I am a 16 year old youngfur who discovered his furry side not that long ago. I first told my brother I was a furry (I'm happy I can confide in him with private stuff). Anyway, as time went on, I finally managed to go through the trouble of telling my father that I'm as furry. He seemed to understand it, though he is a little cautious about the subject (I explained him it's not what he thought). But I eventually did bring up that there's a convention being held in grand rapids, and that I liked to maybe go. He says if I do, it would just be me and him. He has not told my mother yet, or my older sister (thank god), so that helps a little. Anyway my point is, in the chance I do get to go, I have been told bringing your parents to a furcon can help them better understand the fandom, I like to believe this but I'm not sure how exactly this is the case. Can you maybe explain how this might help him understand better, and maybe some tips on what I should do to help things be less awkward if we do go.
I apologize for this long long paragraph of writing.
Thanks for your help, I appreciate what you do for us people and am looking forward to the furry book!
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Thanks for writing :-3 Yes, I have mentioned this before in earlier columns about taking one’s parents or guardians to a furry con. While there have been one or two exceptions, most parents have a great time and learn to understand better what a furry is.
I have not been to the Great Lakes Fur Con because it debuted in 2012 after I had already moved to California. But, checking on the website there, it looks to be like most furcons. I see there are forums, games, a fursuit competition, a charity, a guest of honor, and so on. This is all very typical of a furry convention.
The reason it will help your parents is that they get to meet furries in real life and see that we’re just people (oooh, shocking, I know). Mostly younger people, yes, but also some greymuzzles. We go to school, many have jobs, and we’re just trying to have some fun and maybe blow off a little steam by being with people who share our interests.
My suggestion to you is you approach it like any other convention, such as a comic book convention or a Star Trek convention. All of these have things like forums, guest speakers, and places to shop for things of interest, as well as people dressing up in fun costumes. Really, the only significant difference between a furcon and, say, a Star Trek convention is that the attendees are creating characters who are not part of a franchise owned by a huge corporation like Marvel or Disney. Therefore, there is a lot more freedom involved, and a lot more creativity and adventure.
Go. Take your parents. Have a blast. I hope y’all have a fun time!
Have recently admitted to myself that I'm a furry, I have just ordered my first fursuit, told my gf that I was a furry and she totally freaked out. She hardly talks to me, plus when she does its short answers. I haven't been with her long, but why would she freak out so badly? Have sent her links about what a furry is, and it's still the same. I thought I would tell her because I don't want any secrets. I thought she would have reacted badly, but not this badly. Any words of encouragement would be good.
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It's a bizarre facet of the furry fandom that people feel they have to "admit" or "confess" or "come out" to being furry as if it were some horrible sin like confessing to murder or being a Republican (joke). You might not realize it, but others around you perceive and react to the most subtle of emotions, even when they are not verbally communicated. Once someone feels ashamed or guilty about something they have done, therefore, unconscious signals are released through facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and so on.
I'm not sure what your girlfriend knows of furries, but I bet you she picked up on your signals and that made her decide it was something bad. The best thing you can do, then, is NOT be ashamed or guilty of being a furry. If you consider it a fun, happy, positive hobby that is like, say, putting on period clothing to attend a Renaissance Faire, then I bet you she would see you differently as well. The problem, though, is that you have already planted the seed of shame, and it will be hard to pluck out the growing weed in her mind by its roots.
My recommendation is to not obsess about being furry and to start enjoying activities with your girlfriend that you both like to do, and also focus some attention on her needs. Don't hide being furry, but don't make it central to your relationship, either. She must still have feelings for you or else she would have dumped you by now, so try the above and see if you can't restore a healthy relationship.
Best of Luck!
I'm currently making plans for coming out as homo-romantic to my mum. About a year ago, in possibly the most awkward car-conversation we've ever had, I told her about my asexuality, and she's okay with it. Not overjoyed, not disgusted, just along the lines of "I've never heard of it before, but it's nothing to be ashamed about".
