Furry Fandom 24/7/365

Coming Out of the Furry Closet

I’ve recently been asked advice on coming out as a Furry. While I am not well qualified to give such advice, others of you may be.

I know about the coming out process on some levels because I “came out” twelve years ago as a homosexual.  Coming out as furry really hasn’t been on my map.  I’m the kind of person that segments my life. Work life, family life, home life and social life are all kept neatly apart.  It’s a system that works for me, but it doesn’t work for everyone.  The way I have things segmented, I don’t have to explain to co-workers or family about my hobbies, although everyone I associate with is aware that I have actively participated in Sci Fi & Fantasy conventions for almost 27 years.

This this in mind, I have a hard time giving advice on how to come out as a furry.  I think one reason I have a hard time with it, is I don’t live “furry” as a lifestyle.  I am a furry because I enjoy the art, and the social aspects.  I don’t get into the “lifestyle” aspects or the “fetish” aspects of being furry.  Coming into my home, you would be hard pressed to look around the place and pick out things that tell you I am a furry.  I don’t keep furry art on my walls or as my computer desktop.  I have a total of four plushies, two of them given to me as an infant, and the other two by former boyfriends.  Even my tails (I have five), collars and fursuits are neatly tucked away.  I bring them out for conventions and meets.

So I am not a good person to ask about how to come out as a furry; however, some of you may be the right persons.

If you care to, please tell your “Furry Coming Out Story” in the comments section below.  I think hearing how others have deal with telling friends and family about being a furry will go a long way to helping others understand our fandom and subculture.   You are also welcomed to post links to resources explaining the furry fandom.

An example is Anthrocon’s “What is Furry” pamphlet – You can find it here

Coming out of the Furry closet has another side as well. There are friends you find that show all the signs of being a furry, even down to the “fetish” aspects, and refuse to be called a furry. If you know anyone like this, be understanding with them until they are ready. Because of trolling on the internet and unfavorable media attention over the past 20 years, there can be stigma attached to the term “furry”. Not everyone is capable of dealing with it.

If you have a story in this vein that you wish to share, you are also welcomed to post it below.

Please remember – FNN is not a place to make fun of someone, call them out or troll. Any comments violating this will be removed and depending on the severity, the commenter banned. Please play nice.

This video is presented with our tongues firmly planted in our cheeks! – Enjoy


10 responses

  1. When coming out to my parents about being a furry, it wasn’t really a choice in my mind. We had just sat around from watching our usual show night. One of the shows that happened to be playing was the amazing CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Try and guess what episode.

    So after seeing that, I felt sort of guilty. That there was a lot of the fandom that wasn’t being displayed, but here is my entire family, learning about the culture that I hold so closely. But they were learning it wrong. It’s as though a kid had been told that chocolate is made from dog poop by a respected adult.

    Course, a TV show shouldn’t be treated like a respected adult, but are they going to question it? I had two options. Either I can forget I ever saw the episode, let my family believe what they want and probably never tell them I’m a furry. Who’s business is it anyways? It wasn’t like I was going to invite them to a con anytime soon. I could drop it and just board that part up for a better time, or never.

    Or, I could try and explain this culture to them through an actual furry’s standpoint. Hands down, I will tell you to choose the first option. Always.

    Things didn’t really go as planned since I was only sixteen at the time. They flipped and that was the start an extremely wonderful month of therapy. They accepted it later. Way later, but they find it something interesting and enjoy a lot of the participation I have with the community.

    Thing is though, you don’t have to come out to your family about being a furry. You don’t have to tell anyone. The fandom is nice and all, but not everyone gets it. And they’re not obligated to get it either. It’s perfectly acceptable to not share every part of you with everyone you know. Even the close people don’t need to know everything.

    But if you feel the need to, don’t do it immediately after watching the CSI episode of the fandom. That’s my best advice.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

  2. This article got me inspired to write a column about the subject. Check out my Twitter soon for more information about the article’s upcoming release.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:56 am

  3. Gah! You don’t need to “come out” as furry; it’s just an interest or affectation, it makes about as much sense as “coming out” as a baseball fan. (Well, maybe if you’re a Red Sox fan in a Yankees household, you might want to keep quiet about it.)

