I will be the first to admit that I’ve made enemies in the Backstreet Boys fandom. Sometimes I would speak my mind without thinking of the repercussions. Thankfully some of those things I’ve been able to overcome, make amends and just try to be a better person.
I’ve been suffering from depression since I was 15 and I woke up to find my grandmother dead. She helped raise me and it pretty much turned my life upside down. Other things happened to me afterwards that lead me into a downward spiral that could have ended badly, really badly, but on May 1, 1998 I saw the Backstreet Boys perform at my Grad Nite at Walt Disney World and it changed my life.
Granted, I still dealt with my depression, but they helped me find an outlet. I started writing fan fiction my first year of college and I found my love of writing. I used to be very shy so getting out frustrations and things through writing was good for me. But my depression got so bad that not long after 9/11, I dropped out of college. I didn’t do much at all. I tried to have a job, but I just couldn’t. I tried to do things to myself, but even I couldn’t do that right.
It was like AJ and I were in a parallel universe, side by side because I was battling depression and personal addictions (which maybe not as bad as his, but still)
If it hadn’t of been for Nick Carter’s solo album and solo tour, again, I wouldn’t know where I would be. I somehow found a way to go to a ton of shows and it all led up to me meeting him on July 5, 2003 for the first real time. I met him quickly before, but having the chance to sit down and actually talk with him changed everything. He was in a bad spot in his life. I was in a bad spot in mine and again, he helped me.
A week later, on my 23rd birthday, I enrolled back in school. That January, I started the university where I was majoring in Creative Writing. That eventually changed to English, then Public Relations and finally Mass Media/Journalism, but because of what he said to me, the fact that he believed in me, I found my calling with journalism. I would have never guessed 11 years ago that I would be an award-winning journalist. I would have never guessed that I would interview award-winning musicians and get paid to cover concerts and to design and write about things I love. I was honored enough to be one of the first fans to read an advance copy of his book months before it was released. I was honored to be asked to be a part of anything that deals with the boys or Nick.
So when someone asks me why I’m a Backstreet Boys fan, why do I love a band after all these years that have seen their “hey day” as some might say, I don’t know what to say to them because it’s just not a one word answer. It’s not because they are hot (because, they are) or they are great singers. It’s so much more than that.
Other fans probably think Nick is my favorite Backstreet Boy because he’s gorgeous. Yeah, that helps, but it goes deeper than that. Like with AJ, we both shared some of the same problems and being that he’s only five and a half months older than me, it was as if I went to school with him or something. He’s my favorite Backstreet Boy because he literally changed my life. He made it better. He helped lead me to my best friends, to my career, to a happier life.
And that is a why I am and will always be a Backstreet Boys fan.
They may be just a boy band. They may be just singers. But to me, they are everything.