So recently on Twitter (FOLLOW ME) I have been seeing tweets about Midwest Furfest, and while all that cool I guess I've come to a realizaiton that I haven't really said this before. Mostly that's because I haven't really shared much on my art profiles, but I don't really consider myself a furry anymore. Although even then I wouldn't really say I was ever really one technically.
Back in like 2012 I decided to get a DeviantArt account because as someone that is aspiring to be a professional cartoonist it would be a good thing to have. And despite me not having a huge audience it is. However while I was there I was liking a lot of furry art and following furry artists. I didn't think much of it because I was just liking the art and not because of some ulterior motive but I just liked the submission. It wasn't until a year later I decided yeah I guess I was a furry, although that was mostly because I started drawing a lot of anthro characters. But anyways, I decided to start identifying myself as a furry even though I didn't have a sona nor was I like super vocal about that part of my life because I'm rather introspective and quiet in real life and also I didn't care that much about being a furry because it's a weird interest and that's it.
It wasn't until I got into college and started getting more antiquated with myself, in particular my sexuality, that I have decided to really make that leap. In April of 2015, I uploaded what would be my sona, James. I wanted to make him because 1, I love anthro croc and gators and how they look when designed like that, 2, I identify with a lot with crocs and gators, and 3, I decided that I needed someway to vent my sexual frustration, or at least create a character that was going through the same problems that I was going through when I realized that I was queer. I came out as bi to my family a month later before my freshmen year ended, then I started to identify more as gay than bi, then back to bi, so yeah right now I'm identifying as queer because while I do consider myself gay and had a male partner before, I'm still not sure how I feel about females in THAT way yet. But anyways, if there is a huge thing that the furry fandom/community has had in my life, it was self-discovery and realizing who I was because of how openly queer a lot of people within the fandom/community are.
After coming out during that summer I decided to find a partner. I figured that since I was a fur I tried to find a partner in the fandom/community. I signed up to a few furry dating sites, and the results were...not very satisfactory. For one, dating sites are not free. No matter what they say, you have to pay in order to get the right access to really the ideal features...like reading the damn notes! There were some friends I found, but they ended up being taken even though their profile said they were single, and as of right now I ended up losing touch with them. There were some success with finding potential mates, that only lasted less then a month. Although a lot of it was me not being comfortable with myself being open about my sexuality yet...as well as seeing other potential mates at the same time (all of these were online not in real life). There were two that lasted longer than a month. One was when I decided to go for a master/pet relationship (yes I actually did that) where I started to feel like I was actually falling in love with him, only to realize that I never knew his name AND he was getting in a serious relationship with someone else. I was worried about him so I contacted one of his friends that he listed was his friend on his profile, only to find out he was getting serious with someone behind my back. I broke it off with him and didn't have any bad blood with him...only to have this friend that I contact share a screencap of my ex saying that I was some stalker and that if I stopped stalking him this friend would report me to the police. I blocked both of their accounts and ended up getting super angry for the rest of the day because of that. I'm not making that up by the way this did actually happen!
The second was the only partner I met in real life. He lived two hours away from me and when we met after my sophomore year ended, I realized that he was seriously the first person I ever had feelings for. I wouldn't say I was in love with him, but it was growing. However things fell apart and we ended up breaking up. This was the first person I had ever had a serious relationship with, and it hurt. I stopped using those furry dating sites afterwords and to this day I never reopened those deactivated accounts. I still tried to find partners online after that but that ended relatively recently with more broken hearts and the realization that I don't really want to change who I am to fit into the LGBT community, or be stereotypically gay and openly queer.
But we are getting off track. When I started my sophomore year of college, I found out about a fur group that was in my town. I thought it was cool and I decided to see if I can see if there was any meet-ups. I have only been to two and I hardly know any of the members within the group. There is one that I keep touch on briefly, and that's really about it. Even then I could never really connect because a lot of their interests are video games and anime and I don't really know much about those two topics, and it also didn't help that they were extroverted and, like I said before, I am introverted, so even during the meets I was at I never talked with anyone. And the group hardly gets together anyways for a big meet besides just individual meetups.
Through out like five years of being a furry I've come to realize that I'm not really one, nor do I want to identify as one. And while having some bad experiences and realizing that I'm not the atypical furry is one factor, as well as just wanting to follow artists I like on here, but it's how serious a lot of members within the fandom/community take it. Even when I was still identifying myself as one, I knew that I wasn't going to take it super seriously what-so-ever and got that not everyone will "get" it. To most furs, they take it like a badge of honor. Like seriously, it's largely a bunch of grown adults who dress up in animal costumes and act cute and like art that is considered cute or super erotic, it's very weird! And if you embrace it, that's totally fine. But it's so hard defending the fandom/community with how rampantly open furs are with how erotic and kinky a lot of the art and members are, as well as people treating it more as a lifestyle than a weird hobby/interest. And don't tell that it's a small minority because honestly it is a lot more common than you might think. I mean when you have people make coming out videos about being a fur...like no. You aren't born as a furry. It gotten a lot worse over time when the internet became overtly political, especially after the 2016 election, and furs that I follow started making posts against Donald Trump and Nazis and the alt-right, which I mean I'm not saying you can't or that's wrong or anything, but get some perspective and self awareness that your Twitter posts are half furry shit and half political shit. It's jarring and honestly kind of cringy too! And it get worse with the NSFW fur accounts who post inflation and vore art!
I know that what I said is probably more reactionary than rational and something anti-furs say (which by the way people who legit call themselves anti-furs are sad), but honestly that is how I feel. I'm just tired of seeing all the same things over and over again that I'm just kind of done with this all. I'm not trying to hate on anyone or the fandom/community as a whole, there are positive aspects of the fandom/community that I don't begrudge. But this post is less about trashing on furries and more me explaining why I don't call myself a fur anymore. I will still post art on furry social media sites because it still is a platform to share work. I just don't consider myself a member of the community anymore. And that's all I have to say about that.