Another mom who supports her son being a furry.

mexnyman
My son dressed as “Mex,” about 2 years ago.

I just received an email from a woman who read my blog post from almost two years ago,  “My Son is Furry–Got a Problem with That?”   Here is that article for those of you who didn’t see it.

https://luckyottershaven.com/2014/09/20/my-son-is-furry-got-a-problem-with-that/

Here is the letter I received today.   All identifying information has been excluded.

applycheekdots

My son’s fox/otter fursona.

*****

I was browsing websites looking for Furry bumper stickers and came across your blog.

I have a 21 year old son who is gay and a furry.  So it seems we have quite a lot in common. I have known my son was gay before he actually told me which was about age 13. It was around the age of 15 he started talking about furries. I was fascinated and we started watching Furry convention videos. I was hooked. I tried to be very supportive regarding this to my son. This was a group of people that he could finally relate to and thank God not judge him. He is a very sensitive and highly intelligent person. He just never fit in with his peers. Middle school was the worst and after one year of high school it still wasn’t getting any better for him, so we opted for an online school.

I am very close with my son and he always tells me how awesome I am and he tells his friends that. I am close to a couple of his friends and they are also furries.   I have never met and talked with another parent who supports her gay and Furry son. I would love to have an email friend that I could relate to.

Thanks for taking time to read this and hope to hear from you.
Best,
Proud Mom of a Furry


My son’s latest dance performance at Megaplex 2016, Orlando, FL

My reply:

Thank you for sharing this with me!   It is a coincidence isn’t it?  My son is almost 25 now and his fursona is a fox/otter — he’s the one responsible for getting me to love otters so much I named my blog after them and also use it as my user name too.  (I’m not furry though, lol)   Now he has a second character, a black and white stoat named “Mex.”   Mex is a dancer in the competitions at the conventions and has placed  2nd or 3rd in several of them.  He has yet to win, but I’m sure that’s coming.   My son began dancing about 4 years ago. He never took a lesson; he is entirely self taught.  

Some people think it’s strange that I actually love furries and the furry fandom.  I think it’s a harmless hobby and allows these kids and young adults to socialize and have fun.    I think they’re so entertaining and funny–and very friendly too.  You probably read my article about my feelings about my son being a furry, which is why you wrote.   He has developed so much more self confidence and improved his social skills immensely since he began attending the conventions (his first one was in late 2010).  

My son was a lot like yours.  He was pretty much an outcast at school and middle school as especially bad for him.   He is very creative and intelligent (I think most furries are–many of them work in scientific, computer, or medical fields or in the performing or visual arts) and most have some kind of art or performing avocation.  

My son, like yours, was so shy and unsure of himself, lacking in confidence and socially awkward.  He told me later on that he was very depressed during his middle and high school years.  In 2009 he came out to me as gay but I think I already knew.  I never had a problem with that.   I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay and never have.  Many of the greatest friends I ever had were gay.

He was embarrassed to tell me he was a furry but when he finally did I just looked at him with a blank stare because I had no idea what that meant.  He explained and I looked it up on Wikipedia.   Sadly, furries have gotten a bad reputation and it’s become associated with depraved sex and perversions, but the reality is, that is not the case.   I found out the furry fandom is an outgrowth of the science fiction conventions and has been around since the 1980s.   I don’t know why they get so much hate and why people fear them so much that there have been actual hate crimes and bomb threats at a few of the hotels that hold the conventions.  It’s just a hobby and a passion for dressing up and socializing (and performing) in costume.  Furry allows shy and creative young adults like my son to become more outgoing because they are in costume and take on a persona that fits their chosen animal.   My son’s life is so much better since he became a furry, and every time he performs in another dance comp, I always watch and root for him (most of them are live streaming now). 

I’m glad you’re another mom who supports her son being a furry. You sound like you have a very warm and loving relationship with him.   My son will be tickled pink when I tell him that another mom supports her son being furry.

I also want to write a blog post including this letter and my reply but I will not identify you by name or your son’s fursona either.   I want to do that because I think it’s important that the truth about furries come out because so many parents of children who are furries completely misunderstand what it’s about and think it’s some kind of sex cult, which it is not.   It got it’s unfortunate reputation mostly from an episode of CSI that featured a furry who was a serial murderer.   It’s time for the truth to come out–that this is a harmless (if rather expensive!) hobby.  

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My son didn’t escape unscathed.

leavinghome
This is not a photo of my son, but it looks a little like him.

My 23 year old son was scapegoated and bullied by his father when he was a child and teen (which I’ve written about before). As the most sensitive and nervous child in the family who was able to see through his father’s malignant narcissism, his father began to target him for abuse when it became clear to him my son had a good built-in bullshit detector.

When he was 17 he moved out of our home to stay with a female police officer who worked at his school. She was very supportive but after awhile he decided to move back in with us briefly. When he turned 18, he moved to another state and has not been back, although he does talk to me on a regular basis. Due to lack of funds, I’ve only seen him 3 times since he moved out in 2010. He is doing well though–working two jobs, one as a management trainee for a chain of convenience stores in the Tampa, Florida area, the other as a Carraba’s server where he sometimes pulls in as much as $700 in a single weekend.

He has many interests and talents, including dancing, animation, and filmmaking (which is what he really would love to do). He came out as gay when he was 17. After that happened, he transformed from being a nerdy, nervous teenager with few friends to a very popular young man with a geeky, eccentric sort of cool and many friends. He doesn’t do drugs or smoke. He drinks, but doesn’t appear to have an alcohol problem.

ianrowan3
Photo of my kids in Texas in 2001.

I thought he somehow emerged unscathed from the family dysfunction. He shows no signs of having any personality disorder, although he has reported having panic attacks and he tends to be obsessive in his thinking. He’s also prone to depressions.

Tonight we talked to each other on the phone for awhile and he described his obsessive thinking. He worries about locking the door, for example, and has to keep going back to check to make sure he locked it. He hates having anything dripped on him, and that can set off a rage attack. They are like panic attacks, but instead of panic, he feels rage. He doesn’t act on the rage, but he feels it. Then he feels guilty for feeling that way. He doesn’t like people approaching him from behind and is jumpy and wants to attack when that happens. He worries incessantly about the impression he makes on others and suffers from occasional paranoia, and thinks others are out to hurt him, even when there is no rational reason for him to think this.

kelphead
Sporting kelp “hair extensions.”

It sounds to me like he suffers from a severe anxiety disorder, and probably has OCD. He can afford health insurance now, so I told him to please see a therapist who can find out if what he has is OCD or something else, and possibly give him some medication and therapy. He’s willing to do this. I still think he’s the most mentally healthy person in the immediate family, and the only one who is doing well financially and doesn’t appear to have a personality disorder, but he’s far from unscathed from the abuse inflicted on him, and his hypervigilance and anxiety is no doubt due to that (though there could be a biological component too).