I was barked at on my way home from school, and was handed a homophobic note in my locker. I don't know how to handle this. I know I'm not supposed to come to you about this. I just need some advice. I'm sorry.
Alice (age 13)
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There is no reason why you can't come to Papabear for this question. I'm happy to help.
I'm assuming "barked at" means that your fellow students know you are a furry, as well as gay. I'm sorry you're having to go through this, but it is quite common when one is at school. I, too, was often mocked and even beaten up at school for being different. Here is my advice to you:
First of all, make sure adults know what is happening. Show the note to your parents and also to the school administration. You might not know who put the note there (bullies are notorious cowards), but just making adults aware of what is going on will help to put them on the lookout for future incidents. This is not being a tattle tale. It's being smart.
Second, keep records of EVERY case of bullying, taunting, and any other abuse. That means, keep copies of anything written (on paper, in text, etc.). You can also record video chats, although it's a little more complicated. Here is a video on how to record vidchats on your Android, and if you have an iPhone, it's a bit easier to do this. If you are being bullied face to face, you can simply use video record on your mobile device. Keep a journal about any incidents, too, and record times and dates and describe the people involved if you don't know their names.
If you feel in any way physically threatened at school, again, tell the school administrators. When you are not on school grounds, it might be a good idea to carry pepper spray with you. Do you walk in a safe area? Make sure you don't walk alone in dark or remote areas. You might also consider taking self-defense classes.
[Note: I've gotten some feedback on Facebook about my advice on telling school admins about the bullying. While I say you should still do this, it is true that some schools are not responsive to bullying claims. In such cases, that is when you need parents as allies. One psychologist, Dorothy Espelage, a Ph.D. Professor of Childhood Development, said this: "If a parent has repeatedly gone to the school about their child, his or her child being bullied and they feel that the school is not being responsive, I often say these are your choices. When I talk to parents, I say, "Can you get your child out of the school?" If you can get your child out of the school, do that because we know that in some cases just moving the child away from a non-responsive, unsupportive administration may actually reduce the bullying. In many cases that's not an option, right. It just would be too much disruption for a family to move so I then say, "You know, have you thought about seeking legal counsel because increasingly schools will respond to a lawyer calling versus a parent that has repeatedly called. If they don't want to go that route, then reach out to some professionals in your area and try to put pressure on the school administrators and go to the school board and have a conversation about how it is that the administration has been non-responsive. What we don't want to do is the parents sit back and wait for the school to respond because they will not. The schools are failing miserably in responding to bullying incidents in our schools, and parents have to be proactive, and so please think about removing your child, seeking legal counsel, or going to the school board to hold that administrator accountable."]
I don't mean to scare you by the above; I'm just covering all the bases. Judging by your email, it hasn't gotten dangerous yet. You are just facing some moron cowards who are making fun of you to feel better about themselves, which is, of course, pathetic. You should keep that in mind: What they are doing is juvenile, cowardly, and a poor reflection on their character. It is NOT evidence that YOU are in any way a bad person. You are growing up in a world that hates people who are different, whether that is because of race, income, sexual orientation, or being a furry.
Alice, I know you feel bad and maybe embarrassed by what happened, but it should actually make you feel special. It is not the ordinary and accepted people on this planet who are special, it is the weird people who challenge social conventions that make the world wonderful. People like you.
Do not feel alone. You are not alone because you have an entire furry community who is like you and who are there to be your friends. You also have a huge LGBTQI community. Don't worry about getting approval from derps and twits like the ones who left you that note or barked at you. They're losers. They are the sort of people who make this world a crappy place. Why would you want their approval? You shouldn't.
You're a special person because you are unique and willing to find out who you really are as a person rather than trying to be like everyone else. The fact that you are an individual and not a conformist is what irritates boring people like those who have mocked you.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
How do I explain to my children that I'm a furry? Got two of them and want to stop them from getting bullied for having a dad who dresses like a kangaroo.
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Apparently, your children already know you dress as a kangaroo, so how does explaining you're a furry change that? Since your kids' schoolmates already know, too, then adding that you are a furry will not stop the bullying. Indeed, it could make it more severe.
