Dear Papa Bear,
I am a 12th grader and I hold many responsibilities at my school. I am an excellent (B+) student, I am the coordinator of all the clubs, I make sure my classmates get the lesson, and I am president of 12th grade and supervisor of 11-9th grade.
I know I will always have the respect of (most) of my classmates and maybe admiration of others? But my hormones are kicking in, and since I have a talent in drawing, I can’t let it go to waste. I get unpleasant looks whenever someone peeks at what I am busy drawing when I am free. I am doing everything into a sketchbook that I have. (I already showed it to a few that I can absolutely trust, and they don’t care about the weirdness, they still like what I can do).
But with all my responsibilities, I want to "come out" as being a furry. I might not lose face with other students, and I don't mind name-calling, but I am pretty sure word can easily get out to teachers, and with them, I am always breaking rules here and there (skipping home works. being dismissed half the day...etc.).
I love responsibility, and you cant imagine how much I love it! My father still fixes my plate when we are at lunch! I am not even allowed to walk to a store that's 3 KM away!
I don't want to ruin my "mask," and I don't want to throw it out either. I know my teachers will think I am very peculiar and will even try contacting my own father. I just don't feel as normal discussing this topic with someone that is either way older or much younger than I am, so what are some words I can replace if I get "caught" (I know they will get into my sketchbook and call blasphemy. or even research about the furry fandom). Any good vocabulary I can use? any good quotes/comebacks or sentences or even a book I can get information out of to steer things in my favor?
One other thing... I am certain the French teacher is gay (oh, the stereotypes!) last year and the year before, I would just draw innocent stuff, and mostly not related to anthros and show it off to anyone, including him. This year he keeps catching me drawing, but he has never seen the contents yet (and he is curious). But most of this sketchbook is filled with nudes.
There is only 4 other people in my class I know for certain are gay, and I am excited in showing off this stuff, but is it really that okay for a teacher to see these things from a student?
Things in UAE are very ... what's the word? Unorthodox? The schools director won’t punish me for carrying nudes that I can draw (but my dad might break my head in with a hammer if he finds out). In fact, people here lack talent and would actually appreciate talents, no matter how it is put to use.
You make a lot of sense, so I am counting on your experience and knowledge for an answer that can relief me. THANKS!!!
William (age 17)
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Hmm, your thinking here is a bit muddled, but I will try to unravel all the things you touch on. You are concerned, it sounds like, that being “caught” as a furry will ruin the status (academic and social) that you have at school. And you wish to “come out” as a furry (but not as gay? You don’t mention coming out as gay, just furry).
The common sense first piece of advice I can give you is that if you don’t want to be caught drawing naked furries, don’t draw them in public and don’t carry around a sketch book full of porn to your classes and other school-related activities. Draw that stuff and leave it at home or some secure place. I could get psychological on you and suggest that you are doing this because you want to be caught, saving you the trouble of “coming out” in a more formal way. I’m surprised by your comment that the director at your school wouldn’t be upset by your nude drawings (I figured the UAE would be more conservative than that), but your dad would be (explaining, perhaps, why you don’t draw at home).
Anyway, you are stuck between your desire to keep your responsibilities and admiration at school (guessing you don’t get this at home, judging by your comments about your father) and wanting to be yourself as a gay furry. You’re apparently under the impression that Papabear can feed you the “secret words” to use so that you can reveal your true identity and everyone will somehow be fine with that because of the way you phrase it, not because of the facts you reveal.
I’m sorry, but no such magical words exist. People have asked me this question before because they are hoping beyond hope that there is a way to have their cake and eat it too (cf. http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/his-love-for-a-man-is-forbidden-in-the-unite-arab-emirates). Your choices are either: 1) continue as you are doing, keeping your drawings and gay identity to yourself; or 2) come out as a gay furry and risk being a target of prejudice and discrimination and possible prosecuteion (in the UAE) while (on the upside) knowing that you are no longer living a lie.
Some people you may tell will be okay with who you are, but, inevitably, there will be people who are not okay with it. You will lose them as friends, peers, mentors, family, any one of whom could betray you in the dangerous game you are playing. This is one reason why so many LGBT people bristle when conservatives declare that being homosexual is a “choice.” Who would choose to live a life in which you are discriminated against, hated, and feared? Nobody, that’s who.
William, you are 17 and soon to be leaving your high school, I’m sure. Papabear says now is not the time for you to make such a choice. There is no rush for you to “come out.” Instead, finish school, move out of your father’s home, get a job, and then you can talk about being a furry and being gay from a position of strength in which your future does not hang from the judgment of others who could harm you (preferably while living in another country).
That said, I would further advise you against coming out at all because of where you live. The penal code in the United Arab Emirates specifically states that sodomy, including consensual sodomy, is a crime punishable by death. Sharia law also makes being gay a crime (if you are a foreign visitor, you are subject to immediate deportation). The good news is that, so far, no gay people have been put to death in the UAE, but imprisonment has occurred.
While I appreciate your desire to come out, both as a furry and as gay, I don’t recommend it for you. I’m not sure if you draw male or female furry nudes, or both, but the furry community is often associated with the gay community because we have so many gay furries, so even if you just came out as furry, and not gay, you are putting yourself in danger.
You would be wise to stop showing off your furry and gay art. The good news is, if you wish to be an artist there is a whole universe of things out there you can draw. Art can be very fulfilling, and it certainly doesn’t have to involve porn. Don’t let your teenage hormones kidnap your intelligence and lead you into trouble. I know that this can be difficult, but try and play it smart.
Maybe, someday, we will live in a world where people are more understanding, but today you must be a realist.
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