    There are a number of postings on the Anthrococon web site forums with people asking for advice, and Uncle Kage and other longtime fans have a lot of insight to share.

    March 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  4. Istanbul

    I have said it before, and I am saying it again: you don’t “come out” as a stamp collector or a Trekkie, you don’t need to “come out” as a furry. It’s a hobby, into which people extend varying portions of their lives.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you on this, and I have a theory on where it comes from. I think the younger furries who are asking the question about how to come out, are also having to deal with the issue of coming out as homosexual, or at the very least bisexual.

      In researching to try to answer the young fur that asked the question, I found post after post on boards and on sites like Yahoo Answers and Ask.com dealing with the subject. In all but one case that I found, the person asking was male, and mentions looking at male furry erotica.

      I’m sure that is not always the case. I found 13 posts, and that’s not a very large sample, but the trend seems to be there.

      This is just my theory. I hope, once the data from the international furry study is published, we can get a better understanding of this.

      March 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

  5. It’s almost unanimous that those who commented to this article agree with Markos in saying that you don’t need to come out as a furry, and I think that a lot of people live that sort of life. But how many people are actually going to listen? It almost feels like an abstinence campaign. I know that when I was young and I told my family, it was like a something was going to burst out of my chest if I didn’t tell them then are there.

    So what advice would you guys have for those who are jut going to do it anyways? Something to make this a positive experience.

    Some better advice then what I gave before is to explain the fandom to the person in a broad manner. Start from saying something like,” The furry fandom is a group of people who like anthropomorphic animals like bugs bunny or robin hood.” and then explain everything else through Answers and Questions. That way nothing can really lead to the sexual or spiritual aspects of the fandom. (No offense to people who are sexual or spiritual with the fandom, but it’s just something you might want to avoid explaining on the first try.)

    Anyone else?

    March 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

  6. Anonymous

    You don’t need to “come out” so much as explain, as most people I’ve found have no idea about our community. This is a lot less complicated then it sounds, If your a teen, just tell your parents your a furry, and say “It’s an art community that likes anthropromorphic art.” that will basically be it pretty much, and as long as you have accepting parents, if you do fursuit and stuff, I’d bet they’ll think it’s funny. On the fetish thing, don’t discus it, no one really needs to know.

    March 20, 2011 at 4:26 am

  7. Yeah I can agree with TIW there. As I posted on the link to this article getting em mixed up. My Facebook has managed to out me to quite a few co-workers that I’m a furry due to friends user pics and topics. So far nothing negative has come from it, some asked “So what defines one as a Furry.” I just explained an appreciation of the art, story, characters, for some it’s sexual others not so much. And that was the end of it.

    As a personal aspect of ones life I don’t think you really need to come out about it. If it comes up, explain it, if you feel you have to tell someone specific then go ahead.

    Personally i’m not ‘Out’ about my furryness, but I don’t try to overly hide it. I feel no shame for it, and so far no one has tried to make me feel shame. Usually they are more surprised to find I’m gay since I have practically no gay qualities to my look/attitude. I’m just a dude, who has an interesting personal life, that I keep personal. =)

    March 29, 2011 at 12:33 am

  8. I never really came out furry. My mom pretty much figured it out when I wore a tail home from a friend’s house. And I’ve found that she really doesn’t care. Nor does anyone else who I’ve told who ISN’T furry. Only ever had one person against my being furry. Random guy on the street said he was gonna stuff my tail up my ass. Then he made a grab for it. Most interesting mistake he’s ever made. I’d rather not go into details, but the cops went with my self-defense plea and let me go.

    March 29, 2011 at 4:26 am

  9. Chance Prowlers

    I wish my coming out had been a good one. My dope head brother and his boyfriend told my father and grandmothers, so it was awkward for me. To this day I still hate my brother for telling them, because they told them I wanted to have sex with animals and all this other stuff. I had a talk with them, telling them that I just liked the drawings, that I didn’t like animals that way, and that furries just think it would be cool to be animals. I should have been able to come out to them on my own terms, not because two pot heads were mad at me because I wouldn’t let them play my Wii.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm

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