
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I know I'm just a newbie here, but the reason I sought out GALS, in particular, is that I had lurked for awhile and found every post read to be insightful and intelligent. Of course I love Gerry, but I've also come to adore you all as strong, independent, and courageous women in a forum where I felt welcome and warm. And in just 6 short days! I have found support here for my trials and tribulations, specifically in dealing with hardships relating to my loved ones. I can't express to you how much it means to me to be a part of this community, knowing not just that we share a common admiration to "Our Boy", but also to making women feel empowered as well as to provide them with a forum in which to express themselves. So, THANK YOU very much for providing this community to us.

We all have lives, but the camaraderie that we find here is unbeatable.

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I was drug here kicking and screaming! But when Dr. Em is your best friend, you sort of don't have a choice when it comes to these things. You know how she is! Anyway, Gerry is such a chameleon. You know how different he looks and acts in different roles. I'd seen Drac 2000, and although I HATE vampires (sorry Cat) I left thinking that Drac was sure a hottie. Then came Timeline, and the only person I recognized in the movie was Paul Walker (before THAT whole insanity began), but I left thinking that Andre Marek guy was sure a hottie. Then came Phantom and Dr. Em about the same time in my life, and I was finally able to put it all together and I started learning who this Gerard Butler guy was.

Then before you know it, my best friend had started a website for an actor! An ACTOR, for crying out loud! Didn't psychos and stalkers do things like that? Wasn't that only for people who had no lives and were so obsessed with someone they needed that outlet? My best friend Dr. Em didn't seem like a psycho, and she certainly wasn't a stalker, and she may have been appreciative of Gerry, but she sure wasn't obsessed. She was a normal, busy, albeit crazy, single mother of 4. She kept talking about all the wonderful people she was meeting, so before you know it, she'd signed me up for this. I lurked around for 3 months before I was brave enough to post anything, but when I finally did, I was embraced by some of the most wonderful women I'd ever had the chance to meet.

I have had some special challenges in my life, as we all do. God knows what's the hardest for us, and He certainly was giving me just about all I could bear. I was in a black sad place, and you could feel it around me. There was no light in this soul. I'd made it through school, which was something so difficult to do alone, but when I finally came home, I came home to find out that my sweetheart of 12 years was dating a girl who was in highschool, all behind my back. Then my parents left to serve a mission in Finland, leaving me to care for their finances and their home, all trying to run a new business alone.

I remember the day my parents drove down the driveway. I turned around and looked at their house, and the huge yard, and the orchard, and just bawled! I walked in the house and got on the computer, and there were messages for me from my GALS. I mean, there were SO MANY many messages of hope and support from my GALS, it blew me away that people I'd never met before actually cared more about me than my own so-called friends. Then came Christmas, and I was overwhelmed with Christmas cards for the first time in my life... from GALS. You all were serious about including me and loving me. I was shocked. I was touched.

Then came the first Vegas convention, and I knew I was going to be going but I wasn't sure what to expect. But what the heck...First, I love Vegas, so if anything I was going to go just to lay by the pool. If things got boring I could entertain myself. HAH!!! Second, Dayna needed my help, so I felt I should go. I'd met Sporran, so at least I'd know 2 people. What I experienced at that convention is nothing short of a spiritual experience for me. Meeting all of you, feeling the love, the acceptance, the craziness made me feel beautiful again. There was a spark that came back into my life. Around all of you, I felt absolutely beautiful. I felt radiant. I felt loved and accepted. I felt like Pam again. I came home so empowered, on a spiritual high. People would ask me "How was Vegas?" and would be shocked to hear me reply with a tear in my eye, that it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.

I've found kindred souls here at GALS. I was instantly at ease around you all, almost like I had all these sisters who just "got me." So at the 2nd convention, I was determined to help others feel the same way I'd felt last year. Plus, I needed the spiritual lift myself that week brings. I reconnected with Fergie, and she'd had an empowering experience and made huge changes in her life because of GALS. This year we met Amy (redroseblackribbon), and we tried to explain what had happened to us, and that she'd leave the convention feeling beautiful. I remember her hanging her head and saying, "No, not me." But I knew what would happen,... and it was even more wonderful to see the magic happen for someone else than it was for myself. I remember the tears running down her face the last day, and the tears flowed for me too because I'd seen it happen.

