I found your website by looking on google for someone to help me out with a problem that has been plaguing me for years.
For around 5 years, I have been involved in the furry community. I have a fursona, Alula, and I'm not really shy about it. No, I don't go around waving my tail in everyone's face, but I'm not ashamed of it. I treat it the same way I treat the fact that I'm Queer. If I want to talk about it, I will. If you ask me about it, I'll probably tell you unless your being a jerk.
Two weeks ago was the first day of school. As per usual, almost every teacher wanted to play some "Get-to-know-you-game." In theater, we were playing a game where you tear toilet paper and for each square you have to tell about yourself. Now, the teacher didn't tell us about the game at first, so I of course rolled out 20 or 30 squares. So I was at square 20 something and I didn't know what to say so I mentioned the fact that my fursuit is being made right now and should be sent to me soon. I told a few details about her and then I went to the next square.
Now I thought that would be the end of it. Great, a few people gave me looks of disgust. Who cares. I go to lunch two days later and see a bunch of eyes on me and hear laughing. Someone told the entire theater department that I sleep (to keep kind words) with dogs. Everyone is laughing at me and I don't know what to do. Please help.
Alula (age 16)
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First of all, congrats on your fursuit being made and I hope that you enjoy it for many years to come. Now, to the issue at hand....
Okay, so, you're in high school, which for nearly everyone is a quagmire of social drama difficult for anyone to navigate, and, to make matters worse, no one gives you an instruction manual on how to manage things such as bullying and gossip and the social strata and cliques that form. There is, as you know, the constant battle over who are the popular and cool kids and who are the losers and rejects.
But there is a big difference between a bunch of white teeth teens and those keeping it 100. You are being true to yourself, and the fact that you are descending into a world where you are getting bullied is indicative of the sus jerks who only seek membership within the schmid crowd. High school society is like a wolf pack--those who are seen as weak or different are bitten and harrassed by the dom wolves to create a hierarchy. When you are seen as different in any way, the alphas and betas leap and try to shove you into omega status. Seriously, high school is little better than a savage game of survival of the most "socially acceptable." This is a phenomenon that is learned in the schoolyards of America and then continues, sadly, into the adulting world.
So, was the above paragraph so extra coming from a 54-year-old bear? I was kind of making a point with the slang I was using. You're 16, so you likely know better than I do whether those terms were used right or not, but even if they are right, sounds lame coming from a greymuzzle, doesn't it? In the same way, you stand a risk of becoming lame if you don't stay true to yourself. Ask yourself this: Do you want to be special in this life or be just like all the other mundanes in the world--boring, nose-to-the-grindstone, paying your taxes, raising 2.3 children, and dying in an office cubicle? Or do you wish to be special, unique, and have fun in this life, which is the only life you're gonna get?
The reason why you are bothered by the cowardly whispers and giggles is that, currently, you want the approval of others; you want acceptance. That's perfectly understandable, but ask yourself whose approval do you seek? People you respect or people who just want to be part of the norm even if that means hurting others with rumors or worse? People who gossip and care about superficial things are not worthy of your concern.
The best way to deal with bullies is to take away their power by not giving a damn what they are saying because, when you consider the source, they aren't worth your time. Meanwhile, actively look for people who are good friend material. Perhaps even find some furries in school, if possible. Next, lead by example. That is, be a good person, do good deeds, show yourself to be really cool. The more awesome you are in real life, the more the whispers will fade away into inconsequential nothingness. An extreme example: imagine a rumor going about that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once had his fly open during a speech. Now compared to all the amazing things Dr. King did, who the fuck would care if he accidentally forgot to zip up one time? Similarly, if you go around doing volunteer work or doing other awesome stuff, then people who gossip about your being a furry will look foolish. Also, it will give furries a good name :-3
Make being furry cool. Then there's nothing to mock.
Remember, if bullying becomes serious, tell someone in charge at the school such as a school counselor. Tell your parents, as well, if you are bullied. It is important that you don't do this alone. But if you really need some comebacks (and ONLY do this if you are cornered and have to defend yourself) ... if you catch people gossiping about you, here are some things you can say:
Bullies and gossips are weak people. Standing up to them makes them whither away.
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