All right, Papabear, after reading nearly every question you've answered on your site I think I'll like to try and step forward with an issue that doesn't appear to have been tackled yet.
My fursona is a male fox. But I'm a female IRL. But here's the thing. I'm one of those women who feel so much more natural and comfortable being represented as a male since I've always had this fantasy of being one and I relate more to men.
But at the same time, away from the fandom and IRL, I literally have no desire to physically change to the opposite gender. Not a tomboy, love my girly feminine things, clothes, etc. I like and am fine with being a biological woman. It's contradicting, I suppose, and has confused a few transgender and gay furs.
Basically, I wanted a suit done of my pretty fox self, but wouldn't know how to deal with others. Hell, I've even debated on being one of those who doesn't talk just for the sole reason of concealing my biological gender! But I like talking to others and depriving myself the chance of such just to become a mime is a shame!
So yeah my question is... How do I explain this to anyone who asks why a lady is running around in a male fursuit in a short, sweet, and appropriate manner? I'd rather not have everyone just assume I'm transgender since I'm not.
Anyhoo, Papabear, thank you SO MUCH FOR READING! I would really love your opinion on all of this. I'd never change the gender of my fursona regardless because it's a huge part of who I am. But I'd like to make the possible experience a little less agonizing.
* * *
Greetings, Fellow Furry,
First of all, I am flattered you have read through my past columns so thoroughly. Thank you, kindly.
So, you are not a lesbian, or bisexual, and you are not transgendered. You enjoy being female IRL, but relate more to men, and in your fantasy life you like being a male character. When you say you relate more to men, I guess (since you assert you’re not a tomboy, enjoying things like football and working with tools) you mean hanging out with them more than with other women, which is not unusual. I know women who prefer the company of men to that of other women; indeed, some women dislike hanging out with others of their own sex and just want to be with other men as friends. You aren’t odd in that way.
As for your fursona being male, I look at that as being somewhat analogous to a male transvestite. Transvestites (cross-dressers, if you prefer) aren’t always gay (in fact, the majority are straight--see this article); they just enjoy dressing as women. Turn that upside down and we have a woman who isn’t a lesbian but likes “dressing up,” in a sense, as a male fox. So one way you could explain it to those who might actually ask you is to think of it in the terms of a female furry cross dresser.
You don’t usually hear about “transvestite women,” I suppose this being because in our society to see a woman wearing pants, a men’s T-shirt, and running shoes is not considered odd, whereas a man wearing a dress and high heels is considered out of the norm. Why men dress as women is still not really clear, even to psychologists, though some cross-dressing men say it relieves stress, and perhaps they just enjoy the feel of silky nylons on their legs. Similarly for you, while you enjoy being feminine, you might find the fantasy of being a male in your furry life to be a stress relief or even empowering. If you role play much in the fandom, being a male you can be more free to assert yourself strongly, even in a physical sense.
You are not the only female who roleplays as a male and yet is not gay. There are not a whole lot like you, but they are out there.
And let’s not forget that furry role playing is just good fun. Heck, we’re talking about thousands of people all over the planet pretending they are other species, let alone genders. It’s fun to pretend :-) Just think of female authors who write about male heroes in their books (e.g. J. K. Rowling).
So, there are a couple possible ways for you to explain it to others: the lighthearted “it’s just pretend and I like to pretend my fursona is male just like you like to pretend your fursona is a wolf or a lion...,” or the more intellectual “think of it like a male cross-dresser, only I’m a female who ‘dresses’ in a male fursona.”
Hope that helps,
Hello Papa Bear.
A little while ago I decided to leave my home, friends, and family to live with two furs, who wanted me to be a part of their love and make it a 3-way relationship. Now I have been hurt many times before--badly, too--to the point I once tried to kill myself. But I knew they were different. However, a few weeks ago they decided that they wanted to keep their relationship private. I love them both and gave up everything for them. It took all my power not to beat the crap out of them. I was so hurt. I hated them because of it. I want to be the third wheel that everyone sees last, but I am now, again. They think of me last and I’m tired of them saying they care and love me only when I ask or just to make me feel better. I feel alone and sad. And no matter what, they will never get what I’m going though. They said one day maybe it could happen, but they always leave me in the dust. So how can it? They said they would always love and be there, but they, like all the other people in my life, lied. I really want to be with them, but I get so angry at them, too. What should I do?
