A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article talking about the preponderance of furries who re-evaluate their sexual preference after discovering the community. The experience is common enough to be a furry stereotype.
Many of you shared your stories in the comments, in the forums and to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Today I want to post some of those stories. I've edited them all for length but I've done my best to retain the true voice of the writer. I encourage you to read the longer versions elsewhere on the site, and seek out more stories by asking around your furry friends.
I realized I was gay after getting into furry, and also right after starting college. I grew up in a fairly Christian household, so erotica was a no-no. I never seemed to go after the female stuff and of course anything else was unthinkable.
In college I got a ton more unmonitored internet-using time. RL friends would suggest porn-viewing nights, and online friends would send me links that I actually felt okay about opening. Needless to say, all this was straight. It took a great gay rolemodel and another furry friend online realizing he was non-straight, to realize there were other options. I spent a couple months identifying as bi, but by the end of the first semester, I was identifying as gay online and in RL, had a Tapestries account, a male mate online, the whole thing.
I grew up with my mother, who was very open regarding sex and sexuality. There was nothing wrong with being gay and so I was already prepared to consider/accept it when puberty hit.
My sex life began when I was thirteen. I slept with a friend's male cousin. I didn't like it. But I knew I could find a bond with females. When I was fourteen I came out to my mother as gay. It's one of my favourite stories about my mother that when I came out she shouted, "WOOHOO, gay girls don't get pregnant!" and then we had cookies.
I then spent several years in the local gay community as a drag king and little-boy dyke. At nineteen I decided I was no longer interested in the gay community or its drama. It's pretty ironic I then turned to the furry community.
I had reservations about joining the group after one male member propositioned me online, but another guy had seemed nice. We decided to have casual sex and started dating. I was now unsettled and wondering about my sexuality. I rationalised that he was bi and therefore some sort of stepping stone between female and male. For about two years I was still trying to find excuses as to how I could still be lesbian.
I have since fallen in love with another male in the local community. I'm still sure I'm bisexual, but I was sure I was lesbian before. I have never found myself attracted to a female member of the community, though they are in very limited supply. I'm still not sure if I changed more or just my circumstances.
Both my parents were non-practising Jehovah’s Witnesses. I grew up not knowing what “gay” was. I had my first crush when I was eight. Because I didn’t understand what was going on, I just thought it was a case of hero-worship towards a role-model who was a few years older. When his friends noticed and taunted me, asking whether I was “gay”, I asked my mother what it was. As an answer, I got a description of some bizarre caricature of aging pedophiles who forcibly rape little boys. All that set me back about ten years.
The furry community is the best environment for people to self-actualize that I’ve ever encountered. Inasmuch as it does this, I genuinely consider it to be, literally, the most important thing on the planet.
I was introduced to the furry fandom through through erotic art when I was 15. At the time I was very attracted to women and not at all to men. One day, I read a short story involving two males and something clicked.
Did furry turn me bi? It’s hard for me to believe that I had some latent homosexual desire through all the years I spent lusting after women. As much as the victimist in me wants to say I was born this way, I’m honestly not sure that’s true.
When I joined furry, I was just as gay as could be. I was one of those "ew girls gross" guys. It took probably a year or two before I started to open up. I wound up first in a relationship online in which there was much toying with gender, then in a relationship in person with a girl.
It was a similar journey for me in terms of gender. Gender's big and complicated, as big and complicated as sexuality, and I certainly can't say I'm finished with either journey, but the furry fandom has certainly been instrumental in helping me to grow and change as I feel I ought. I seem to have landed somewhere in the middle of the Kinsey scale, and while I don't consider myself transgendered, I don't really consider myself cisgendered either. If there's another thing that my growth in the fandom has taught me, though, it's that I'm not going to claim those labels forever.
I grew up in a fairly conservative family in a conservative part of the country, so queer folks always seemed distant - something that you'd find in big cities. When I first discovered furry, I thought of myself primarily as asexual. The thought that I was attracted to men never occurred to me.
Furry changed all that. Talking to gay and bi men helped me realize that I did have sexual thoughts and urges. My first serious relationship with a furry girl was with someone who was very interested in online gender play.
Long after I had dated several men, admitting I was gay felt dirty and like I had betrayed my family and my church. The fandom was a refuge from those feelings. People in the fandom were willing to say the two most important things that a young gay man can hear: you are not alone and what you feel really is OK.
When I was a teen I dated a few girls, mainly out of expectations rather than any sort of mutual attraction. What I was really interested in was dogs, and to a lesser extent other guys. I didn't really think that homosexuality really existed beyond a concept at that age, let alone zoosexuality.
While the furry fandom offered plenty in relation to zoosexual material and people to contact, it also provided plenty of opportunity to rally against those very same things, with no shortage of people who were very anti-zoo. I turned on my zoo friends. My homosexual encounters also became more self destructive, becoming meaningless, anonymous and objectifying. Eventually it got to the point where I convinced myself in my mind that I hated sex. And thus my life was miserable for a long time.
I eventually identified what was wrong, and had to go through the agonising process of learning to accept and love myself as a homosexual. I then had to go through the even harder process of accepting myself as a zoosexual. It remains the hardest thing that I have ever done.
I don't think I could have made those steps without my friends within the fandom who were accepting of who I actually was. I feel sad when I reflect on the kind of person that I used to be, and that I had pointed accusingly at people who were just like me and said with conviction 'You are wrong and vile'. I'm surprised that I could have ever hated myself that badly.
Thanks to everyone who told their story.