I looked around that Saturday night seeing all those people on the dance floor, being SO proud of my best friend and this Phenomenon she created, seeing the lives that had been changed and touched. Seeing Swannie, Abrock, Fergie, Bethy, Stef, Atilla Girl, Stagewoman, Jenn, Sporran, DiscoveringMe, Katie, Holly, Nathan and Di, Annette, Jenni, ..... I got tears in my eyes, and was caught up in emotion as I looked over the crowd out on the dance floor, looking at the number of lives that had literally been changed for the better because of this craziness we call GALS. I've still not met Lish in person yet, but she's as close to me as a sister. I think of all the things that had come to my dear Friend Dayna, all because of GALS.

I can't wait for next year, to see how many other lives we can help make so much better. I feel it's my responsibility to pass it on. A feeling this special should be shared. I am so proud to be associated with you. God and the Universe work through other people. Angels are brought into our lives for a purpose. I'm surrounded by Angels.

Love You All,

Pam

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Guest greyeyegoddess

Thanks Dr. Em for this thread.

This is deeply personal to me, and may sound either shocking or offensive.

Through my involvement with the fandom, I've learned what it's like to have true galpals. Up until then, most of my friends were male, and lots of them, because I couldn't stand being around other women. I could not trust them and did not like how they treated me most of my life. I'm still trying to figure that out.

I learned that women can be very trustworthy, sweet, and good friends. I learned that I could have more than one galpal, and that if we went out, we could have fun, without feeling that we have to compete against each other. I learned that I could confide in great friends, without worrying about being stabbed in the back. I learned that we could share in our ups and downs, and not worry about being trampled on.

Around this time, I had also started working with the young women in our church. Up until then, I had always worked in my church, pretty much alone, so I had to learn how to work with four other female leaders and a group of teenage girls. What an eye opener, but a wonderful experience.

On the positive side, I've learned to dive into very creative sides of my talents, which have sparked new interests, so much that there is a GREAT possibility of going back to school to train professionally.

I've learned that my old interests have a place for my new interests.

I've traveled to places I would have never thought about visiting. Like church, I know when I go somewhere, I can find a friendly face in the area I'm visiting.

I've had the opportunity to meet so many people, help others, and find connections with others who have similar interests or who just applaud for great work done. Sometimes we don't have to have similar interests; we are just there for others.

Hugs!

~alice

:music:

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Great topic, Dayna. Just wish I were able to express as eloquently as you all have, how Gerry fandom has affected me in a positive way. Where do I start?

Always, I have sort of lived with my head in the clouds, daydreaming, hoping, etc. And I've sort of had the philosophy that living in a fantasy world sure beats real life. While drudging through my boredom, I've been star struck by more than one celebrity as I admire their charisma, their beauty, their popularity, etc. Authors, have similarly won my undying admiration, and I have always been able to abandon myself within the pages of a good novel, living vicariously within the story each writer creates.

Anyway, though my daydreams served me well as a coping mechanism, they had pretty much been spent by the time I reached 50, and my hopes for fairy tale endings had suffered fatal blows. I had been through 2 failed marriages, my children were grown and out of the nest, my life-long soulmate was no longer a part of my life (long story), I found myself very lonely and depressed. None of the happily ever after stuff was available to me. I lost my spark. I lost my hope. Then I had a heart attack and the downward spiral escalated. THEN... thank God, I saw Phantom of the Opera! In his eyes, his expressions, his voice, his movements, this actor, who I had never heard of before, rekindled all of those sparks. I had rented the movie and watched it 13 times in one week. I searched the internet for this Gerard Butler, rented or purchased all of his movies I could find. Watched every recorded interview available. He made me smile, he brought back joy and excitement to my damaged heart and gave me reason to want to live again. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and it is not my intention to sway anyone, but on the other hand, I feel I am entitiled to state mine. I believe that God knows exactly what is needed to reach each of His children, when they are sad, hurting, sick, etc, and for me it was Gerry Butler's charisma. Thank you, God, for knowing me, and thank you Gerry Butler for being His vessel, even if you didn't realize it. I honestly think you saved my life.

