When I was 12 years old, my mother made the mistake of showing me the internet where I'd discover the Official International Queen Fanclub site. It doesn't exist anymore, but there used to be a chat room where I started making friends. It was my very first sense of community.
It was a place where you could be a kid and/or a new Queen fan and you were welcomed with open arms, as opposed to nowadays where one is typically greeted on forums like, "You posted in the wrong fucking thread, you dumbass!" or, "Why the hell would you ask such a dumb question?"
And yes, to this day I still miss the people from that room. But I've recently got back in touch with one of them! We clicked ridiculously well. We'd call frequently in the days before cell phones (can you say $70 phone bill??) and mostly sing together and pretend to put on concerts, write really terrible (my contributions, not hers) fan fiction, obsess over Freddie, etc. It was fucking sick.
We eventually started calling ourselves The Mercury Gurus because... well, I don't know. You can't spend hours talking about Queen and singing Queen and jacking up phone bills thanks to long-distance calls and dial-up internet without giving us a name.
And then for a while we lost touch. But being a fucking stalker, I Googled her name and found her contact info! And then we had an intense and wonderful conversation scarily similar to what I described above, where she eventually said something like, "By the way, it feels SO GOOD to talk to somebody else about Queen on this level!!!"
We both had friends in real life, but they weren't hardcore about Queen like we were ("WE'RE ELITE!" - her words) My counterpart is also super badass because she won the 2001 mime contest at Breakthru using a rolled up Back To The Light poster as a Freddie mic :-D
However, I'm really fucking jealous of her. She fucking met Brian May! (she's in the middle) And ever since then I can't see pictures or videos including Brian without uttering a good "Fuck you, counterpart!" ... But I say that with love. She knows that. Or at least she does now :-)
Oh, and she recommends this.