I am a teenage furry and I am dating a boy who isn't a furry and who doesn't know that I am one. I am worried that if I tell him he'll leave me and I really like him. I want advice on how to tell him, and if he rejects me, how to deal with it. Thank you!
Received via email (name withheld)
Thanks much for your question; it's one many furries struggle with when they try dating outside of the fandom, particularly if the fandom is a particularly big part of their lives.
Unfortunately, there is no magical way to make someone who hates furries suddenly be okay with them, but if your boyfriend only has mildly negative preconceptions about furries based on rumors he has heard, it's certainly possible you could convince him that furries are not so bad after all. It is also possible your boyfriend doesn't mind furries, or that he thinks they're awesome. You really won't know until you ask, but how do you do that without making yourself incredibly vulnerable to rejection? The way that I recommend is as follows:
First, share a YouTube video with your boyfriend that explains what the fandom is in a fairly broad and non-judgemental way. A close friend of mine made a video explaining the fandom and furry culture last year, and his video would be an excellent choice to send your boyfriend's way. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys8FPOCnY4I.
When sharing the video, you can say something that suggests you are at at least not anti-furry, but don't stick your neck out and come right out with saying that you are one until after you see how your boyfriend reacts. You might say "I found this video interesting, what do you think of it?" or "Have you ever thought very much about the furry fandom?"
If your boyfriend gives you a neutral or positive response, you can then tell him you're furry. If not, then you might choose not to say anything right away, but that also means you might not be compatible over the long term, if furry is a very important part of your life.
No matter how much you like someone, they always have the right to reject you and look elsewhere if there is something about you that they really don't like, and being a furry is no different than anything else. It always sucks to be rejected, but it is part of the dating process, and everyone gets rejected sometimes, so try not to take it too personally if it happens, and remember that your sadness over being rejected will pass; you will keep meeting new people, and eventually you will meet someone who likes you for exactly who you are, furry or not.
If you'd like some additional resources on handling breakups and rejection, you can check out some of our past podcast episodes, including this one on taking care of yourself emotionally during a breakup, this one on being single and happy, and this one on breakups in general.
Hope that helps! If you or any other readers have any additional questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or to make use of our contact page.