Coming Forward

Content Warning

Content Warning

Some background: In high school I was incredibly closeted at school and mostly among friends. However, I had my own computer, was very savvy back then, and my only real way to be queer then was on the internet. I had gotten a long distance boyfriend, and while we were free to do whatever roleplay that we did online, in the real world, we were strictly monogamous.

In some of those places online, while they were declared 18+, there was no hard age verification, and it was easy enough to get in. Naive me thought I could get away with it based on my writing ability, but inevitably someone here or there would catch on. Young me was desperate to not lose the limited queer connections I had, regardless if I shouldn’t have been making those particular ones: I was heavily isolated. One such individual found out my actual age, but various adult roleplay did not stop. Also throughout this, we would talk OOC, out of character, about my actual high school life.

Eventually I get to college in the midwest! Through the existing network I’m made aware of a furry meet, figure out transportation, and in the process meet Xanni, Alkali, and many others the first time! It was the first time I got to “be queer” and be myself. This individual that I had known online was also able to make it to these events, and at one a few of them, we meet up.

He was 6 years older than me, and much like everyone, much taller than me. It was very awkward meeting someone in person where I had very adult and personal conversations with. People were very affectionate at these meets, and this bigger guy would hug me. Now, he knew of my status with the long distance boyfriend and our monogamy, but he started suggesting various sexual/kinky things to do. I didn’t understand why it was being said, I thought he knew the rules, and I was right there being hugged. Pulling away wasn’t really an option.

I was very, very, very shy, and I can only imagine his “mission” was to break me out of my shell. He’d take it upon himself to share things I had only ever told him in secrecy to other people in his group at the meets, just to prove “see? nobody cares!” even when I explicitly didn’t want things shared. A favorite of his was always saying he was going tell people I still sometimes had accidents at night, or how that was handled, etc. I was mortified every time, and would shrink instead of protest.

After one meet, a group of us ended up back at Xanni’s condo, including this individual, just hanging out, shooting the shit, etc. Eventually we’re all laying on the floor, dawn is not far off, people are in and out of sleep. There’s some casual cuddling going on, but not much. This individual starts rubbing my lower leg, and whatever, that’s fine. But then his hand keeps going up and up, until it’s reaching into my open shorts leg and he’s groping me. I reach out, grab his wrist, give a glare, and throw his hand away. Xanni saw it. Others there saw it.

I don’t understand why that happened. He knew the rules. This was in front of people, and that’s what happened. Around this time I was maybe 125lbs, and didn’t have a track record of successfully defending myself physically. What would have happened if we were alone? He had height and weight on me.

The group disperses to sleep, and this guy has the gall to still ask me to cuddle. I didn’t really sleep that night.

After that was basically no contact on my part: I was more than happy to ignore his existence until the end of time. That was working just fine until he met an untimely end in a motorcycle accident, and I got to learn just how “beloved” this guy is in the fandom. A couple of times I suggested that maybe he wasn’t such a saint, and I was met with “how dare you say such a thing” attitudes. Ever since, I generally just leave a room if I have to hear stories of how good he was, how missed he is.

I fully understand that what happened to me could absolutely have been worse. In a way that’s the focus of my terror: how perversely lucky I was, and now I must always be on the lookout, because next time I won’t be. This also wasn’t the only incident like that I’ve dealt with in my life.

Why say something now? Maybe I’m not the only one, and someone else might not feel as alone as I have. I’ve been carying this with me for almost half my life. I just helped run a convention again, and every time I have to review an incident, I’m reminded crystal clear every time something like that has happened to me, and I just… say nothing. Maybe saying something will help me get over it, I don’t know.

Fuck you Furp.