I recently discovered I was a furry. I was always interested in anthro animals, but always denied that I was a furry.
The first person I told was my best friend, and she told me to take it slow, maybe don't go in public in my fur for about a month. She thought it was dangerous since I'm only 11. I took her advice, but I needed more information.
I looked all over the internet searching, "How young is too young to be a furry?" But that, unfortunately, did not give me anything. I was actually very excited when I saw that a 10 yr. old was also a furry! So, I need help coming out to my family.
First, my mother. She's a very optimistic, open-minded person. I'm just afraid she'll think I'm into the... more 'adult' side to furries.
Second, my father. He's a more conservative person. He usually has trouble trying to understand what I'm into, and thinks that I don't like him sometimes.
Lastly, my brothers. I have 2 brothers. We'll call one Bob. He's about 14 and HATES furries (and I'm not exaggerating). He often makes fun of them and always asks me if I'm a furry. My other brother (we'll call him Jack), often makes fun of things I'm into, such as anime or Japanese culture. But honestly, if he finds out, I don't think he could care less.
Thank you for the advice~! I really need it and hopefully will soon become another member in the fandom!
~Olive the Cheshire Cat (age 11)
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Welcome to the fandom :-) You don’t need to pay membership fees; you don’t need an ID card; you just gotta like furry! So, welcome!
Papabear is seeing your dilemma more and more. The problem is that many young people under the age of 18 are learning about furries, finding it awesome, and yet there is the “adult” aspect of it. I’ll give you a brief history of why this is (more details will be in my forthcoming book).
Anthropomorphism goes back to ancient times, so it is nothing new. There are many human/animal figures in mythology and literature. Much more recently, in the early 20th century, these characters, who populated things such as comic books and early movie cartoons, were called “funny animals.” Characters like Mighty Mouse and Krazy Kat (more recently, in films like Shawn the Sheep carry on this tradition) are clearly animals but they have human characteristics such as high intelligence. These comics and cartoons were intended for children. Later, in the 1940s, we got such characters as Bugs Bunny from Warner Bros. studios who were much more human-like, and even though the cartoons were for kids, they contained a lot of adult humor, too. Anyway, back in the 1980s (jumping ahead) some cartoonists decided that they wanted even more adult-themed animal characters. They characters became anthros—much more like people, walking erect etc.—and they put them in much more adult situations that contained a lot of violence and sex. “Omaha the Cat Dancer” is one of the more important of these comic book series, and you would also see adult stories in the Albedo and other series (Albedo had mature stories but generally didn’t have sexual situations).
Anyway, I won’t give you a longer story, but the furry fandom really evolved out of this tradition of anthro characters for the 18+ crowd. Things like furry conventions are, really, more adult oriented (though not sexually so, for the most part), though they do allow minors to attend with guardian supervision.
All that said, I need to point out that the fandom continues to evolve, and one of those steps in evolution should be to do a better job welcoming young ‘uns such as yourself into a world where they can have fun and feel safe. There are many things you can do and enjoy about being a furry that have nothing to do with the more adult aspects of it.
What you need to do with your parents is point this out to them. Many parents, once their kids say they are furry, go on the Internet and, sadly, it’s too easy to find furporn and they immediately conclude that the fandom is for sex perverts (sigh). One of the sections of my book will be devoted to how to have fun in the fandom that is G-rated.
My advice to you is to gather together information and websites that are G-rated and then explain to your parents that this is what you enjoy, that it is a hobby (I often compare it to being a Trekkie or Lord of the Rings fan), and that it is just for fun. An excellent site to show them is www.Furry4Life.org, which is pretty clean (unlike FurAffinity). Another really cool site is http://furry.today/ which regularly posts furry-related videos (clean stuff). As you explore the furry world, keep your activities transparent: that is, never hide stuff from your parents; the more they trust you that you are being honest with them and not secretive, the better it will be for you.
As for your brothers, who cares? Siblings are almost always nasty to each other at that age. It’s called “sibling rivalry,” and brothers and sisters will often pick on each other in a primitive effort to become Mom and Dad’s “favorite.” I wouldn’t waste time trying to educate them about furries because, frankly, anything you are interested in—furry or not—is potential ammunition for them to mock you. That’s what siblings do (not always, but very often).
The important thing to remember is that you are at a time in your life when you are discovering yourself. And it is more important for you to be yourself than to be a fake person who is just trying to please others, whether that is your brothers, your parents, or your friends at school.
What your furry experience will be is entirely up to you. I wish you a joyous and happy time in our community.
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