Let's Face It, for the Most Part, the Furry Fandom Is Not Designed for Little Kids
So I have been a furry for a while but I haven't told my parents! The reason is because when I was first learning about the furry community I clicked on a website without knowing what it was and it was a 18+ website with all kinds of unholy horrors. And unluckily for me my mom was standing right behind me! Now because of my mistake that's what they think of the furry community! So how do I tell them that I'm into furry stuff but I'm not into all of that adult stuff?
Anonymous (age 15)
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Dear Young Furiend,
Papabear realizes there are many furries like you who are under 18 and wish to do fun furry stuff without the X-rated and other adult things in the fandom. I would like to say that the furry fandom is a sweet, childlike, and innocent hobby for the entire family.
The truth is, it isn’t.
You see, young one, the furry fandom began when some artists and writers (back around 1980 or so), who enjoyed the cartoons and comics made for children, decided that they wanted to create some art and stories with animal-like characters but that these would have more adult themes (Omaha the Cat Dancer is the best early example of this). Some themes dealt with violence, some with sex and sexuality, and they often had very adult language, gay themes, and drug references and criminal behavior. The best stories have also dealt with serious themes, including war, racism, slavery, and more.
Over time, this idea grew and grew and became more and more diverse. Some very good writing that is nonsexual has come out of it (check out the story collection Furry! edited by Fred Patten, for example); some graphic tales that have violence and adult themes, but don’t emphasize sex, have also come out that are great (I was introduced recently to the Blacksad tales by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido about a detective in a furry world that has a lot of violence, but the stories are very well written and illustrated), and even some first attempts at movies (Bitter Lake in 2013) have been made. But, really, much of the stuff in the furry world is for adults and there is a lot of graphically sexual material. You simply can’t avoid it. Even people who are not interested in it, like you, will still stumble upon it (you can hit the SFW button on FurAffinity, but not all sites have this feature).
On the other side, there are Christian furs and cartoony furs and fursuiters who do charity work and raise money for animals and all kinds of nice things. Going to furcons can be a blast! But, again, it’s all about the company you keep.
A couple things you can do, hon.
For one thing, you can still enjoy a lot of the movies and cartoons that furries enjoy featuring talking animals and produced by such companies as Disney and Pixar etc. I’m sure your parents won’t object to G-rated cartoons made for the general public.
As for the other, you can tell your parents you like some of the creative furry things that some people are doing out there, but you realize that there is adult stuff to avoid and you understand they don’t want you to look at it and neither do you! Therefore, encourage them to monitor your Internet use. Welcome them to check out furry communities that are safe and to help you to avoid those that are not.
Here are a couple sites Papabear can recommend:
That’s enough to get you started. You can also subscribe to clean furry art pages on Tumblr and join discussion groups on Facebook or other social sites.
The key is to allow—even encourage—your parents to be involved so they don’t think you’re doing anything they would not approve of. The modern furry fandom really is for adults, and you should therefore tread lightly, but it can be made fun for young furs if you surf carefully.
Good luck and hope you have fun!
Something Anonymous might find interesting about the fandom is that the G-rated movies and other materials are enjoyed by the older members as well. This is one of the things I enjoy about the fandom since in the non-furry world people my age (I'm an older greymuzzle) aren't often interested in kids movies or graphic novels.
11/18/2016 04:56:32 am
11/19/2016 10:47:56 am
Hi. You are correct. A 13 year old should not be sexting or viewing pornography of any kind (furry or otherwise). As I have explained in several recent columns, the furry fandom was founded on the idea that there should be (what used to be called) funny animal character stories for adults. That means adult themes, everything from violence to sex. As a parent, you should monitor your child's online and phone behavior. What is really tricky for you and all parents is to do this in such a way as to not alienate your child. That is, you want to have a good relationship with them and not make them feel you are imposing unreasonable rules. Here is an article on talking to your kids http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/10/garden/porn-intro.html and there are many others online you can access on both religious and secular websites, depending on your beliefs. Now, it is certainly true that the majority of stuff in the furry fandom is NOT X-rated. The problem is that it is mixed in with the G stuff and therefore difficult for kids to separate the two. My advice: encourage your kid's imagination, but guide them to stuff that appeals to their interests and is not in the furry fandom, such as Disney movies, children's books, and so on. See http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/letter-to-a-furrys-mom for recent article. Hope that helps. Parents have a tough job, that's true! Good luck!
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