* * *
You have the right to be angry. You gave up a lot for them and they abandoned you, and now they are leading you on with vague, lame promises and continue to treat you like an afterthought. When love is one-sided it will not work. You can wish for their love back, but unless it is given freely you will be out of luck, as you are in this case.
What should you do? You should leave. If you can, go back to your family. Be a man and admit you made a bad mistake and ask them if they will take you back after you’ve learned your lesson.
You’re entitled to make mistakes; your mistake was making a bad judgment call about the character of these two people (“I knew they were different”). The shame would be not learning from this experience (you didn't learn from it the first time, either, so this is another strike), and clinging to them would be the epitome of not learning your lesson. If you are wise you will recognize that they are not worthy of your time or your love.
Do not consider this a tragedy, though; consider it a chance to learn about people, to learn about yourself, and to gain some self-respect that you deserve better treatment from others.
See, a Fat fur called "Tom," an encourager on FA, called me out as a fat hater all because I don't want to gain weight in real life. I had his journal pulled, but the damage was done and I lost a lot of friends, including my friend "Mike.”
My question is, should I stop being a Fat fur and stop posting my padded Fursuit?
* * *
Tom is being illogical in saying you are a “fat hater” because you are concerned about your health and want to lose weight. That’s number 1. Number 2 is that it is perfectly viable to love fat people while not being fat yourself. These people are typically called “chasers” in the gay community. Number 3, your so-called “friend” Mike dumping you because of this proves that he was never really your friend (sorry to inform you of that). True friends stick by you, are concerned about you, and don’t dump you because some third party flames you with things that are not even true.
So, in brief: Tom? Not a friend. Mike? Not a friend. Silver, I’m sure there must be people in your life who support you and would not treat you like Tom and Mike and, apparently, some other people have. Those are the ones who are your friends and the ones you need to keep by your side.
As for your fursona? You want your fursona to be fat? Cool with Papabear. My own fursona is a half ton heavier than the real McCoy. Fursonas are, by definition, not a reflection of your real physical self. I mean, should I unfriend a dragon scaley because IRL he doesn’t have wings? Ridiculous. I even know furries who have fursonas that are not even the same gender, let alone weight, as the person behind the fur.
Be who you want to be in real life: thin human being; be who you want to be as a fursona: fat furry. And when you find people in your life who like you in both ways, then you have found your friends.
Firstly, I'd like to say a massive “Thank you” for putting in the time and effort of creating and keeping this site running. I hope that you get plenty of appreciation and gratitude for what you've done, because you deserve it all and so much more for doing this.
On to my question, I suppose I should give a little information first. I live in a four-person family with my mother, father, and my fraternal twin brother; let's call him “Brad.” Now, as a family, we've never really hit rock bottom, we've always had food on the table and had the bills paid, albeit a little late sometimes, but always paid nonetheless. We've always been fairly tight about money, but life has been for the most part all right. What I'm trying to stress is that we've done decently as a family, but one thing that has always been a thorn in my side is my brother, Brad.
When we were younger, we were okay. Sure, we had the expected small fights that usually ended with both of us making up, but things usually didn't get too tense. As we grew older though, he just got more and more rude and harsh towards me; he began to pester me constantly and just be a general nuisance to me. Unfortunately, he never really outgrew that, and now that we're teenagers, he still acts the same way, only in an older fashion. He'll constantly ridicule me over my sexuality, usually replying to whatever I tell him with: “Whatever, fag, you like boys” or some other childish and nonsensical reply. He'll also just make himself as large an annoyance as possible, constantly insulting me over how I look, how I talk, even something as minor as how I walk or how I greet someone.
