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Why the need to tell about furry?

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I actually told mine because hiding fursuit construction in my bedroom and never allowing anyone in there and spending mass amounts of hours without coming out of there was getting to be suspicious and questions were being asked. I finally goofed and forgot to clean up a mess of fur from where I cut something out in the den rather than the bedroom when no one was home and then it REALLY got weird. I am not one to lie and make up some ridiculous story about what I was doing instead why I was building a mascot outfit essentially. Lying isn't a good thing to do to your family. Neither is being super secretive of your interests. Parents will assume something bad is going on (notably drugs, and illegal things) and worry about what you are doing, often leading to snooping around while you are gone instead. Snooping around and turning up 'animal costumes' etc would usually lead to a Google search by the more tech savvy parents possibly leading to more assumptions that are not accurate for the individual. Now they are faced with repairing their reputation with their family that would have never been scarred if it had been more open and just part of daily like (e.g. "Yeah, I like horror movies").

If anyone feels the need to HIDE their furry interests like its a dark secret.. then well... sounds more like it isn't so innocent afterall and might BE a dark secret. Sure, hide that if you feel that way about it. If you knew they'd hate you for it because of something you do in the fandom then yeah.. you probably wouldn't want to tell them if their assumptions were true anyway (or not as bad as what was really going on). I hate how everyone acts like liking furry art has to be hidden from people because "OH NO THEY JUST WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND and it might cause conflicts!!". Don't shove it in people's faces like you are fighting for equal rights or some stupid junk, but if they ask then don't act like they just asked you to tell your inner most fantasies to an audience of 500 people. If its deeper than what you'd want everyone to know then don't go that deep.

I mean really.. if its being preached that most people don't hate furries (which is true) then why on earth are people so dang protective about their 'dark little secret'? I was worried about telling my family what I had been doing because it already was something built up badly from hiding it. If I had been open from the start I wouldn't have even been nervous. Now that they know I like furry stuff its barely even mentioned (the FURRY word) at all but they don't bug me about what I am doing, I can carry boxes of fur and stuff around the house without being sneaky, heck - my mom has taken photos of me in fursuit before, so has my brother. Its fun, and they actually really like it. Mom has furry art on her computer now too that she sets as wallpapers every now and then. My brother even messes around in furry fandom now, and I found out my cousin has had an FA account for as long or longer than I have. *shrug* It's just an art driven fandom. It is nothing to be ashamed of and feel dirty about all the time. Its also not something that needs to be 'fought for' in public like you are being oppressed - both attitudes are equally ridiculous, imo. I can tell someone I like furry or anthro art just the same as I can tell them I like nature photography. Mentioning it casually in related conversation is NOT making a big deal out of it - HIDING it sure does though.


--- Quote from: Kobuk on September 12, 2010, 03:11:30 pm ---Now if you're under 18 and living with your parents, that's an entirely different ballgame. Parents have a right to ask what their children are getting into and naturally will be overly concerned and suspicious of new things. Face it, the things like Internet, raves, drug use among teens, etc. probably didn't exist much, if at all, back in the days when your parents were growing up. A lot has changed over time and parent's attitudes and suspicions about stuff change also. A parent only wants to see that their children grow up and live a happy normal life as best as possible. Parents only want the best for their children. If you hide or deny something, then they will get suspicious and ask about it and also probably not want you getting into whatever that something is. But if you talk openly about furry without making a big fuss over it, then maybe they'll understand and will let you get involved in it.

If you hide or deny furry, then that equals SUSPICION, FEAR, & PANIC.

If you talk about furry openly, wear your tail, show your artwork, etc., then maybe there will be more openess and understanding.

Which do you want?
--- End quote ---

That's precisely why.

I have no problem talking about it with friends, because..To me, its really not that big a deal. On the other hand, I feel as though my family are the ones blowing it way out of proportion. My parents feel as though its going to ruin my life, if I let it get further than the internet (Cons, wearing a tail, or even a collar for that matter). I don't make a big deal over it at home, but I wish my parents understood what it is I'm trying to convey: "Its not that big a deal. Its really no different than going to any other con." But something is lost there, and doesn't connect.

I agree with most of what you say Kobuk (save for your choice of big red and yellow text  :D ) but to play devil's advocate, everybody sees the fandom differently.