I still consider myself ace, but I definitely seem to be finding I have a more romantic connection to men than I once thought, so I'm now making plans to come out as homo-romantic to her. She leads an extremely busy life with very little time to herself, so I'm going to wait until we have a calm moment together, completely by ourselves with no distractions, before telling her about it.
But here's the thing....
After a string of bad ex-husbands, she's always joked that she wants "a tall, dark, handsome, gay toy-boy who's a chef and has a fetish for feet". I'm average height, dark haired and skinned, the youngest of her kids, I work in a kitchen (albeit doing most of the non-cooking related jobs), and whilst I don't have an especially big thing for feet, I'm not that bad at massages.
Seeing as I match many of the qualities mum says she'd want in a man, I'm wondering if I should use this to help lighten the mood when I eventually come out to her. I don't really think of myself as a funny person, but I do think this is a very funny coincidence, and I'm thinking that using humour might help to make it easier for her to accept. I've tried googling to see whether or not this would be a good idea, but no answers there.
I'm about 90% sure she'll accept me liking men. Despite the fact she's had some bad experiences with LGBT folk who've abused her kindness (one gay man in particular who stole £100 worth of our stuff and never got caught), she does talk to an LGBT person if they approach her, and we also watch quite a few LGBT shows together (one of our favourites is a sitcom called Boy Meets Girl. about a cisgender man dating a transgender woman, whom of which is acted by a MFT transgender comedienne).
So, what do you think? Should I use a little bit of humour when I eventually tell her about my attraction for men? I know it's going to have to come out eventually, but I'd like to think I could make the experience a little less painless by making it a little more funny.
Hope to hear from you soon,
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No, I don't think it would be appropriate or very funny to suggest, even humorously, that you could be her gay boy toy chef. I think that would seriously make the conversation more uncomfortable for her. I know it would for me if I were her. The reason for this is that, quite frequently, humor isn't about untruths; it is about truth--often painful truths--being dealt with in a humorous way to ease tension. This is why masterful comedians and comediennes can talk about things like sex, racism, politics, and even violence in a humorous way that actually helps people get a new perspective on life. (There is also unsophisticated humor, such as slapstick and foul language, that appeals to children and dense people, but the best humorists are the type I mentioned earlier, with the most sophisticated humor being satire.) Therefore, the implication of your jest would be, subtextually, that you actually could fill that boy toy role.
Secondly, I don't think it's all that necessary to have a sit-down with your mom about being asexually, romantically attracted to men. First of all, and correct me if I'm wrong, you don't even have a serious relationship with a man on this level yet, do you? Secondly, it will probably be a long time until you do because there are not many men out there who want an asexual, romantic relationship, so why bring it up now? It's a non-issue for the time being. I think you're getting ahead of yourself here. You already had the asexual conversation with your hard-working mum, so give her more time to digest that and get comfortable with it before you spring the next thing on her.
Just wanted to share this video produced by Furry for Life. Well said!
Good day! I'm writing this letter to let out all my worries and anxieties to you:
(2015) When I was 13, I revealed to my parents that I am a furry, they were okay. But they are totally weirded out about the fursuit part, and they told my brother ( who is 17 now ). I'm not very close to my brother but it leaked to him and I was really uncomfortable. Having a sibling sure does suck.
(2015) There was once I bought upholstery foam to make a fursuit secretly in my bedroom, I always hide the head in my drawer and when my parents were away I would usually work on it. But then after a month or two my dad found out and told my mother about it. This is when I decided to throw out my head because I felt like I lost all my dignity from my parents.
(2016) Since this year, I haven't been talking about furries with my families lately, so I was still quite secretive about it..(I don’t know why) I made hand paws and a small tail for my furry needs, and also kept it somewhere that nobody would care to see. But wow, my brother found out and told my mother about it, and they are now chatting amongst themselves about how weird I am. I am really stressed and worried that my parents and my brother would think of me differently and negatively, what should I do, Papabear?
