I have not told my family that I'm a furry and that I'm transgender. It is hard these days, with all the bad thing about us, but I get by. But I'm very scared, and I do not know what to do. I try to sneak it in, but some people are just stupid. I just feel like my own kind are the only ones that get me. I just want to be loved for who I am without hiding who I am. (Oh, and I have not changed genders just yet, so I'm still a boy.)
I just do not want to hate who I am. I want to embrace it because it is me. Do you think you can help me? I also would like it if you can share what you say to others like me. Thank you in advance. Oh, and I believe we need, as a furry community, to stop the false information and hateful things like the uwu and judgement on us. Sorry if I'm oversharing to you; it is just that I have so much to say. Thank you.
Ivy Black (age 14)
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Although we're dealing with two things here--being furry and being transgender--it is possible that they are related. Before I get into your specific situation, please indulge me as I talk about a topic of importance that may or may not have to do with you (it popped into my head because of your comment about not wanting to hate yourself).
The issue here that Papabear has been hearing about and learning about more and more has to do with body dysmorphia (or, more formally, Body Dysmorphic Disorder). This is a fancy term for not liking your own body. Related to this is gender dysmorphia, or not liking the gender you currently inhabit.
According to the Mayo Clinic: "Signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:
This is a vital question to ask, investigate, and answer before you continue on your life journey. At 14, you are, of course, in puberty, and you are being filled with a lot of hormones and emotions. It is important not to make any rash decisions now that will affect your entire life in a very powerful way and that you might regret later on. I'm glad you have not had any surgical procedures yet. You should really hold off on those for a few more years (and despite what some people have written me, I happen to know there are some clinics that perform sex-reassignment surgeries on kids under 16, so, readers, please do not write to me about that).
Anyway, the same might be said for some furries (and, I think, for people who describe themselves as lycanthropes, therianthropes, and otherkin). I know it is true for yours truly, for if there were a medical procedure available that would turn me into a bear, I honestly think I would consider it (I don't regard myself as a werebear, though). A lot of furries feel that having fur, tails, snouts, etc. are beautiful and they would be happy to look more like an anthro. Alas, it is not to be.
Before any of us pursue physical or hormonal therapies, I think it would benefit anyone to stop for a moment and consider working on body acceptance. Too often, we allow ourselves to be beaten down by what others say about our appearance to the point that we hate how we look. This often involves fat-shaming, but can include everything from height, hair, facial features, musculature, skin color, teeth, etc. etc. For example, I am fair-skinned, always have been, because I'm a semi-ginger and I freckle but don't tan. As a kid in Van Nuys, California, I was mocked all the time for not being bronze-skinned. At summer camp, they called me "Caspar the Friendly Ghost." This hurt a lot to the point I was constantly trying to tan and, instead, ended up burning myself to the point of getting blisters. Not good. Eventually, I woke up to the fact that I was hurting myself because of a bunch of shallow idiots. Don't follow my lead. Don't listen to others.
I am, admittedly, using your letter as a jumping-off-place to discuss the important point that we need to learn body acceptance. Obviously, only a small number of furries really have body dysmorphia, and most trans people want to get surgery for their own, not others', reasons. I just urge caution, especially for those who are still going through puberty. You can do a lot of damage to your body if you go through hormone therapy before your body can handle it. Hormone therapy side effects can include heart disease, certain cancers, liver damage, blood clots, stroke, and dangerous drops or increases in blood pressure. Genital surgery (vaginoplasty, in your case) can sometimes have unpleasant complications, too, including difficulty with urination and the formation of fistulas, which might lead to feces being excreted from the newly constructed vagina. Needless to say, this can adversely affect one's love life as well as one's physical and mental health.
I'm writing the above not to freak you out but to make sure you are aware of all the dangers. Depending on the source, anywhere between 1% and 8% of those who underwent surgery decided to detransition, but even this is not always successful. On the more optimistic side, this means that as many as 99% are happy with the results. Last word: be absolutely certain this is right for you before pursuing surgery or hormone therapy. That's all I'm really saying here.
