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Human names in the fandom.../A hobby or a lifestyle?

Until recently I sort of thought everyone was ok with their human name in the Fandom if it was naturally given. But as it turns out I was wrong. I am aware that this is a touchy subject for some but because it isn't discussed often, if ever I thought I'd share my story, as I think this is something more people should be aware of (especially new furries) and also a good discussion point... (for the privacy of those involved I have also changed the names)

So last year I was browsing my Instagram feed and noticed Redarko a furry I knew in a local meetup group had tagged Bezine, a cow who was the co-creator of that group in a post. This was in fact their personal Instagram that was not intended for viewing by the fandom that was tagged, but of course I had no way of knowing this so I followed the link to their page, which of course had their human name.

Now looking back there where several clues I could have picked up on. For one Bezine had no photos of their fursuit, in fact they had few photos if at all that suggested they where a furry aside from some photos with the fursuit of that of a friend, and the only post they where tagged in with their fursuit was of course Redarko's post. But in my five or so years of being a furry... (I believe I first found the fandom around 2016) most of the furries I met where perfectly fine with their human name in the fandom, and natrually I was as well. So I assumed because an Instagram was tagged that was related to Bezine, and had the same username they used in other places across the fandom, that natrually they had given consent and so while watching a video that had someone with the same name in it I mentioned it in the local group's public telegram chat...

This was probably the worst thing I could have done and going back I would have PM'd them letting them know their account was tagged. But again most of the furries I'd met up until this point who I knew the human names of where perfectly fine with their name in the fandom so I assumed Bezine was as well. But... I was wrong. My message was deleated. I was told along with every else not to put someone's "real ******* name" in the fandom, and was given a warning for a major violation of privacy. This opened for an interesting discussion in the group chat, but real human names in the fandom are not something I see discussed often elsewere, and now that I know that it is a sensitive topic to some I was wondering how others feel about it and why they feel the way they do...

For a long while I was fine with people calling me by either my real name or my fursona name. But sense this occured I'm not sure how I feel about it, or how I feel about being a furry in general. Should I hide it? What's the worst that will happen if people find out?

People say being a furry is just a hobby, as in it's the same thing as being obsessed with model trains or drones... but who has ever heard of a train enthusiast who doesn't want others to know their real name? and why would you even need to ask that question in the first place of someone who was simply obsessed with model trains?

Either way I'm sorry for what I did and know now to be careful of real names in the fandom. But now I'm confused as to weather or not this is a hobby, or more so a part of me that others shouldn't know about... maybe it depends on the person?
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
It really does depend on the person.

For some people it's a form of escapism, so to bring them down back to reality like that could be triggering to them. Another concern a lot of people have, is privacy. A good number of furries don't want their hobbies/kinks/profiles to be discovered by friends and family. Some don't live in communities that would be accepting of their alter egos/hobbies.

I'm not a furry, but I'm also not worried about my online art and whatnot being discovered. 1, I've already had that fun before I was even out of highschool, and 2, I've had way worse happen to me that I wouldn't give a shit. I like designing characters and coming up with all sorts of ideas. I have a lot of old art that requires context, and some I'm not proud of, but I'm also not afraid to have those conversations and show how I've progressed as an individual.

You don't technically have to tell anyone. It can be your own personal hobby when you're not being social with anyone else or you can just embrace it and let other furries find you. But depending on the person, if their hobbies go deeper than just loving fuzzy animals, having their online personas be discovered might make them sweat more. I mean, imagine having to explain some of the stuff on here to your average boss! XD

I'm a nobody. No one knows me and even if someone did learn this about me, they wouldn't have enough wood to make that fire spread! But some people are living second lives on here. Who knows who might be out there to blackmail them? >_> <_<
 
It really does depend on the person.

For some people it's a form of escapism, so to bring them down back to reality like that could be triggering to them. Another concern a lot of people have, is privacy. A good number of furries don't want their hobbies/kinks/profiles to be discovered by friends and family. Some don't live in communities that would be accepting of their alter egos/hobbies.