The idea of 'fandom is a hobby' vs. 'fandom is a way of life' started with the sci-fi community, but it applies to furries as well. For a lot of people, the fandom represents a major part of their identity, and not just a 'casual thing.' For those people, it's a lot harder to bottle it up  and say 'nobody needs to know.'

From wikipedia:

--- Quote ---In political, casual, or even humorous contexts, "coming out" means by extension the self-disclosure of a person's secret behaviors, beliefs, affiliations, tastes, and interests that may cause astonishment or bring shame.
--- End quote ---

People 'come out' about all sorts of things; their sexuality, political and religious beliefs, so on. A lot of times they know it will get them into trouble, but they still do it. This is because nobody likes to hide a major part of their identity from people they know and love.

--- Quote ---Would you "come out" as a stamp collector?  No!  Furry is no different.
--- End quote ---
Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. You come out as a stamp collector by saying 'I collect stamps' and that's the end of it. The only reason we are having this discussion is because nobody knows what the word 'furry' means. When someone wants to come out of the furry closet, they have to explain it. It's this explanation that gets people into trouble.

I come out of the furry closet all the time. When someone asks me 'what do you do in your spare time' or 'what are your hobbies' one of the many thing I'll say is 'cartoon animals.'  There! Done!

To quote me:

--- Quote ---Never use 'buzz words' to explain the furry fandom, it confuses people and ups the 'weird factor'.
- Say 'cartoon' not 'anthro' or 'furry'
-say 'character' or 'persona' not 'fursona'
-say 'costume' not 'fursuit'.
--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: Nicholai on September 12, 2010, 04:16:10 pm ---The idea of 'fandom is a hobby' vs. 'fandom is a way of life' started with the sci-fi community, but it applies to furries as well. For a lot of people, the fandom represents a major part of their identity, and not just a 'casual thing.' For those people, it's a lot harder to bottle it up  and say 'nobody needs to know.'

Never use 'buzz words' to explain the furry fandom, it confuses people and ups the 'weird factor'.
- Say 'cartoon' not 'anthro' or 'furry'
-say 'character' or 'persona' not 'fursona'
-say 'costume' not 'fursuit'.

--- End quote ---

Yep, I guess I should have noted in my own post that even though I have a coupe fursuits I made and like furry art I do not consider myself "a furry". I LIKE furry STUFF. It's not "me". I don't consider myself any particular label. I guess if some where to come close as a general "me" description it would be entertainer, or artist. I love to entertain people - whether that be with my art, my music, my videos, stories, etc. I get the most joy from making things others find pleasure and joy in. As far as fandom stuff goes I'm decently involved with Pokémon fandom (after all that's why I'm around furry fandom since many artists and writers hang out on FA essentially). So yeah.. I'm not worried. I've worn a fursuit in public, not at a con, around hundreds upon hundreds of people (somewhere between 1 and 2 thousand or so). I even had to give my license and get ID'd by police to get permission to do it. If I were worried about anyone finding out what I enjoy I wouldn't have done that.

You are right on with that last part. I've shown my costumes to tons of people when talking about halloween stuff and drama things. People love sharing theirs too. Never even had someone go "OMG A FURRY!" when I've shown them on my phone here. I had ONE person at that day fursuiting ask me if I was a furry (other than the other furries I ran in to walking around) to which I nodded and he said "Oh man!! awesome!! Can't I get a photo with you?". Which naturally I let him, and the other 200 people or so that I posed with that day for photos. *shrug*

Others will have differing opinions/descriptions, but here's my thought on the following:

Don't say furry, but instead use the word(s) "anthropomorphics" and/or "cartoon animals".

If you want a fursuit, tail, ears, then say it's for Halloween.

If you're going to get a collar for any reason, then say that you're making a "bracelet" out of it instead or using it for some other art craft project. ;)

If you like drawing non-adultish "anthropomorphic" artwork, then why hide it? Let your friends and parents see for crying out loud. Why feel ashamed about it if it isn't perverted in any way?

As has been mentioned before, DON'T tell friends/parents/etc. about any of the bad aspects of the furry fandom. Tell them about the good things instead like fursuit bowling, charities the fandom helps with, etc.

If you want to go to a con and need to tell your parents, then tell them it's a "science fiction/fantasy" convention, not a furry convention. Or just say it's a convention dedicated to the history and interest of anthropomorphics. Seriously, the furry fandom is an offshoot of the sci-fi/fantasy/anime genre's.


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