Okay, with all that aside (whew! and sorry!) let's get into the broader issue of acceptance. I will definitely say that, in this bear's experience, the furry fandom is tremendously accepting of transexual and transgender people. Indeed, two of the four Good Furry Award winners are transexuals, and people win that award by being nominated and voted on by the furry community.
Another way, therefore, that your transgender and furry desires are related would be exactly what you said in your letter: seeking to find acceptance for being yourself. Of the two subjects, I think the one to address first is your being transgender. It is important to note that there is a difference between saying "I am transgender" and "I am a transexual."
Transgender is an umbrella term used for anyone who feels that their gender is not in alignment with the sex they were born with. For example, a male born with, obviously, a penis and scrotum feels inside himself that he is really a female. This is not limited to just female and male genders but can encompass the many and wide variety of genders being defined today, including intersex, gender fluid, gender nonconforming, androgynous, bygender, neutrois, and on and on.
Transexual is a much narrower category that falls within transgender (that is, all transexuals are transgender but not all transgender people are transexual). Although the definition I'm about to give has been starting to change, for purposes of this discussion we will define transexual as someone who has finished or commenced with a medical procedure for sexual reassignment.
It sounds to me that you have correctly identified yourself as transgender and that you are considering becoming transexual (the above is for the benefit of my other readers).
You have every right to be yourself and to be accepted as yourself. You shouldn't have to hide who you are from your family and friends. When it comes to friends, the good news is you can pick and choose. Pick the people who support you to be your friends, and anyone who does not support you is not really a friend, so don't worry about them. You don't need them in your life and you do not need their validation.
Family is more of a challenge. You can't pick your blood, so if they don't accept you, you're still kind of stuck with them, especially at your age when you're still a dependent. You don't say anything about your family, so this is a bit hard for me to gauge. Parents and other relatives can run the gamut from unsupportive, judgmental, and strict to loving, supportive, and flexible. The Planned Parenthood website has some solid advice on coming out trans to family, and they also note some other helpful and supportive organizations such as The Trevor Project and GLAAD. Be prepared to educate your family as to what being transgender really means to you, and be able to answer their questions. Most fears people have about something like transgender people stem from the fact that they are simply ignorant and have a lot of wild ideas that are incorrect. If your parents are religious, another good resource is Rainbow Ark, which offers support to LGBTQIIA+ furries from religious families.
Ignorance of the facts is also a problem for those who criticize or are fearful of the furry fandom. For them, a good documentary to watch is Ash Coyote's The Fandom. It gives a good enough overview of the fandom, what it is, its history, in a way that is not threatening to normies. There are other documentaries out there, too, but this one is an hour and a half and free.
The way to fight judgment and negativity about transgender people and furries is the same: education. The more people understand something, the less likely it is that their imaginations and fears will run wild. The more people like your peers and your family understand you, the less you should be afraid of opening up to them. When you conceal your identity and shamefully keep things hidden away, people sense that. You aren't fooling your parents, for example. They know something is going on with you, though they might not understand exactly what. You can alleviate their fears by calmly opening up to them. Educate them. Answer their questions.
You aren't doing anything for which you should be ashamed. So, don't be ashamed. Perhaps not all people will "get you" or accept you, but that's their problem, not yours. And you might be very surprised by how many people do accept you once you open up to them.
Sorry for the long reply. I haven't written back to anyone in a while and had a lot to get out LOL. I certainly hope this is helpful. Please feel free to write again if you have more questions.
Hi. 13 year old new furry here. I want to ask my dad if I can get a fursuit. He already knows I'm a furry from snooping on my computer and discord. I don't really know too much of how he feels about it. I also want to attend my local furry con in June. I am really struggling with this new liking. I also want to make friends with furries, but my dad recently made me completely log out of discord and other forums for (reasons) that I will not share here. I hope someone can help me out here!