First of all, if your kids are being bullied, make sure the school administrators know. I hope it is not violent bullying that causes physical harm, but even psychological bullying is cruel and damaging. Either way, bullying should not be tolerated in any way.
The schoolyard functions much like a wolf pack. There are alpha wolves and there are omega wolves. The wolves at the bottom get picked on by the top wolves to maintain a social hierarchy. Such hierarchies exist in both the animal kingdom and human society. If your children were not being picked on for having a dad who dresses as a kangaroo, odds are they would get picked on for something else because I'm guessing they aren't jocks or on the top of the social cliques.
You are, therefore, asking the wrong question. The solution is not so much about telling them you're a furry (although it is related; see below); the solution is to teach your children how to stick up for themselves. Schools are not just places to learn math and English; they are places where children learn to navigate difficult social and relationship situations.
You need to teach your children assertiveness, and step one is to be a model of assertiveness to them. Actually, your not telling them you are a furry is a bad lesson to them, so you are correct that you should tell them. By telling them you are a furry and what it means to you, you are demonstrating that you are not ashamed to be yourself. Next, you should explain that they should not be ashamed of who they are. Furthermore, tell them that it is not their job to defend their father. Next time a bully gets in their faces about their kangaroo dad, tell them they should invite those bullies to your house, dress up as a kangaroo, and entertain them for a while. Ask your guests if they have ever pretended to be someone or something they are not, and encourage them to join in on a game of imaginative play. During the imaginative play, you can act out scenarios in which you or one of your kids bullies the bully, but use it as a lesson, such as, "When Mary calls you a fat ass, how do you feel about that? How do you think it made her feel when you called her that?"
There are many strategies in dealing with bullies. The three main ones are to be assertive and confident (not defensive), don't be afraid (most bullies are cowards), and ignore/show no reaction to their bullying. Bullies, like online trolls, thrive on knowing they have somehow hurt you. If you show them their words don't affect you in the least, the bully withers and slinks away.
This page offers more instructions and strategies to help you and your kids: https://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/safety/helping-bullied-child.
Hope this helps!
I saw this on fur affinity, and I'd thought I'd give it a try. I'm a second year college student working on a degree in marketing. I've always been good with numbers and I'm kinda creative so I thought it would be a good choice. Two years in an I'm having doubts. The courses are super challenging. My main skill is creative writing, and I also love geology, but I was afraid those would be not good ideas to take as it's hard to find work in those fields.
My main question is this. Should I continue with my degree for 2 more years, or should I do something else? I'm afraid it will take me more than two years to complete because I'm struggling with many courses. What do you think?
Dodger the Crocodile
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Assuming colleges in Canada are similar to the ones in the USA, the first two years of college are typically about taking prerequisite courses in areas such as math and English composition. So, probably many of the courses you have already completed would also work in another major discipline, yes? I mean, if you were aiming at marketing, you'll probably take writing and math courses. Also, if you were doing some graphic arts courses for advertising, artistic skills could apply to, say, cartography in geology majors. Anyway, changing majors in college is a common occurrence, so deciding on a different path is not going to cost you too much time, I think.
The best majors to pursue are the ones you have a passion for. Don't pick an area study merely because you think there is money in it. If you love geology, then you should go for it. Furthermore, you seem to be under the misguided notion that there are no careers out there for geologists. Quite the contrary! Geologists are in high demand in areas including:
Anyway, Geology has applications in a wide array of industries. Not only that, but hiring for geologists is predicted to climb 5% a year for the next 10 years, which is faster than growth in many other industries. Therefore, if you have a passion for geology, I think you would do very well in switching majors from marketing and getting a degree in that field.
Dear Papa Bear,
Ever since I started school, I always focused on the work more then anything. I always wanted to make my parents proud for all that they ever gave me. I didn’t even have that many good friends until high school, when I finally met a group. I was happy, but for college I decided to follow a full ride scholarship to a university states away. I thought it would be an easy adaptation and I would get many friends and good experiences here. But even without COVID-19, things have been rough.
