Am I too old to get started? Or, I guess I should be more clear... I've known about furry fandom for several years, the art is wonderful and there are a number of comics I love. I even lurk on a few of the forums.
I've never really gotten involved in the community for a few reasons. I have what I guess is a reasonably satisfying personal life as is, kinda, but even more, I'm REALLY bad at making friends online. Furriness seems to happen over about a thousand vectors, a ton of them online. It's mystifying trying to keep up and I always feel like I'm missing out on some like shared language or cultural thing.
That and I feel like I'd be pretty old to be a newbie. I know there are older furs in existence, but I'm already past average and would be starting at like, zero.
I don't know. Furrydom is a beautiful thing but I can't tell if or how or whether I should try to take part in any way, or just keep standing back and watching...
Thanks for any words of wisdom
P.S. And yep, I know I just missed the big Con here in my city; that's part of what spurred the question...
Lauris Jones (29, Atlanta)
* * *
Hmmm *gets out paper and pencil, old school* you're 29 and I was.... 40 when I first started getting active in the fandom, so that's ... 9 from 10 is 1 and 2 from 3 is 1 ... so 11 years younger than I was! Would you say I'm too old for the fandom? Not at all, and neither are you. It's never too late to be furry! Oh, sure, most of those in the fandom are younger than us, but there are also a lot of older furries, as you know. You might want to join a "Greymuzzle" group, like the one on Furry4Life. I have one on Facebook, too, but you need to be 30 to join. Although, if your birthday is coming soon, I may cut you some slack <g>.
There are three kinds of older furries IMO: 1) those who were active in the beginning of the modern fandom and are still active, 2) those who just discovered the fandom, possibly by accident, and are just getting to understand what furry is, and 3) those who have always been a furry but only more recently became active in the fandom. As a corollary, there are also two kinds of young furries: 1) those who are furries at heart and will eventually become greymuzzles, and 2) those who are just in it for now because they like being rebellious and different but, by the time they are 30, if not before, will dismiss the fandom as something “for kids” and they’ll become old at heart (sad).
The best furries are the ones who are furries in their soul and will always love furry art and literature no matter what their age. The distinction that should be made here is the difference between being a furry and being in this globulous, amorphous, randomized, ambiguous thing we call “the fandom.” To this day, I’m not really sure what it means in itself, but “to be in the fandom” means, basically, to be active in things like cons and meets and websites and such. You can be a furry and not be in the fandom at all; interestingly, I believe you can also be in the fandom without really being a furry (aka a poser).
The fandom exists in two aspects: the real world of furcons and meets, and the virtual world that is a labyrinth of websites, social and otherwise, that can, as you observed, be quite confusing indeed (which is one of the main reasons I’m working on www.americanfurryassociation.org). When it comes to social sites, the main sites I work with are FurAffinity, Facebook, and Furry4Life (there’s also the popular SoFurry). Since you have a hard time making friends online, you need to find furmeets near you. If you go to http://www.americanfurryassociation.org/ga-consmeets.html you’ll see con and meet information for your state. (You need to sign up for a free membership to get a password). And you can search Facebook for furry groups in your area; also, you can try https://furrymap.net/ to see if you can locate nearby furries to contact and maybe organize a small gathering. Finally, there’s no law says you can’t organize your own furry meet at your house or someplace like a local bowling alley or maybe a movie outing.
As for getting into the terminology and so forth, I would recommend you check out Wikifur. It's the wiki for furries and you can learn everything from terminology to history to furcon information. A very handy tool!
So, to summarize, no, you are not too old to be a furry and to become active in the fandom; and, secondly, if you are uncomfortable with online interactions you should explore meeting furries in the real world through cons and meets.
Hope that helps! Stay furry!
Oh my! Hope you're not too old for furry, as I'm older than Papabear!
4/11/2014 06:41:56 am
I'm 55.. I got into the fandom at 52, and I know of furs who got involved at a later age than me... You're never too old!!
4/11/2014 06:46:05 am
Friend, you're never too old to experience the unconditional warmth and acceptance that our fandom's known for. Also, sure we're a bunch of weirdos but it's a good kind of weird. It helps us deal with the insanity of the real world.
4/11/2014 07:24:29 am
I found the furry fandom about 4 months ago...at 59. Attended my first con, Furry Weekend Atlanta last month and met dozens of really great folks...including Eddie Bear. I was a little skeptical at first. The group is very diverse...age, income, talent, profession, race and more. I was there four days and did not hear a single negative comment about anyone, in suit or out. There may be drama on some of the websites, but the furry fandom is likely the most tolerant and welcoming of any group I've found. Jump in...and have fun.
4/11/2014 07:25:01 am
I love the furries and I am an old coot.. YAY.. You are NEVER too old to have fun, friends and fantasies.
4/11/2014 10:24:28 pm
You're never told old in body to enjoy the fandom. Just as long as you have that youthful spirit, there will always be a good time..
4/11/2014 11:20:44 pm
Heck, I'm turning 62 and am going to play around the lake coming up in a couple weekends. I started at 24 years old and never stopped.
4/12/2014 05:07:49 am
Just wanted to chime in: you're half the age of some of us! It's sad that everyone 30 and up is lumped into the "old" category in furrydom. Maybe we could add some gradients: a-few-stray-grays muzzle? salt-and-pepper muzzle? Whitemuzzle? But seriously, please stick around!
Leave a Reply.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.