I've grown to just ignore him, and that's worked fairly well so far, but I'm just interested in having an outside perspective to all this. My mother tells me constantly that it's merely a phase he's going through and, in the end, we'll both be best buddies and sit around a fire and laugh at the silly things we did to each other in our youth. I'm not one to be vulgar, but frankly, that sounds like utter bullshit to me. I'm already dead-set on cutting all contact with him after high school if things continue the way they currently are, which they probably will.
So, I'm simply curious if what my mother is saying is true, and I'm merely being a snotty, hormonal teenager, of if Brad's behavior is just so crude and mean that my plan of cutting contact is perfectly reasonable.
Once more, I'd like to thank you Papa Bear. Ask Papa Bear has certainly helped me with my problems in the past, and I'm fairly sure it'll help me in the future.
* * *
Your brother’s homophobic and insulting behavior is not acceptable, and neither you nor your parents should tolerate it. Papabear suspects that his attitude and treatment towards you could be caused by one of two things, if not both:
1) He is getting taunted at school by his friends, who are making fun of him because of his gay brother. Embarrassed and feeling peer pressure, he makes fun of you so he’ll fit in with his so-called friends.
2) It’s possible he is gay, as well, (it is genetic, after all) but is in serious self-denial about it. There are many cases of gay men fearing their homosexuality and lashing out at other gay men so that they themselves seem to be straight. A number of men in politics and the ministry have been caught with their pants down doing this. It's tragic, but gay people are often their own worst enemies in this respect.
Your mother (who probably just wants to keep peace in the family, but by not dealing with Brad she is actually reinforcing his behavior) might be right that eventually Brad will mature enough to realize that his brother is more important than homophobic friends, or he’ll come to grips with his sexuality, or whatever. Who knows when that might happen, though? It could be years ... or never. In the meantime, you shouldn’t have to put up with it.
One way to deal with this is what you are already doing: ignoring him and living your life without him in it, which is rather sad but it does solve the problem if you don’t mind losing a brother. Or, you can talk to him, something along these lines:
“Hey, Brad, I’m not sure what your problem is with me or why you are so afraid of gay people or being related to one, but calling me ‘fag’ and criticizing me really doesn’t phase me at all. I know who I am and I’m comfortable with it. I’m proud to be gay and include myself among the ranks of such people as Michelangelo, Walt Whitman, Tchaikovsky, Marcel Proust, E.M. Forster, Thornton Wilder, Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein, T.H. White, Ed Gallagher, Kwame Harris, Brian Sims, and Alexander the Great.
“So, you can make fun of how I talk or walk or dress all you want and I don’t care. What I do care about is that you seem to hate me so much when I’ve done nothing to hurt you, and if you keep going on like this you’ll lose me as a brother. If that’s what you really want, then that’s what we’ll do. I won’t talk to you anymore and I’ll cut you out of my life so you won’t be so afraid of being around me or whatever your deal is. But before you do that, I wish you’d just explain to me why you’re acting like this. Does it make you feel good to call me names? Are you trying to lose a brother? I think you owe me an explanation before we say good-bye.”
You don’t have to say it quite like that. Use your own words, but you get the idea. Most likely, confronting Brad like this will make him uncomfortable. He’ll mumble and won’t offer you a good reason for his behavior. Keep pushing him for an answer. Make him confront his own fears. He’s hiding behind a wall of insults and if you keep poking him enough you could poke a hole in that shell and cause him to burst out with an answer.
There is yet another strategy you can take: the strategy of the clown. I’ve known a couple gay men who have resorted to this. It’s when you use humor to defend yourself. For example, next time Brad says, “You’re a fag,” assume an extra-swishy, limp-wristed pose and go, “Oh, yes! I am and it’s soooo FABulous! And I’m just FULL of gay cooties, too!” Then give him a big kiss on the cheek (or mouth, if you're very bold), and add, “Tag! You’re it! You’ve got gay cooties! Let’s go decorate your bedroom!” A couple doses of that should shut him up. His behavior is that of the bully, and most bullies back down when confronted and when they realize they aren’t hurting you.
