Hey there, Papabear!!
I think this might be the third time I've written to you. I was able to follow your past advice, and it turned out really well!
On to the question.
Thanks to you, I was able to tell my parents about my interest in the furry fandom, and they are accepting of me! They just see it as a hobby, and are going to help me make a fursuit! But there are a few things.
I don't know if I should tell them about the sexual side of the fandom. I mean, almost all fandoms can get sexual, but the furry fandom is known exclusively for it.
And second, how do I tell them about me wanting to go to a furcon? There's one coming up in 2022, but it's really close to my sister's birthday, and I feel like they'll say no.
Normally, I would be fine with that, but the con coming up is the only one in my state scheduled next year.
What do you think I should do?
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Dear Candy Bear,
I'm glad to hear that your parents are being pretty supportive of your furriness.
When it comes to sex in the fandom, you should certainly know that the furry fandom was designed for adults, not 13-year-olds such as yourself. Neverthless, many young kids are attracted to the fandom because it is fun and creative and playful and they like the idea of pretending to be an anthro animal.
The way to avoid any upset on your parents' part when it comes to adult imagery is to make certain you are 100% transparent with them. That is, you don't hide anything you do online or on your phone. Indeed, you should encourage their supervision of your activities. It is not just the fandom that has X-rated stuff. It is all over the internet.
Do your parents monitor what you do online now? They should, but whether they do or not, you should have a sit-down discussion with them about online porn, trolling, and child predators. Have an honest discussion about this. They will likely feel you are very mature and smart for doing so. What you say is, basically, this: "Mom, Dad, we all know there is a lot of bad stuff online. Some of it is pretty scary. I want us to talk about it and I want you to help me stay safe online, including in chat rooms and stuff. There is a lot of porn out there and also I have heard there are adults and mean kids who like to bully you and even threaten you. I want to talk to you about how I can keep safe online and still have fun talking to friends and doing my hobbies and doing stuff for school."
I think they will be proud of you for opening such a dialog. In the meantime, keep away from furporn. That means, for example, stay away from websites like FurAffinity, which is filled with X-rated art. Maybe stick with furry chat groups on, say, Facebook, which has strict policies against sexual imagery and harrassment.
When it comes to cons for someone your age, of course it is best to have your parents there with you. That said, I'd like to suggest you try a virtual furcon first. There are many of them, especially since the onset of COVID. One going on right now is Furality, which uses VRchat. Oh, and you might want to sign up for VRchat anyway. It's cool. Here is a list of online furcons you can check out: https://en.wikifur.com/wiki/List_of_online_furry_conventions. The beauty of that is that you don't have to travel!
Now, to participate in a con (online or not), you'll need to register, so you will likely need your parents' help with money (cons are anywhere from $30 and up) and also get them to sign a consent form, probably, because you are a minor. Hopefully, they will do that, and, again, encourage them to watch over you. A virtual con is much cheaper than a real-world con because there are no hotel or food or travel expenses. It's a nice introduction to furcons. Eventually, though, you will want to go to a real, brick-and-mortar furcon, but let's leave that alone for this coming year and address it in 2023.
Oh, and have fun at your sister's birthday. Cherish these times with your family. Sisters and brothers are great. I love my sister so much, and I hope you do, too!
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