Lots of love,
Anonymous (age 14)
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Dear Young Cub,
One of the great difficulties of the human condition is that we are all biologically programmed to desire love and acceptance from our families, friends, and colleagues. We want this, especially, from our families because it is they who have nurtured us and who, ideally, offer us protection from the hazards of life. Therefore, when we feel rejected by them, we become frightened and insecure.
As you might imagine, Papabear’s inbox is full of emails from furries who are terrified of this sort of rejection. The main reasons why this comes about are: 1) parents want their kids to conform to society; 2) parents want their kids to be successful, and they define success as dependent upon money; or 3) parents want their kids to fulfill the dreams that they themselves failed to accomplish in their own lives.
I think you might agree that all three of these reasons are not very good ones. A gifted parent realizes that success is not defined by money but, rather, by happiness, and happiness comes from surrounding oneself with those who accept you for who you are and also from being allowed to be yourself and pursue those things in life that truly interest you, regardless of what society thinks. I, personally, reject the measuring stick society has created; if it were so great, the world would not be in the mess it’s in right now. A big reason furries make me smile is that we are iconoclasts (people who break the mold and follow their own paths).
You can see for yourself what happens when family members don’t support you for you: the result is you become secretive, distrustful, rejected, and unhappy. A wall is thus built between you and your parents and siblings, and this is never a good thing.
The first thing you must do, therefore, is rise above the idea that your mom and brother are right and that you are somehow a “bad person” who is indulging in something that is wrong and bad. Quite the opposite is true: your mother and brother are the ones being negative people who are hurting you. Do not be ashamed of yourself. The only bad people are those who deliberately hurt others. If you are doing no harm, do what you will.
If you are not ashamed, this alone will help your situation because when people feel ashamed about what they are doing, those around them pick that up, and they assume you are feeling ashamed because you know you are doing something immoral or sinful (when in actuality it is because you feel rejected). But! If you are unashamed and happy about being a furry, they might actually see it as a positive thing for you.
It is, admittedly, very difficult to overcome other people’s prejudices. Too often, parents and siblings buy into the negative hype about furries and immediately assume all furries are sick in the head. The lazy parent then forbids everything wholesale, and, as mentioned above, drives a wedge between parent and child that is harmful to the relationship.
All of this will be explained in my upcoming The Furry Book, which will be a guide to both furries and the families who love them (or misunderstand them).
Cubby, Papabear can’t force your family to change their minds, and you can try to change them (check out the “Coming Out Furry” category on my website for more advice), but don’t be surprised if you fail. In the end, what is important is that you understand that learning who you are and what is important in life to achieve happiness is more important than anything else in the world, and that includes the approval of parents and brothers and sisters. If they can’t accept you, that is their problem and reflects badly on them, not you. I’m not saying this to mean you should be angry with them; rather, turn a sympathetic eye toward them and understand they are trapped in a mindset in which they are paralyzed by the fear that society will reject them (or you). Once you realize, though, that society is the thing that is broken and that fearing the opinion of a delusional and ignorant judge is irrational, you will have set your spirit free.
This is all a lot, I understand, for a 14 year old to understand. It’s pretty mature stuff, really, and philosophical, I suppose. So, take some time to try and digest what Papabear has written here and write me again sometime.
I am a long time reader of your website but this is a first for writing. I hope I can get my issue across clear!
I have been an active member of the furry fandom for a huge chunk of my life, starting when I was 10, the fandom being constantly apart of my life since. Mostly my interactions with the fandom have been strictly online and I was fine with that because previously I have been in school and it wasn't a priority.
I have since graduated from school and managed to connect with a group of local furs in my area. I am quite young at 19 compared to the average age of furs who participate (youngest being 19 , average 25, oldest 42). At first I really enjoyed my new friends and they even went as far as to take me to my first convention. But this is where things just start to fall apart.