With my experience here so far, I’ve struggled to make any friends in anything I thought I’d be remotely interested in, with me even joining a furry club. I haven’t felt a connection even close to the one I had with my friends back home, and at times even feel unwanted. While I can call my friends, I feel much more alienated to them the before, especially with me being the only one to go out of state for college. This feeling is starting to affect my drive for my grades, which is possibly a disaster, since I need to maintain a 3.5 to even keep my scholarship. Do you have any advice for not feeling so lonely when you’re having a really difficult time making connections?
Drew (age 20; live in Lincoln, NE for school; San Antonio, TX and Atlanta, GA for family)
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Different states, cities, countries have different cultures. One might think there would not be a big difference, culturally between Texas and Nebraska, but it kinda depends on the part of Texas. Now, you are from San Antonio, which is a pretty happening city. You also mention Atlanta, Georgia, which is very different as well. Nebraska is very rural, for the most part. Now, if you were from the Texas panhandle, for example, you might have a closer cultural tie to Nebraska. Lincoln, Nebraska, is very much a "college town," which also has a different feel from, say, a big city like Atlanta.
So, a guess I have is that there is a bit of a cultural difference going on here that might be interfering a bit with your efforts to make friends. Also, just in general, it can be a challenge to make new friends in a new town compared to a place in which you grew up. One suggestion would be to see if you could find some fellow students who are from San Antonio or Georgia. Might be a bit easier to connect.
While having a healthy social life is important, the main reason you are in Lincoln is for school--and congrats on your scholarship, by the way. I'm also guessing that, once you complete your degree, you're not going to stay in Lincoln. I could be wrong, of course. But even if you do stay where you are now, your peers will change once you get a job. You will be switching from college buddies to coworkers, and by then (4 or more years from now) you may have adjusted more to being a Nebraskan.
Big adjustments such as the one you're making take time to acclimate to. I remember my first year of college being rather lonely, but it got better in my sophomore year. Now, you're 20, so have you been in college a couple years? Or did you get a late start? If the former, you can tough it out for another year or two and then you will likely move when you find a job; if the latter, give yourself some time. Such big changes take a while to settle into.
Hi Papa Bear,
First of all, I truly want to thank you. Many years ago, when I was 12, I stumbled upon your site and writing to you and reading the archive of letters helped me so much, both in deciding to join the fandom and beginning to understand that I was bisexual and accepting that. In times where I'm at my lowest I still come here and your words always help me.
I'm writing you now to ask for help contextualizing my emotions. For context I am a Senior in High school, and of course like everyone else I've been stuck at home since March 15th.
At first, it seemed there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that I'd see my friends again on April 15th, then May 1st, then finally that light was put out as in person classes were officially cancelled until next school year--which means nothing to me as I'll be in college.
This has all taken a huge toll on my mental health. I already live far from my friends and my boyfriend, and just calling has been a fine substitute until last night.
Yesterday was supposed to be the day of my school's Prom, and originally me and my boyfriend had asked our friend group if we could do a call of some sort and maybe dress up and play some games and music. At first everyone seemed okay with this, but when the night came nobody responded as they all went off to do other things. In that moment, I just broke down. I couldn't stop crying and I felt so foolish because in the grand scheme of things, it's just superficial high school stuff right? But it's more than just Prom. Prom just represents everything that's been taken away from me. So many people I'll never see again, who are staying here or going to a different school, people who may not have been my dearest friends but still meant a lot to me as part of my adolescence. The fact that as President of my school's Drama Club I never got to take my final bows, that I have to choose officers when I didn't get to properly evaluate their skills and leadership ability. Decision Day, our senior trip, competitions, birthdays, the list goes on.
It feels like I'm going to be shipped off to college without any proper resolution of my childhood and I don't know how to deal with it. I'm scared that even when things do go back to normal, It'll all be taken away again. I just don't know what to do anymore.
