Lately, I've been seeing this a lot on quite a few Furry forums and message boards. The questions being along the lines of "How do I come out as a Furry?", and "Should I tell my parents?" These threads run on for post after post, page after page. This is not something new, as this subject has come up repeatedly, over years now.
It is understandable why this subject would keep coming up. The Furry Fandom had received quite a bit of adverse publicity during the late 1990s -- the early 2000s. This trend didn't end within the mass media until after 2003. There are still quite a few Furs who remember some of that: a certain episode of CSI, or ER. Various articles appearing in magazines and local newspapers. A couple of high profile incidents of Furries behaving badly. If the affiliate has not actually seen the shows and articles, there is a good chance that they have heard all about them from those who did.
For the younger Furs, it is also understandable. Teens, especially, want to hide aspects of their personal lives from their parents. This is a normal part of growing up. There is also a certain fear that they can not share with their parents that they like X because their parents will think X is stupid. Nothing new here either, and you aren't the only ones. It is also natural for the older folks to think that their kids are going to Hell in a hand cart. Go to this website: Baby Boom Headquarters. Take a look around; notice how this Chicowitz character sounds just like your father. Then remind yourself that these "Boomers" came of age during those wild, freaky, rollicking 1960s These were the same ones going around back in those days telling everyone: "Never trust anyone over thirty". These were the ones who spent more on faded, tattered jeans than new ones would have cost, who wore "love beads", grew their hair down to their asses, "tuned in, turned on, and dropped out" -- all to piss off Mom and Dad. (Check out some You Tube vids of 1960s antiwar protests: see for yourself if the whole point was to end the Vietnam war, or to piss off the older folks. I think the latter was more important, but decide for yourself.)
Who were their parents (you know, the ones over thirty you weren't supposed to trust)? We refer to them as the "Greatest Generation". What were they doing? Listening to that "Music of Satan": jazz -- with its savage beats and wailing saxes designed for none other than to drag the youth of the 1920s down to the flaming pits of everlasting Hell. What were their parents doing? Listening to Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley while dressing immodestly in Bloomers during the so-called "Gay '90s" (1890s, that is). Today's squarest of squares were yesterday's daring rebels. It has ever been thus.
Now, don't misunderstand: I'm not saying you need to be a hero and fall on your sword. If you have reasons to keep your fandom affiliation under wraps, no one's going to blame you for that. Besides, there are people in your life who need to know, and those who don't. You know who they are.
What I am saying is that, for the most part, too many Furs make way too big of a deal over this, and all that angsting over being "outed" just ain't worth it. Furry is a hobby, like any other hobby. If you don't make a big deal of it, then neither will they. Always remember: those who know you best already know what you're like. If they find out you're Furry, that won't change anything. If they know you well enough, then they've probably already guessed. Or, at least, now they will know what to call your interests.
There is no such thing as the "Furry Closet". No more than a Stamp Collector "closet", a Coin Collector "closet", etc.
NBD: No Big Deal