My friends are hardly interested in me anymore, and the only interactions I get include nothing but sexual advancements, or relationship propositions. I feel extremely left out, the majority (90%) of our locals are homosexual or bi and prefer men. As I am getting to know them more and more it seems to me that this whole fandom to them is based around sex and how many other furry men they can have relations with. Now their personal lives wouldn't be an issue to me but they consistently make it a public matter. In our group chat they constantly spam hardcore gay furporn. We've had one other who felt uncomfortable with the never ending hypersexuality of our fellow group members , but even this fur (having been friends and with the group YEARS before me) got kicked out. But not until after being called a bigot/prude/asshole.
Being bi myself I don't have any problem with homosexuality (albeit the porn isn't my thing) but they have literally said that they can do what they please no matter what anyone else says because they are a minority- which is funny as i myself would be the biggest minority within the group being the only woman who has a preference to women. So this isn't even the case! They just have a male/male sexual fur hierarchy and it's BIZARRE! Not to mention many of these men are sexist as well, having said remarks straight to my face. But no one will say a thing unless it is directed towards the male gender.
I really want to just cry thinking about this, as this group is really the only "friend"s I have, and the whole "leaders" doing this are the people who also organize all our local meets. So it's not like I can find other furries in this sad small town. Several of my "friends" even went so far as to ditch me at my first convention because they'd rather (quite literally) go and participate in an orgy with each other while I am sent to the con floor to try and figure out what to do for a few hours.
I just feel super alone,isolated and left out because of the fact that I don't fit in with them, I first thought it was because I'm a girl but even so, the women who are welcomed are only welcomed if they're as hypersexual and obsessed with penises as the men are. I'm stuck with my life , I really really REALLY love furry... But the older I get and the more I participate in the fandom the more sex based it really truly seems. I'm stuck papa bear, on one hand I do never want to leave the fandom or even distance myself, but I also don't want to be in a fandom where sex seems like the only thing anyone is interested in. I'm really losing faith as a furry.. It used to be so fun but the majority I come in contact with are completely and utterly ruining it for me. Help!
A sad and confused kitten
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Dear Sad and Confused,
I hear you. As much as Papabear defends the sexier side of the furry fandom, lately I’ve become increasingly disturbed by it to the point where I think we’ve become two fandoms: one that simply enjoys the fun and fantasy of anthro characters, and the other that is sex-obsessed.
Before I go any further (as I’ve had this done to me before), go ahead and look at my FA favorites and you will see a lot of furporn. Yes, I enjoy X-rated furry stuff. I am also all for making sex fun and indulging in sexual fantasy play, as it makes life more interesting and enjoyable. The difference is, I am mature about it, I don’t shove it in people’s faces, and I don’t make sexual advances on anything that moves. This is called “being an adult about sex,” and there are many “adults” out there, such as in your group, who are not at all adult about it.
Sexual addiction and immaturity is also why I have complaints from many furry artists that they can’t make money doing commissions unless they draw porn. It is, frankly, a sad state of affairs.
There is something going on, too, where furries are hypersensitized to sex to the point where everything becomes about sex in a very disturbing and humorless way. Example. I belong to a Google furry group (I don’t participate in it much because). Anyway, yesterday I decided to post something in jest. Here it is:
I notice many young furries seem to be bored. If anyone here is really bored and would like something to do, you are invited to my house where I will keep you busy with yard work and home improvement projects :-3 You can stay in the guest room. I promise, you will never be bored again LOL [see, the joke here is that I want a free gardener and housekeeper and I’m being cheap—at least, that’s what I thought until I read the below…. Oh, and by the way, it’s quite common in wealthier homes for housekeeping and gardening staff to live on the premises, so the joke here was also that I was some kind of wealthy tycoon, but it went waaaay over their heads.]
That sound creepy and very weird saying
No going to a strangers home.
"You will never be bored again LOL"
It sound more like pedophili to me
Good grief, how do you get pedophile out of that? Sheesh.
Cause no one really asks for young furries to come to their house and do chores.
