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FOR THE SAKE OF OUR SANITY, YOU DON'T HAVE TO "COME OUT" AS FURRY!

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Calemeyr

Vere Adeptus
The above poster is either a troll or so rude and far flung from empathy that I don't even think it's worth responding to. The first quote and response is a straw man. The second is disturbing in that you think you are qualified to make such a judgement. If others actually feel insulted by my post, let me know how and why so I can learn.

He's not a troll. And it's not an offensive attack against furries.
Anyway, the term "furry lifestyler" has been stolen by certain...undesirable people. You know, the people who like murrsuits, think zoophilia is a-ok, and like to give asspats to sexual deviants, who may also be criminals. It's like the term otaku. Sure, you might like anime a lot, but there are some people who use that term for themselves and think "when they go to Japan" all the women will worship their anime knowledge.

Frankly, association with a single group should not form a person's identity. Rather, what the person does in the group should define them. I could say "Oh, since I have an engineering major, this means I'm an engineer". Nope. You have to be employed first. That is doing something with what you have or who you are. Sure, you're probably trying to be unique, but when all you have is just association with a group, what differentiates you from other people in the group? As a furry, how are you different than me? Besides your fursona.

What perhaps gets people annoyed with lifestylers is a feeling that they are too excited about being a furry, and feel the need to talk about it, always. It's like the stereotypical brony or otaku. Too overwhelming sometimes. And then there's the victim complex and the "hugbox". That, and the rest of the geek social fallacies are the reasons why people get annoyed by furries. Not the porn, it's the reaction to trolling. Trolling is just joking around.

So please, to all furries out there, please stop with the geek fallacies. The fandom could be great, as there isn't a single canon or medium to latch onto. There's so much room for creativity. But the geek fallacies get in the way. So please furries, please grow a backbone. Or at least realize that the people who "troll" you are usually hardcore otaku, who are in the same boat as you.

As for the otherkin stuff, it's just New Age weirdness combined with possible induced psychosis for entertainment. Like Pony Tulpas. At least it isn't otakukin. Well, as long as you aren't making money by telling people that you can contact their deceased relatives and reveal said relatives' thoughts about your customers, it's not hurting anyone.
 
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Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
What I meant by automatically disregarding perspective was that "automatic" should be interpreted as without thinking. One should at the very least go "hmm" before they nay say. In religion, lumping people together as "Christian" and attacking generalized statements about the religion that may not even address an individuals beliefs are something that a lot of internet atheist debaters do.

Oh, righto. That's an excellent point.

When people ask me, "Are you an X?" I'll often reply, "What do you mean by X?" or "What is an X?" or "How do you define 'X?'" for this exact reason.

Many times, I've laid out my exact thinking on an issue, only to have some argue-bot angrily shoot back with some ultimately irrelevant rebuttal that had nothing to do with what I said, just because they heard their favorite trigger words.

(I've also probably done this to other people--because labels have connotations, after all--even though I make a good-faith effort not to.)

Something that's important is asking the individual why they believe and what they believe beforehand so that the debater actually knows the perspective of the individual they are talking to instead of preaching to the air.

Exactly.

Words have meanings, of course, so I think it's natural and appropriate to make certain predictions or hypotheses about someone, based on how they label themselves. The trick is, we have to be willing to investigate those hypotheses, and let them go in the event they prove to be faulty or flawed in some case.

There's definitely a middle ground here between the absolute dichotomous poles of "Words have absolute meanings, and so everyone with X Label fits Y Description" and "Words and labels are endlessly malleable and completely open to personal interpretation; no generalizations and hypotheses can ever be made about anyone therefore."

You predict, and then you test. You make generalizations about groups and categories, but you also remember to observe and respect individual differences.

Actually, while we've been talking about lifestylers and otherkin primarily, I had to re-assess some of my own assumptions and generalizations regarding, of all people, babyfurs. Previously, I assumed that all babyfurs were sick motherfuckers who engage in weird infantilist S&M play, microwave used diapers and wear them, and fingerpaint with their own crap.

A friend of mine took me aside and, without naming any names, just told me that some of the people I generally like are, in fact, deeply-closeted babyfurs who mostly like to wear footie jammies, play with toys, and watch cartoons, and that many of them apparently identify as asexual, to the point where people who try to behave in a sexual manner at 'playdates' will be told to stop, and even, told to leave. Apparently, these same folks may wear diapers as an accessory, but are reportedly no more "into" or enamored of their bodily fluids than you or I (or at least, I).