Next, I found GALS. I made so many new online friends. Wonderful women like me and extraordinary women like authors, actresses, singers, professionals, housewives, mothers, computer pros, all with so much love and comradery to offer. I wasn't lonely anymore. How can anyone be lonely with so many friends? Thank you all so much for bringing me so much joy.

When I attended the 2006 convention, my roommate, Swansong, and I became very close. I was so in awe of her and her talents before the convention, having read Chanson and hearing her sing that it was as close to having a celebrity as a roommate as I've ever experienced. How blessed I was!

Meeting Dayna, Jenni (a real published author Mistress of Trevelyan - WOW), Annette, Stef, Pam (a dentist, no less), Katie, Val, Jill, Cat, Doris, Kim, and others that first day was amazing. Not like I was meeting them all for the first time, but as if we had shared many special times (as we had, though online) and we all had that common bond - Gerry Butler - without him our very special friendships would not have happened.

My only regrets are that I'm not younger, healthier, richer. I wish I could attend every get-together, whether at home or abroad. I hate that I have to miss out on any part of this great ride that is Gerry fandom! But I will be there for as much of it as is possible and will be looking for inventive ways to do some of the not-so-possible, too. I enjoy being a moderator; I count it an honor and a blessing. Plus it helps compensate for the things that I wish I could do but which are out of my reach.

Gerry fandom, good or bad, healthy or not, has given me entrance once again to my fantasy world, where all is happy-ever-after. And I like it so much better here than in real life (though I still know the difference and must participate in the RL stuff, too). Thank you sweet Gerry for giving this back to me, for allowing me to rub elbows with the rich and famous, as well as the scores of everyday folks I have come to love and who love me here at GALS.

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Good Lord, what HASN'T happened since I threw my lot in with the crazy fray of fandom?!?!?!

Hmmmm....

Let's start, shall we?

Since I'm an atypical fan in most ways (besides the fact that I'm female, LOL!), I still find it fabulous that my "journey" (?? that's such a sappy word...) is much like most others'.

I was in my first real post-college job. Doing exactly what I had studied for. And I found myself lacking. I found my life lacking. I was depressed, though I didn't know it at the time. What I was was unmotivated and without dreams. Support (from my fabulous and loving family) I have never lacked, but as a fairly goal-oriented, dreamy, artistic person, I was feeling stifled.

So when I started lurking (at .net), I found a community of well-organized, giving, passionate people. And since passion in others is what drew me to Gerry first, passion in his fans lead me to overcome the misgivings that I had about joining. Though I occasionally re-evaluated, I have never really regretted it. And with the dawn of GALS (and my continued involvement with .net, I'm a GAL AND a Tart, and proud of it!), I found myself with yet another special group of friends.

I've met liturally HUNDREDS of wonderful women. I've traveled to four foreign countries, many states, had amazing experiences that I might have never embraced, enjoyed, and LIVED were it not for my "weird obsession". My family, though they don't always "get" it, has learned to come to terms with it, and me.

Other than that, I've gotten the self-confidence to handle bigger problems in life. I've gotten a larger perspective, a world view, and I think I've come to accept that changes in life can be for the better if they're embraced.

I've been in three musicals, production-stage-managed another, taken acting lessons, ballet lessons, and had two (nearly three starting in fall) voice teachers. I've lost weight. I've been in two independent films, one of which will hopefully do festivals this fall and winter. I've gone to over 100 auditions (pretty much got that down...hopefully...LOL!). I've performed twice at GALS functions and loved it. I've seen other talented GALS take steps to better themselves, to embrace their lives, and been fortunate enough to see the rest of the girls cheer them on, hold them up, console them, and celebrate their victories.