I'm not a furry, but I'm also not worried about my online art and whatnot being discovered. 1, I've already had that fun before I was even out of highschool, and 2, I've had way worse happen to me that I wouldn't give a shit. I like designing characters and coming up with all sorts of ideas. I have a lot of old art that requires context, and some I'm not proud of, but I'm also not afraid to have those conversations and show how I've progressed as an individual.

You don't technically have to tell anyone. It can be your own personal hobby when you're not being social with anyone else or you can just embrace it and let other furries find you. But depending on the person, if their hobbies go deeper than just loving fuzzy animals, having their online personas be discovered might make them sweat more. I mean, imagine having to explain some of the stuff on here to your average boss! XD

I'm a nobody. No one knows me and even if someone did learn this about me, they wouldn't have enough wood to make that fire spread! But some people are living second lives on here. Who knows who might be out there to blackmail them? >_> <_<
For me I've always told myself "if they don't like it, it's there problem." I've had someone in high school bully me for being a furry. But he was a kid a lot of people didn't like. And being a furry is not the same as being sexually attracted to other species which is why most people hate furries or are uncomfortable with it (because they don't understand that part)... so I also tell myself that they don't understand that as well. Most people actually really like fursuits in reality, it's mainly the internet that hates furries. But yes, I kind of understand now that for some, their fursona is a sheild for their real identitiy and perhaps a second life for them. For me it's always been sort of just an extension of who I already am... a representation of myself, if you will.
 

Foxridley

A fox named Ridley
Well, I think there are a couple aspects of it. First is that, even if you're totally clean and SFW, being a furry carries a certain stigma. Some people, including me, would not want the furry part of their life spilling out into the non-furry parts of their lives.

There is also a matter of privacy, and what audience you want to know your real name. It isn't limited to furries. Years ago, I was part of a clan in an MMO. We only ever called each other by our gamertags. Apart from a few of us who were IRL friends, none of us knew each other's real names.
 

The_Happiest_Husky

Actually a dog
I'm chill with my real name, but I don't like it that much, so I go by my sona's online always
 

Jaredthefox92

Banned
Banned
I have characters named Amanda, Ophelia, Cyrus, Monica, and Wanda. All Sonic OC's and yet very human in personalities. I don't mind human names, because it gives characterization.
 

Punji

Vaskebjørn
I think a very big part of it is in wanting to be seen as one's character, for some.

A sentiment I've expressed here and there both on and off the FAF is that I am not strictly the name and identity I was given by my family. I created my own name and in doing so I am able to express a "truer" sense of myself. Of those who know some of my many names, I prefer to be known, thought of as, and called "Punji."

To those I trust with the name, I do not want to be called anything else. I suspect, for some, this might also be so.
 

Muttmutt

Absolute Menace
I don’t trust people with my name. A lot of people on the internet are morons who will use any information they can get against you. Your name alone doesn’t mean much but your name, hobbies, syntax, etc all leave a trail of internet breadcrumbs which paints a picture of who you are. The less blatant information I can hand out, the better. Those who haven’t experienced things like doxxing, stalking, and harassment are lucky - or just haven’t experienced it yet.

I advise everyone to be careful with what information they put out. Even if it’s just a name.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
With some few exceptions, it’s generally a good idea to keep to whatever names someone has shared in a particular context. If someone introduces themselves by a given name, assume that’s what they want you to call them. Sometimes circles will overlap in ways that result in a name coming up in the “wrong” context, and all you can do at that point is apologize, but for the most part, it’s a principle that will work out.

My WoW guild generally used the name of someone’s primary character. When someone preferred something else (eg one guildmate whose character name was just their RL name backwards) we’d respect that, and when someone shared a RL first name without expressing a preference it would be picked up by some but not all people in the guild. In the Tumblrpon (MLP fans on Tumblr) circuit, most people weren’t using RL names, but instead going by the name of their ponysona and/or their account names.