Victor (age 13)
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Your father is trying to protect you from porn, of which there is a lot on furry websites, as you likely know. At 13, you are too young for such things. The furry fandom was created for adults, not children, but these days a lot of kids as young as 10 are discovering the fandom. It is attractive to them because it relates to many of the cartoons and animated movies young people enjoy watching, and the idea of becoming an anthro animal character can have a lot of appeal to the young imagination.
If you wish to continue exploring your furriness, Papabear's advice to you is that you stop hiding your internet and phone behavior and have an honest discussion with Dad because, at the tender age of 13, you are not going to be able to attend a furcon without his cooperation and support. You are likely going to have a tough time of this, honestly, because it sounds like you have been looking at furporn and possibly indulging in other unsavory behavior.
Furcons will only allow underage furries to attend if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. You can't just go by yourself or with a friend.
So, for you to get a fursuit (are you paying yourself or asking Dad to buy it, which will be even harder?) and go to a con, you are going to have to reestablish your connection with Dad. Indeed, you will need a verbal agreement with him to do the following: NOT look at furporn or engage in X-rated roleplay online and be completely transparent with your online and phone activities with Dad (no more hiding what you do; Dad must have complete access to your browser history and more). You will then need time to repair your relationship so that Dad trusts you to be honest with him. Seeing that this is January and the con is in June, I seriously doubt you can fix this in time for the next local furcon.
That said, all hope is not lost. With a lot of work and love, you may be able to get Dad on your side again. You can do this by discussing the fandom openly with him and by showing him such things as the documentary The Fandom by Ash Coyote, which is available free on YouTube here.
So, I have a friend group, and the "leader," let's call him Fred (not really), is purrfectly fine with furries (see what I did there?) and couldn't care less. However, if I tell him, the other, not so nice kids are bound to find out, like the notorious Steve (also fake) will go, and I quote, "You're f@&$ing a!$ stupid for being into that porn &h$!." And they will tease me about it. I don't know what to do! Please help! ;w;
Anonymous (age 12)
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Ah, group dynamics are a complex thing. After years (decades, really) of failing to belong to any groups myself, my approach now and forever more will always be to have friendships on a one-on-one basis. You don't have to be friends with everyone in that social circle, especially those who are going to act like "Notorious Steve." Don't worry about that. Why would you want to be friends with haters? Be friends with those who accept you for you, and the others can go take a long walk off a short pier.
This is a good time in your life to learn how to figure out which people are friend material and which ones are shallow and judgmental. If you learn this at the age of 12, you will be way ahead of most people in the world by the time you are an adult.
Remember, you were not put on this planet to get people's approval. You are here to lend a unique voice to the chorus of humanity. Your job is to learn who you truly are as a person and to live your life genuinely, truthfully.
Recently, I went to a job interview where the interviewer has asked me if I have something "unique" that I have, which I responded that I don't. However, after that, I had something that popped into my head that would've made a great answer to that question. Later that day, I shared this with my dad, and he mentioned that costumes/mascots (fursuits) would be it for me, since the job requires looking after children and wearing these things would make them get a kick out of them, as it would (supposedly) entertain them a lot. (It is a job as a youth group leader at an organization. It involves watching kids as part of an afterschool program.)
After hearing about that, tons of crazy and mixed feelings were going through my head, such as anti-mask laws, reaction from others to public fursuiting (or wearing mascots/costumes out in public that cover the entire face), and knowing that he knows about this thing of mine sends chills down my spine. I've seen and read stories of people getting busted or harassed for public fursuiting and know about the stigma that surrounds the furry fandom/community. Additionally, I fear that I may be mistaken as a child molester or other things related to it that might end up getting me fired from my job. Even though I ask permission if I could do these things at a later time, I feel that my supervisor would view me differently in a bad way for even bringing it up in the first place. I also don't know what'll happen if other people knew about it, especially my relatives and friends, such as their reaction or a chance of bullying or discrimination for having it in the first place. I don't know if an anti-mask law exists where I live (the one where it's illegal to cover your face, not the COVID-related one).