This is getting a little... rapy...
Don't be a pedo...
Well even if it a joke that was sound to strange it have kid that only have 10 fez thing before you write something. Also it the way you write it that was creepy.
Judging by the reaction to this post, you guys are reading waaaay more into this than there ever was or was intended. This was a joke. Wow. And even if it wasn't, it was never meant to be sexual in nature (I never once mention sex or suggest anything sexual), so interesting you all took it that way. Kind of shows you are the ones with sex on the brain, not me. Good God Almighty. Is it because I'm older that you assume I want to have sex with younger furs? I assure you, I have much more of a need for someone to do my yard work and fix up the house. Perhaps this is why furries have the reputation they do. Very interesting, indeed.
Back to the letter: Obviously, I joked with the wrong audience. They are too young, uninformed, and preoccupied with sex. My bad. I actually posted this conversation on the Greymuzzle Facebook page to get some input. Most agreed that the cubs were reading stuff into the original post that just wasn’t there, but the fellow greys made some keen observations, too: 1) there are furries with Aspergers who have a hard time understanding the humor behind a post like this and take things too literally; even those who don’t have Aspergers may have trouble with nuance because reading text is very different from telling a joke in person—you don’t get the body language or voice inflections that cue you that it is a joke; 2) there ARE actual sexual predators out there who have been known to try to lure kids in with offers of work or room and board and such, which is very disturbing and definitely not where I was going with this, but we live in an iffy world; plus such dangers as sexual predators are hyped and exaggerated by the media, making people very scared and causing them to be more paranoid than they should be. But, remember cubs, a little common sense goes a long way: don't be going to someone's house if you don't know them and have any reason to suspect their motives.
Anyway, all that aside, I will tell you, boldly and frankly, Kitten, you are right. There is a large part of the fandom that is hypersexed, obsessed to the point of stupidity, and unpleasant. Unfortunately, the group near you has created a culture of expectation where sex is the main topic. Sex and sexual innuendo should NEVER be forced upon people; this crime in lack of social graces is compounded by those who ostracize people like you as uncool or uptight if you don’t like it. Actually, they are the ones being buttmunches, not you. And I’m sorry you’ve experienced this.
The good news is this: not all furries, by any means, are like that. Many, in fact, actively shun the X-rated side of furry. In your case, it looks like you will have to do a little searching to find such people, maybe even start your own local furry group and invite people in with the understanding that you’re not about that scene. There are so many fun things you can do otherwise, such as going to movies, bowling, picnics…. I’ve done a lot of these both in Michigan and with the San Diego Furries (by the way, I want to say that San Diego furries are way cool). Another case: I have a friend who recently moved from L.A. to Phoenix for the very intense reason that the L.A. furries were driving him nuts with their sex talk. He reports that Phoenix is much cooler (ironically, given the weather—get it? Or am I being too subtle? No, this isn’t code for “I want to sex you up”).
What we see here is that microcultures develop in the fandom. A seed is planted (ouch, that could be misinterpreted, too, I suppose, but I'm not talking about semen) by alpha males or females in a group, and this seed can either be one where sex is the dominant feature, or it can be one that is much less intense, more friendly, and more accepting. I’ve seen both occur in the fandom. It is a terrible shame when the groups that can’t keep it in their pants drive away perfectly nice people like yourself, but please don’t give up on the fandom, and don’t give up on being furry (I’m like you in that I don’t relate to a lot that goes on in furry culture [a lot of this, admittedly, has to do with my age], yet I do have lots of furry individual friends). Be furry it because you enjoy it, and stick with it despite the creepy people (apparently, I’m one LOL) who populate it. Don’t worry, with a little effort, you will find friends :-3
Innocent and Furiendly Asexual Hugs,
P.S. Note to all my readers. If I am talking about sex, I will explain very clearly in my column "this is about sex." Such columns will also appear in the Sexuality ans Sex category of this website. This bear is not shy about the topic and I don't hide behind obfuscating language to talk about sex. If I don't mention sex, it is because I'm not talking about sex. I truly hope that only a few of you out there need this explanation and most will see this postscript as stupidly unnecessary and annoying. Thank you.