So if the outside world thinks I'm obsessed, so be it. If they think I need to get a life, well, honestly, I'd ask THEM to get a life. Really? Who takes the time out of their own ever so important schedule to criticise others without really looking? It's been an eye-opener to me to start embracing the so-called "strange" or "weird" habits of others with open arms instead of shunning them or thinking badly of them the way I might have in the past. Admittedly, I am not the world's most open-minded person. But the change in attitudes when I merely ask, "well, is that convention/activity fun? does it bring you friends?" and hear, "yes" and then, (gasp!), smile and encourage them instead of making fun? It lights up faces. Acceptance is golden. We've all got something slightly off beat about us, and honestly, it's passion for those things that makes us unique and beautiful.

So that as well as a new value for myself and new life experiences, well, I guess you could say that fandom has opened my eyes and given me those gifts.

No small treasures.

Jen

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Where do I begin?

Getting a life

I am pretty sure as I type I do recognize that we do have a life; and it is even more satisfying because of my association here with GALS. I have learned more about others by the sharing we do here. Yes, we agree to disagree; seen that, engaged in that, however, I have also seen my life become even more blessed by the friendships created here. And it is not the "We are only friends when we are together on the site, PM'ing each other" feeling that exists on OTHER sites. This is family here.

Through my Fandom, I met Landa, who as far as I am concerned, must have been my sister in another life. No joke. We have laughed, cried, screamed in girl delight because we can literally finish each other sentences now. I would take a bullet for her; anytime, day or night. You mess with her, you mess with me first. I can see her in my life 20, 30 years from now and for this fact, I am thankful she is a part of my life.

Through my fandom, I met Songbird, who has the biggest heart of any Diva I have ever met. She has taught me patience and I thank her for that in my prayers. You know, we do a toast from time to time: "May you live 100 years, and me one day less, so I will never know that you have left my life." I hope she will sing 'Ave Maria' at my funeral. Her voice is a gift from God.

Through my fandom, I met Dr. Em, who is my second mother now, who inspires me to be the best person I can be, who can be my worst critic and my best friend. She is my agent and manager; I cherish her, because she is loving, kind and considerate of others. She gives until it hurts. Dang, I am trying not to cry here...I always believed in angels, but I always thought angels existed for other people. Not me. Until I met Dayna. Dayna has given me back FAITH. She has also helped my father, because if you have not seen a picture of Dayna, SHE'S HOT! I emailed a couple of pics to my father and now he not only has a crush, but finds it extremely difficult to sleep now. hmmm...I wonder why. I know my mother is smiling down from Heaven, because no woman has ever made my father smile this much! Hubba Hubba! I can't wait to introduce Dayna to my father when we all get together in Las Vegas!

Through my fandom, I met Zanyzombie, and she is that Diva who when you fall, will dust you off, laugh that you fell and make you realize you have a friend for life.

Through my fandom, I met DawnS. You know when you are having a bad day and you don't want to bring your drama here so you just sneak off alone and deal with it? Well DawnS is the one who sends you a PM, checking up on you and hugs you tight, and believe me, you feel it through the computer.

Through my fandom, I met Swansong. I don't think there are enough words to describe the impact she has had on me, so I will say it like this: open up your Webster's Dictionary, find the word phenomenal, and if you look real close, her picture is underneath it. That's how I feel about her. She has the most loving nature and when you have gone through life feeling broken, she heals your heart. If I ever grow up, I hope I can have even 1/2 of the wonderful qualities she does.

Through my fandom, I met LeslieD, my Author Diva Sistah. She was sweet enough to share her life with me, so much so that I wrote an article about her books. I am so proud of her! She has the funniest sense of humor I have ever seen.

Through my fandom, I met MsNomer. I can see me and her defending ourselves to a judge because we partied too hard and got arrested...LOL...beautiful person, beautiful soul.

Through my fandom, I met Moonglow. I think in a previous life, she was a sheriff and I was her deputy. Moonglow has taught me, and it will be a shock to her when she reads this, a sense of purpose. She gives me a peptalk and believe me, I do listen.