I don’t think it’s actually uncommon for people to choose to go by a handle rather than a legal name. We just… rationalize a lot of the cases so that “regular” people who do the same look silly. Not all of these people will object to their legal name being shared as such, but it’s not what they’ve introduced themselves as. Hell, how many big-name YouTubers go by their legal name? Even if the name is known, it’s not the identity associated with them in a tuber context.

Hell, it’s taken me years to get my dad to start to introduce me as “Alex” or “Alexandra” rather than my childhood first name (which I removed from my legal names altogether when I got my post-marriage name change). I don’t like my childhood name, but I don’t really mind family that used it while I was growing up using it; all I ask is that they don’t introduce it to more people.
 
Good replies here around this topic...

and I suppose for me it really comes down to the fact that being a furry at it's core is liking anthropomorphic animals, and that's been true of me sense before I even knew I was a furry, (I would always be distracted and curious by books in kids stores with anthropomorphism) so in a way it kind of defines who I am as a person, I didn't really choose or adapt to this lifestyle as someone different from before. It's just naturally who I always was... I just didn't know the right term for it. I imagine this is true for quite a few furries including those who don't want their real name in the fandom, but if it's something that not only makes you happy but is almost a critical part of who you are it feels wrong to suppress it.

The furs I connect most with in my local group are those who are comfortable with their real name and/or human identity (non-fursuit) in the fandom, which probably make up around five to seven counting myself.

or did. a couple members prefer to be called by their real name once they get to know someone and I think that's also the category I may fall into. I also know someone in the group and outside of the group (he's a friend of a friend of mine in high school) who is very chill with his real name and openly stated he was a furry at primary friend's birthday party when the topic came up. There's also the fact that my OC and my other character's personalities are very different then mine almost like a different alter-egos, so I identify with them loosely if at all and not really as things I could lead second lives in so to speak.

That being said I'm not sure I want everyone to know I'm a furry, but I tend to have good intuitions about people and have always seen myself as someone like Malcolm from Channel Awesome, being that I don't want to hide that I'm a furry entirely, but I also don't want to necessarily emphasize it. Sort of like what this video from How-cast says you should do in a similar awkward situation at a nude beach. (sort of NSFW I guess, but it's a good analogy.
)
 

Firuthi Dragovic

Gamer Dragon, former speedrunner
I personally won't do it with my own identity, even if people stopped broadfire associating the fandom with the... skeezier people in it. It takes me YEARS before I tell someone my real first name - and my real middle and last names are not things I mention online, ever.

And even if someone DOES tell me their real first name, I would rather use the moniker they presented to me.

Even if I could give a full and passable explanation for some of the NSFW parts of the fandom (including how much more vocally we condemn those skeezier people), there are places where it's not appropriate to do so and it's not something I want to have to do all the time. And I know EXACTLY how poorly I handle harassment by now. Other than that, me being a furry... just is. It's not a full-on second life, it's not some dark secret I have to hide from everyone, it's not something to be paraded. It's just a part of me I don't give a lot of thought.


The fact that I have a fairly common first name does not change this. I'd STILL rather go with the faux-Turkish-Russian moniker I'm using now.



Character names for any story I tell or contribute to are another matter entirely. Human names for characters convey a certain grounding that makes it easier to focus on the rest of the characterization. But that didn't sound like the core of what you're asking.
 

Chomby

Just Another User
I'm okay with telling and letting people use my real first name in private, but I don't want to be called by my real name publicly. It just makes me uncomfortable. I get online to escape from reality, not to have it shoved in my face by everybody. lol

People in my life already know I'm a furry, but I don't want anyone in my extended family to find weird smut I favorite on my FA account, ya know? My cousin thought she knew my username and I panicked. Fortunately she was wrong.

This is a reason I gotta be careful with details I share about myself. I'm not gonna share my last name. Nope.

First name? Sure. Privately.
 
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Kinguyakki

Alignment: Chaotic Stupid
It's up to the individual. Some people, especially online, just want to be known by their character's name. That's totally fine on the Internet, even people who are online "friends" may only know one another by screen name. If someone gives me their real name in a private message, I would consider it "private" and never address them by that name in a group chat unless they specifically are okay with it.
 
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