All right, Papabear, after reading nearly every question you've answered on your site I think I'll like to try and step forward with an issue that doesn't appear to have been tackled yet.
My fursona is a male fox. But I'm a female IRL. But here's the thing. I'm one of those women who feel so much more natural and comfortable being represented as a male since I've always had this fantasy of being one and I relate more to men.
But at the same time, away from the fandom and IRL, I literally have no desire to physically change to the opposite gender. Not a tomboy, love my girly feminine things, clothes, etc. I like and am fine with being a biological woman. It's contradicting, I suppose, and has confused a few transgender and gay furs.
Basically, I wanted a suit done of my pretty fox self, but wouldn't know how to deal with others. Hell, I've even debated on being one of those who doesn't talk just for the sole reason of concealing my biological gender! But I like talking to others and depriving myself the chance of such just to become a mime is a shame!
So yeah my question is... How do I explain this to anyone who asks why a lady is running around in a male fursuit in a short, sweet, and appropriate manner? I'd rather not have everyone just assume I'm transgender since I'm not.
Anyhoo, Papabear, thank you SO MUCH FOR READING! I would really love your opinion on all of this. I'd never change the gender of my fursona regardless because it's a huge part of who I am. But I'd like to make the possible experience a little less agonizing.
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Greetings, Fellow Furry,
First of all, I am flattered you have read through my past columns so thoroughly. Thank you, kindly.
So, you are not a lesbian, or bisexual, and you are not transgendered. You enjoy being female IRL, but relate more to men, and in your fantasy life you like being a male character. When you say you relate more to men, I guess (since you assert you’re not a tomboy, enjoying things like football and working with tools) you mean hanging out with them more than with other women, which is not unusual. I know women who prefer the company of men to that of other women; indeed, some women dislike hanging out with others of their own sex and just want to be with other men as friends. You aren’t odd in that way.
As for your fursona being male, I look at that as being somewhat analogous to a male transvestite. Transvestites (cross-dressers, if you prefer) aren’t always gay (in fact, the majority are straight--see this article); they just enjoy dressing as women. Turn that upside down and we have a woman who isn’t a lesbian but likes “dressing up,” in a sense, as a male fox. So one way you could explain it to those who might actually ask you is to think of it in the terms of a female furry cross dresser.
You don’t usually hear about “transvestite women,” I suppose this being because in our society to see a woman wearing pants, a men’s T-shirt, and running shoes is not considered odd, whereas a man wearing a dress and high heels is considered out of the norm. Why men dress as women is still not really clear, even to psychologists, though some cross-dressing men say it relieves stress, and perhaps they just enjoy the feel of silky nylons on their legs. Similarly for you, while you enjoy being feminine, you might find the fantasy of being a male in your furry life to be a stress relief or even empowering. If you role play much in the fandom, being a male you can be more free to assert yourself strongly, even in a physical sense.
You are not the only female who roleplays as a male and yet is not gay. There are not a whole lot like you, but they are out there.
And let’s not forget that furry role playing is just good fun. Heck, we’re talking about thousands of people all over the planet pretending they are other species, let alone genders. It’s fun to pretend :-) Just think of female authors who write about male heroes in their books (e.g. J. K. Rowling).
So, there are a couple possible ways for you to explain it to others: the lighthearted “it’s just pretend and I like to pretend my fursona is male just like you like to pretend your fursona is a wolf or a lion...,” or the more intellectual “think of it like a male cross-dresser, only I’m a female who ‘dresses’ in a male fursona.”
Hope that helps,
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