For the longest time, culminating in these bizarre 2016 elections, I have operated under the assumption that what has mattered in the world on an international scale is the conflict between the rich and powerful vs. the poor and disenfranchised. I’ve even explored the whole New World Order/Illuminati/secret societies thing, the conspiracies about how “they” want to return to a world of rich royalty and serfs a la the Medieval Age. Such has been the history of mankind, a cycle of empire building, rebellions, empires falling again, new empires rising, over and over again. All orchestrated by the NWO?
Let’s assume there is a secret group of ultra-powerful plotters out there orchestrating wars, elections, and so on. Perhaps the goal isn’t actually to create a wealthy elite who hoard money and material goods. Powerful dynasties and rich families have, as noted above, risen and fallen in the past, and even if they did so again, the ultimate end would be a new rebellion and return to another equilibrium. Pointless.
What if the goal is actually to keep this cycle going? Keep a struggle between rich and poor, powerful and powerless going, up and down, back and forth, forever? The point? As long as humanity is preoccupied with material resources, armies, borders, wealth, power, etc., we are never going to evolve spiritually into new, enlightened beings.
A good example of how this works is religion. The best religions might actually start with good intentions, but they become corrupted once the true power elite discover what is going on, so that the new religion can become part of the cycle. Thus, Jesus becomes a prophet of truth, but when a sect known as the Gnostics teaches that one can have a direct connection to God and Jesus without a priestly elite, that sect is quickly destroyed to be replaced by an approved religion, Catholicism, with a hierarchy, power, and wealth. The Protestants break away from the Catholics, setting up more fighting, which is even better in the minds of those truly in control. Or, a prophet called Muhammad comes up with some nice ideas about God, only to have his followers fight over who his successor will be, creating Sunnis and Shiites who will be forever fighting each other and forgetting what the prophet originally meant. Or the Jews, the Chosen People, become obsessed with the idea that they need a political state and that real estate is all that really matters, thus setting up an endless war in the Middle East.
And while everyone is grabbing at real estate, or oil, or water, or money, or control over political systems, shadows lurk in the darkness and laugh at us, knowing we will not become a threat because we will remain animals instead of a new, spiritual species.
Without an NWO or some other power, then the pattern still remains, only we just have ourselves to blame for our lack of progress.
I, for one, refuse to play this game. I am going to focus on what really matters: my spirit and my love for others.
I hope you are doing well. I've been meaning to write you for a while, if nothing else but to check up on you. You have been in my thoughts and prayers and I haven't forgotten how kind you have always been to me in my letters. This next one has some positive vibes for a change! My parents have started to relent and are even going to anthrocon 2016 with me and three other friends whom I've swayed. The rest of this email is a little serious however, but there's no problem this time I promise.
I love the fandom, but could it get in the way of a potential career in the future? This coming fall I will be attending Iowa State University to pursue a degree in education. I am a bit antsy about college but definitely am ready for something new. With my future plans, there come some necessary questions. Since educators are one of the most trusted disciplines in the world aside from nursing, teachers are expected to possess that air of professionalism and have the record to prove it. Teachers are role models of the school district and the communities they work and live in. With all the scrutiny that will come from both my peers and the people around me, if the question somehow arises of me being one of those "furry people", could this be potentially problematic for me? I think this is a question that takes some consideration, given my chosen line of work. I believe myself perfectly capable of handling people with standard questioning of the fandom. You know, the kind we've all heard before. Heck if I were to mention being a furry right now at school, everybody would immediately send fifty text messages to everybody else and I'd get yiff thrust into my face with incredulous exclamations of "you're into this???" before I had even finished explaining what a furry was. To be clear, I don't plan to be openly furry. That business has no bearing in my work and doesn't belong there at all. If I have my way, nobody will even know. I don't intend to hide it, I just plan to be strictly business and being furry is part of my personal life that does not and should not influence my job. The potential problem I see however, is faculty or a parent googling me and raising some drama with what they find. We can assume anything they find is clean. There is no explicit content in my name or of my character and there never will be any that is of my knowledge. Because of this I do not fear serious repercussions, trying to terminate me on claims of my simple interests-especially one that is harmless and kept professional-causing loss of public trust could be borderline discriminatory and the school likely wouldn't use that against me. But all it takes is some gossiping for my name to get purposefully dragged through the dirt. Part of it could be people thinking they are more buddy buddy with me than they actually are. Part of it could be being rude for the sake of being rude because they don't get it. What do you think? Will I just have to watch myself, or should I consider looking at other options?
