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So I'm new. What does it mean to be a furry?

CommonBard

Active Member
Through the black hole that is YouTube, I found the furry community about a month ago. Everything about it really resonated with me. I enjoy the idea of making a fursona, using an animal like appearance to perhaps represent a side of myself that I don't get to share or are too afraid to show. For me, its a form of expression and identity. Like perhaps saying I'm a waterbender (or would want to be, if it existed).

I come from a sheltered house, so mentioning being a furry to family would be taboo, and though probably not get me shunned, I would open up a bag of worms that I don't care to touch. That said, I recently moved away from family and have lost my social sphere that I would normally lean back onto. I am in my twenties, but due to my upbringing I've been too afraid to explore who I am. Now that I have cautiously broken my fearful trend, I find myself at the doorstep of the furry community. But, I am very naive to this community. I have a lot of questions.

So:

What does this mean? - Do I actually fit in, especially with the way I've described my connection to the furry community? Am I normal?

How do I interact? - Do most furries, at furmeets, use their real names or fursonas? Is my paranoia about my family finding out justified? If I'm just looking for people to talk to, where do I go?

What the worst that can happen? - What is the common mistake new furries make? can furries take things too far? How can I temper my interactions?

Hopefully ya'll can provide me some help on this stuff. If anything, thanks for reading this far.
 
Welcome

So:

What does this mean? - Do I actually fit in, especially with the way I've described my connection to the furry community? Am I normal?

The fandom has a reputation to being one of the most welcoming and if you're a fan of anthropomorphic animals, then you qualify. The fandom is big and its members have different backgrounds and personalities so they seek out different facets.

Can't say if you're normal (who is?), but what you describe is not uncommon from what I've heard.
Personally, I have a little pride for not being normal.

How do I interact? - Do most furries, at furmeets, use their real names or fursonas? Is my paranoia about my family finding out justified? If I'm just looking for people to talk to, where do I go?

There may be local meetups in your area (I went to my first meetup about a month ago and it was fun despite my social anxiety and not knowing anyone. A little awkward but I would go again) . I interact mostly here and Twitter. There are various apps like Furry Amino, Telegram/Howlr and Discord. And there are plenty of youtubers.

Which name you use probably depends on the meeting, but at the one I went to, we used our fursona names.

I'm not sure I understand it (I guess many people have inaccurate ideas of what the fandom is about) but it sounds your fears about your family might be justified. Unless there's some compelling reason, you don't have to tell anyon, especially if you're not living with them anymore. If you're in your 20s you don't need their permission.

What the worst that can happen? - What is the common mistake new furries make? can furries take things too far? How can I temper my interactions?

Common etiquette should always apply.
 
S

Scots

Guest
Same boat as you CommonBard, so you aren't alone. I'm not normally an outgoing type of person so getting into this is kind of a big leap for me.
The same anxieties, fears about others finding out - you'll probably find that it is pretty common - it definitely is for me. Yet I'm forcing my way through it, trying to connect with others. And definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.
 

CommonBard

Active Member

Thanks for taking the time to respond, it means a lot to me. Thanks for being open with your experience and thanks for helping me feel "Welcome".

Can't say if you're normal (who is?), but what you describe is not uncommon from what I've heard.
Personally, I have a little pride for not being normal.

I've been so practiced at hiding the rougher edges of my identity, I still find myself still trying to fit myself into categories by concealing edges that don't fit the mold. The community seems to value the opposite. It has a "free-er" feel. Its hard for me to do.

I'll look into the other sites.

Again thanks for the response
 

CommonBard

Active Member
Same boat as you CommonBard, so you aren't alone. I'm not normally an outgoing type of person so getting into this is kind of a big leap for me.
The same anxieties, fears about others finding out - you'll probably find that it is pretty common - it definitely is for me. Yet I'm forcing my way through it, trying to connect with others. And definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.

Thanks for the response. Its good to know that I'm not alone here.

I guess my idea of typical furry is skewed by the loudest ones with a 'wide' comfort zone. I didn't think that fears about being out as furry is common.

To an extent, I have been stressing about if I should interact with the community on fur affinity online at all. Today I decide to do it, and then find out FAF is where I should be posting.

Thanks for the quick response.
 
S

Scots

Guest
I guess my idea of typical furry is skewed by the loudest ones with a 'wide' comfort zone. I didn't think that fears about being out as furry is common.

