When I was trying to figure out my gender identity, I finally settled on 'agender' because it felt right. I can't explain it...but I suppose it's the same as knowing yes, you are male, or female, or etc.! It's a gut feeling, IMO.
This isn't a letter about gender identity at all, though, heh. I bring this up because of the term 'furry.' I have two fursuits in the works, I'm wild about animals, and I like some furry stuff, but I really don't identify as a furry. The term doesn't feel right to me -- not because of the fandom's reputation (I'm past caring about that) but because I just...well, don't identify! The same gut feeling as when I figured out my gender identity.
(This is also not to say that furry is a gender identity or anything. Just using a comparison.)
However, I'm reminded of that old saying: "If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck..." etc. I like fursuits and some furry stuff. Does that mean I owe it to myself to take on the furry label? I always considered myself just a person who likes costumes, animals, and good art. I also have plenty of hobbies outside the fandom, so it's not like I can't read a book or watch a show if there isn't a talking squirrel in it.
I've had a friend tell me, "Well, if a guy liked only guys but refused to say he was gay, wouldn't you raise an eyebrow?" The answer to that is no: I respect people's labels even when they fly in the face of my own reality. Thing is, other folks are probably gonna think I'm in denial, and I'd hate to be seen as dishonest or immature.
Sorry for the long, winding letter, and thanks for all you do,
Wee Lioness (23)
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Here’s a little secret: Papabear hates labels. People are much more complex than that, and trying to fit someone into one category or another can be an exercise in futility. For example, I could say I’m a gay man, but being gay is just one aspect of a much more complex personality. I’m also a furry, but I don’t go around introducing myself to people as a furry. I’m a writer and editor, too. I’m an amateur philosopher. I’m a brother. I’m a boyfriend. I’m Caucasian. I’m American. I’m a Virgo. I’m a spiritualist. I’m an empath. You see where I’m going with this. You know what I say when I introduce myself to people? “Hi, I’m Kevin Hile.” I’m not a label; I’m me.
Just because you like some furry art, fursuits, and some of the stuff associated with furries doesn’t mean you are now required to participate in any furry community activities, nor are you “denying you’re a furry.” The talented woman who made my fursuit, Beastcub, is not a furry, but she loves making fursuits for people. Maybe you’re like that. It begs the questions, doesn’t it, as to what really makes a furry? Obviously, it’s not what you wear or what you call yourself that matters. It’s what you are comfortable with, and if you don’t want to call yourself a furry, then don’t call yourself a furry.
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