This might strike some as odd or unusual, but it's certainly not the bizarro-creepy, poo-streaked S&M-fest I always assumed babyfur 'playdates' were.

This all came as a revelation to me, and at least taught me to investigate and clarify when someone self-identifies as a babyfur, or refers to someone else as one. It also taught me that I have to be more specific and more careful when criticizing behaviors or tendencies I think are damaging, unpalatable or creepy, because not everybody under one "umbrella" engages in those exact practices.

US doesnt practice something called divergent thinking enough and it's one of the reasons it does poorly in some cases. Divergent thinking is the practice of thinking about all the possibilities without being constricted by the norm. For instance a paperclip could be used as a hat if it were made of cloth, large enough, and could be cut into the shape of one. Or it could be a chair if it were large enough or even if it were at its regular size and is for tiny people. The practice of divergent thinking is construed as one of the markers of intelligence level and so I think that purposefully not thinking about possibilities (even if they're wrong) could be construed as intellectual stagnation. Just a little background there, hah. Divergent thinking can be really fun and hilarious. Think of all the uses of a paperclip, it's quite entertaining.

I've heard this called "lateral thinking" by Edward de Bono, and you're right.

In fact, I think the U.S. educational system is continuing to move even further away from lateral thinking, "thanks" to the growing emphasis on standardized testing, at the expense of things like the Arts.

Marcus Stormchaser said:
Anyway, the term "furry lifestyler" has been stolen by certain...undesirable people. You know, the people who like murrsuits, think zoophilia is a-ok, and like to give asspats to sexual deviants, who may also be criminals. It's like the term otaku. Sure, you might like anime a lot, but there are some people who use that term for themselves and think "when they go to Japan" all the women will worship their anime knowledge.

Right--you have to know the history, connotations, and implications of terms and labels.

My experience has been that the term "furry lifestyler" is a definite red flag, because of the people and things that have come to be associated with it. It's definitely not just an innocent, neutral word that implies nothing in particular.

Frankly, association with a single group should not form a person's identity. Rather, what the person does in the group should define them. I could say "Oh, since I have an engineering major, this means I'm an engineer". Nope. You have to be employed first. That is doing something with what you have or who you are. Sure, you're probably trying to be unique, but when all you have is just association with a group, what differentiates you from other people in the group? As a furry, how are you different than me? Besides your fursona.

This is a good point.

Association with a group is a form of identification, but I'd tend to agree that what a person does with, about, or related to that identity definitely tells us more about them in a meaningful way.

Of course, I'd argue that a currently-unemployed engineer who is very competent at and passionate about engineering is still an engineer. What we do, what we care about, and the skills we learn in life still inform the various other aspects of our lives and our identity, after all, even when we're exercising them in different or unexpected capacities.
 
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Sable Oximasoth

New Member
Our associations certainly say a lot about us but the level of focus we apply to it doesn't necessitate that it's healthy per se. Somebody that limits their interests heavily certainly are viewed as unhealthy. However, I hesitate to believe that completly because of autism. A lot of high functioning autistics don't view themselves as "sick" and I tend to agree. To simply say that someone that exhibits autistic characteristics, like narrow interests, must be sick sounds a little iffy to me. There's always that exception that makes everyone go "oh."

Yeah, a good metaphore is: is Bob the walmart greeter still a walmart greeter when he quits? Probably not. But Bob the engineer? That's a specialized job that requires a lot of training and experience. I'd say Bob is still an engineer.

Maybe I've been living under a rock, but when I hear furry lifestyler I always thought fursuiter. Is that not what the rest of the fandom views a "furry lifestyler?" What did I miss?
 

Kalmor

Banned
Banned
Maybe I've been living under a rock, but when I hear furry lifestyler I always thought fursuiter. Is that not what the rest of the fandom views a "furry lifestyler?" What did I miss?
Someone is a "furry lifestyler" when the fandom pretty much takes over their entire life and becomes more of a chronic obsession. Them and just general fursuiters aren't the same thing.
 

Calemeyr

Vere Adeptus
Of course, I'd argue that a currently-unemployed engineer who is very competent at and passionate about engineering is still an engineer. What we do, what we care about, and the skills we learn in life still inform the various other aspects of our lives and our identity, after all, even when we're exercising them in different or unexpected capacities.

I mean an unemployed engineer as a never-been-employed, still in college, engineering major, with no track record of his abilities. I'm not going to call myself a physicist...I don't even have a degree yet.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
Somebody that limits their interests heavily certainly are viewed as unhealthy.

