To police who has access to an identity or community
Tom feels like he needs to gatekeep who can become a fan of Mouse Rat or not.
Yeah, it's rather infuriating and he turns away potential fans of the band.
|Fandom||Community of fans|
|Multifandom||Subscribing to multiple communities of fans|
|Gaslighting||Manipulating information to create doubt|
|Multistan||An obsessed fan of multiple things|
|Fanboy||A dedicated male fan|
|Fangirl||A dedicated female fan|
|Catfish||To assume a false identity|
|Troll||A person who posts offensive comments|
|Keyboard warrior||A person that posts controversial opinions online|
|Poser||A person who pretends to be someone they are not|
|Cancel culture||Canceling people who do anything controversial|
Gatekeep is when a person takes it upon himself to determine who has the right to identify with a group, community, or fandom. Gatekeeping typically includes challenging a person to see if they are worthy of the identity.
Gatekeepers feel that they have some type of authority to determine who can pass through an imaginary gate to access a certain identity. This territorial behavior has been around since the advent of human civilization and became even more prevalent online in forums and social media (keyboard warriors are common culprits).
Where did gatekeep come from?
There is no clear origin regarding who coined the "gatekeep" term in this context, but the label gained prominence in the mid-2010s. Redditors created a "Gatekeeping" subreddit in July 2016 to share gatekeep examples they have encountered. The term has also become popular among zoomers on TikTok as a way to call out manipulative behavior, along with gaslighting tactics.
Examples of gatekeeping
You will see gatekeeping occur in any identity group, whether it be an ethnic group, gender group, sports fandom, or pop culture fandom. For example, if you wear a Star Wars (SW) shirt, you may be ambushed by an older SW fan challenging you about the best trilogy in the series. If you answer "the prequels," he will probably dismiss you as not a real fan.
Gatekeeping can become toxic and destructive when it involves basic identity groups, like ethnicity or sexuality. For example, a gatekeeper may have a certain idea about how a Black person should look and act, or a gatekeeper may expect a heterosexual to dress and behave a specific way. And if a gatekeeper believes you do not fit their requirements, they may attempt to exclude you from the identity or community.