My question is: How old is too old?
I'm a 30 year old Australian male who has been sitting on the sidelines of furry subculture. Only recently have I decided to become more active in the community (via chats/IM/etc.) and with an ultimate goal to attend the U.S. conventions with a fully realized fursona/fursuit.
My question relates to my concerns with my age. From what I have noticed, furries tend to be younger (average 10 years) and I feel apprehensive with socializing and interaction as my thought processes tend to revolve around "aren't you too old for this?" or "will I have difficulty with furries more closer to my age who have been fursuiting for many years (group exclusion)?"
I know the community highly inclusive, however, I worry that there may be underlying sentiments among the community that I'm not aware of.
Will my age be a non-issue, or is there any merit to my concerns as I do worry about my age being a point of contention; especially since attending US conventions as international furry is a big enough hurdle.
Apologies for the long winded letter.
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Dear Antares NaE,
Your letter is by no means long-winded, so no worries. And, if your age of 30 were an issue, I would be in real trouble at 47 (48 soon). When you say that furries tend to be younger, and then parenthetically add “(average 10 years)” I’ll assume you mean they average about 10 years younger than you and not 10 years old :-3.
Yes, the majority of furries are in their teens and twenties. That’s because people of that age group are still often in touch with their childlike, creative sides, which has a lot to do with being furry and its appeal. We love animated films and TV shows, fantasy and sci-fi books, comic books and graphic novels, video and online games, and the like. These things are typically associated with younger audiences. And many of the furries you see around now who are young will leave the fandom when they reach their 30s or 40s, deciding that furry is too immature for them.
Then there are the hardcore furries. These are the people who are furry to the bone, and they will remain furry until the day they die because being a furry isn’t just something they do, it is something they ARE. Older furries are special because they manage to survive the adult world while still keeping touch with their inner child. It’s sort of a Peter Pan Syndrome thing perhaps LOL.
Anyway, you should have no trouble finding friends in the fandom. In case you were unaware, furries who are 30 and over are known as greymuzzles (I agree that’s a little young to be considered old, but, again, it has to do with demographics). You can find greymuzzle groups online at places like Furry4Life and Facebook (I founded a greymuzzle FB group, actually). These groups will all welcome you with open arms, never fear.
Furcons in the U.S. (and I’m assuming you are aware that Australia has Confurgence in Melbourne) often include a forum for greymuzzles, so I would check out the program schedule of the con you plan to attend and see if they have a greymuzzle meet.
As for only becoming active recently in the fandom, that’s okay, too. Whether young or old, many in the fandom have only been active for fewer than five years. Take yours truly. While I consider myself a lifelong furry (having been into it as a child before I was familiar with the term) I have only really been active since my early 40s. There are a lot of greymuzzles like you and me, Antares.
So, while your age does set you apart somewhat from the younger furries, you will have no trouble whatsoever integrating into the furry community. Indeed, probably a lot of American furries will find your Australian accent and international perspective charming and intriguing. See if you can connect with some greymuzzles who will, hopefully, be at the convention(s) you plan to attend, and you will have a grand time. You are never too old to be a furry.
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