Whether or not you adopt one of these strategies is up to you. You didn’t ask Papabear’s advice on that part, but to answer your question more directly: no, you are not being a “snotty, hormonal teenager.” You deserve to be treated with respect, just like anyone else, and you should especially expect good treatment from your own brother. This all might be chalked up to sibling rivalry, except that it is very one-sided. Your brother has issues with you and they should be dealt with. It is not your fault, and he should not be given a free pass when he’s being a jerk.
I'm a wolf looking for answers. So, I'm having troubles with my relationship. I'm three years invested and I seem to be in love because of the time I've spent with her. She doesn't like the furry fandom but I happen to live in it. I've been having troubles communicating with her and I feel like I'm loosing interest. She's a nice girl, but I can't keep leading her on if I don't want to be with her; trouble is, I don't know if I want to be with her. Should I ask her to help me, or should I try to find someone first? What’s the morally right thing compared to what I want to do? The relationship market is also tough, I could never find another mate. What do you think?
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Dear E Wolf,
Staying with someone because you have “three years invested” is like holding on to stock in AOL because you owned it for years. In your brief letter you have provided several reasons for leaving her, including: she doesn’t like furries, which is a big part of your life and who you are; you aren’t communicating well; and, tellingly, you don’t even know if you want to be with her anymore. (You are under the misguided perception that time spent with someone = the amount you love someone.)
You write that you “don’t know if I want to be with her.” Yeah, you know, and the answer is pretty clear you don’t, really. The next line—“Should I ask her to help me, or should I try to find someone first?”—doesn’t make sense to Papabear. Ask her to help you? Help you what—love her again? And “try to find someone first”? You mean have a backup girlfriend so when you dump the first one you won’t be alone? Come on.
Then this: “What’s the morally right thing compared to what I want to do?” Why do you think what you want to do is not morally okay? It sounds like you wish to break up with this girl. There is nothing immoral about that. Lastly, you state that you’ll never find another mate. Nonsense.
You are correct, however, when you said you can’t keep leading her on. That was the one clear and true thing you concluded in your letter. You don’t really want to continue in this relationship, do you? Be honest. And continuing a bogus relationship is not doing your girlfriend any favors. If you’re wasting your time with her, then she’s likewise wasting her time with you when she could be looking for someone who loves her a lot more than you do.
Also, staying with her because you’re afraid of being alone is, indeed, not very moral for the above reason: you’re not being fair to her.
The best thing you can do for both of you is break it off now. Not next month or next week. Now. The morally right thing to do is to be honest with her. Tell her you think she is a nice girl and that you really like her but that you don’t see the relationship progressing any farther than where it is now and you think it would be best for both of you to move on (although keep friendship on the table, if that is possible).
Love is not an investment. Love is not found in a “market.” Lovers are not commodities. And lovers aren’t there to keep you from being lonely while you look for someone else who is better. Treat her with the respect a “nice girl,” as you characterized her, deserves and you will be in good shape.
My dad found out about my sexuality. My dad, who is a Christian conservative, who I’ve been trying to hide my sexuality from for years, found out about it. I was in shock. This is a major turning point for my life.
I’m not one to use labels, but if you want to call me something, call me bi. I told him that I might try dating a guy in the future and he told me that it was a bad idea and that “just because we have feelings about people, doesn’t mean we act on them”. He told me if I do that, I’m putting myself on a slippery slope to emotional destruction. He also warned me that HIV is rampant in the LGBT community, and that I could be endangering my health. I don't believe for one second that HIV is the "gay disease", but he does. My dad understands that I don't really care about the biblical aspects of it because like you told me to, I sat down and respectfully talked to him about my beliefs and he accepted it.
But in the end, it feels like he's just using scare tactics to keep me straight. Can you tell me how to respond to this?
