My brother had convinced me to be an Everton fan when I was young enough to not remember, because a family friend had convinced him. I don't feel any guilt or less of a fan, but I can appreciate that many others have stronger ties. Other than matchdays, I've barely met any Evertonians over the years and I think in some ways being left to my own devices gives me a different perspective to most.
I used to go to watch Brighton when they were at the Goldstone Ground, but I don't recall any Brighton fans from school despite only being down the road. Now they have the new stadium, plenty of people are now behind the team and they are in a very different situation to when I was growing up. There is certainly a wider spread of interest in Brighton, now that they have a promising future. But when someone questions my allegiances, I will happily say Everton are my team. I hope Brighton get promoted, but I would also want us to take 6 points from them as they hopefully survive.
My Nan supports Blackburn as that is where she was raised, but it was never something she mentioned or had much interest in. But other than that, there isn't an interest in football in my family, except me and my brother. My genuinely local team have attendances often countable with fingers and toes, with all being family or friends.
I think you have to understand that success brings the most fans and its often the people who choose a club based on things other than recent success, than delve a bit deeper in general. The majority of United fans I know are fair weather friends, they do support the team, but most of the people who have become big overnight Brighton fans were United fans. I also do not know a Man City fan in any of my social groups, although I remember a kid who supported Liverpool, then United, before Blackburn, back to United and then Newcastle, before returning to United, so I imagine he probably does.
But between PL teams the allegiances are not as tribal in my local area, because it's so far detached. But being part of the local area, or having family connection to the area will always be a key part, If I had it, I would be proud of it too. Although I think the vast majority realise it's not a good stick to beat people with. While money talks so heavily, being an insular institution doesn't help our resources, it doesn't really matter if several come from Scandinavia.
For me, being an Evertonian is a huge part of my life, but it will always be different for different people. I can understand that people will often have more pressing issues. Collectively we have an influence, but individually we have very little. It often feels that football and its importance are outside the bounds of most sport almost like a religion. But when family matters or something important comes along, it is only a sport at the end of the day.
I think it's also worth mentioning that I think that wools, are far more likely to feel a need to justify their support.