I kinda thought the same at first but then as I started browsing other forums and other platforms like amino, I started seeing a lot more than just the "throw caution to the wind" types.
Part of what drew me into the community was that I was jealous of that kind of attitude towards life. Even in my late 30's, I still worry too much about what people think. I try to pretend I don't care, but subconsciously, I still worry about it.
I think the biggest revelation I had was that it's kind of been more difficult than I expected to find others in my area. Not impossible, just more work than I thought.

I hope you have great luck here!
 

CommonBard

Active Member
I think the biggest revelation I had was that it's kind of been more difficult than I expected to find others in my area. Not impossible, just more work than I thought.

Back where I used to live there was a local group that was meeting the weekend before I moved. I was planning on going, and since it was a bigger meet up, I could just be in the backgroud and see if this is really what I wanted to do. However, this was the last weekend I could visit family that lived 3 hours away. So I choose family.

Now that I've moved across the country to the northeast, I think people around here don't get out much during the winter. finding an active group has been difficult.

Are there sites you recommend that are more oriented towards meet ups?
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
"Normal" is relative, especially in the furry fandom! What fundamentally matters is that you're polite, kind, and respectful of people's boundaries, and that others are polite and respectful of you in turn.

Many furries are socially awkward and shy. I'd say, you can't go wrong by asking someone about their fursona, and then chatting about other shared interests. Common interests in the fandom include (but aren't limited to) anime, Marvel/DC, cartoons, crafting/art, parkour, science, programming, and mechanical engineering.

The worst that can happen is you might potentially run into a creeper, a clingy lonelyheart who interprets "Hello, how are you?" as "We are now inseparable BFFs," somebody who's too open about their kinks and/or life traumas, a political or religious fundie, or just somebody who's awkward-but-well-intentioned.

Furries sometimes make the mistake of being too hyper/zealous, spergy, intense, or clingy in an initial interaction. Just because somebody else is a furry does not mean they need to hear your life story off the bat. ;)

If you find the right people, I think the fandom can be a wonderful place to build friendships and learn about yourself. Sounds like you need that! :)
 

Yakamaru

Worshiper of Monster
What does this mean? - Do I actually fit in, especially with the way I've described my connection to the furry community? Am I normal?
It's a fandom, nothing more. The same way you are free to come and go as you please, you are free to associate or not with whatever and whomever. Identity as a Furry, aka a fan of anthropomorphic animals? Congrats, you're a Furry. Don't identify with the fandom, aka are not a fan of anthropomorphic animals? You're still welcome.

How do I interact? - Do most furries, at furmeets, use their real names or fursonas? Is my paranoia about my family finding out justified? If I'm just looking for people to talk to, where do I go?
You need to sacrifice a goat to Cthulhu in order to have the privilege to meet our overlords. And jump up and down while trying to drink a whole bottle of soda. If you can manage the latter without spilling any of it you may get a VIP pass into Furry Heaven™ where they have Fursuits as long as the eye can see.

On a more serious note: You interact with them just like everyone else. You know, by talking with them. There is nothing special about interaction between other people. If someone is using a Fursuit you may be more inclined towards asking them if they are more comfortable using their nickname, real name or Fursona name. If someone introduces themselves with their real name, use that.

As for your family, it's none of their concern, nor is it for anyone else whom you may interact with, unless the topic itself pops up and you're both into it. It's a hobby at best, and should be treated that way.

What the worst that can happen? - What is the common mistake new furries make? can furries take things too far? How can I temper my interactions?
The same way we have trash(everything from the extremely rare extremist to the much more common attention-seeking whore) in society at large, the Furry fandom is not exempt from that. I'd even argue we have more trash in this fandom in general, being more concentrated due to the atmosphere/culture in the fandom and people leaning more towards escapism in general. Be aware of the emotional vampires and those using self-harm, depression, etc, as a means to garner attention. If they think they can get attention from you through that, they can and will.

As for mistakes, just use common sense when approaching people. You can and will make mistakes like everyone else. If or when you do, just make sure the person on the other end understands that it was a mistake and apologize accordingly.

As for Furries taking it too far, look no further than DogPatch """Press""". A Furry """news""" outlet who defends cub porn and have zero problems with doxing and/or threatening minors if it suits him. He's had 3 lawsuits against him, the third one pending, all from defamation if I remember correctly. He's less credible than Alex Jones, a 250lbs tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist. Then there's ANTIFA Furs, but that's a whole different kind of bag I am not going to open up.

