Ever since my youngest days I've had a fascination with reptiles and I felt a kinship with them that I originally saw as perverse-- what can I say, I was raised in a moralist religious community --but it simply would not go away. I was fantasizing about them, in one form or another (*cough*), as far back as I can remember, and I always had a reptilian form in my imagination. So really, I've always "known", so to speak.
The furry community, on the other hand, I didn't know existed until about five years ago, when a friend of mine from high school went to a convention and mentioned it on his blog. I remember wondering just what sort of community it was, and figuring it couldn't possibly be as, um-- *open* as I hoped it would. Boy, was I ever wrong about that! It took me a while to find this out, though, as I was still trying to throw off the repression and self-loathing I'd been conditioned to have. Wasted years, as far as I'm concerned.
What always struck me as odd, though, was that I've never had a particularly artistic background. Part of that had to do with my active avoidance and fear, when it comes right down to it, of any sort of self-expression. And yet, as I discovered the true nature of the furry community, an artistic side that I never knew existed began to flourish. The whole experience has been resoundingly positive for me, and wholesome in a way that I have never known.