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Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


After making various posts in GBS and PYF over the past few months, I've had quite a few people ask me to set up a proper Ask/Tell thread on this. Having got the okay from the mods, here we go!

So, where to begin? I'm Camrath, and up until about a year ago I used to be a furry. I'm nearly 34 now- I joined the fandom in 1999, about a week or so after my 18th birthday. So I spent basically the entirety of my adult life involved to a greater or lesser extent in this hosed up fandom, from what was very much its genesis as an organised scene in the UK up until its current colossal (and horrifying) state. Along the way I've had good times (some), bad times (many) and a lot of genuinely WTF moments that still make my mind boggle a bit.

What's my purpose in this thread? Well, there are several. First of all, simply to entertain. Secondly, to inform a bit- while a lot of the stories about the furry fandom have elements of truth to them, there's also a lot of myth and propaganda attached. And often the truth in itself is stranger than fiction. Thirdly (and this is something that I'll touch on more in a later section), it's somewhat therapeutic to me to pour out some of the bile that's built up in me over my entire adult life, and frankly it helps reinforce in my own mind that getting the hell away from it all finally was very much the right decision for me to make.

Before I begin properly, I'd like to make a few requests if I may.

1. Please take this thread in the spirit in which it's offered. Yes, the fandom is hosed up. Yes, I was part of it. I'm not here to defend it in any way, shape or form, but at the same point I will try and counter any false beliefs people have about it. I'd sooner people hate it for real reasons than just because of internet tribalism.

2. Please, no internet detectivery or contacting anyone involved. While I'm outside of the fandom now, I do still have friends who are involved and I don't want to see them hurt. I'll be using furry pseudonyms rather than RL names, but I will also be posting some pictures and if you recognise someone then for Christís sake don't start harassing them IRL about it.

3. Try and be constructive- I'd like to be able to share hosed up stories and laugh along with you all at the weird poo poo that I used to be involved in. Page after page of 'gently caress u furry human being' or whatever will only serve to shut down my interest in providing what should be some pretty funny, awful, messed up poo poo for you guys.

Those points aside, I intend to be as fully open as I possibly can be. If there's anything you want to know or are curious about, just ask- it's why this threadís here in the first place! If a question IS one I don't feel comfortable responding to, I'll simply say so and move on. So, with that said, let's get going. I'm going to start off by telling the story of my involvement with the fandom, before I get onto telling more general stories. If anyone does have anything specific to ask then please go right ahead and I'll answer as best as I can. Only things I won't touch are those which involve real life identities or anything that I consider privileged information, but don't be afraid to be curious. :)

1999 - Where it all began.

So, a bit of background. I was born and raised in London, England. Eldest child of an upper middle class family, educated at a traditional British Public School (meaning in fact private, selective and single-sex during my time there). Had a generally happy home life, despite being bullied quite a lot at school for being generally unfit, book-loving, nerdy and socially awkward- stereotypically goony and also furry, to be honest. Up until I was 17 and a half my biggest vice was spending hours down my local Games Workshop playing 40K. As I went to a single-sex school I literally did not know ANY girls or women socially, but I had a good crew of friends at least. The big moment of change came from a long line of coincidences that led to me one late march evening in 1999 sitting down and rewatching The Lion King. After it had finished I slunk up to my bedroom, dialled up the internet and looked for information on its sequel, which landed me on lionking.org and led to me discovering fanfiction and online role-play (using MUCKs, MUSHes and the like) in very short order. Thus the seed was sown. Oddly, this coincided perfectly with my late teenage growth-spurt and a general time of change in my life, so suddenly I shot up three inches, lost forty pounds in weight and sort of.. awoke socially. I guess this happens to everyone at some point, however I had the misfortune to have it happen mostly in the context of my burgeoning on-line life, in the absence of many peers or girls to be interacting with face-to-face. I spent most of that summer break roleplaying on The Lion King MUCK, chatting to GIRLS for the first time, falling in love over the internet with a girl from Canada and so on.
Come September, and I break my hand at my 18th birthday party in a drunken incident I still don't remember. Spent my actual birthday in surgery and was housebound for a fortnight.
This is where the whole rotten tale really gets going.

My parents were naturally worried about me- I was in pain, unable to use my left hand (which as a southpaw, really loving sucked!) and rather isolated. And so, one dinner time I mentioned that there was this new group forming called the 'London Furs', and I was considering going to their meetup that weekend to see what it was all about. My parents were going away that weekend, but before they left my father handed me £40 and ordered me to go along to this meeting, buy some drinks for people, make new friends and generally do something other than moping about in front of my computer typing away.

So, down I went to central London to a pub in Soho. Now, at this time I had led a very sheltered life indeed- I'd never met an openly gay person, nor indeed anyone involved in any form of alternative lifestyle or interest. So you can imagine what it was like walking in to the upstairs bar of a rather scary looking (at the time) metal/goth pub, to immediately see two guys about my age playing tonsil hockey in a corner. In those early days fursuits really weren't a thing in the UK- the costumers we did have primarily used face and bodypaint together with partial furry costume. And I'll admit, I was completely blown away. Here was this whole exciting world full of people who just didn't seem to give a gently caress; there was a guy made up as a gothic white tiger, and I'll admit that in my own repressed way I worshipped him a bit as a rebel, a hero, someone who was just the epitome of cool. Throughout my furry experience as a result of this I was fascinated by face or body painting rather than fursuiting as a costuming art, and very much made it my 'thing' later on. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

To be honest, that evening is all a bit of a blur, but to a teenager yearning to form his own identity, it hit me in some way that I couldn't comprehend. I felt like I belonged- everyone was so welcoming. There was no judgement (or at least, there appeared to be none- I'm sure that wasn't actually the case). I very rapidly found my dress, my attitude and behaviour changing over the tail end of 1999 until by the millennium eve I had formed pretty much into the style that I maintained for almost my entire adult life (and still do for the most part now). The pics below should help illustrate that.


Marcony, the white-tiger man mentioned above.


My first ever Londonfur meet. Yours truly is in the chinos and blue shirt, with the sling.


Second furmeet. Trench coat added, chinos still present. :P


My third furmeet. Black on black with black leather to cover was by now set in as my look- one that I'll admit I still favour even now.


My very first time facepainting, November 1999.

2000-2008 - The interim years.