All types make the world go 'round.

Generally, I think it's healthy to have varied interests, but I'm also a jack of all trades, so I'm biased.

But, we also need "autistic" types whose focus is deep and narrow, because these are the people who become masters in their one craft.

Yeah, a good metaphore is: is Bob the walmart greeter still a walmart greeter when he quits? Probably not. But Bob the engineer? That's a specialized job that requires a lot of training and experience. I'd say Bob is still an engineer.

I would too.

I'm a writer, whether or not I'm working on a novel, an essay, or a paper at the moment, because writing informs a critical part of who I am, and how I understand myself.

I'm a headshrink-in-training, because even when I'm not seeing clients or doing research, my training, education, and experience goes where I go, and informs how I approach people, problems, and systems.

What did I miss?

You missed this fellow.

Wikifur's definition of "lifestyler".
 

Misstoxin

New Member
Every once and awhile, I just come and flip through random pages of this thread and read a few things here and there, and it's almost always entertaining.

But I figured I'd finally comment on it.
I, for one, would never in my life, to anyone, "come out as a furry." Why? Because I don't consider myself a "furry". To me, the word has always been mentally linked to the idea of actually "being" the animal. I know that this isn't the definition most people go by, and many would consider those people "lifestylers" or what not. It's just always how it's sounded in my head.
In all honesty, I try to avoid telling anyone I know that I draw furry art. None of my friends would stop talking to me, my family wouldn't care, but the whole stigma around furries is enough for me to keep my trap shut. I definitely have some art school friends that would harass me to the high heavens, and probably make joke art at me, but never anything vindictive. I just...don't want that in my life lol

I do have a fursona that I like to draw, but at the same time I don't necessarily consider her to be me. All in all, I use furry art as a fun way to practice. It's not the most serious thing to me, it's really just a way to step away from my non-fur art studies and just kinda' relax, work on my line quality, practice my inking, and maybe do some gestural poses. It's what I like to do when I need to get my brain outside the box for awhile. I also find the fandom to be generally social. The threads creep along, people comment on each other's journals, new friends are made here and there, and I do really enjoy the little niche that has been created.

I also don't care if people seriously identify as furries, I couldn't give any more shits, even if I tried really hard. It's like, whatever, I don't care, do what you want. Live your life or something, just...stop treating it like you're Anne Frank in an attic, writing journal entires of your woes of being in hiding, it's ridiculous. If you don't want to tell people, then don't, leave it at that. If you want to tell people, do it casually, like if it comes up, just admit to it. You don't have to make a bloody scene about it.
 

Sable Oximasoth

New Member
This makes me really sad. Not in the sense that you should be ashamed for what you said. but in the sense that it makes me feel sad that there is a stigma attached to furry. There's always some stigma attached to something that isn't a norm in society.

I have to wonder, when someone says things that radiate from the idea of not making a fuss over "being furry," whatever that means for the individual, how much of that statement comes from shame? You were pretty honest about what you felt and even clarified that "Furry" to you doesn't carry a connotation you identify with. Keeping in mind the definition you gave us (I won't use the word furry), I can't help but feel a little sad that you feel a bit suppressed in that you can't share all of your art with your art friends for fear of being ridiculed.

If I may be bold and make the assumption that art is a big part of who you are, how do you deal with that situation?
 

Calemeyr

Vere Adeptus
This makes me really sad. Not in the sense that you should be ashamed for what you said. but in the sense that it makes me feel sad that there is a stigma attached to furry. There's always some stigma attached to something that isn't a norm in society.

I have to wonder, when someone says things that radiate from the idea of not making a fuss over "being furry," whatever that means for the individual, how much of that statement comes from shame? You were pretty honest about what you felt and even clarified that "Furry" to you doesn't carry a connotation you identify with. Keeping in mind the definition you gave us (I won't use the word furry), I can't help but feel a little sad that you feel a bit suppressed in that you can't share all of your art with your art friends for fear of being ridiculed.

If I may be bold and make the assumption that art is a big part of who you are, how do you deal with that situation?
Furry wouldn't be so stigmatized if, (1) furries weren't so open or accepting of people who are open about creepy fetishes in public, (2) furries stop enabling people with mental illness or possible criminal behavior, (3) furries grow a backbone and not care if someone insults them and (4), furries need to less obsessive over internet usage, drama, their art, and the fandom in general and stop with the us-vs-the world attitude.
 