* * *
It sounds like your father loves you and is trying to understand you and be there for you, but his misguided, religious fears are hampering him. First of all, you can catch HIV from anyone, male or female, if you are not careful and don’t use a condom. And HIV is not the only disease out there: herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital warts, chlamydia, even parasites like crabs can be transmitted sexually. Some of these, such as syphilis, can be lethal if untreated. It has nothing to do with whether you have sex with a boy or a girl; it has to do with how well you choose your partner and how careful you are.
His comment that “just because we have feelings about people, doesn’t mean we act on them” is too generalized. If you have feelings for, say, someone who is happily married, then yes, you should probably not try and break up a happy partnership. But if you have feelings for someone who is unattached, then heck yes, you should pursue that love interest. In your case, whether the person is male or female doesn’t matter. In fact, congrats, you just doubled your chances of finding a mate since you don’t care about gender :-)
Another misconception is that he can “keep you straight” or convert you back to being straight or whatever similar nonsense. You are born with your sexuality, and you can’t change it. Trying to do so would be like trying to change your race or your eye color. A lot of Christians seem to think it is a choice and that people who choose to be gay or bi are somehow being led into temptation by .... hmmm, I dunno... Satan? (says Church Lady) It’s all very ignorant and misinformed.
Steve, your dad seems to be a well-intentioned father who genuinely cares about you and is trying to understand you. This is wonderful! Now, it goes both ways, of course. You need to care enough about your dad to try and educate him as to what the real story is. The more he understands, the closer the two of you will come together.
You shall know the truth, and it shall make you free!
Well Hey Mr. Papa Bear.
Sorry I've never done this before, haha! well!
Hm so I was with this guy; let’s name him Sam. I was with him for almost a year! and so I .. fell for another guy. Just because we shared so many interests and, well, connected so well. I decided to give him a try and, well, I’m now tangled in two relationships. I don’t know what to do. I love Sam, but I can’t leave him for the other guy, and, well, the other guy ... I don’t know what to tell him. I don’t know why I did this.
-Confused Soda (age 18)
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Hi, Confused Soda,
Cute name ;-) Seems to me you fell for the other guy because, as you said, you “connected so well.” You say you love “Sam,” yet at the beginning of your letter you refer to him in the past tense (I was with this guy), which is rather interesting. And why would you give this other guy “a try” if you were happy with Sam?
You may not be willing to admit it to yourself, but it’s pretty clear to this bear you are not entirely happy with Sam, no matter what you might say. That is why you took up a relationship with the other guy.
Look, Soda, you’re only 18 years old and shouldn’t pressure yourself to commit to anyone if you don’t wish to. This is an age where you are still figuring out what you want in a mate and what you believe love to be, not to mention still figuring out who you are. Unless there is something you’re not telling me about Sam, the statement that you “can’t leave him for the other guy” is really not set in stone. Of course you can leave Sam if you don’t really love him. If you meant to say “I won’t leave him for the other guy” that is a different scenario altogether.
We all live within the walls we build ourselves. Some people build walls of stone with no exits—prisons. Other people build walls filled with windows and doors that they can walk out of at any time.
Which type of walls have you built, Soda?
Dear Papa Bear,
As my pseudonym implies, everyone in my so-called “home” kept saying to me that I'm one of those "cursed beings," being different from the normal standards they consider. Oh, I'm a nine-tailed fox if you're wondering. The parents told their children not to go near me and the other folks are giving one hell of a life.... I thought to myself that my existence was a mistake, a fallacy, that I shouldn't be here in the first place. I considered suicide but deep inside me told me to shove the idea off. I have this special "gift" and even I used it to help they still consider it worthless and push me off.
It all started in pre-school where I'd sit in the corner while the other children play with the other normal kids. Occasionally they'd throw the Lego blocks at me.
Elementary got bad. As during free time they'd throw a rant on me on how 'not normal' I was and mythical creatures like don't exist.
High school got worse. I got into a male-exclusive school and knowing how boys like me go... let's just say they'd do rough-housing on my and used me as tackle practice.
