Over 4,000 fans of the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have gathered for a convention dedicated to the show - and specifically to its male fans.
BronyCon Summer 2012, which was held in New Jersey, attracted male fans of all ages, many of whom were dressed entirely as their favourite pony from the show.
Dale Fjordbotten, a 25-year-old student from New York, told AP that being a ‘Bronie’ was nothing to be ashamed of.
“I thought about what people would say. `It's creepy. It's weird. It's a ... show for little girls,'” he told them “It's just a great show ... the story line, the plot, the beautiful animation.”
Inside the exhibition centre, fans purchased all things pony including cuddly toys, hats and accessories, voice-over stars from the cartoon also signed autographs for legions of adoring fans.
On the forecourt outside of the event, men danced and sang the songs from the cartoon and watched as a screen attached to the side of a truck showed episodes.
Despite some lack of understanding from the public, Bronies are clearly not ashamed of their peculiar fascination with a show where the target audience consists of primary school girls.
“I discovered that there's nothing to be ashamed of being a Brony,” said 19-year-old James Penna of Mastic in Long Island, NY “people are into what they're into.”
Lauren Faust, the chief animator for the My Little Pony series said that despite her target audience being little girls, she hoped to draw in some boys with solid story lines.
She said: “We live in a society where saying that something is for girls is the equivalent to saying that something is stupid, or saying that something isn't worthwhile.”
“I think that's awful and I think that kind of attitude needs to be changed,” she said. “And these men are doing it. ... They're proud that they're forward-thinking and modern enough to look past this misogynistic attitude.”
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