Misstoxin

New Member
This makes me really sad. Not in the sense that you should be ashamed for what you said. but in the sense that it makes me feel sad that there is a stigma attached to furry. There's always some stigma attached to something that isn't a norm in society.

I have to wonder, when someone says things that radiate from the idea of not making a fuss over "being furry," whatever that means for the individual, how much of that statement comes from shame? You were pretty honest about what you felt and even clarified that "Furry" to you doesn't carry a connotation you identify with. Keeping in mind the definition you gave us (I won't use the word furry), I can't help but feel a little sad that you feel a bit suppressed in that you can't share all of your art with your art friends for fear of being ridiculed.

If I may be bold and make the assumption that art is a big part of who you are, how do you deal with that situation?

You didn't quote so I'm not sure you are talking to me, I think you are though. Honestly, art is a huge part of my life. Furry art is not. I have a lot of other art-related things going on that don't have anything to do with furries. I never had any intention to make furry art to a professional level or anything. I mean, the art world in general isn't too fond of it either. People reviewing portfolios for illustrations jobs generally don't ever want to see furry work in your portfolio, and it could cost you the interview on the spot. So making it known to everyone I know that I draw furries is closer to the bottom of the list of things I would want to do. I don't at all consider furries my art, or my person, just a hobby that is a little less accepted.
So yeah, there's really no 'situation' to deal with.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
Furry wouldn't be so stigmatized if, (1) furries weren't so open or accepting of people who are open about creepy fetishes in public, (2) furries stop enabling people with mental illness or possible criminal behavior, (3) furries grow a backbone and not care if someone insults them and (4), furries need to less obsessive over internet usage, drama, their art, and the fandom in general and stop with the us-vs-the world attitude.

Yup.

A long time ago, I talked about the importance of having a sense of humor about yourself, and the drama-prone or drama-sensitive folks could definitely use more of that. Even the fetish-oriented people could use a little more self-humor, because that would certainly help to provide some of the sense of perspective needed to realize that other people may be skeeved or weirded out by your sexual fetishes.

I'd also add that, (5) Furries need to realize that not everyone is into furrydom, and/or its satellites.

Just like only Trekkies actually care about what Counselor Troi said in episode 75 of season 2, most non-furries can only endure so much monologuing about your dragon-wolf-bunyip-bandicoot hybrid fursona.

To be fair, even when furries are behaving themselves perfectly well, some people still get strangely angry, offended, and upset at the thought of others watching cartoons or dressing up as cartoon animals, and many people are still looking for excuses to air and act on their homophobic attitudes, without being "caught" or called out.

Interestingly, bronies might be becoming the new furries in this regard, as more and more people appear to chill out about furries.

MissToxin said:
People reviewing portfolios for illustrations jobs generally don't ever want to see furry work in your portfolio, and it could cost you the interview on the spot.

Why's that?
 
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Attaman

"I say we forget this business and run."
This makes me really sad. Not in the sense that you should be ashamed for what you said. but in the sense that it makes me feel sad that there is a stigma attached to furry. There's always some stigma attached to something that isn't a norm in society.
The fandom brought this upon itself by making Mature and Adult submissions take up the majority of page views on FAF and explode into a perpetual motion devices of drama when something as minor as "Hey we have to ban pornographic baby animals to keep our funding" is stated by a site's owners.

D&D got shit on from a great height thanks to a plethora of hilariously false rumors and hogging of a media craze. Furry gets a passably negative reputation because it's about as subtle with its dirty laundry as I am about my like of Tolkien and Warhammer.
 

Misstoxin

New Member
Why's that?

I think it just has a lot to do with the stigma about furries. It's not really considered "serious art" to a lot of employers. In high school we were strongly discouraged to not put furry artwork in AP portfolio or college portfolio submissions.

In college, it kind of went without saying. As an illustration major, turning in a junior/senior thesis (for example), that consisted entirely of furries, would be extremely frowned upon and probably exclude you from the possibility of making it into the thesis show (which is where potential employers lurk to find young, new talent.)

Even if it looks fantastic, it won't land you a job outside of the furry fandom. Because of the stigma, employers just don't want to see it in your portfolio, because in the high art world, it's not considered a serious subject matter. Almost in the sense of how comic art used to be treated, though thankfully that has been taken a lot more seriously in recent years. Still, comic artists have an extremely difficult time being taken seriously, and often go by different names as illustrators, in order to avoid the 'cartoonist' stigma as well.

I would venture to say that furry artists rank much lower than comic artists these days in the eyes of 'high art' world, and maybe that'll change someday, just as the image of the comic artist has begun to change, but for now, I'll continue to leave furry art out of my portfolio, and away from my name.
 

