I've had a very close friend of mine "abandon" me after I came out as a furry to him. I say "came out" because I know him well enough that he loves to watch crime television and comedy and knows very well how the media defines furries, and that was a definite roadblock.
I consider myself straight and I stray away from adult content within the fandom, but it didn't convince him that furries are not directly striving for sex. I've tried to explain it to him, but he refuses to take it in. Now he has avoided me, ignores my IM requests, and blocked me on Steam (narrow-minded, if you asked me), only communicating in public situations such as Facebook or in the presence of our former "group."
We had been friends all throughout middle school, tutoring each other (More of me tutoring him...), having birthdays together, cheating on tests in class with each other; All the things that friends do for each other.
That was six months ago. I still miss him, and he still hasn't changed any of his methods of contact. I don't know if I should try to rebuild the bridge now that he's had time, or if I should just do what people tell me and "move on" with my life. Is there any way to avoid this happening again, or is it just a normal cycle?
Askim, 15, USA
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It’s too bad that yours is not an uncommon story. You might compare it to a “friend” who abandons you because he finds out your are gay, for example. Many people have deeply ingrained prejudices about people who are not like them and hate them no matter what the argument might be that being different doesn’t make you a bad person. A number of factors make people behave this way, including: 1) how they were raised by family, 2) their religious upbringing, and 3) how much they cave in to other social pressures.
As I have said in other columns, friendships should not be abandoned lightly. You should make every effort you can to educate your (former) friend and try to open his eyes. I’ve posted some useful ones here: http://www.americanfurryassociation.org/videos.html that you could forward to him. (Start at the bottom of the page and work your way up). Also, send him this story http://fotofurnl.deviantart.com/journal/The-Essence-of-Fursuiting-444892870, which is absolutely fantastic!
Try to also make him understand that television rarely reflects the truth about the world. Television shows, whether they are talk shows or even the “news,” or that stupid CSI episode, are designed to get ratings, which translates into money. Believing everything you see on TV is the sign of a weak and ignorant mind.
I’ll let you be the judge of how much effort is enough. After a certain point, if he doesn’t see the light and is willing to throw away a relationship that was beneficial to both of you because he insists on being closed-minded, you will tire of his nonsense and look for more worthwhile friendships. I hope, however, that you will be able to convince him he is wrong and realize that friendship is more important than pride and prejudice.
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