Thank you again for being yourself. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please hit me up and I would jump at the chance to give back and pay your kindness forward.
* * *
I’m glad that things are improving with your parents—good news! Thanks for sharing.
Okay, on to teaching…. Teaching is one of the noblest professions, and I think it’s wonderful that you wish to help others learn. I’m going to have to say some things that you might not like, however. It’s really not so much about being a furry as it is the state of our current educational system.
I have known several teachers in my life. All but one of them got so frustrated with the job that they quit or retired early. One was even a teacher-turned-principal. He was fired from a Catholic school when they found out he was gay (private school, so they can do that). Another teacher was white in an all-Hispanic school. In an interesting case of reverse discrimination, the administrator there made his life so absolutely miserable that he retired early for the sake of his sanity. A third teacher quit because he got so tired of parents running to the principal because he had given Little Johnny or Mary a bad grade, and then the teacher backing up the parent instead of him. He was a young teacher and quit the profession in two years. American teachers live in a system where the students are passed from grade to grade even though they fail the course, where they are forced to stick religiously to a teaching plan and actually berated by administrators if they, God forbid, teach something that is not explicitly allowed. The self-esteem of students takes precedence over actual learning. Learning methods are absurd to the point of being counterproductive (especially true in current math-teaching methods). Add to this restricted or diminished budgets that are so bad many teachers (except in rich districts) end up buying their students’ supplies, and the fact that some teachers have even been attacked or poisoned (in one case I know of personally, even murdered) by their own students, and you can kind of see why some teachers freak out and are caught on camera letting loose on a student (not forgivable, but understandable).
I want you to be aware of some of these things before you decide to go into teaching, because from what I’ve learned from those in the field, it is a thankless profession, at least in public schools. This might be different in private schools. I don’t know, although the case of my friend who worked at a Catholic school shows that it’s not a good situation there, either. Now, if you want to teach at the university level, that can be a bit more calm; however, my sister is a successful professor here in California and it is very frustrating for her, too. More and more, professors are taking on administrative tasks to the point that she and her colleagues joke that “teaching is something we do in our spare time.” She loves to teach, but, sadly, has little opportunity to do so. Add to this the bureaucracy (she was once in charge of a committee that spent two years compiling a report only to have the university president decide, when it was done, “Naah, I decided not to do that”; two years completed wasted) and she has also told me she would love to retire early.
I would not be a teacher if you offered to pay me double what I make now. It would not be worth my sanity.
But that’s just me. If you don’t care about any of the above because you have a burning passion in your heart to teach, then go for it, and God bless.