Throughout the middle years of the noughties I was perhaps less involved than I had been in the scene, due to a variety of reasons. I suffered a severe head injury in Africa in early 2001, which for several years made me extremely emotionally unstable and unwell, so I had several major flare-ups of pointless drama that saw me 'leave the fandom FOREVER' (normally a period of about six months), coupled with going to university the other end of the country and so on. However, despite this I did attend several US conventions over that period (Anthrocon 2001, 02 and 03) and was involved in the London scene when I was both in the area and mentally capable of socialising. Frankly at that point the fandom in the UK was going through what even I, in all my non-self-aware furriness, could see was a bad patch. The group was thrown out of several London pubs for assorted reasons- underage drinkers, freaking out the rest of the clientele, just generally being too big. We ended up with a private space above a pub in Kentish Town for the London meets, and this is when I first really started to see the sexual side of the fandom. Given that I'm straight (though at the time I was questioning my sexuality a little, mostly due to loneliness) I never delved into this- the fandom may not be as overwhelmingly gay nowadays, but back then it seemed that heterosexuals were VERY much a minority. Out of a group of forty odd in about 02-04 there were also never more than five or six women active at any one time. Stick a load of socially awkward gay, bi and jailhouse gay guys in a private space together, add alcohol and you can imagine the shenanigans. Multiple times I bumped into people shagging into the toilets, guys would make out without a second thought and on at least two occasions I saw people openly getting handjobs in the main room, in full view of everyone. At the time, I'd swallowed the furry Kool-Aid so much that my main thoughts were 'wow, it's great that people feel safe and free enough in this group to be able to express their sexuality'- I was very scared of being thought judgemental or bigoted, even inside my own mind.

And I think, that's the big danger of furry right there, if I may digress a little. Most of its members are young, generally fairly socially isolated except within the scene. It's so easy to accept without question the apparent social mores of a group like that, and if it's your main source of social contact you end up very much internalising them, until seeing poo poo like I just described seems almost completely normal. In the end it feels like if you're offended by it then YOU'RE the one with the problem, not the guy with his dick out in public. Even inside your own head. And of course, these people are all friendly and welcoming and have been nothing but nice to you! They can't be bad people, or people who don't know how to act in public, can they? Yeah, if you're disgusted by what you see then you're literally Hitler, and should feel bad.

This period of lesser involvement with the scene lasted up until about 2007-8, and coincided with a particular nadir of the London scene- the meets would take place in a part-time strip club in central London in a non-air-conditioned basement, where the toilets would leak piss into the main bar. The stench down there was unbelievable, both from the aforementioned toilets and the collection of poorly washed, sweat drenched nerdlings gathered there together. I still refer to that place amongst my friends as 'the gas chamber'. Once the meets moved on from there with a change of management in the organisation, coupled with my moving back to London fulltime, my involvement level again increased, to its highest level yet.


Facepainting at a Londonfur meet, march 2000.


Other facepainters at a meet, summer 2000.


A truly bad picture of me, from late 2002- one of the worst parts of my life.

There are very, very few pictures that I have from between 2002 and 2009 or so- though I still very strongly considered myself a furry at the time I was absent or less involved from the physical social scene rather than the online one.

2009-2011 - The Bodypainting Years

As the noughties wound towards their end I found myself getting reinvolved with the furry scene. I was working long hours and thus had a lot of cash to throw around on random fun. I also had managed to get myself fit again after the embarrassing blob I'd become in my mid 20s- the picture above is nowhere near as bad as it got; at one point in 2005 I'd ballooned up to about 22 stone (north of 300lbs at 6'2"). With the combination of new found cash, improved self-confidence and a change of leadership within the London fandom I began to get properly involved again, attending regular meets and also considering attending conventions again. At this point fursuits had become extremely common in the UK, and the fandom had exploded- London meets were regularly up to a hundred odd attendees, there were regional meets throughout the country from Dorset to the north of Scotland, and several British furry conventions had started to operate. Disliking fursuits for several reasons, I made it my mission to 'bring bodypaint back', and starting at the Rather Brilliant Weekend (RBW) convention in 2009 I began to regularly don full body lion-patterned makeup for furry events. Obviously, this got a lot of comment- and even more attention. And being pretty lonely and frustrated with life at the time, I thrived on it all. Looking back now, it's fairly obvious that a lot of this attention was full-on inappropriate- on reflection I was groped, molested and otherwise bad-touched a great many times by a great many people, but somehow at the time I just didn't give a poo poo. Admittedly the fact that when I bodypainted I was also normally stoned, drunk and hopped up on E or Methylone (for raving purposes) probably had something to do with how tolerant I was, but I think on the whole it was the 'must be tolerant' mind-set I mentioned above that stopped me from reacting more negatively to it. Weirdest was at Confuzzled 2010, when some random dude came up to me when I was bodypainting and asked me to strike a pose.. Then licked my armpit and ran like gently caress away. Still have no idea who he was. This aside however, I'd found my 'thing' and made my mark on the scene- I became very well known in the UK at least.

Concurrent with this, I ended up forming a band with several of my closest friends from within the fandom, making us the only fully furry rock band in the UK (at least at the time). We ended up putting out an EP in 2011 and playing gigs at cons, meets and also for the general public and developing a small but devoted fan base- especially at the convention in 2011 where we performed in costume. Our website is still up at https://www.donutsh.com with the EP available for free streaming if anyone is morbidly curious.

One additional facet of these years that I should mention is this. At a meet in October 2010 a certain young lady saw me bodypainting and got in touch with me, interested to try it at the upcoming RBW convention. The moment I saw who this person was and what they looked like, I said to my best mate 'holy poo poo.. this girl wants me to rub paint all over her.. I'm so in there!'. Of course, come the convention I found out she had a boyfriend and thus was such a gentleman to her, she was convinced I was gay.. Come Eurofurence in 2011 however, things had changed, she was single and we ended up hooking up during the convention. We're still together now, four years later (she's sitting across from me right now) and are incredibly happy together, our relationship having both survived and been strengthened by our joint exit from the fandom. And I'll admit, for all the harm and upset that my time in Furry bought me, ending up together with her makes it almost seem worth it.

Anyway, you're not here to listen to me being sappy, so I'll stick up some pictures and head on to the final chapter of my furry experience.


Bodypaint at a London Meet, 2010.