HaewooTheCat

New Member
I told my mom that I am a furry and she freaked out but then I explained what furry fandom is about and now she accepts me... my mom is super-religious, though so I haven't told her that I'm bi yet... I imagine that she would freak out and start praying or something.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
Even if it looks fantastic, it won't land you a job outside of the furry fandom. Because of the stigma, employers just don't want to see it in your portfolio, because in the high art world, it's not considered a serious subject matter. Almost in the sense of how comic art used to be treated, though thankfully that has been taken a lot more seriously in recent years. Still, comic artists have an extremely difficult time being taken seriously, and often go by different names as illustrators, in order to avoid the 'cartoonist' stigma as well.

So, it's all pretention and posturing, basically.

"We are CLEARLY SUPERIOR to the ::::sniff sniff::: riff-raff, as evidenced by our SUPERIOR TASTE!"

I know my field sometimes engages in this nonsense---where certain topics are considered unfit for serious research or consideration, because Reasons--but I didn't realize that there was a similar stigma in the art world, outside of a particular "art snob" clique. I certainly didn't realize comic artists were actually looked down upon! Shit!

Thanks for the education.
 

mapdark

Fluffy as a shaggy carpet
Furry wouldn't be so stigmatized if, (1) furries weren't so open or accepting of people who are open about creepy fetishes in public, (2) furries stop enabling people with mental illness or possible criminal behavior, (3) furries grow a backbone and not care if someone insults them and (4), furries need to less obsessive over internet usage, drama, their art, and the fandom in general and stop with the us-vs-the world attitude.

I think number 1 and 2 are a major problem.

So many people act as if the fandom should be one huge hugbox. Which is wrong.
WHY is is necessary that we accept everyone , for god's sake? In some cases , positive discrimination is a GOOD thing.

I personally couldn't care less if lifestylers and fetishists who don't know how to keep it private were stigmatised
because in that case it would be their own damn fault for being complete retards with no sense of what having a private versus public life is.
 

mapdark

Fluffy as a shaggy carpet
Also I will realy never understand the urge some people feel in telling everyone they're a furry.

BECAUSE NO ONE CARES!
 

Mikhal18

Best. Custom User Title. Ever.
Quoting the ancients, the wise and almost everyone else with a decent amount of brains in this fandom:
"Being a Furry is a hobby, not a lifestyle, nor a sexual option."

(How many "come out" threads were created in the past, I wonder? :V)
 

benignBiotic

Banned
Banned
Furry wouldn't be so stigmatized if, (1) furries weren't so open or accepting of people who are open about creepy fetishes in public, (2) furries stop enabling people with mental illness or possible criminal behavior, (3) furries grow a backbone and not care if someone insults them and (4), furries need to less obsessive over internet usage, drama, their art, and the fandom in general and stop with the us-vs-the world attitude.
Missed this. Those are so true.

Like Troj said it would be nice if furries would just mellow out and not take everything so seriously. But then the main demographic is dominantly, what, adolescent to mid-twenties males? It takes a certain amount of maturity to laugh at ones situation. A level of maturity that most of these maturing 17-ish furries haven't achieved yet. Hence being a furry becomes a 'srs bznss' part of the person's identity.
 

Sable Oximasoth

New Member
Perhaps this is a bit late but I wanted to add to the portfolio information. Human beings have a huge amount of evolutionary adaptation around identifying human faces. We can see a lot of detail in them because our brains evolved to do so. But not so with animals. Or rather, less so. So there is actually an evolutionary basis for at least one part of this issue in that businesses don't wasn't someone that doesn't have a REAL attention to detail when all they draw is non-human faces. It actually becomes a shortcoming for the artist if they don't learn how to draw human faces because it's so much more difficult and requires so much more brain power. So in conclusion, while I can't say everyone is aware of this fact, any professional artist should probably be aware of this fact and take it into account when hiring someone. So it's not all posturing.

With that said, I agree with mapdark in that stigmatization of morally reprehensible behavior is desirable, however, I question the validity of some of the stigmas that are currently in place. I don't think that the majority of the people on earth align themselves with an understanding of what truly is right and wrong based on evolutionary standards. Furthermore, I challenge the fandom to examine why some furs feel the need to "come out." What reason do people have to "come out" other than to feel relief from a perceived taboo? And if it's not completly "being furry" that people perceive as taboo, what is it? Why are people coming out as furry?
 
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