I'm just doing a quick rant because I think my confidant is getting tired of me bringing all of my problems to them and I just need someone to hear me out.
I have some new friends who I've felt more and more comfortable being open about the fact that I'm a furry, and one of them who acts accepting is beginning to show otherwise.
They kind of get a bit uncomfortable and change the subject whenever I mention anything furry related, which makes me more and more ashamed to be a part of this fandom that nobody should be ashamed to be in.
I'm used to that, but I expected more from someone who so adamantly supports people to be themselves.
What made me realize how little they know about the fandom was when I made a joke about Shrek not being "my type" and they said "yeah, dogs are your type".
I thought this was weird, so I said "ew, no". Their response was, "oh, right. You like people in dog costumes."
I didn't want to explain that anthropomorphic animals are not the same as normal animals because there might've been people within earshot who don't know that I'm a furry.
Later, they were showing me some art of a fox and I said "that's so cute! I love it!" They looked me in the eye and said "why do you have to ruin everything?"
Like, I don't understand. They seem to be so woke about everything, yet mindlessly conforms to the stigma society has assigned to furries.
If you've read up to this point, you probably understand the furry fandom and know that it's completely different than being a zoophile. But I really need to just say why they're different.
Furries like anthropomorphic animals, which are more like humans with animalistic characteristics. In most cases, anthro characters function and look almost exactly like humans.
Zoophiles, on the other hand, like animals. They like the poor innocent animals which cannot consent and don't function or look similar to humans at all and should never be sexualized by humans.
Here are some photos that show the differences between normal animals and anthropomorphic characters.
Additionally, my fursona is not something I want to do nsfw stuff with. It's something like an alter-ego to me. It's the idealized version of who I wish I was and who I want to be.
My understanding of being a furry is much more wholesome than what the mass media pushes in people's faces.
I'm not saying all furries are innocent, though.
There is a small percentage of people who happen to be zoophiles and furries, but they're far and few between and people get caught up with generalizations just because of a few bad apples.
There is a spectrum. I'm on the top left of this one, and most furries identify more with the left and middle.