Badly posing with a bodypainted buddy at Confuzzled 2011 (note, was hosed out of my gourd at this point). Fedora is due to the con's theme of 'gangsters', not a fashion choice!


Fursuiters and myself outside St Paul's Cathedral, June 2010


My GF in bodypaint, Confuzzled 2012

2011-2014 - Leadership and Disillusionment

While I was at Eurofurence in 2011 I got the call. The Londonfurs Committee (the organising group for London Meets, the largest regular furmeets in the world) wanted me to join them. I'd already been helping out at both meets and conventions through leading the Fursuit parades through London and various other towns, as well as by working security for cons and meets (I worked in the security industry at the time, and still am a fully licenced bouncer and security officer). Now I was being thrown into the organisation for meets that regularly topped 150 attendees, with up to 400 at the semi-annual parties- numbers that even two years previously UK conventions had been struggling to attain. And this, I think, is when the truth about furry and furries started to finally dawn on me. At the same time I also found myself running meets in Birmingham every month as well, amidst a huge flurry of drama and angst from my other half's ex and friends (who used to nominally run things in that town).

I don't want to go into too much detail at this stage (as I don't want to use all my best stories in my OP!) but the poo poo that this bought me into contact with rapidly began to wear down my reserves of good humour, enthusiasm and strength. Between Nazi horsefuckers, the cripplingly autistic, sexual predators and all sorts of other drama-mongers I very rapidly began to burn out. Coupled with this, I started attending a therapist regularly in 2012 after a year in which I lost my job, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and I dealt with a pretty crippling addiction to synthetic cannabinoids. Through long hours of work with my therapist I started to realise that while initially the furry scene had helped me gain self-confidence and social capability, it was now holding me back badly- it was essentially a massively overextended form of adolescence. And with this rising realisation and growth of self-awareness, coupled with vast amounts of drama and idiocy laid bare in front me, I realised that I had to move away for my own good. J, my girlfriend, had already mentally checked out of the fandom in around 2012-13 which I guess helped provide support for the decision.

In the spring of 2014 it seemed like half my extended family and friends decided to get married at once, and the combination of stag-dos, weddings and organisation for the same kept me out of the scene for a good three months, enough time to get some perspective and consider it all from different angles combined with my therapy. I decided to give the fandom one last chance, as I was required to help host the 2014 summer party in central London. Furries did not disappoint- even before the venue opened I was dealing with whining, bitching, drama and unfounded complaints from multiple sources, so much so that at the end I declared my resignation from the organising committee and indeed the fandom itself.

It's odd really- I thought such a decision would be hard, as it meant basically bidding goodbye to the social scene I spent my entire adult life involved in. But when the time came, it w2as the easiest thing ever, and I still have no regrets and no desire to involve myself in it at all anymore. I went to a meet as a guest earlier this year, and I left after less than an hour. My parting words to J as we walked away that day- 'loving hell, it's a crowd of the stupid, the oversexed, the badly dressed and the unwashed. Why the gently caress did I ever feel part of this?'. And I think to be honest that's a fitting epitaph for it all.
One final load of pictures.


Fursuit walk group picture, summer 2012


Late summer 2013. I think the expression on my face sort of says what I was thinking and feeling about the fandom by this time.

Okay, that's my 'story' as such. Now over to you. I'm happy to answer questions on pretty much any topic related to furry, as best as I can. Have fun. :)

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Dienes
Nov 4, 2009

dee
doot doot dee
doot doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot



College Slice

Everyone seems to pick the same 3-4 canids and felines. What is the weirdest/oddest animal you saw someone dress up as?

Morshu
Sep 30, 2009

Attack monkey! Monkey attack!


What is the best time you had, and the most loving insane thing you saw

And if any furries are reading this what do you wanna tell them

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Dienes posted:

Everyone seems to pick the same 3-4 canids and felines. What is the weirdest/oddest animal you saw someone dress up as?

There's a suit at american cons called 'The Cuddlefish', which is a cuttlefish. I think that's probably the most imaginative one I've ever seen.

Morshu posted:

What is the best time you had, and the most loving insane thing you saw

And if any furries are reading this what do you wanna tell them


Best time I had? Hard to say, but my top three are 1. Roadtripping to and from Magdeburg in a convoy of furries to get to Eurofurence in 2011, driving my convertible M3 with all of us radio'd up, racing down the autobahn at about 150mph. 2. The first time I bodypainted in public, for the RBW 2009 boat party (a rave on a boat going up and down the Thames) and 3. playing a Donutsh gig in costume at Confuzzled 2010.

Most insane? poo poo, it's almost hard to think of anything in particular. The armpit licking incident I mentioned above is probably the one which made me 'wtf' the hardest, but the thing is that you get completely blase about weird sights after a while.

And for any furries out there? Get out of it, seriously. Nobody is saying you can't enjoy anthro art. Hell, noone is saying you can't enjoy loving in a fursuit if that's your thing. But for heaven's sake, get out of this horrible, toxic scene- you're only doing yourself harm if you make it your main social group.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 15:58 on Jun 10, 2015

Dairy Days
Dec 26, 2007



what is your spirit animal

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Palace of Hate posted:

what is your spirit animal

I never was interested in so-called 'furry spirituality' but my 'fursona' (sort of my animal avatar/character I guess) was a Barbary lion.

Takoluka
Jun 26, 2009

Don't look at me!





How in the world do people choose fursonas? Do they fill out an internet quiz, or, like, do they just arbitrarily decide based on their favorite anime DeviantArt pictures?

physeter
Jan 24, 2006

high five, more dead than alive

Was it the toxic drama that drove you out? Or was it becoming more mature and disgusted with the entire furry concept?

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014

heyHEYYYY!!!


Thanks for the thread OP.

As I understand, being a furry is a relatively expensive hobby even if it's just facepaint. Judging by the photos, 99% of furries are white blokes from well-off families. Were there ever people who spent their last pennies on tickets to a con or did the community care for them? Basically, what were socio-economic dynamics there?

Daedleh
Aug 25, 2008

What shall we do with a catnipped kitty?

Can you talk a little bit about the toxic drama? Nerd drama is always hilariously pathetic so it'll be interesting to see how much worse furries are.

Indolent Bastard
Oct 26, 2007

I WON THIS AMAZING AVATAR! I'M A WINNER! WOOOOO!