Right now... college, then again male-exclusive but things seem to calm a bit. I got a friend who is normal that actually understands my disposition. But I have the feeling his other friends would influence him to knock me senseless. Plus I got a crush on him... I never told anyone and I hide it pretty good. I don't want to ruin his and my reputation so I recently decided to avoid him and break all contact, luckily his dorm is on the other building. I heard that he was worried about me for not answering his calls or replying his texts, that melt my heart but still I decided to keep BIG distances, it's for his own good, I think.
Speaking of the dorm, it is the worse nightmare EVER! Anyone would come in my room start trouble for nothing. If they find out I'm gay they'd beat me into a bloody pulp. Luckily the teachers' (all males) dorm was just next door and heard the mess one night. They barged in heroically and reprimand the trouble makers. Then they asked me to move into their place so that they can take care of me. That's sweet. But deep down I still feel empty.
So Papa Bear... is it really THAT bad to be THIS different?
Sorry if I wasted most of your precious time.
Signed, "The one who is not suppose to exist,"
* * *
My Dear CursedFoxy,
Normal people are boring. Normal people are sheep following the crowd, doing whatever everyone else does because that is what is accepted and expected. Normal people never stretch beyond the confines of the box. Normal people have no imagination. Normal people never achieve their full potential or come to realize their true selves. Normal people are about as interesting as dried toast.
You are lucky to be you. You are truly unique and are anything but normal. Therefore, Papabear says you should consider yourself blessed, not cursed.
When the norms attack you, either with words or with violence, it is because they are afraid of all things that are not like them. That is because people who are not like them—physically, intellectually, or spiritually—challenge their concepts of good and bad, right and wrong, healthy and unhealthy, moral and immoral. When those concepts are challenged, then they have to think about whether their OWN concepts are correct or not, and norms do not like to think. It hurts their brains.
Three things you need to bear in mind, Foxy: 1) you have rights, including the right not to be abused, which is protected by law; you have the right to contact authorities if you are assaulted, and I hope you will do so if it happens again; 2) you have the right to defend yourself if someone attacks you, including punching them back and, if necessary, even killing them if they try to kill you. Not that I hope it ever happens like that, but it would not be a bad thing to learn some self-defense skills.
And 3) YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST. Indeed, I feel that it is fortunate that you and others who, like you, are not norms, exist. You are the windows to possibilities beyond the norm. This is one reason Papabear is a Furry and loves all people and things Furry, and it is also why I get my grrr on when Furries show norm-ish behavior when they reject, say, Otherkin or Bronies. A true furry considers such prejudices beneath the spirit of Furry.
Foxy, Papabear has a task for you. It is an easy task, it might seem, on one paw, but on the other paw, it could be a challenge for you. It is this: change your name from CursedFoxy to BlessedFoxy. Would you do that for Papabear? Please do. It sounds silly, but if you do this it could change your entire outlook on life and on yourself.
You are BlessedFoxy, and don’t even know it.
P.S. That guy who likes you? Contact him, please. You should not toss away love so lightly. It is a rare thing. Learn to love yourself and it will be easier to accept other people's love in return.
Hi there, Papabear,
It’s been a while since I asked for advice. It's nothing bad—in fact, my life has been getting better since last we talked. What I really wanted to talk about were, well, matters of the heart. There's this person on FurAffinity I just started talking to on Skype about 3 or so weeks ago. He's really the nicest, sweetest guy I ever met, and, well, I just instantly crushed on him. I didn't really know what to say or do with the situation, so on a whim I just went straight for it and told him I liked him, but what really surprised me was that he said he liked me, too. You could tell how happy I was hearing that from him.... To keep it a secret about who it is I'll just call him TK.