Any thoughts about this? Should I have not shared this with my dad?
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It is impossible to make generalizations as to how people will react to your being a furry. All people are different. Your dad, from what I can gather from your letter, doesn't seem to have a problem with your wearing a fursuit since he noted you could have talked about this at the interview. As for the rest of your friends and family, that has to be taken on a case-by-case basis.
The same goes for fursuiting in public places, such as schools or elsewhere. This can be affected by everything from local laws and ordinances to policies at public parks. For example, you would not wear a fursuit mask into a bank or into a federal building such as a courthouse because you would be instantly detained. Things get a little complicated because of mask laws these days. Everyone is (or should be) wearing masks for health reasons. But a fursuit head covers everything and makes you even harder to identify. For this reason, no matter where you might be going, always check with the business or venue before you fursuit there.
As for the job as a youth group leader, you probably wouldn't fursuit all the time. However, you might offer to do so at a special event for the group, which can be fun and rewarding. Make sure, again, you always have approval from those in charge of any event before you fursuit.
Will you be subjected to harassment or bullying? Maybe, maybe not. Don't worry about it. You're entertaining kids for a good cause. If people have a problem with that, it is a reflection on them, not you. You are doing something nice for kids, and you are doing absolutely nothing wrong, so you should not give a crap what a bunch of twits say when they are just being bullies. Do not react to bullying or harassment. Just focus on bringing joy to the world and on being yourself.
Remember, normal people are boring. It's the weirdos and freaks of the world who make life special.
Okie, why do Christians hate gay furry people? They have always been hating them, but they claim that they do "love" them. (Especially where I live. If you are gay, don't expect to be treated like a human, just hide it for your safety). My parents found out I was gay by guessing (they are good at it). Now they see me walk feminine, they make me walk again till they see I "walk like a man." They call me names ("sissy," it's annoying), and they just stress me a lot. Can you please help me?
Possible Snow (age 13, Alabama)
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Dear Possible Snow,
Christians do not hate gay or furry people. True Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ follow His command to love ALL humankind. There are dozens and dozens of passages in the Bible that tell us to love one another. For example, in John 15:12, Jesus says, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." Jesus doesn't say to love only fellow Christians or only straight people or white people or to hate gay people. Therefore, those who say they are Christians and then say they hate you for being gay (or for anything) are not true Christians. They are a sadly common breed of fake Christians that have overwhelmed the Church in America and around the world.
Fake Christians get around the Word of God by saying things like: "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner." This is just a convenient way of trying to get around what God (according to their own religion!) says so that they can pretend to love you but, in truth, they look down at you with contempt. I experienced a horrific example of this two years ago when I got married to Michael. We invited his only sister--a classic fake Christian--to join us at the ceremony. But she told us she preferred to go to her minister's retirement party than to be there for her only sibling. The reason, obviously, is that we are gay and the marriage makes her uncomfortable. Now, when I confronted her on this, she protested, saying, "But I LOVE you Kevin!" I call bullshit. Actions speak louder than words. She hurt me and Michael deeply because she is a bad sister and a bad Christian. Oh, the pièce de résistance was when she surprised me at the front door around Christmas time to hand me a Christmas card with a $20 Starbucks card in it. Good Lord! Oh, yeah, $20! That makes it ALL better!
Pardon my digression, but I think you see my point. You're asking the wrong question. Your question should be this: "How do I convert my parents from being fake Christians to being loving parents who are good Christians?" This is where the Bible comes in. Know your Bible. Read it. Find all the passages in which Jesus commands us to love others. If you need help, see whether you can find a minister who is not a homophobe (this might take some research, but they are out there). Also, I have a link on my website for Rainbow Ark, a resource for gay furry Christians. Check it out.