How many Furries get off on "scaring the normals"? Getting all suited/painted up, heading out around town and then giving people attitude when they inevitably stare at them? Or are most furries giant wussies that would never court that kind of confrontation?

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Takoluka posted:

How in the world do people choose fursonas? Do they fill out an internet quiz, or, like, do they just arbitrarily decide based on their favorite anime DeviantArt pictures?

Varies from person to person, but the most common way is 'what's your favourite animal?'. ;p In my case, I used to joke that I went with a barbary lion (a now extinct-in-the-wild subspecies) because they're bigger and hairier than other lions and I'm bigger and hairier than most other people, and because lions have it all figured out- they spend 20 hours of the day asleep and the rest of the time they're either loving, getting bought food by the rest of the pride or fighting.


physeter posted:

Was it the toxic drama that drove you out? Or was it becoming more mature and disgusted with the entire furry concept?

Sort of both. I matured and started seeing the fandom for what it was- and pretty much simultaneously realised I had had no need for the pointless drama bullshit in my life, that I had no need to interact with people who were causing me hassle and that frankly I wasn't even getting any enjoyment from the scene anymore.

Paladinus posted:

Thanks for the thread OP.

As I understand, being a furry is a relatively expensive hobby even if it's just facepaint. Judging by the photos, 99% of furries are white blokes from well-off families. Were there ever people who spent their last pennies on tickets to a con or did the community care for them? Basically, what were socio-economic dynamics there?

Oh god yes. It's a standing joke in the fandom that people will go to a convention, spend hundreds on a fursuit and even more on getting shitfaced throughout it, then put up a gofundme or equivalent to pay for their bills. Bear in mind though that the socio-economic dynamics have changed a lot since I started. Back in the early days in the UK, it was almost entirely students and kids with a few weird-beard older types. But fifteen years on, a lot of those students are now in pretty high paid careers- obviously a huge amount of them work in IT, but there's also architects, teachers/professors, police officers and soldiers that I know of from the fandom. Plus legions of students still. To be honest, the furry demographic and the goon demographic tend to overlap /very/ strongly.


Daedleh posted:

Can you talk a little bit about the toxic drama? Nerd drama is always hilariously pathetic so it'll be interesting to see how much worse furries are.

For sure- though the problem here is figuring out exactly what example to use! If you want a recent (and hilarious) example then check out the #cubgate tag on Twitter- the practical upshot of this is that a member of staff for Eurofurence made comments about Babyfurs (adult-baby furries) which, coupled with EF's code of conduct stating that 'fetish wear is not permitted' led to a whole load of diaper-loving shitfreaks going mental and claiming they were being oppressed. It's one of those cases where you genuinely want to pack both sides of the argument into a concrete basement and throw a few hand grenades in.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Indolent Bastard posted:

How many Furries get off on "scaring the normals"? Getting all suited/painted up, heading out around town and then giving people attitude when they inevitably stare at them? Or are most furries giant wussies that would never court that kind of confrontation?

None, that I'm aware of (and I used to lead/organise the fursuit parades in London, with up to a hundred or so suiters). Everyone I know of and have encountered goes out with an attitude of wanting to entertain the public rather than scare them or freak them out. Given that the majority of the public who interact with the suiters are people who are curious, they do get a slightly biased impression of how well received they are though- I've followed behind the parade several times and noticed a lot more negative comments from members of the public at a distance than the ones up close.

boneration
Jan 9, 2005
now that's performance

The whole furry subculture seems repulsive and cringeworthy. I mean at its most benign it's about pretending to be an animal, and probably more often about wanting to gently caress animals. How could you be part of that and somehow turn off your natural human tendency towards disgust at yourself and those around you? What moment-to-moment cognitive tricks did you engage in so you could look at yourself in a mirror and not want to die? How could you surround yourself with the kind of people in your pictures and not constantly think "I am making an error. I should be somewhere else."

e: also have you ever seen the inside of a fursuit under a black light.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


boneration posted:

The whole furry subculture seems repulsive and cringeworthy. I mean at its most benign it's about pretending to be an animal, and probably more often about wanting to gently caress animals. How could you be part of that and somehow turn off your natural human tendency towards disgust at yourself and those around you? What moment-to-moment cognitive tricks did you engage in so you could look at yourself in a mirror and not want to die? How could you surround yourself with the kind of people in your pictures and not constantly think "I am making an error. I should be somewhere else."

e: also have you ever seen the inside of a fursuit under a black light.

You're factually off base on a few different areas here, and your tone is needlessly aggressive- however. Firstly, it's neither about pretending to be an animal per-se, or about wanting to gently caress them (though there are zoophiles/petfuckers/animal rapists in furry, they're at most a small minority. And one that I'd happily see lined up and shot). It's more akin to say, cosplay or performance art for most participants. With a touch of escapism/roleplay/wish fulfillment attached. The sexual aspect is I think more a result of a shitload of poorly socialised or socially retarded nerds getting together in a judgement-free community, same as the anime or brony fandoms.

And yes, I have seen the inside of several suits under blacklight, and they looked like.. well.. fur under blacklight- though admittedly they belonged to either my gf or people who I know for a fact don't gently caress in them. Conversely, I have had to yell at people for bringing suits out in public with visibly matted or stained fur, or with plainly visible Strategically Place Holes (SPHs). I wouldn't want to get near enough to one of those to see what it might look like under UV.

Edit: To make it clear, I'm not defending the fandom or its members, but I'd also rather people hate it for real reasons rather than imagined or false ones.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 17:50 on Jun 10, 2015

Obdicut
May 15, 2012

"What election?"

I find this interesting because the facepaint stuff really doesn't bug me almost at all. I come from San Francisco, where seeing people dressed up freaky isn't weird our unusual at all. (Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are some of my favorite people). However, people in fursuits that cover up their face really make me angry/upset/scared. I think it's because it's a combination of thinking that they're sexually weird, combined with anonymous, that just seems threatening to me. Is there an actual difference between the people who just facepaint and those who use face-obscuring costumes? The former seems much more a "This is me with makeup" and the second "This is not me, I am someone else now", and that bothers me on a philosophical level as well.


One of the things I have been most annoyed with from the few furries I've actually had to talk to or listen to was the whining about being oppressed and likening that oppression to that of gays or black people or transvestites or whatever. What percentage of furries really feel like they're expressing an innate part of their nature in a similar way to those other groups (the comparison with black people is always bad, but whatever) and how many recognize it's just a kind of fetish/cosplay thing and not deserving of protection in the same way?