* * *
I actually do remember you :-) and am grateful that my words have helped you in the past. Let me see if I can help you a little with this problem today. (Being German, I am fond of lists):
Life is about phases. Each phase of your life involves saying goodbye to some things and greeting others. You can be of good cheer if you look at the new phases with optimism and hope. I'm reminded of my dear friend Motoko when she had to say farewell to her house and move into senior living apartments. Instead of grieving that she could no longer maintain her home, she looked forward to all the new friends she would make and all the things she would learn from them. You can do the same. Look ahead, not backwards.
Hope this helps you some. Congratulations on graduating, and I wish you luck, success, and happiness!
[Papabear note: I was unable to reply to this writer because it was sent to me from an email account on the Tahoma School District server, which apparently does not allow replies from friendly bears. Therefore, here's hoping the letter writer will see this page!]
Hello, I've come to say... WHY AM I BULLIED AT SCHOOL?!?! I don't understand why kids at my school think I'm weird and mock me. but there's some nice people, one time, at my school, Logan, this kid said my Dinosaur mask was COOL! and asked if he could wear it (before Corona virus), so, I let him! and he was pretty nice, but also someone called me B**** at school, he got in trouble, and then this one girl was afraid of me, but no she CHILL! Anyway, I've recently Noticed that I'm being bullied, because this one dude, I was making noises at, was mocking me, like, "Raaga ghhh, yeah, shut up," and ow hes still rude to me ... and now my friends are saying when I tell them my problems, they are saying, "Well, what do you expect when you're running around like a dinosaur?"
It's just annoying to me, and I'd like advice.
Card the Wyvern
P.S my TikTok)) @dragondinosquad ))) follow me im lonely guys ;w;))
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Well, I notice in the form you sent that you're not a dinosaur, you're a wyvern. That's pretty awesome that you know the difference between a dragon and a wyvern and you are only 12 years old :-3.
The issue of bullying is a HUGE one, and many books have been written about it. I don't have time to write a book, so I will be brief.
First and foremost to note is this (and it seems you already understand this): if you are being seriously tormented with hate (verbal or physical), make sure that the adults in your school and your parents are aware of this and take appropriate action to stop it. There is no justification for bullying, which is a very serious act and should never be tolerated.
The second point is this: people bully for a couple of reasons. One reason is that they are insecure about themselves, and so they pick on people who are different or appear weak to feel better about themselves. Most bullies will back down if you stand up to them because, inside, they are actually cowards. The second kind of bully is just the sort of mundane who has no imagination and is fearful of those who are different, creative, unique, or more intelligent or enlightened than they are. There is IMMENSE pressure in the schoolyard of life for people to conform because they want to be accepted by society. That is human nature.
But you know what? The remarkable people of the world, the people who are inventors, artists, and dreamers who make the world a better place, are never the bullies and conformists of the world. They are people like you, Card.
It is terrific you are exploring your furry side, but there is a lesson to be learned here: There is a time and a place for being furry. Wearing a reptilian mask at school and making growly noises is going to set you up for rejection, disdain, taunting, and bullying (whoever said "what do you expect?" was actually making a keen observation). Therefore, you need to keep such behavior out of school and, when you go to school, just focus on listening to the teacher, doing your lessons, and taking your tests.
There is a lesson here to learn, and it is not a happy one: People might say they will accept you for who you are, but that is not true for many people. They say it, but they don't mean it. To protect yourself, you must learn that sometimes, especially in social settings like schools, where you do not control the situation, you have to pretend you are "one of them."
The good news is this: There are tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of furries in the world, and these are the people who are fine with your being a wyvern.
Part of growing up is learning how to deal with people. You will learn, after much trial and error, who the real people are and who the fake ones are. Choose your friends carefully, and you will be much happier. Learn which people are not your friends, and those are the people to whom you do not show your real self. They don't deserve to know what a terrific person you are, so don't give them the opportunity to try and bully you and put you down.
And always remember this: If you get criticized, consider the source. If someone who is not your friend or who you do not respect criticizes you, then what do you care? Brush it off. It is of no consequence because they have not earned the right to judge you.
Big Bear Hugs,
I'd like to know, how to I become the best student at school with the best possible grades?