Good parents love their children unconditionally. Apparently, you need to teach them how to be good parents. This is hard to do living in a state like Alabama, which is the heart of Homophobe Country, but if you talk to them in a way they understand by using the Bible, there is a chance they might listen.
I have a question... So as I've been growing up I have always liked animals and yeah I would make my first fur suit at the age of 4! (Plastic and cardboard materials) as when I was 10 I discovered the furry fandom but I was to afraid to tell my parents... After a while I went to Amazon to buy myself some paws but ofc I needed my mother's and fathers permission to buy it (with my money) my mother when I told her she looked at me awkward and she said, "Well, if you want it buy it is your money and is your liking" somehow I found a way to take it bad and the whole night I thought that I was just weird- the next day I told my father he said, "Well... I think it's a little pricy." I didn't get a straight answer so now I'm thinking if I should tell them. But I don't know how or is just that I don't have the courage too so I found this website a day after that and now I'm here typing! So I would love some tips.
Clover (age 11)
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That is so neat that you built your own fursuit when you were 4! You and I have something in common: we were both furry before we even heard of the furry fandom. This means that we always loved imaginative play about being an anthropomorphic animal of some kind. With me, it had to do with my love of The Jungle Book. Was there some show or movie or book that made you interested in furries?
The point I want to make here is this: being a furry and being active in the furry fandom are two different things. You do not have to be in the fandom (for example, going to conventions, role-playing online, participating in social media websites) to be a furry. A lot of young people like yourself who are into things like Zootopia and Sonic the Hedgehog or anime cartoons stumble upon the fandom and think to themselves, "Cool! There are people like me who enjoy these things, too! How can I meet them?" But what you may not be aware of is that the fandom was originally created by fans who are quite a bit older than you, and the intent was to take cartoon characters and put them in more adult situations. This does not necessarily mean sex. It could mean stories about violence, prejudice, serious adult relationships, drugs, and so on, but it sometimes DOES mean sex and pornography.
Your parents are correct to be careful. You're their daughter and they want you to be safe. Good parents! Also, if they go online at all and type in "furry fandom" or something similar, they are going to see furporn. And then they might ban you from any ambitions of being in the fandom.
Deep breath! I have been to several conventions and seen children your age or younger, sometimes in partial fursuits, with their parents having a blast. I have gone to panels and workshops to which parents were invited and heard their questions and concerns. All of this is valid and important.
The key here is communication. Openness. Tell your parents honestly how you enjoy furry characters. This is not at all a bizarre thing. Many people (even adults) enjoy animated cartoons and movies. But tell them also of your interest in the fandom and ask for their help. They should always have free access to what you do on your computer and on your phone. Ask them to learn about the fandom. Ask them if they will go to a furcon with you (they may even have a good time!) or a furmeet. Never hide anything that you are doing. Ask them to teach you (if you don't already know) how to avoid trolls and dangerous people online (this is useful information whether or not you are a furry because the internet is full of scummy people).
And do me a favor, Clover. Show them this email. And tell them to send me an email if they have any questions. I'd be happy to answer them. If they like, I will send you my phone number and they can call me.
There is absolutely nothing wrong about being a furry. It exercises your imagination, which is something we need more of in this world of machines and cubicle jobs and people who can't seem to think outside the box. Imagination and creativity are beneficial to our emotional and mental health. Whether you are a furry or an artist or a musician or an architectural designer, these are things that help enrich our lives. So, I hope you will continue to talk to your parents about furries.
Thank you for your letter.
Big Bear Hugs,
So, I'm an aspiring furry and I want to make a head for my fursuit! But, my mom thinks that the furry fandom is sexual and keeps telling me to stop being one because its "GROSS!" and "bad." I keep trying to explain to her that the fandom isn't sexual and that we are actually donating to charities and stuff but she won't listen. What should I do?