Bean
Sep 9, 2001


I've always wondered if there were people who enjoyed furrydom but otherwise lead normal lives. You always hear about out and out weirdos, I'm wondering about Ted, who showers, dresses normal and holds down a job and then maybe takes in a convention a few times a year.

Fathis Munk
Feb 23, 2013

??? ?


Very nice OP, a pretty interesting read. Also :

quote:

Nazi horsefuckers

:frogon:

Mirrors
Oct 25, 2007


You mention that now the scene is by and large mostly homosexual, is there just a lot of overlap with the gay community or are they more jailhouse gay types who have lowered their standards because there's no women around?

Serperoth
Feb 21, 2013




You mentioned a difference between folks who just dig the art/porn (I presume a lot of it is porn?), and the people who are in "the scene". Do you know any numbers about that? For every person that would be part of "the scene", how many people are detached from it, but still enjoy the aspects of it that you mentioned?

boneration
Jan 9, 2005
now that's performance

Camrath posted:

The sexual aspect is I think more a result of a shitload of poorly socialised or socially retarded nerds getting together in a judgement-free community, same as the anime or brony fandoms.

Hmm, so in your opinion the sexual grotesquerie isn't strictly related to being a furry. The fact that you've had to reject multiple people for obviously hosed-in fursuits makes me wonder how accurate your explanation the role of sexuality among furries is though.

You use the word fandom here, and I've seen it used to refer to furries, as in "the furry fandom". Is that a term you would use? Anime fandom consists of fans of anime shows and brony fandom consists of fans of MLP. Star Trek fandom is obviously based around Star Trek. What's the furry equivalent of anime or MLP or Star Trek, as in, what specific cultural art drives the furry fandom? Or is the furry fandom fully self-perpetuating and without an outside source?

boneration fucked around with this message at 18:12 on Jun 10, 2015

blarzgh
Apr 14, 2009

SNITCHIN' RANDY


Grimey Drawer

1. Do furries tend to hide their hobby from their employer/family/anyone else? Has the level of secrecy changed over the years?

2. If you could grab a young person who was about to buy their first fake tail or whatever by the shoulders and shake them and tell them something, what would it be?


Also,

boneration posted:

Triggered by furries.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Obdicut posted:

I find this interesting because the facepaint stuff really doesn't bug me almost at all. I come from San Francisco, where seeing people dressed up freaky isn't weird our unusual at all. (Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are some of my favorite people). However, people in fursuits that cover up their face really make me angry/upset/scared. I think it's because it's a combination of thinking that they're sexually weird, combined with anonymous, that just seems threatening to me. Is there an actual difference between the people who just facepaint and those who use face-obscuring costumes? The former seems much more a "This is me with makeup" and the second "This is not me, I am someone else now", and that bothers me on a philosophical level as well.


One of the things I have been most annoyed with from the few furries I've actually had to talk to or listen to was the whining about being oppressed and likening that oppression to that of gays or black people or transvestites or whatever. What percentage of furries really feel like they're expressing an innate part of their nature in a similar way to those other groups (the comparison with black people is always bad, but whatever) and how many recognize it's just a kind of fetish/cosplay thing and not deserving of protection in the same way?

You raise some really interesting points here. First off, face and bodypainting has only ever been a minority thing (at least since the very early days of the fandom over here- not sure about in the states, but I only know of one american bodypainter). Reasons for this should be fairly obvious- a lot of furries are either too skinny, too fat or too unkempt to be able to pull it off without looking ridiculous, at least in public. In the UK I know of less than ten people who facepaint, and literally aside from myself and my girlfriend I know of one other guy who does the full body paint (the white tiger guy in my OP- he's a lovely guy). Hell, the last time I bodypainted was in 2012, though I think that in part was down to my own disengagement with the fandom as much as anything else. Wearing a fursuit is very different- to the general public, someone in good shape wearing bodypaint looks weird but like.. in a good way? It's sexy but not creepy, if you want to get down to brass tacks. Whereas fursuits look like giant cuddly toys and in general go for 'cute' rather than 'sexy' (which is ironic given the amount of people inside the fandom who are huge fetishists for them). I mean, I've always been a 'look but don't touch' guy, and been pretty strict about it- when you're wearing paint you need to be careful like that, or else it'll get smudged off on people/clothes and the like. Whereas fursuiters tend to be a lot more tactile (whether that's a good or bad thing is open for debate). I do own a suit that my gf made for me back in 2013 (literally wore it four times before we left the fandom), and while I think it looks pretty awesome, suiting is very much NOT for me as a passtime. It's unbelievably stifling in those heads, visibility is awful and I have /never/ been so sweaty before or since.

And as I'm sure a query is incoming on that, this is the suit here:


Toony styled gnoll/hyena.

With regards furries claiming oppression ('fursecution' is the term that is used), yeah, it happens. It's always loving embarrassing, and it's almost always either the younger, newer types or the completely hopeless shut-in retards that whine about it. Self-awareness is not a big thing amongst those demographics. I'd like to think that most of the people I knew personally would recognise that it's not worthy of legal protection in any way more than any other hobby, but to be honest I never really asked about that. It's just not a conversation I'd want to have and end up being disappointed in people.

Bean posted:

I've always wondered if there were people who enjoyed furrydom but otherwise lead normal lives. You always hear about out and out weirdos, I'm wondering about Ted, who showers, dresses normal and holds down a job and then maybe takes in a convention a few times a year.

That is by far the majority. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a lot of furries are now past the student stage of their lives and have built professional careers for themselves. You don't tend to notice them so much because they're simply not as noticeable.


Fathis Munk posted:

Very nice OP, a pretty interesting read. Also :


:frogon:

Yeah. The director of 'MI:3', the furry security agency (god, typing those words made me flinch) is an out-and-proud horsefucker. Deets here: http://furry-fandom-jerks.tumblr.com/post/100827040884/i-would-have-never-have-noticed-the-significance . And I have it on very good authority from multiple sources that there's a clique of other german and english zoophiles at the highest levels of the european fandom, including convention executives, high level community organisers and other significant positions. It's my dream to one day be able to engineer a bust and get the whole loving lot sent to jail.


Mirrors posted:

You mention that now the scene is by and large mostly homosexual, is there just a lot of overlap with the gay community or are they more jailhouse gay types who have lowered their standards because there's no women around?