As for interactions, never make assumptions of what someone like/don't like, are like as a person or what their views are prior to any conversation having occurred. It's quite easily very insulting to someone to make assumptions about them on nothing more than what they are.

TL;DR: Just use common sense and approach people like people.
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥otezer
I think the biggest revelation I had was that it's kind of been more difficult than I expected to find others in my area. Not impossible, just more work than I thought.
That's true for any type of "specialized" (aka niche) community... just "hang in there".. (would be my advice); as sometimes it just takes a bit more legwork to connect and find people (in the area)... persistence is key, sometimes.
Are there sites you recommend that are more oriented towards meet ups?
I'm sure there's some, (depending on your area)... do a little digging and homework - and you may be able to find some local groups.
 

Tyno

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam
Through the black hole that is YouTube, I found the furry community about a month ago. Everything about it really resonated with me. I enjoy the idea of making a fursona, using an animal like appearance to perhaps represent a side of myself that I don't get to share or are too afraid to show. For me, its a form of expression and identity. Like perhaps saying I'm a waterbender (or would want to be, if it existed).

I come from a sheltered house, so mentioning being a furry to family would be taboo, and though probably not get me shunned, I would open up a bag of worms that I don't care to touch. That said, I recently moved away from family and have lost my social sphere that I would normally lean back onto. I am in my twenties, but due to my upbringing I've been too afraid to explore who I am. Now that I have cautiously broken my fearful trend, I find myself at the doorstep of the furry community. But, I am very naive to this community. I have a lot of questions.

So:

What does this mean? - Do I actually fit in, especially with the way I've described my connection to the furry community? Am I normal?

How do I interact? - Do most furries, at furmeets, use their real names or fursonas? Is my paranoia about my family finding out justified? If I'm just looking for people to talk to, where do I go?

What the worst that can happen? - What is the common mistake new furries make? can furries take things too far? How can I temper my interactions?

Hopefully ya'll can provide me some help on this stuff. If anything, thanks for reading this far.
Stop worrying so much!
You'll do fine!
 
S

Scots

Guest
Are there sites you recommend that are more oriented towards meet ups?

I've had a little luck with the amino app but I'm not such a huge fan of the app.

You need to sacrifice a goat to Cthulhu in order to have the privilege to meet our overlords. And jump up and down while trying to drink a whole bottle of soda. If you can manage the latter without spilling any of it you may get a VIP pass into Furry Heaven™ where they have Fursuits as long as the eye can see.

That's what I did wrong, I only had bunnies. No disrespect for the bunny community, it's just, they are quite prevalent where I live ;)

Now that I've moved across the country to the northeast, I think people around here don't get out much during the winter. finding an active group has been difficult.
Winter just sucks no matter where you live. Hang in there, I'm sure folks will be more active once the weather improves.
 
D

Dat Wolf

Guest
Through the black hole that is YouTube, I found the furry community about a month ago. Everything about it really resonated with me. I enjoy the idea of making a fursona, using an animal like appearance to perhaps represent a side of myself that I don't get to share or are too afraid to show. For me, its a form of expression and identity. Like perhaps saying I'm a waterbender (or would want to be, if it existed).

I come from a sheltered house, so mentioning being a furry to family would be taboo, and though probably not get me shunned, I would open up a bag of worms that I don't care to touch. That said, I recently moved away from family and have lost my social sphere that I would normally lean back onto. I am in my twenties, but due to my upbringing I've been too afraid to explore who I am. Now that I have cautiously broken my fearful trend, I find myself at the doorstep of the furry community. But, I am very naive to this community. I have a lot of questions.

So:

What does this mean? - Do I actually fit in, especially with the way I've described my connection to the furry community? Am I normal?

How do I interact? - Do most furries, at furmeets, use their real names or fursonas? Is my paranoia about my family finding out justified? If I'm just looking for people to talk to, where do I go?

What the worst that can happen? - What is the common mistake new furries make? can furries take things too far? How can I temper my interactions?

Hopefully ya'll can provide me some help on this stuff. If anything, thanks for reading this far.
Howdy and welcome to the fandom!
Im 16 and i too hail from a sheltered, bible-thumping, holier-than-thou family who would lose their minds if the knew i was a furry. i know the feeling of "what if my parents find out?" Quick tip: i dont give a damn what they think. you cant control their reactions, so u can hold it a secret or blast em with it and say "idc what u think."

dude as long as ur not a jackass at random for no reason, you A) "fit in" (i dont like that term XwX) and B) you dont risk taking anything too far.

your paranoia is justified. i feel u on a personal level. now since im 16 and i dont have a car, i cant answer anything on furmeets. if u want people to talk to, go here forums.furaffinity.net: Last post wins! or forums.furaffinity.net: Open Chat

if u want to talk sometime, hmu and we can chat.
 

