The time has come for me to say goodbye to the furry fandom. I will do my best to keep this post short but as these things tend to go I know I will probably leave many questions unanswered. Throughout the past several years I’ve grown as a person and the man I am today is not the wayward boy I was over a decade ago. This has been very difficult to demonstrate and I’ve realized the best way to do so is to make peace with matters and move on.
I joined this community at the end of 2007 as a sexually confused outcast. At the age of 19 and fresh out of remediation counseling I was the textbook definition of the perfect mark. I needed a place where I felt like I belonged and was waylaid by strangers welcoming me with open arms eager to tell me my weird feelings toward dinosaurs were completely normal. I made some very poor choices regarding the company I kept, the things I believed, and the situations I allowed myself to get caught up in. My actions from these first few years aren’t who I am nor are they what I wish to be remembered for. I screwed up, plain and simple; I was groomed and taken advantage of and I wasn’t even aware of what had happened until many years had passed.
I look back at my early fandom time and work with disgust and the anxiety associated with these feelings haunt me to this day. I did not understand the gravity of things like the labels I carelessly identified with and the search terms/tags I used to describe my early works. Writing those first few stories was a mistake. Involving myself with Herpy was a mistake.* Listening to the opinions of people who were okay with these things and allowing them to encourage me further was a mistake. Unhooking myself from this initial mindset has taken years of work and remains an ongoing process. Over the course of the past decade I’ve been diagnosed with (and am receiving treatment for) a number of emotional and psychological disorders; I bring this up not in an effort to handwave matters away but to help illustrate a better frame of reference for the extent of how dire a situation I’ve worked through and how easy it was for me to stumble into that pit in the first place.
The feedback loop of collective encouragement from the fandom hooked me hard; gestures such as being invited out to conventions due to my perceived popularity only served to bury me deeper and prevent me from seeing the bad track I was on. I was star struck, completely oblivious to the fact that I was only a “somebody” because I was providing spank material to people with twisted morals. When I eventually became privy to what was really happening I allowed myself to continue to be strung along because I was too afraid to talk about my situation to an outside party out of fears of ostracization and even the involvement of law enforcement. (As absurd as it sounds I was scared that writing erotic stories about humans and dinosaurs was somehow illegal.) I didn’t have the courage to stand up for myself and say “no”, there were (and to this day still are) people in the fandom whom I was terrified of angering and I allowed these fears to influence my choices; I would placate those who intimidated me because I was afraid of what they might do otherwise. I stupidly fell for the platitudes I was being fed using the reasoning “these people are my friends”. Obviously, they weren’t.
“I’m sorry” doesn’t even begin to tackle the tip of the iceberg regarding how I feel, but it’s a good place to start. I truly am sorry; I may have been a bad influence for Lord knows how many people because others were a bad influence on me. I was a useful idiot at best and a patsy at worst. To be completely sincere I was just some embarrassing teenage weirdo who really liked dinosaurs; the validation, however misplaced and inappropriate, was intoxicating. It ruined me. All of the stories and sketches were just a fantasy for me and it became an issue when I realized the company I kept was rotten and it was starting to rub off on me. At the end of 2011 I began the process of breaking away and in the time that has passed I’ve formed healthier relationships based upon interests that aren’t completely centered around sex. The difference this has made in my life is like night and day; I am a better person because of it and I just wish that when I was 19 I had the support network I have today.
Despite this, I will always cherish the genuine moments I had with people from this fandom. Many of you brought me up during periods where I felt I was at the end of everything. I am thankful that those who truly cared about my well being stepped up to intervene and get me out. With the help of close friends and therapists I came to realize that a community so heavily sexualized and openly perverse was the last possible place I should have been when I was at my most vulnerable. In the years that followed (2012-2017) I remained loosely in the fandom and made an effort to present myself as a better role model but in the end I feel this departure is the best decision. Over the past few years it has come to light that many of the people I once looked up to turned out to be genuinely terrible people. These realizations only reaffirm that I’d made the right decision cutting them out of my life long ago and moving on.
Our journeys deviate here. It has taken many false starts and years of encouragement to reach this point but I am finally ready to reclaim my life. Before I lost sight of myself I was an entertainer. I performed on stage. I sang. I danced. This mess that I got sucked into, the mess responsible for the letter you are reading right now, isn’t me. It never was. “Dracokon” is the biggest screw-up I’ve made in my 30+ years of life and everything that name represents to me is dead. The remnants of this era are a mark I will wear for the rest of my life and the emotional trauma that it has caused me is immeasurable. I have absolutely no desire to participate in furry fandom matters anymore and I do not wish to be roped back into them. I am beyond done with this awful period of my life. I’ve severed ties unanimously and deleted everything. I want to be left alone. My only request is that you respect this decision.
Please allow me to have the life I very nearly lost.
(*This is a massive understatement but if I were to itemize out my feelings regarding Herpy this letter would be twenty pages long. Just know that I’ve long understood it was a huge mistake to accept the admin role and taking five years to divest myself of it doesn’t shine a positive light in my direction. I remained there out of the aforementioned fear and obligation; I had no exit strategy until the site finally died. I see no value in trying to defend Herpy or to “correct the record” because it is indefensible to me. I tried to run a clean shop but the mere existence of the website itself was abhorrent and NOTHING good came from anyone’s involvement. What people think of Herpy doesn’t matter anymore because chances are I actually agree with you now; it was a bad website with a lot of shady and immoral connections, many of which I didn’t learn of until after the site was dead, and I wish I never registered there because it would’ve prevented almost everything that haunts me today from happening.)