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As with anything else, if you want to be good at something, work hard at it. Study hard and you should get better grades as a result.
Hi, again, DayPaw,
You know, I apologize for giving you such a terse answer earlier. There's really more I should say on this subject, and it's this: Learning isn't about grades. Real learning is about finding something you're interested in and exploring it fully. Education systems--especially in America--are designed to produce good little factory workers, cubicle dwellers, and consumers. They are not designed to help you genuinely learn things you want to learn to pursue what interests YOU in life. You really don't get that opportunity until college, BUT! You will have a hard time getting into college if you have difficulty with one or more subjects in high school that subsequently brings down your GPA.
The school system--especially in the good ol' US of A--is made to train you to do things by rote learning, to respond to discipline (you must go to your class when the bell rings, leave when the bell rings, sit in your assigned seat, only speak when spoken to, etc.), and to become, basically, an automaton. You are also disparaged and made to feel like shit if you have problems with any one subject, whether that is science or English or even physical education.
So, again, to really answer your question, I should say this: discover first what interests you; if that means you need to go on to college, then you need to play the game to study hard, take the tests, get A's, and move on; but if you don't need a college degree (for example, you want to be a dancer or a painter or you are brilliant enough to invent something in your garage that makes you a millionaire--which actually happens with many of the millionaires we have in this world), then don't worry about it. Just do your time and, when not in school, focus on your passion.
Most of what I know about the world (indeed, most of what I do with my money-paying job) I learned AFTER I left school.
Good grades are there to please your parents and to get a better shot at college. They don't actually mean anything about you personally, and they certainly don't mean squat about your value as a human being.
Big Bear Hugs,
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.
Welp, it's that time of the month where I whine to you about my problems because I can't just man up and face life like actual human beings do. Only this time it's not my parents' fault. It's mine.
I let myself fall behind in class. I have C's/D's in most of my classes and I managed to land an F in computer programming. I keep getting super distracted by things like my friends or my electronics (i.e. phone, 2DS, etc.) and I keep forgetting what tasks I'm supposed to do. I keep promising I'll try harder, but I always keep fucking slipping back. I don't understand why I keep f***ing myself over so badly. My parents are disappointed in me for letting myself fall so low (they claim that disappointment isn't the same as anger but it might as well be since they elicit the same emotions from me.) My teachers think my parents are too soft on me. I want to go into a dark corner where people won't find me and just cry everything out but I can't, and winter break is coming up and I only have so much so time to complete the final exam reports for English and computer programming, and I'm so f***ed. Dad's right. I let myself fail the most important schooling year of my life. And even then I don't know what I'll do if by some miracle I graduate this year.
I just..... I should have myself committed to a mental hospital. Maybe there I'd get the help Iactually need. but even then I'd be torn from my friends and family and the outside world and it'd just.... It'd break me. I can't stand even the thought of losing anyone I care about. Why am I such a f***ing chicken? My dad would've taken charge. My dad would've been on top of things all year. I let them down. I let everyone down. I let my grandma down (bless her soul). I let the people online I consider family down. I f***ing let myself down most of all....
* * *
Having trouble focusing is a common problem for people with autism [note: I know this from previous letters from Ferris]. So is getting overly upset about things that happen all the time, such as struggling in school. Yes, you got some low grades, but that doesn't mean you're a loser. A loser is someone who quits trying and just wallows in self-pity. So, what you do is keep trying! And don't worry about being a disappointment to others. You can't please everyone. Focus on yourself and going forward with your life.
I know I am replying too late for your exams, but it was probably too late to change your habits drastically in time for these tests. Let's work on them now and prepare for the future. Essentially, you need discipline. Here is an article from the helpful WikiHow that gives useful tips on how to create a work schedule and stick with it.
You need to set aside blocks of time that are devoted to different classes. Then, you need to study during those times without distractions. Put your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. away. Sometimes it helps to have some soothing background music as you study, but nothing with lots of lyrics that would distract too much. Develop a habit in which you do the same things during specific times, such as "From 1 to 2 pm on weekdays I will study or do homework for my computer class." No matter what, stick to that schedule. Also, as the article notes, allow yourself some free time. Say, "From Noon until 3pm on Saturdays, I will chat with friends online and play games. That's my relaxation time."