Grazer (age 11)
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Both you and your mother are correct. The fandom can be a lot of good, clean fun, and yes, a lot of charity work has been done by furries. But your mother is also correct in that there is a lot of adult art in the fandom, and you need to be careful you don't associate with the wrong crowd. There are a lot of good furries, but there are also some very bad ones. You, being 11, can be an easy target for bad furries. Your mother is trying to protect you, which is not only her right but also her duty as a parent.
That said, your mother needs to not go the easy route of just saying, "No, you can't be a furry." This is what I call "lazy parenting." Also, it is ineffective. When a parent tells a kid, "You can't do that because I said so," the kid just wants to do the forbidden activity all the more and thinks the parent is not listening to them or sympathizing with them. This can create resentment, secretive behavior, and misbehavior on the part of the child.
What Mom needs to do is become more involved in your life. The two of you should explore furry together. First, understand that the furry fandom was created for adults, not children. The entire establishment of the furry fandom was meant to create anthro characters in adult situations (not just sex, but everything from scenes about violence to other mature situations and themes). But since it began, the fandom has evolved, too. It used to be mostly for people in their teens and twenties (and still largely is), but now more and more you see furries who are a lot older (I'm 55, for example) as well as kids as young as 10. The fandom needs to accommodate this changing membership, and in a lot of ways it does. For example, if you go to a furry convention, there will often be an art gallery. Most of the art is clean, but there is some mature art, which is kept in a separate section and only adults are allowed in. Also, minors such as yourself must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at any furcon, and panels and workshops that address adult topics are restricted to mature members.
You should not argue with Mom. Instead, explain why you are interested in furries. Have a discussion with her. Also, tell her you understand her concerns and tell her that she is right to be worried, and also you should thank her for caring! Then, invite her to explore furry with you. Tell her that she can freely monitor what you view on the computer and on your phone to make sure you don't see anything bad. Ask her for her help in navigating the online world. Ask her to watch the movies and TV shows you enjoy with you. Maybe, with enough communication, you can even ask her to take you to a furcon someday.
In short, don't argue with Mom. Communicate with her. Listen to her concerns and ask her to listen to your feelings as well.
So, I showed my grandma a fursuit that I liked online, and said that it was cute, and I'd like to make one someday if I had the money to, because I love to build fursuits. She looked at me really concerned, and said, "Other than being a furry, what do you like to do? Are there any careers you'd like in the future?" I know it sounds harmless, but her tone and concern showed that she didn't like me being a furry at all. She's VERY religious and isn't very open-minded on most subjects. I love her, but I need some help. Do you have any advice?
Checkmate (age 11)
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Yes. Be happy that your nana isn't being crass about your furriness, but respect that she is not entirely comfortable with it. You are more than just a furry, so talk to her about all the other stuff in your life. She is concerned about your future, so talk to her about what you would like to do in your future and what you see yourself doing. Furry isn't everything. You can still share a lot with her about you and your family. Also, ask her about and talk about HER life. Show interest in her. She has been around a lot, so take advantage of her experiences and wisdom. Also, if you can, do things together and make new memories. Your gramma won't be around forever. Enjoy her presence in your life now.
Dear Papa Bear,
How can I convince my mom to let me make a mini partial fursuit? I told my mom I was a furry through text (I have social anxiety so it was too hard to say it aloud) and I told her I really wanted to make a “furry costume”. She wouldn’t let me do it and she said I shouldn’t be looking up furry stuff. I know there is inappropriate stuff but I don’t look at it. She always complains that I’m lazy so she should be happy I want to put effort into something. I wanna explain to her that it’s not inappropriate but I don’t have enough confidence bc of social anxiety. Being able to make my own fursuit would make me the happiest.
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The internet can be a wonderful thing, but when it comes to the fandom, it can prejudice parents against letting their kids explore the fandom. This is a shame, because not only is the fandom fun, it can have many benefits as well. Helping people like you who suffer from social anxiety is one of these benefits. If instead of going on the internet to look for furporn your mother searched on "social anxiety and furry fandom" she would find articles and videos about how many young people have treated their anxiety by being furry and enjoying its community. It also helps people suffering from various degrees of autism spectrum disorder.
