Ok I've been seeing a lot of people complaining about the "crazy Hetalia fandom" lately and I've had enough. Really this can apply to any fandom with a bad reputation but since I've been seeing toward Hetalia lately I'm going to focus on that. Seriously, many of the stories that get passed around are either so far-fetched to begin with that I have to question its validity or has gotten exaggerated so much that they barely resemble the actual event.
For example, at Anime Boston 2010 a few cosplayers did a Nazi salute at the photo shoot. They were called out on their behavior immediately and they quickly apologized. This happened to be Passover weekend and a Holocaust museum was nearby but the people who did the salute didn't know that. This is what actually happened. I've seen people greatly exaggerate this story into saying it was a large group (really it was only like 5) and that they marched to the Holocaust museum and did the salute. Also the apology is completely ignored. They did apologize on the con's forums after the picture hit the internet.
Not that I condone these actions but I'm able to forgive them. It sounds like it was really a momentary lapse in judgment which we all have. I also think it should be noted the "Nazi salute" existed long before the Nazi party. It was created by the Romans and has been used in many different societies. Even the U.S. saluted their flag that way before the Nazis adopted it. So I think we shouldn't automatically associate the salute with Nazis.
In my experience, the fandom has been great. I made many friends through cosplaying Hetalia. Plus we accept each other's ships which in other fandoms I've been in that has been a huge problem. In the Harry Potter fandom, I've been insulted and even threatened because I disliked the Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny pairings. I have seen some FrUk shippers online get a little carried away but for the most part things are pretty civil.
The thing is people who believe the Hetalia fandom is crazy seem to find anything to complain about. If they don't see someone at the con doing anything too out of the ordinary they try to make the simplest things into terrible crimes. Like "OMG, they're carrying a large flag." I don't see the problem here. I use small flags simply because I don't want to carry a large pole all day but that's a personal preference. Although, I'm not big on flag etiquette. To me, flags are just pieces of fabric but I still practice basic flag etiquette because I don't want anyone chewing me out on it. But yeah I've seen people not complaining about flags being desecrated but people having them period. I also someone saying we're crazy because he saw some yelling. Yelling is sometimes necessary at cons. You get a bunch of people in one area things get noisy and yelling is the only way to get people to hear you.
I also get sick and tired of people saying I'm just "lucky" to not have bad experiences with the fandom. I find this quite condescending as it's basically saying "You're experience was positive therefore doesn't count." This sort of relates to a trend I see all kinds of people do. They focus so much on the negative and never pay attention to the positive even when the latter outweighs the former. I've also seen people tell me "it's up to you to prove not all Hetalia fans are like that." As I mentioned earlier, these people complain about everything
so no matter how sane I act they'll find something to use to prove I'm "one of those fans." These people are so set in their minds they can't open their eyes and look for positives.