I just wanted to talk a bit about some things that have been bothering me (mostly relates to the furry fandom, I promise). Anyway, I've been a part of the furry fandom for technically 10 years ever since I discovered what fursonas were back in early high school (though my childhood love of anthro animals in Disney and WB cartoons actually predates my discovery of the fandom).
Anyway, for a while I grew interested in the artwork of certain furry artists on deviantART. Sure, the furry art was enjoyable but over time, I discovered the site known as FurAffinity. I lurked on there for quite a few years (still on there) but since I was a teenager, I was quite paranoid and anxious about it because I usually enjoyed the more...expansive furry art. It's kind of embarrassing but inflation and weight gain art was and is still very appealing to me but even though I very much favorite family friendly furry art and those artists I like too, it's been part of the reason I'm unsure of how to actually try and show my parents the tame (family friendly) side of the fandom so they don't get weirded out by the whole fandom and tell me not to do it even though I want to be a part of the community more, genuinely make friends and go to furcons/furmeets.
The thing is that I had gone through a very traumatic experience back in primary school where I was made fun of a lot but even worse, people made fun of my weight behind my back. It shattered my worldview and made me anxious, upset and scared people may have secretly hated me for so long and just were pretending to like me and I would have no idea who actually did it. It deeply affected me right into high school to the point where I was lonely, severely depressed and suicidal but even though I don't want to die now, I just want friends who understand me (I have friends but I barely see them and none of them are furries). That horrible experience still affects me to this day. I still am afraid of what people think of me and I have social anxiety at times and it's for that reason why I'm not sure about going to a furry convention because of all the squeakers and mutes that I'd feel unable to talk to and I'd feel intimidated too.
My parents (they're separated) do love me and are not religious because they thought we would be effectively brainwashed with hateful propaganda. The reason I stopped being a Christian years ago was because of the conservative bigots over the years who hate the LGBT+ community (I'm bisexual). It's just I never told them about the furry fandom except for this one time by PC froze up, my mum walked in and violated my privacy by going into my FurAffinity faves that I was browsing on which was both mortifying and infurating. She said it was disturbing (her words) and even though I empathized with her feelings, I've always by instinct minimized/muted my browser whenever I go out of my room because the thought of people looking into my...interests only makes me immensely uncomfortable because I fear being judged by my family when I already have a mild learning disability (Aspergers) and I already have a hard time dealing with loneliness and my frustrations with my own family after we split apart. They don't judge my disability and they are supporting me on that so that's good.
I don't want to keep hiding this fandom from them anymore. It keeps eating away at me and makes me feel worse about myself. I obviously feel uncomfortable showing the suggestive kink art but I'd rather show the family friendly works so they can at least understand (I hope).
Though all in all, what I'm trying to ask is is it wrong liking that artwork (even the family stuff), let alone being a furry?
I just want to know because this has been bothering me for a long time and I would love to get an answer as soon as you can.
Sincerely, Sam the dog (age 23, Australia)
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You should know that in the furry world you are in good company. There is a plethora (love saying that word: plethora! PLEH-THOO-RAAH LOL) of furries who really like big furries, inflation, or both. Heck, there is a Facebook group that is not at all ashamed to call the group Fat Furry Fans, and there is a group of over 700 members called Inflatable Furries/Scalies. As a FurAffinity and deviantArt member who collects such art, you must surely be aware that these are popular subcultures within the subculture of furries in general, yes? So, while your experience within the mundane world involving shaming because of your weight is indeed harsh, I firmly believe you will be much more accepted at furry conventions and other social gatherings than you are in the mundane world.
Addressing the whole parent thing: While it is important for a parent to have an interest in their kids' lives and behaviors, and they should try to protect them from harm, it is intrusive to spy on sexual behavior--at least, legal sexual behavior. Everyone has private sexual habits that are not for everyone's eyes, and sneaking onto your computer to check out what you like in porn is a violation of your privacy and trust. Many parents think that trust is a one-way street, but it should be both ways: you should trust your parents and they should trust you. You don't sneak onto their computers and they shouldn't sneak onto yours. That said, having a secretive behavior is not cool, either.
This is, admittedly, a tricky thing in families. You want to be open and have good communication, but on the other paw, you have a right to some privacy. I'm sure Mom and Dad have some sexual proclivities they are not anxious to tell you about, too. Parents, under the law, have certain rights and responsibilities, including providing you with food, clothing, and a secure environment. However, you are now 23, which is legal age, so they have absolutely NO business butting into your business. Just because you have Asperger's is no excuse to treat you like a child, either.
It should be noted here, though, that online sexual behavior between minors or between a minor and an adult is illegal, both federally and in most states in the United States. You, of course, are from Australia, where it is also illegal, and a penalty of up to two years in prison is possible there. Because of these laws--which are pervasive internationally--it can be dangerous for you to explore sexuality online. This, sorry to say, is particularly true with furry sites because a huge part of the demographic is under 18 years of age. The part where you have to be careful is with any art or real-life photos that show minors (some furries into the babyfur scene have discovered that, sad to say), all of which can be classified as child pornography. Also, doing sexual RP online with someone who is a minor can be construed as breaking the law. This is particularly difficult in the furry world because there are people online who are under 18 who pose as adults when they RP or share art. You must be very very very cautious.
Bottom line: 1) According to your letter, your parents sound pretty cool for the most part; strike up an honest conversation with them about your interest in furries. Tell them you appreciate their interest in your life and their desire to keep you safe, but do insist that you deserve a little privacy when it comes to sex just as you respect their privacy on such matters; 2) keep your regular furry behavior and your sexual interests separate--at least, while you still live with your family; if you save art, keep it on an external drive that you keep in a safe place or in the cloud or somewhere where it is not readily available to someone without a password. You can fave art on your FurAffinity page and keep it from prying eyes by logging out of FA when you go offline and then using your password to get back in. Never share your password with anyone, obviously, even people you think you can trust; 3) and once you have your G furry life separated from your adult furry life, open up more about your furriness to your parents, with an emphasis that there is a HUGE difference between being a furry and one's sex life and that the two are not bound together in the furry community (i.e., furry isn't about sex; it is about furry fun is all). Finally, you're 23. Time to move out of your parents' house and start your own life. You can do it. Mild Asperger's should not hinder you.
It is okay for you to be furry. It is okay to have sexual desires. It is okay if those sexual desires are "unconventional" as long as you are not hurting people (e.g., rape is not okay, child molestation is not okay, but you are not engaging in either of those, so you're cool).
Hope that helps.
Big Bear Hugs,
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