I’m a very young furry doing art secretly. I have been a furry for about 2 years now. My father is the type of guy who makes fun of things that are strange. If you tell him something, he gives you 1 answer and leaves it at that. He gets mad easily. I feel lonesome (hence the name lone owl) and I would like to get more involved, but without them knowing, and absolutely no furries live by me. I recently heard about your site and thought you could help me. I watch videos on the Internet, but still feel like this is missing in my life. Please help me.
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Welcome to the furry fandom, hon. It can be very tough to be a furry, especially when you’re underage and living with parents who don’t understand anything that is beyond the accepted norm. My sympathies. Plus, you’re apparently living in an area that is a bit isolated.
One of the wonderful things about modern life is the Internet, which is how I discovered furries and made a lot of friends. But it is also frustrating because so many of those friends are far away and sometimes I never see them in person. Okay, so here are some tips that may help:
1) The Internet is your lifeline to the fandom, so guard your Web privileges carefully. I hate saying this, especially since I just wrote a letter about being honest with one’s parents, but if your father, especially, is going to freak about furries, you’re going to have to conceal your browsing behavior. At your age, I hope you are not getting into the kink of furry. Be VERY wary of that. Keep it clean at all costs. After looking at furry sites, delete your history and your cookies. I really hate that you have to do this, but this isn’t about you doing something criminal; this is about you being who you are in a household that sounds like it would promptly reject and oppress you. So be careful.
2) Since you can’t go to a furcon or furmeet, especially since you’re too young to even drive, you can try and create the furry experience via virtual worlds. If you haven’t discovered it already, go to SecondLife.com. An entire virtual world awaits you there. You can create a fursona there and there are many parts of SecondLife that are places for furries to hang out. You could also have a lot of fun with The Furry Gaming Alliance (http://furrygamingalliance.com/).
3) Modern technology has brought us the wonders of videochat programs like Skype, which is free to use if both people have a copy. IM software like Yahoo!IM also has video chat. It’s the next best thing to being there.
4) Your story is one of many reasons why I and others are working on founding the American Furry Association, which will be a national advocacy group for furries. One committee is being devoted entirely to young and new furries who need help navigating the fandom and getting connected to it. You can learn more at www.americanfurryassociation.org. We’re still in the planning stages, but I am hoping to get it launched later this year.
Right now, Owl, you are a bit too young to forge out on your own and get personally connected with furries, but happily you have the Internet, a useful tool that can help you a lot. Guard your surfing privileges well.
In the meantime, launch an education program for your father to slowly get him used to the idea of furry. Surround yourself with G-rated furry stuff, such as Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons and books like Watership Down and the Redwall tales of Brian Jacques. This is to get your father more comfortable with anthropomorphic fiction and art, a process that could take years, but you have lots of time right now as you’re not going anywhere.
Hope these suggestions help. And, if you feel lonely again, feel free to drop Papabear an email.
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