In the earlier days, I think things tended more towards the latter. Now however, the fandom has grown so large (probably in the tens of thousands in the UK alone) that it's become a /lot/ more mainstream in that respect.


Serperoth posted:

You mentioned a difference between folks who just dig the art/porn (I presume a lot of it is porn?), and the people who are in "the scene". Do you know any numbers about that? For every person that would be part of "the scene", how many people are detached from it, but still enjoy the aspects of it that you mentioned?

Yes, there's a lot of porn. Though also a lot of clean art too. And some genuinely talented artists, to give them their due. I'm afraid though I don't have numbers that I could fall back on. I generally assume that there's at least five people who just peruse FA or Weasyl or whatever for every person who's active in the community IRL.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


boneration posted:

Hmm, so in your opinion the sexual grotesquerie isn't strictly related to being a furry. The fact that you've had to reject multiple people for obviously hosed-in fursuits makes me wonder how accurate your explanation the role of sexuality among furries is though.

You use the word fandom here, and I've seen it used to refer to furries, as in "the furry fandom". Is that a term you would use? Anime fandom consists of fans of anime shows and brony fandom consists of fans of MLP. Star Trek fandom is obviously based around Star Trek. What's the furry equivalent of anime or MLP or Star Trek, as in, what specific cultural art drives the furry fandom? Or is the furry fandom fully self-perpetuating and without an outside source?

Well, you can take my word for it or not- it's no skin off my nose. However, the number of 'obviously hosed in fursuits' that I've encountered is a very, VERY small percentage of the whole. Now, this doesn't mean that many of the other suits haven't been used for sexytimes, but when I was in a position where it mattered to me, I took the view that if it's clean and I can't tell with a practiced eye then nobody else would be able to either.

And yeah, 'the furry fandom' is the name for the whole shebang that's used internally. It sprung initially out of sci-fi fandom in the 80s, and in general refers to being a fan of anthropomorphic animals in art, film, literature etc. So it draws from a great many different sources, as well as keeping itself afloat on its own material. Same as 'sci-fi fandom' as opposed to 'star trek fandom', if you get my drift? And I'll admit, I personally view bronies as basically a spin-off fandom from furry. There's a huge amount of crossover, and I guess you could say that MLP is to furry as Star Trek is to sci-fi; a part of the whole.

blarzgh posted:

1. Do furries tend to hide their hobby from their employer/family/anyone else? Has the level of secrecy changed over the years?

2. If you could grab a young person who was about to buy their first fake tail or whatever by the shoulders and shake them and tell them something, what would it be?

1. Depends on the furry. I never used to bring it up, but would be happy to talk about it if someone showed an interest. And as mentioned in the OP, my family never had a problem with it and in fact facilitated my getting involved at first. It really does depend on the individual- for example I have one friend who is a professor of equine science, and naturally keeps his RL and furry life VERY compartmentalised. Whereas I know other people who are overly open about it and tell /everyone/ (these people are generally younger and stupider).

2. 'Think seriously about what the hell you're doing, and don't get yourself trapped. It'd suck to find yourself in your thirties and realise how much time you wasted. Ask me how I know.'. In fact, after the last big furry thread here I had a goon contact me about wanting to get involved in the furry scene. I warned him off as best I could, but I gather he still went to a London meet. No idea if he stuck around the fandom though.

Samfucius
Sep 8, 2010

And if you gaze long enough into a nest, the nest will gaze back into you.


First of all, you looked a lot better with a shaved head than that horrible haircut from your first meet or your long hair.

Second, how creepy were guys to the odd hetero female that showed up? You said there was a lot of homosexuality but I have to wonder (as other people have) if that had more to do with availability. I'd assume girls were treated at least as weirdly as they are in other nerd fandoms, if not more so.

Shrecknet
Jan 2, 2005

Nosferatu Enthusiast
@shrecknet



I can't get over that you keep talking about "the leadership" or "committee"... I can't wrap my head around this. There is no "leadership" of 'Trekkies' or 'Gay People', there's no group that claims ownership of a fandom that way.

It honestly sounds really cultish, like, 'if you want to be in the fur community, you will abide by our bylaws, attend and fundraise for the events we have decided'... can you imagine that for, say, Transformers enthusiasts?

Who elected "the leadership"? How did they ascend to power? What were the mythical "committees" main role?

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Samfucius posted:

First of all, you looked a lot better with a shaved head than that horrible haircut from your first meet or your long hair.

Second, how creepy were guys to the odd hetero female that showed up? You said there was a lot of homosexuality but I have to wonder (as other people have) if that had more to do with availability. I'd assume girls were treated at least as weirdly as they are in other nerd fandoms, if not more so.

Damned straight. Though I don't go full buzz-cut anymore, the long haired look didn't suit me well.

And yeah, it's as bad as you think. Possibly worse. J has a great many stories about being inappropriately approached, blatantly hit on, in one case full-on stalked around a convention by a creepy German photographer. Plus people grabbing butt or boobs when in suit as well.

Crazyeyes
Nov 5, 2009

If I were human, I believe my response would be: 'go to hell'.


Your face/body paint skills look like they got pretty good. Have you ever considered doing a little side business doing something with that?

From the picture of your girlfriend in costume it appears like it was a hybrid using both lots of paint as well as pieces of a suit. Is that a particularly common occurrence? Or is it more full suits, which I imagine would be exhausting.

For these cons, assuming they are similar to other conventions that can go several days, do people bring multiple suits and change as the hours/days go on? Are there panels at these conventions (if so what kind of topics are highlighted/discussed) or are they more just meets and hangouts?

Cool thread btw.

Vic
Nov 26, 2009




This being such a big part of your adult life, why do you describe yourself as bitter and angry while you obviously enjoyed the whole thing for the majority of it, and even found a girlfriend via the fandom?

Are you a furry if you don't attend awkward cons, but still like bodypaint or the idea of anthropomorphic animals?

Shrecknet
Jan 2, 2005

Nosferatu Enthusiast
@shrecknet



Everblight posted:

It honestly sounds really cultish, like, 'if you want to be in the fur community, you will abide by our bylaws, attend and fundraise for the events we have decided'... can you imagine that for, say, Transformers enthusiasts?

