I have been having on-again-off-again thoughts on completely leaving the furry fandom for a couple of weeks recently.
I’ve been part of the furry community for about six years and got to know a couple good friends. I appreciated all of the good aspects the fandom has to offer during this time. However, I feel like my interests are changing as I get older, and I find myself enjoying it less and less. My trust issues started deteriorating even more because of these thoughts. I don’t want to cause any hard feelings with those friends in this fandom if I do decide to leave.
When we’re young, we think that things can last forever ... but they don’t. I know that life changes, people change, and everything changes overtime. It can be hard to accept at times, but moving on from something you no longer enjoy can be for the better.
I also am aware of the negative stigma around furries, and I stay away from all of the toxic parts of the community as much as possible. I haven’t really told people in real life about my furry-ism out of extreme fear that I might lose friends. It leads me to have serious social anxiety and me always feeling very reserved around others.
Nowadays, I honestly don’t know if I should stay in a fandom like this for the rest of my life. I’ve been part of it for so long that I don’t know how to quit. Sometimes I keep asking myself: “Do I really want to dedicate my time and energy into this any longer? Is it time to move on?”
So I ask you, Papabear: If I ever want to leave the furry community and move on with my life, how should I properly do so?
Anonymous (age 21)
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There are a few ways in which the furry fandom is unique from other fandoms, and the whole "I'm leaving the fandom" thing is one of them. You never hear someone say, "I'm leaving the Whovians" or "I'm formally announcing I'm no longer a Trekker," but when it comes to furries somehow it's a big, drama-inducing deal.
So let me set your mind at ease. If you don't want to do furry stuff anymore, just stop doing it. It's only a big deal if you make it a big deal. It's not like you're leaving the mob and we're going to track you down and make you sleep with the fishes. It's just a fandom, okay?
Look, in my opinion, there are two types of people in the fandom: 1) people who call themselves furry because being furry is a part of them; it's who they are, and they can't "stop" being furry any more than you can "stop" being a Homo sapiens. It's in your genes. 2) people who got into the fandom kind of as a hobby and because it was a way to socialize with fun and crazy people, but they don't have truly fuzzy hearts. Some of them, frankly, just got into it for the porn; some got into it for the gaming; some liked the fursuits. But then they "grow up" and decide that the fandom is just childish and they have lost interest. This typically happens to hobbyists when they reach their twenties, or finish college, get a job etc. Sounds to me like you are in this second type.
I'm not trying to shame you, not at all. You're just not a dyed-in-the-wool furry. You had some fun with it, made some friends, all good. Now you're done with it (or soon will be) and ready to be an "adult" (whatever the heck that means). So, as to your question on how one gracefully bows out, well, first of all, don't make a scene. Don't make a huge dramatic announcement on the social sites that "I'm leaving the fandom." That just comes off as vain and needy. Secondly, this doesn't mean you have to lose your furry friends. I would contact all the friends with whom you have close ties and say, "Hey, I've kind of lost interest in doing furry stuff and won't be active in the fandom anymore, but I'm grateful to have you as a friend and I hope we can continue to be friends...." Make sure they have your contact information and you can talk to them on Messenger or the phone or whatever. You can then be a "furry friend" who hangs with furries but really is not one himself. This is totally doable and can be rewarding. My late husband fell into this category. My fursuit maker, Beastcub, is not a furry but simply a person who enjoys making fursuits.
So, that's how you do it. Don't be dramatic. Keep the friends you want to keep. Move on with your life, and may it be a happy one.
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