Okay, so let’s say you’ve gotten your degree and you’re now a teacher at PS 39 in Brooklyn, working at a lovely historic building. Super duper. I would keep my personal furry life completely separate from my professional life, if I were you. Do not associate your real name and real life in any way with furry, and you might get by. When you are a teacher, or cub scout master, or baseball coach, or any such job where you work with kids you are subjected to a standard different from that of the ordinary working world. My friend Tycho Aussie works in an office surrounded by adults and they accept his furry work and even enjoy it, no worries. But when you’re associated with the fandom and are around little kids, you will be subjected to incredible ignorance, fear, and suspicion from administrators, colleagues, and parents living in a hypersensitive world in which everyone believes that a pedophile lurks around every drinking fountain and teachers’ lounge. They won’t care if you keep your nose clean, because it will be guilt by association. To use an over-the-top example, it would be like someone who is in the KKK saying, “Well, I never burned any crosses.” Doesn’t matter, you’re in the KKK, and as far as many are concerned the fandom is a haven for pedophiles, perverts, and pagans (oh, my!) True? Of course not, but you’ll have a bear of a time convincing people otherwise once word is out, and once you are outed you can never go back.
I’m sorry, this is not a very upbeat reply, but I want you to be prepared for the worst. If you are, anything better will be happy news. This is also not to say that things can’t change. I’m hopeful my book will help clear things up, and I also know that there are others doing similar work, both in book and movie versions. As well, the fandom is growing by leaps and bounds all around the world, and I think that, as it does so, it will seem less and less like a clandestine, deviant society and more like something that is mainstream and out in the open, like comic book fans (this is why I strongly agree with those who say we should not ever talk to the media). The articles I’ve been reading of late that are published by mainstream presses are much more understanding and honest than they were in the 1990s and 2000s. And movies like Zootopia help, too, actually. It might be that, by the time you finish college, things could be very different from what they are now.
I can’t tell you what you should do with your life, nor would I want to, but it’s best to go into something with your eyes wide open and cleared of all naïve and idealistic notions of what you think it’s all about. If you can do that and forge ahead anyway because you love the idea of teaching a new generation about the world, then I am your sincere fan.
This is not something I normally do, but I found out about a website today that I think is just wonderful. It's called Rainbow Ark and is a site to help promote understanding between furry, religious, and LGBT people and to help those who are furries or LGBT to see that they can follow a faith and not be excluded. Rainbow Ark has a website, a Live Journal page, a Facebook page, and they are on FurAffinity. Also, they have a buddy organization called Open Arms that has this FA page.
Guess this is just one of those times when ol' Papabear is a little slow to discover something so cool. Check 'em out!
This is something of a follow-up to a letter I wrote to you some years ago, questioning my own attitude towards being single after the end of a bad relationship (http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/is-it-okay-to-be-single-and-happy-about-it).
About two years ago, the Universe decided to throw a Dragon at me. He's a local fur, sweet, intelligent, remarkably handsome, and we get on quite well together. We've been friends for over five years, dating steadily for two, and I can honestly say I've never been happier with anyone.
He exhibits none of the behaviors that made my prior relationship such a trial; he's open-minded, accepting of our differences, doesn't demand obedience or undivided attention at all times and generally isn't a judgemental twit.
I did my utmost to conceal the very existence of Furry from my ex, with a remarkable degree of success. If he'd found out about it, his first reaction would have been to accuse me of inappropriate behavior with the dogs, and things would have escalated quite unpleasantly from there.
My ex hated video games, and on one occasion after watching me dismember stormtroopers with a Lightsaber in one of the Jedi Knight series, was on the verge of banishing them from the house (the game is rated T, with violence and other content approximating a PG-13 movie). My Dragon stomps my face into the dirt three times out of five in Hearthstone (online card game similar to Magic) and he and I have linked our Steam accounts in order to give each other access to our game libraries.
Dragon is open to new things. My ex firmly believed that anything he did not enjoy, appreciate or understand (including, but not limited to: video games, anime, any music created after 1985, modern communications technology, mobile phones, modern medical research and space exploration) should be destroyed. Suffice it to say I greatly prefer my current circumstances.
We have not spoken of any sort of permanent arrangement yet, for a variety of reasons, and I don't foresee us doing so any time soon, but we enjoy one another's company greatly.
To those who feel unlovable and that you will never find anyone, I say this: Never say never. Things you need tend to find you when you are least expecting them - or didn't even know you needed them.
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Thanks for writing and updating us on your happy news!
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