Here are just a couple articles and videos you can show your mother:
I would also suggest your mother visit the Moms of Furries website at https://mofurries.com/. These two mothers were, like yours, nervous about their kids participating in the fandom, but they gave it a try and found it had a lot of benefits for helping them get out of their shells and socialize in healthy ways.
Being a furry has lots of benefits. Point these out to your mom and tell her she should avoid jumping to conclusions because of furporn. Porn is all over the web, not just furry sites, but that is not what you--indeed, most furries--are about.
Hope this helps. Good luck!
I'm a 16 year old male that lives in Kwa-ZuluNatal, South African, and I found you on FurAffinity. I need your advice on how I can find my fursona. And if you don't mind. How do I tell my family about this?
All the best,
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Since you don't offer much in the way in details in your letter, it is hard to give you specific advice. Each person is different, and that affects everything from fursonas to how you explain this to your parents. So, please take advantage of the categories on my website, browse the letters, and hopefully you will find something helpful. If not, write again and give me some details on your particular situation.
For advice on fursona design, go here: http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/category/fursonas
For advice on "coming out" furry, go here: http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/category/coming%20out%20furry
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Sorry I wasn't clear in my last letter I'll try to do better in this one.
I'm not myself right now and I think the furry community can help me find myself again.I try talking to my mom about this and she is a bit scared because she has never heard about the furry community and I don't blame her.Its just me my mom and sister,I don't have someone to talk to about this. I'm just so confused right now and would like advise on how to go forward from this point.
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Pardon me for responding in generalities, since I don't know all the details about who you are, but I do like the way you phrase the question: How can the furry community help you find yourself again?
The first question coming to my mind, then, is: Did you once know who you were in the past? How did you lose yourself?
It sounds as though you are seeking identity by finding a community to which you can belong; a group of people that accept you as you were apparently once accepted but no longer feel accepted. Reading between the lines makes me wonder whether this is because you have discovered something about yourself that is not socially acceptable, such as something to do with your sexual identity. I only say this because that is a very common problem among people who feel rejected by society, especially when it comes to your teen years when you are discovering your sexual orientation.
But in order to find acceptance anywhere, my furiend, you must first accept yourself. Do you accept yourself and who you are? Probably not, since you say that you have lost yourself. How does one accept oneself?
Once you have achieved self-acceptance and actualization, that is the time to seek out community. Many furries make the mistake of doing the opposite: seeking a community that validates who they are rather than validating themselves first. The problem with doing it that way is that the furry community--like any other community--has some bad people in it who will troll you and attack you and say things like "you're not a real furry," and too many furries take this to heart. They then complain that the furry community has rejected them (it has not, only a few bad eggs have) and the next thing you know they start posting online about how furry drama is rampant and it is all the fault of the furry community.
But the self-actualized furry (or whatever you consider yourself to be) will have the confidence and self-respect to find good people, as I have done, and form their community around them. In other words, you become a seed for a cloud of like-minded, like-spirited people who will then become your personal community.
Another wonderful effect of being self-actualized is that you will no longer have to seek your fursona. IT will find YOU. For example, once I figured out and accepted I was a gay bear, well then! Grubbs Grizzly walked right into my life and wrapped me in his furry body.
As for telling Mom about your interest in furry, the best way to approach mundanes with it is to compare it to other fandoms, such as superhero fandoms or fans of Star Trek or Star Wars. It's not a perfect comparison because you and I know that the furry fandom is unique, but most non-furries won't get that. Therefore, just tell Mom, in terms she can understand, that it is simply imaginative fun similar to dressing up as a superhero or pretending you're Spock on Star Trek, only it is about anthro animals like the ones in Zootopia (use popular movies and don't talk about underground furry art and such; relate to things with which they are familiar).
I hope these tips help you. Thanks for writing.
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