At what age do furries start to be furries?
We can be confident that furry must have its genesis in environment, not genetics, because furry is a modern phenomenon. It’s probably fair to guess that exposure to some aspect of culture during childhood is important, likely cartoon animals. Furry might well come about during adolescence, in transition from childhood to adulthood, as an artefact of certain childhood experiences.
This places furry as something which is first experienced, from a personal point of view, as a young teenager. This is the time we start high school, and learn about the social horrors that can lurk within if you don’t “fit in”. Furry would count, in most high school social hierarchies, as a Bad Thing, and therefore probably as something that requires management or concealment.
This makes furry a “concealable stigma”, a phrase sometimes applied to the condition of being LGBT. Someone with a concealable stigma has a different social experience: they learn to be careful about disclosure unless they are confident in the reaction they will receive. Someone with a concealable stigma may tend to be socially withdrawn, and simultaneously closely attuned to the reactions of others. These coping mechanisms can have a significant impact on decisions in adult life, including career choices.
Continue reading The Furry Identity & Career Choice