This is admittedly a challenge for people with autism. Autistic people need more frequent breaks and rest time. WikiHow, again, has some special tips for people like this. But even if you do have autism, you can tailor a plan for you and your needs.
If you wish, I can help you try to develop a schedule for your future classes. Oh, and too, don't be afraid to ask for tutoring help if you have a difficult subject. There is never any shame in asking for help.
Well, my friends figured out I am a furry and they told me they would tell everyone if I don't do a list of things by next month. They are very embarrassing things and I am scared that they would embarrass me in front of my whole class. I really don't know what to do, so can you please help me?
Adeptclaws (age 10)
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I'm sorry you're going through this. Papabear was bullied as a kid, too, so I understand what you are going through. Here is the short answer to your problem: do not do what these bullies ask you to do. Know why? Because even if you do them, they will still tell you to do MORE embarrassing things for them because they will still threaten to tell your classmates you are a furry. Therefore, it makes no sense to do them because that won't end the bullying.
So, what do you do? What you have to do is eliminate the threat. That is, eliminate being embarrassed. If you are not embarrassed, they will have no power over you. The question then becomes, "Why are you embarrassed to be a furry?" If they say that furries are into porn (X-rated pictures and movies), well, first off, you're ten years old. I doubt you're looking at pornography. Secondly, you could play innocent and say, "I don't know what you're talking about with 'furporn.' What are you looking at on the Internet? Maybe you are the one who is a pervert?" Embarrass them back.
Even more effective would be to beat them to the punch. This means, tell your class before anyone else that you are a furry. Tell them that this just means that you like furry movies like Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda, and if they like these movies then maybe they are furries, too! If kids say you are weird because you want to dress up as an animal, tell them, "Well, don't you dress up for Halloween? It's the same thing! It's just something fun I like to do." People dress up all the time for all sorts of things. People dress up at Comicon, at Sci-Fi Conventions, at Mardi Gras parties, at costume balls, and more. Furthermore, only about 1 in 5 furries actually has a fursuit or a partial fursuit.
Movies and TV shows featuring talking animals are common, AND they are very popular (if they weren't, you would never see them!) I bet a lot of your friends and classmates like the movies mentioned above, as well as TV and video game characters such as Bugs Bunny, Winnie-the-Pooh, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Max Goof, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mewtwo, Crash Bandicoot, Fox McCloud and many others. Ask your classmates: "Do you like these fictional characters? Well, so do I! What's wrong with that? Maybe you're a furry, too! Furries are just people who like these kinds of characters in movies, TV, and games." Again, if they keep implying or saying that you like furries because of the sex, tell them this: "I'm not the one bringing up sex, you are. Maybe YOU are the one who is obsessed with sex, because it sure isn't me. Maybe YOU are the one who should be embarrassed about what you are looking at online because I am not looking at adult stuff online. My parents watch what I do online; maybe your parents should be watching you!"
Is there furporn online? Yes, there is, but online behavior of furries is similar to that of the general community. In other words. teenagers and twenty-somethings who make up a large part of the furry community browse X-rated material online at a rate similar to that of non-furries. Recent research shows about two-thirds of young men in the United States admit to looking at porn online (and probably many more do who do not admit to it); that's about the same as with furries (actually, furries probably look at it less, percentage-wise). The only difference is the exact nature of what they look at, and since furries like anthros, it is hardly surprising that the X-rated stuff they look at are anthros, too. (I hope this is not upsetting, but I am just trying to give you all the information you may need).
Bullies are kids with low self-esteem who look for other kids to make fun of because it makes them feel better about themselves. Don't give them that power and you will be fine. They will be like soldiers whose guns have no bullets in them. Also, do not feel ashamed to go to the principal's office at your school to complain about bullying, or to go to your teacher, or to your parents. Bullying is a big problem, and the only way adults can do something about it is if they know what is going on.
Big Bear Hugs,
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