Through my fandom, I met Cleobethra. I will erect a statue of her likeness and worship it daily because of the inspiration she provides. She makes me smile so much. Her comments are hilarious. I have to make sure I don't read some of the posts here at work, because I laugh out loud.

I have other sisterfriends here I love very much, Stacie-in-Nebraska, DiscoveringMe, HeIsMyGSpot (yeah, I know she is saying who me?), Big Mike, because he makes you glad to be a woman...LOL...Hobbes, Marissa, TheBlonde, whom I truly adore because I bonded with her mad quick, there are so many others here...so I hope you understand what I am writing.

It is amazing to me that those who point the finger and judge, are the ones least likely to be able to look at themselves in the mirror. This site rocks! I love it here. I have so much fun here.

We are now going forward; and it is not just a fan site any longer. We are empowering other Divas out there and we must realize that we make a difference. We pulled it together, got that petition going and our voices were heard. Now that to me is POWER.

The convention next year...is going to be amazing! In ways you never dreamed possible. As long as we are together, nothing can stop us. We don't need an endorsement or an appearance from GB; we represent him by our kindness and love for each other.

GB is everywhere. SO IS GALS.

Love you much,

Tiara

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Wow ladies! Thank you all so much for your thoughts, both to me personally and to all of our sisters. :tissues:

There are many things I left out which have been such a blessing in my life, but as I was having a discussion with Stef about how moved I was when I found out we had reached my personal goal to reach $10,000 for Susan G. Komen, she said, “You need to put THAT in the thread.” And I agreed. I was literally moved to tears as Susan told me, "We're going to make it." I cannot even begin to tell you what that meant to me.

For me, the empowering of you remarkable women is truly my #1 priority as are our hand-picked charities. As our site and convention continues to grow, I hope to empower more and more women and to give thousands (maybe even millions!) to our charities! This is truly my dream and it is a dream which is coming true each and every day of my life and for that, I say :thankyou:, to all of you amazing women!

:hugs:

Dr. Em

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Hollywood, you ROCK MY WORLD.

I wish this post was longer, I've just been so tired lately, I'm afraid that it would ramble and the mods would have to step in and delete it just for the health of the board. ;)

Because of my fandom I've had the opportunity to meet some of the nicest, giving, funniest, sweetest, generous, supportive people ever.

I wish I could fully express how much you rock my world, I really do adore you all.

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Well ever since I joined GALS for almost however long Ive been here I have met incredible friends. I have also found a place where I can get a confidence boost and find a way to reach my goal in life. Through this site I met amazing mods (Lish, Bethy, all the nice mods on here) and cool Admins (Dayna, Stef and the Admin team.) Before I was a GAL I had no where to share my obsession with the man himself but then a good friend of mine pointed this out to me and I was like "Wow! This place is cool!" And getting to know all you GALS has been awesome for me. Now I have a place where I know people and friends are thinking about me when I am down. I have a place where I can share my dreams and when I have problems I have someone to bring me back up on my feet. I tell you if this place was not here I would not be here as well.

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I am seriously food-deprived at the moment but had to at least jump in with a little bit of what fandom has meant to me.

I have more friends, real friends, than I have ever had in my whole life. They have taught me how to ask for help or comfort when I need it, and how to offer it when they need it. They have inspired in me creativity I never knew was there. All of these are friends I've met because of a shared interest in one Gerry Butler. I have laughed harder and longer in the past couple of years than ever before. I have never been a depressed person, but I can say I have felt more alive in the nearly 3 years since I first laid eyes on one very handsome Phantom, than in the rest of my adult life. I've visited places and experienced things that were only dreams for me for years. Fandom has given me a vehicle to do charitable works, not just throw in a little money now and then. Being able to raise money for Susan G. Komen, City of Hope, Kids Kicking Cancer, Trees for Life, Revlon Women's Cancer Charities, and others, has made me feel that there is a true and noble purpose here.

