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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