I wanted to ask advice because I want to take things slow. We both do; before really asking the other to be in a relationship, figured it'd be best to get to know each other more. Still, I feel more nervous talking to him when I do get to know him. My mind keeps racing, thinking about if there're any faults about me he might not like. Like what if he doesn't like me if he sees a picture of how I look IRL; what if I do something stupid and he gets annoyed or angry at me? I just don't know what to do. This is the first-ever crush I ever tried to go through with. Since I'm bi I don't mind its a guy. I always thought I'd be with a girl first, but a guy is just as fine. I'm just really scared that I might mess up and destroy any chance of a relationship, or even more so destroy a great friendship I made with a really great bear. I'm really sorry if I sound needy, but this blue panda could really use advice.
* * *
Nice to hear that things in general are going better for you. Also cool you have met a great bear (the coolest of the species, if I may not-so-humbly say so, LOL). I’m hoping that the two of you are living close enough together that this is not going to be another one of those virtual, long-distance relationships I keep hearing about from my readers. Let’s assume it’s not and that the two of you are able to see each other in person, muzzle to muzzle.
As you may have read in my other columns, a theme of mine is that fear is the worst decision-maker. When you let fear make the decisions for you, you will find yourself alone and without exciting prospects in your life every time.
While it’s wise that the two of you have decided to go slowly, don’t go so slowly that you stop dead in your tracks. If you allow fear to rule you, here’s what happens: you don’t show him what you really look like; you don’t talk to him openly and honestly, always being guarded and insincere. After a while (depending on how sharp this guy is) he will become suspicious that you are hiding something, which will be true. This will inevitably lead to a confrontation and to a break-up.
Want to keep this guy in your life? Bite the bullet, show him your current photograph or cam with him on Skype. Reveal to him your good and bad points. Unless you have fallen in love with God Almighty (I don't think He has an FA account, but lemme consult with the Vatican and get back to you on that), you will discover that your love interest is also flawed. We all are.
Will you get into fights and arguments? Likely, yes. That is part of any relationship. But if the two of you fall earnestly in love, you will be able to overcome your disagreements. Remember to always fight fairly, never with bitterness or hurtful words, but by presenting your side of the argument and trying to understand his side, as well. That’s how mature people settle things (though finding mature people these days is rather like locating a social programs supporter at the Republican National Convention).
In short, if you love this guy for who he is, then trust him to love you for who you are, as well. Give him some credit. And don’t be so self-critical. Think about your good qualities—I’m sure you have many or this guy wouldn’t like you, too.
I wish you love!
I'm so glad I found your site, I can finally confide in someone for help! Always loving animals, I became involved in furries three years ago. I wanted to commemorate it, so planned on getting a tattoo for my 18th birthday. I met someone through a roleplaying forum, and we occasionally talked through a messenger. Telling them I wanted a tattoo, they told me I could use one of their pictures if I wanted. They sent me some pictures through email, and I fell in love with a design! A year later I went and got it done happily!
Last week I was searching through my newly made account on FurAffinity and stumbled upon a picture. It was my tattoo design....drawn by someone else! Browsing through their gallery, it turned out to be the REAL artist! I lost contact with my messenger acquaintance so there's no confronting them, though I sent an e-mail.
I feel so ashamed! I have art theft on my body for the rest of my life. I want to contact the artist but I'm so afraid they'll hate me and be super mad, the picture says not to use it for any purpose. I feel really bad and don't know what to do! Do I tell the artist and risk them hating me and slandering me all over? I set out to make friends in the furry community and now I feel like I'm hiding a dirty secret that they'll all judge me for unknowingly taking part it. PLEASE HELP!
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First of all, this is not your fault, so don’t blame yourself. The “creative procurement” of other people’s art seems to be rampant in the fandom. Some talented artists have stopped posting work for that very reason. I’m glad to hear you have a conscience and want to do the right thing.
I can see where approaching the real artist would make you uncomfortable. For that reason, I would like to offer my services as a liaison between you and the artist. I could approach them, explain the situation, and gauge their reaction. Next, I would suggest you offer to pay them for their art (a reasonable fee). That way, the artist is compensated and you will have a paid-for tattoo that you are not ashamed of.
Please contact me at my email address and we will discuss it.
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