It was I who coined the term FANmily and in my heart that is truly what I found, especially here at GALS, thanks to the atmosphere of love and encouragement that is the embodiment of the woman who started it all - Dayna, our own Dr. Em. Do I have a life? You betcha I do!! I have a fantastic job with a great company, I have a fantastic husband who is so tolerant and understanding of all "this" and I have friends and fun and laughs and love. I learn new things every day from this experience of being a "fan". I have a life that is more satisfying than I could have imagined, and anyone who thinks I should "get a life" needs to re-examine their own because I'm happy with mine and I don't intend to give it up!

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Reading these accounts of the Positive side of fandom has been very uplifting. I confess to being personally shaken by some of the negative views out there regarding Gerry's fans. It is difficult when you find something that genuinely makes you happy.... to understand why there are those who see things from a completely different perspective, and are even willing to make sport of, and mock those of us who feel this way about Gerry, and each other.

I honestly believe I am here, and that I "discovered" Gerry for a greater purpose. There is no way I would be doing half the things I am doing now, had it not been for Gerry's inspiration, and the love and acceptance of this community. I cannot express how much the past 2 and a half years have meant, not only to me, but to my family.

I have a hard time understanding why these kinds of stories from Gerry's fans are offensive and ridiculous to some people.

A person does not have to be a perfect, or upheld as a Saint to be an inspiration to others. Just because Gerry is someone who HAS inspired me, that does not mean I hold him in some shrine of worship. He is an ordinary human being who has been gifted with talent which has the power to touch people, beyond the confines of his roles. As an artist, his art touches people.... it can inspire and move them in profound ways. The work and influence of other artists has been similarly experienced and felt throughout time; through paintings, music, literature and theater.... artists have always inspired.

Why is it so difficult for people to understand that an actor like Gerry is capable of impacting lives to this degree? And if they don't understand it, why must they turn it into something ugly?

The positive side of Fandom, far outweighs the negative, and I know for me.... I'm too busy living and enjoying my life to give those negatives power.

Swannie

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Well the whole Gerry-Fandom effect has actually done me much good.

Before I knew that Gerry ever existed I had a completely different outlook on life. My dad wasn't exactly the best male role model and I felt very lonely. I had a similar fandom but it was for Japanese anime, and it only served as a way for me to escape from my unbearable reality back then. When I saw him in the Dracula 2000. trailers I didn't know who he was but his charisma made him very interesting to me. It wasn't until after I saw Dracula 2000 and Tomb Raider 2 that I decided to research more about "Gerard Butler".

As I continued to read more and more about him, my art style changed as each interview gave me more and more happiness.I was slowly getting out of a dark abyss which would have eventually let me to end my own life. It felt as if his optimism somehow transferred over to me and gave me the strength to face the harsh reality of living with an alcoholic and violent prone father. By the time The Phantom of the Opera came along, I was already a member of .Net and actively participating in some of the conversations there.

Being part of the "fangirl" crowd was not that appealing to me at first, but as time passed I met many wonderful people who really care about me and what I do. I consider some of the people I've met here more close friends than those I have at school.

All I can say is that being a Gerry fan changed my life for the better. Now looking back, I realize that I was in a very deep depression and if it hadn't been for him, I would be dead right now, since I was a bit suicidal at the time. During this time as one of his fangirls, my art style changed a lot, just as I was changing my outlook on life. I used to think all men were like my dad, but thanks to Gerry I realize that my old assuption was incorrect. I've met many wonderful people and actually got a life thanks to him! How ironic is that? :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have never been happier in my life than right now sharing all the fun and the honest intelligent discussions that we have here on this site. I have a life, Thank you but it's richer, happier much more laughter and joy in my soul and and I wake up with a glint in my eye and a lot of love for all my new-found friends here. I had never been involved in anything like this before and it's such a joy to be in with a group that laughs and loves with you daily. What could be more positive???? and Gerry ????? He is the icing on the cake and a good reason for all this hoopla. I support his Charities, His films and his thousands of really great Fans......

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