Who elected "the leadership"? How did they ascend to power? What were the mythical "committees" main role?
BIG Request: This podcast episode on LARPing is loving terrifying and I identify a lot of commonalities with your experiences. If you have 45 minutes or so, could you give it a listen and see if it's as bone-chilling to you as it was to me?

Zemyla
Aug 6, 2008

I'll take her off your hands. Pleasure doing business with you!

You talk about furry fandom being social interaction on easy mode for ostracized nerds. If you saw someone in their mid-to-late teens who reminded you of yourself back then, where would you tell them to turn to instead of the furry fandom?

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Everblight posted:

I can't get over that you keep talking about "the leadership" or "committee"... I can't wrap my head around this. There is no "leadership" of 'Trekkies' or 'Gay People', there's no group that claims ownership of a fandom that way.

It honestly sounds really cultish, like, 'if you want to be in the fur community, you will abide by our bylaws, attend and fundraise for the events we have decided'... can you imagine that for, say, Transformers enthusiasts?

Who elected "the leadership"? How did they ascend to power? What were the mythical "committees" main role?

I should probably clarify terms. When I refer to 'the committee' I'm solely referring to the members of Londonfurs ltd, the organisation which runs the meets and events in London. Basically, back in about 2008 as I already mentioned the meets were in a very bad place due to no clear leadership, what leadership we did have being completely incompetent (aside from being gross and weird- the dude negotiating with venues was known for his vinyl frog costume and scat fetish) and the meets in general becoming too large to proceed as they had previously, with a sort of ad-hoc arrangement. The Londonfurs committee was set up to introduce proper organisation and management, and is really what the meets needed to take them to the next level. It enabled us to negotiate professionally with venues (with whom the LFMs somehow still enjoy a really good reputation, or at least did when I was last involved), arrange things like public liability insurance and so on. Basically what you need when a group moves from being 'a few friends meeting in a pub' to 'holy poo poo, we need a large dedicated venue'. The initial committee was formed simply by people stepping up and presenting it as a fait accompli, and people have come and gone since. New members are chosen by the existing commttee from the community as a whole- when I started there were five of us, it's now I believe expanded further. Several people who I mentored or nominated have since stepped up to the organisation. Inevitably there ended up being some division between the members responsible for negotiation, web stuff, financials and so on and those of us who took a more hands-on community leadership role. In my case I was very much on the leadership side of things- I was nominated due to my managing the fursuit parades (no easy task, taking up to a hundred people in costumes with almost no vision on a parade through crowded city streets, across bridges etc) and setting up the protocols for guiding and managing it all.

Aside from that and the backroom stuff, the point of the Londonfurs committee was to have people on the ground to help greet newbies and get them settled in, have a visible presence for people to come to with problems and just generally facilitate people having a good time. It was bloody thankless work, literally- and you had a shitload of entitled cunts coming to you with every petty problem, issue and drama that they could think of. Sort of expecting you to be at the same time a teacher, policeman, paramedic and relationship councellor.


Crazyeyes posted:

Your face/body paint skills look like they got pretty good. Have you ever considered doing a little side business doing something with that?

From the picture of your girlfriend in costume it appears like it was a hybrid using both lots of paint as well as pieces of a suit. Is that a particularly common occurrence? Or is it more full suits, which I imagine would be exhausting.

For these cons, assuming they are similar to other conventions that can go several days, do people bring multiple suits and change as the hours/days go on? Are there panels at these conventions (if so what kind of topics are highlighted/discussed) or are they more just meets and hangouts?

Cool thread btw.

We've kicked around the idea of doing costume parties and the like for kids. We both still have some talent in the makeup area, my other half makes costume and the like and I teach sword fighting on the side, so we've been toying with the idea of combining all of these things as well for stag and hen do's, poo poo like that. We're sort of busy on other projects atm though.

As far as I'm aware, J is the only person who ever did that specific form of costume- her fursona was a chinese crested sparkledog (hence the rainbows), which are a hairless breed; hence the fursuit head and painted body. Generally it's either fullsuits or partials. Occasionally zentai-based costumes, which we used at several cons where makeup wasn't permitted on the dance floors.

And as for cons, it depends on how many suits a person has to bring! J had three suits with her the last time we went to a furry con (one of which was a 'secret' one, which the community at large didn't know was her), but a lot of people only have the one. You don't wear the suits constantly- you'd loving /die/ if you did! And yeah, there's a lot of panels on all sorts of topics. I ran a panel on swordfighting at the last con I was at (in spite of the german horsefucker in charge of security trying to screw it over) which was very well received.. there's panels on art, writing, animal and furry related topics, generally there's a motorfurs meet where everyone shows off their cars.. there's also a lot of hanging out and partying involved too of course!

I should differentiate here between 'meets' and 'cons'. Meets are regular city or area based events, non-residential and normally a single day, in a venue such as a pub or bar. Cons are longer, in hotels.

Vic posted:

This being such a big part of your adult life, why do you describe yourself as bitter and angry while you obviously enjoyed the whole thing for the majority of it, and even found a girlfriend via the fandom?

Are you a furry if you don't attend awkward cons, but still like bodypaint or the idea of anthropomorphic animals?

Because I am both of those things. I'm bitter at the years I wasted spinning my wheels in my own personal and social development. I'm angry at every single pet-rapist, every moaning autist who wasted my time, every foul-smelling sex-pest that I had to handle. I'm trying to keep things light-hearted for the most part, because frankly otherwise I'd be spewing mostly incoherent bile onto the screen.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Everblight posted:

BIG Request: This podcast episode on LARPing is loving terrifying and I identify a lot of commonalities with your experiences. If you have 45 minutes or so, could you give it a listen and see if it's as bone-chilling to you as it was to me?

I am in fact also a LARPer, though I get the impression that it's a much less loaded term over here than it is stateside. And there are some commonalities between the two communities- frankly I think it's a nerd/geekdom thing. I'll give it a listen tomorrow and get back to you. :)

Zemyla posted:

You talk about furry fandom being social interaction on easy mode for ostracized nerds. If you saw someone in their mid-to-late teens who reminded you of yourself back then, where would you tell them to turn to instead of the furry fandom?

Now that's the $64.000 question, really. Honestly, I don't know. I'd recommend getting into a sport- by which I mean playing, rather than watching. Or starting a band/making music. Hell, try LARPing if you need your nerd escapism fix. Or trying out a whole load of hobbies. More than anything, I'd advise not making the mistake I and so many others have made- of letting the fandom become very much your main social outlet.