CommonBard

Active Member
The worst that can happen is you might potentially run into a creeper, a clingy lonelyheart who interprets "Hello, how are you?" as "We are now inseparable BFFs," somebody who's too open about their kinks and/or life traumas, a political or religious fundie, or just somebody who's awkward-but-well-intentioned.

Furries sometimes make the mistake of being too hyper/zealous, spergy, intense, or clingy in an initial interaction. Just because somebody else is a furry does not mean they need to hear your life story off the bat. ;)

Well I hope I didn't come across as one of those people. I just hope to be honest.

That being said, I do feel the undeniable urge to justify why I am the way I am, and to explain what brought me here instead of just dropping questions. I definitely don't intend on dumping my diary here. I'm looking for direction and communication.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
Scenario: You are watching a series with a werewolf.
The werewolf form of the werewolf is your favorite character- not the person, but the wolfy part.
You are probably a furry. Enjoy.
(Btw, theres this JRPG called the Liar Princess and the Blind Prince with the cutest wolf monster girl. <3 )
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
That being said, I do feel the undeniable urge to justify why I am the way I am,

Many of us have the same reflex, especially when we're used to being judged or condemned for being the way we are. I'd say, when socializing with other furries, focus on getting to know people and connecting with them, and less on justifying yourself per se, since everybody's here for basically the same thing. ;)
 

CommonBard

Active Member
Scenario: You are watching a series with a werewolf.
The werewolf form of the werewolf is your favorite character- not the person, but the wolfy part.
You are probably a furry. Enjoy.

When I was watching furry YouTube videos, one video said, "If your favorite movie has anthro animals in it, you might be a furry." In my head I was already playing the Balto soundtrack even though it had been years since I'd watched it. Its been my all time favorite movie. I said to myself "Oh dear." This is what prompted me to perhaps maybe possibly say it could be possible that I am a furry.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
When I was watching furry YouTube videos, one video said, "If your favorite movie has anthro animals in it, you might be a furry." In my head I was already playing the Balto soundtrack even though it had been years since I'd watched it. Its been my all time favorite movie. I said to myself "Oh dear." This is what prompted me to perhaps maybe possibly say it could be possible that I am a furry.
Eh, Balto is alright. You might just be an animal lover.
No, friend. You are definitely a furry if like... you have fond memories of movies like "Cats Don't Dance" or "All Dogs go to Heaven"- which is a little more furry by comparison. Balto, they are all still acting like dogs. Good dogos, but dogs.
All Dogs go to Heaven features dogos being 1930s mobsters. So...
It's not a big deal though. It's not like a social identity or any thing. Its just a fandom you are part of =u=/
 
D

Dat Wolf

Guest
Eh, Balto is alright. You might just be an animal lover.
No, friend. You are definitely a furry if like... you have fond memories of movies like "Cats Don't Dance" or "All Dogs go to Heaven"- which is a little more furry by comparison. Balto, they are all still acting like dogs. Good dogos, but dogs.
All Dogs go to Heaven features dogos being 1930s mobsters. So...
It's not a big deal though. It's not like a social identity or any thing. Its just a fandom you are part of =u=/
*cough* zootopia lmao
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes

insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty new here myself. I wouldn't exactly call everyone in the fandom and all the fetishes 'normal', but in the end of the day who gives a fuck. It's a nice opportunity to meet new people.
 

Bink

FLOOFY!
Im usually pretty overly wordy with responses... but I think this answer is easier than you realize. A furry is merely, for all intents and purposes, someone who has an affinity for anthropomorphic animals and generally shows this interest through the consumption of media like: art, cartoons, comics, novels, etc. What does being a furry mean? If you're already here, Ima wager a guess you're a furry. How "furry" you want to be depends on you... You can just just browse and talk to other furries and that's fine. OR you can throw caution to the wind, go to cons, become a fursuiter, roleplay, get waist deep in the black hole that is the furry fandom... or not. Heck I don't even have a fursona developed (yet).. does that make me not a furry? NO. Being a furry means YOU do whatever "furry things" it is that YOU want to do. That is the only requirement that I'm aware of *shrugs*
(still ended up a bit wordier than intended *sigh*)
vNFLDOy.jpg
 
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