Updated: Jun 30
This post was written by Dylan, a Panic! At The Disco superfan!
Finding a healthy role model is tough. It's impossible to go on social media and not be impacted by an influencer or celebrity in a positive or negative way. But while the pool of good role models is shallow, never fear. There are a select few that are worth your time.
Panic! At The Disco’s, Brendon Urie has supported the members of the LGBTQ+ community by sharing his own story of exploration and acceptance, including his incredible philanthropic work with the Highest Hopes Foundation. Two P!ATD fans were so inspired by Urie’s compassion and advocacy that they created a nationwide fan project. Eva and Briar are the founders of the Heart Project. At any P!ATD show, the Heart Project lights up the venue with various colored hearts. Those who are a part of the project hold different colored hearts over their phone flashlights to create a glowing rainbow in the crowd.
Dylan, a Panic! At The Disco super fan from Sacramento, has been a fan for four years now and decided to create her own branch of Eva and Briar’s fan project. She discovered P!ATD while browsing YouTube and watched the "Emperor’s New Clothes" video, and she now runs an Instagram fan account with over 83k followers. Here’s her story about her incredible fan project:
“What happened was about 15 of us came together for a Panic! concert in Oakland, California in 2017 and we cut out around 20,000 colored paper hearts all colors of the rainbow. I was dubbed the ‘leader’ for my show, so I was essentially the one planning and making sure everyone was doing their share of making hearts. I sent templates of the hearts to my group, asked how many they would be able to print and cut, and also came up with, in my opinion, and I’m hoping others [opinions too], a really cool idea. Since the floor was entirely seated, I wanted to create a rainbow on the floor seats of the venue! I spent a lot of time counting the seats on the floor to make sure each color of the rainbow had an even amount of people/hearts. I assigned people sitting in different sections on the floor to put the hearts on everyone’s seats! I was incredibly scared the rainbow wouldn’t work out because when the song that people held the hearts up during, “girls/girls/boys,” in the section I was in, which was supposed to be pink, I saw purple and green and lots of colors that weren’t pink. But later that night came the pictures from the upper levels and I saw that the rainbow worked! I cried really hard when I saw that it actually worked and to this day I still can’t believe it did. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the people who helped make the hearts and help pass them out/set them on seats.”
Not only did Dylan bring the Heart Project to a whole new level by organizing the hearts into rainbow order, but in 2016, she raised $2300 in support of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for Brendon Urie’s birthday. The foundation supports members of the LGBTQ+ community by fostering awareness and inclusive practices.
Brendon Urie has been a role model for so many and the Hearts Project is a testament to that. Fan projects are important because they give fans an opportunity to become a part of something bigger than themselves; they become a part of a community. The community that Eva, Briar, Dylan and other Heart Project leaders have created is an immense community of fans that feel seen and heard by their favorite role model.
Thanks to Dylan for sharing her incredible Panic! At The Disco fan project story!
If you want to get more involved in fan communities,