Fool and the World
Dec 8, 2010


God drat this thread is going to be magical :allears:

Unmature
May 9, 2008


Thank you for making this thread for both possibly helping people get out of it and my own sick curiosity and entertainment. That's a really well written OP.

Vic
Nov 26, 2009




Camrath posted:

Because I am both of those things. I'm bitter at the years I wasted spinning my wheels in my own personal and social development. I'm angry at every single pet-rapist, every moaning autist who wasted my time, every foul-smelling sex-pest that I had to handle. I'm trying to keep things light-hearted for the most part, because frankly otherwise I'd be spewing mostly incoherent bile onto the screen.

I understand that, but apart from your personal stagnation you said all that was a small percentage of the whole thing.

I'm curious about the disconnect between what you describe and what you say about it in retrospect (i.e. people lined up at wall and shot, autism hate, sex pests).

Thanks for the thread BTW.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Vic posted:

I understand that, but apart from your personal stagnation you said all that was a small percentage of the whole thing.

I'm curious about the disconnect between what you describe and what you say about it in retrospect (i.e. people lined up at wall and shot, autism hate, sex pests).

Thanks for the thread BTW.

I think the apparent disconnect is in part because when talking about the past, I'm describing it as I saw it at the time, rather than the rather different view I have on it now. I'm not sure though- perhaps this is a case where my tone isn't coming across as well as intended. Once again the curse of communicating through text rather than speech strikes. As I said, I've also been trying to keep things as light as possible for my own sake as much as anything else- there's a lot of deep negative emotion that I associate with my time in the fandom, that I don't want to dredge up all at once as opposed to parcelling it out. In addition, nobody has actually hit on any topics that are, you could say, hot button issues for me.

Edit: J has just pointed out to me that I should probably clarify my position, as you mentioned 'autism hate'. Autism in the furry community is rife; I'd say a majority of members are on the spectrum somewhere. However, and this is something common to SA and other nerdy communities (or at least, which used to be), it's also majority self-diagnosed, and used as a catch-all excuse for bad behaviour. That's what I've been railing against in particular, and I think I should state that clearly. Oddly, one of the most autistic of all the furries I know is one of the few people I give something of a pass to. He's a dude who wears a revolting fat-suit with a realistic wolf head, who's completely and totally ignorant of social mores but also does generally try his best. He just gets things.. wrong. One time he turned up at a meet in full blackface and nearly caused a riot. However on talking to him later it turned out that he'd heard people used makeup to hide any pink bits when using 'own-eyes' fursuit heads like his, and he'd just got a bit carried away.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 21:48 on Jun 10, 2015

syscall girl
Nov 6, 2009

by FactsAreUseless


Fun Shoe

Camrath posted:

I am in fact also a LARPer, though I get the impression that it's a much less loaded term over here than it is stateside. And there are some commonalities between the two communities- frankly I think it's a nerd/geekdom thing. I'll give it a listen tomorrow and get back to you. :)


Now that's the $64.000 question, really. Honestly, I don't know. I'd recommend getting into a sport- by which I mean playing, rather than watching. Or starting a band/making music. Hell, try LARPing if you need your nerd escapism fix. Or trying out a whole load of hobbies. More than anything, I'd advise not making the mistake I and so many others have made- of letting the fandom become very much your main social outlet.

Yeah, I'm not experienced but LARPing and renfaire does seem to have a better ratio of women to men. And less pedophilia.

Or just play sports, go to the bar/pub and meet normal women.

So, a question: did you meet many MLP fans/bronies or anyone who tried to build a life out of their love of webcomics like homestuck. Just curious how much crossover there is.

It seems like a lot of furriners base or source their obsessions to Talespin or Rescue Rangers, did you see anything like that?

Vic
Nov 26, 2009




Camrath posted:

there's a lot of deep negative emotion that I associate with my time in the fandom, that I don't want to dredge up all at once as opposed to parcelling it out. In addition, nobody has actually hit on any topics that are, you could say, hot button issues for me.

That percieved self-hate stems from you being in the fandom, or the fact that you're talking about it in a place where this is ridiculed?

What would be a hot button issue?

Vic fucked around with this message at 22:01 on Jun 10, 2015

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Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


syscall girl posted:

Yeah, I'm not experienced but LARPing and renfaire does seem to have a better ratio of women to men. And less pedophilia.

Or just play sports, go to the bar/pub and meet normal women.

So, a question: did you meet many MLP fans/bronies or anyone who tried to build a life out of their love of webcomics like homestuck. Just curious how much crossover there is.

It seems like a lot of furriners base or source their obsessions to Talespin or Rescue Rangers, did you see anything like that?

I honestly have no idea what Homestuck is- it's something I've only ever heard mentioned on SA. Could be it's a thing amongst furries, but if so it's likely just because of demographic crossover. I do know several people (my housemate included, though he's only ever been on the periphery of the fandom) who got involved through Talespin though.

Anecdotally, the big things that bought people in over here are The Lion King, Disney's Robin Hood, Watership Down and the Animals Of Farthing Wood.

And yeah, LARP gender-ratios are a hell of a lot better over here. I think a recent survey had about a 60/40 male/female split. The best part of LARP though? When you go home from a field, that's where you leave the character and the fantasy behind. It doesn't stick with you through normal life like being involved with furry does.


Vic posted:

That self-hate stems from you being in the fandom, or the fact that you're talking about it in a place where this is ridiculed?

What would be a hot button issue?

The former. Believe me, there's nothing that goons could say about the fandom (or at least, nothing TRUE that they could say) to ridicule it that I've not already said myself, probably multiple times. The fandom and my time in it DID do some good things for me, and as you mentioned previously, I did genuinely take a lot of pleasure from it at that time. But over the course of several years of therapy I've analysed over and over the things I've experienced, seen, been involved in and now many once happy memories instead cause a deep upwelling of sadness and anger inside me. Because I now know the harm that my involvement was inflicting on me as a person. And frankly, the amount of poo poo I let slide because 'hey, we're all furries! We shouldn't judge anyone!'.

As for particular hot-button things.. at this stage I'd reallyrather not say. If anyone does ask questions that hit on them I'll deal with them as they come, but I don't want to open that door prematurely. I hope you understand.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 22:09 on Jun 10, 2015

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