We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Sunday, November 13, 2022

What are "Furries" and "Fursonas?" (Autoethnographies on Relationships)



Furries and Fursonas

by R.E. Slater
November 13, 2022

Recently the subject of "Furry" trans-people as arisen in Christian circles - although I'm sure I'm the last one to have heard of this social event, my engagement was less-than-satisfactory with fellow Christians who were running on high red-alert in their own wild mis-assessments on this same issue.

So, I'd like to state for the record my own non-professional Christian perspectives on this hot button issue that many are blowing up out-of-proportion to what they think is there.


A Public Over-Reaction

Yes, in some very small or rare instances within the trans community there are a few overt personal behaviors being observed who are calling themselves "furries"  as acts of healthy, self-healing with other similar souls - some of whom may be a trans-person, and some of whom may be deeply conflicted beyond the mere misunderstanding by the general public of what gender "lostness" can mean to those conflicted in their souls who sometimes portray themselves through a custome instead of by some other means like "drag-dressing styles."

Further, my comments here will be to approach this subject as more than an anime type "fan in a furry suit" or in "steampunk" or "medieval" or even as "civil war" re-enactors. I wish to approach the subject of "trans-furries" from more of a psychological / sociological viewpoint. But be aware that this may only apply to those rare few within the furry community (whether trans- or not) by which my sentiments might be helpfully applied to the more general "furry" population who are healthily normal and seeking fellowship not unlike other like-souled individuals when dressing up a movie re-enactors or the more common sports fans we observe on weekends.


What is Gender Lostness?
 
Transgenders are caught in a no man's land re sexual identity. One way to understand this community in their conflicts for personal identity has been through a very small trend where some few are exploring gender identity by "wearing" gender neutral personas which may provide emotional, mental, or even soul neutrality.

Rather than condemning these "persona-actors" as sin and evil consider these social behaviors as perhaps showing a form of emotional instability via aberrant social behavior whereby a "fursona" might sort out conflicted states of conformity within a gender safe, neutral environment while searching out more deeply held feelings of one's inner self.

Secondly, to those of us on the outside of a trans-gender's inner psycho-social conflicts, we may rightly feel distraught, unnerved, or adverse to any personal or public confrontations with "trans-explorers" as they confront our own personal senses of psycho-social behaviors and self-identity in public displays of decoherence.

My suggestion to you is to go with the flow with as little judgment or confrontation as possible. Your conflict, if externalized to a trans undergoing self-questioning, most likely won't help them - though it will very often provide to them their own justified feelings of self-conflict which they seek to "trans-cend". More likely you will be causing greater self-confirmation to an already dissettled persona in deep conflict with deeply turbulent life feelings and experiences in self-projected, or anticipated, environments of rejection by our many reactionary forms.

Therefore, it is critically important for us - as a non-trans, gender-confirming society - to accept and assist conflicted souls during their times of exploration... not to be judgmental, brutal, bullying, or harmful.


Final Words

To my Christian brothers and sisters, many of us live within our sheltered thoughts of a socio-religious gender conformity which grants an extremely low tolerance for other-difference. Especially when confronting socio-behavioral aberrancy. However, be the one individual in your community to show compassion and consideration to transgender souls who are actively choosing neither a male or female persona.... And remember, these personas are highly different than a bi-sexual's personal perception of themselves.

Finally, the world holds a lot of brokenness to the harms it has brought upon itself over the ages of socio-religious and political civilization development in community with one another. Every living person struggles with something within themselves, their home, their family, their friends and cohorts. There is no "perfect" Eden out there. Racism, hate, bullying, et al, has created wave upon wave of evil in this world. Try not to add to our common social experiences of rejection and brutality. None of us is God. Nor does God need to be "defended" by you, your church, or your beliefs. What God really needs is our responses to love. It is the most highly desired quality in a world of everywhere brokenness. Be love to one another. Be a safe space for healing. Be unlike ourselves and become scented balms of reciprocating fellowships of loving engagement, embrace, and energy.

Blessings,

R.E. Slater
November 13, 2022

* * * * * * *

The use of a "fursona" to explore gender is useful in many ways, including being risk-free in terms of internal discomfort as well as externally. These findings may be significant for people who are looking for a safe way to explore their relationship with their gender.

USI 2020 Honors Symposium - Gender Identity and Fursonas

"A Furry Friend: An Autoethnography on the Relationship
Between Gender Identity and Fursonas."


Abstract

Transgender people identify as a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth, whether this is male, female, or something else entirely. Furries are people who have an interest in anthropomorphic animals, and many have a “fursona”, or an animal representation of the self. Furries often use fursonas to reflect a sexual or gender identity. LGBT+ people are a majority in the furry fandom, and there are more transgender people than in the general population [of self-identified fursonas].

Given that transgender people are more common in the furry community, research looking into the relationship between gender development and furry identity could yield interesting insights. The following project is an autoethnography done by a trans man who is a furry. His previous and current fursonas were dated and redrawn. Then, these "fursonas" were analyzed based on appearance and the author’s life events at the time, with a focus on his relationship to his gender. The analysis indicates that, not only did his fursonas change with his gender, but that the fursonas themselves were used as a tool for gender exploration. The use of a fursona to explore gender was useful in many ways, including it being risk-free in terms of internal discomfort as well as externally. These findings may be significant for people who are looking for a safe way to explore their relationship with their gender.

https://www.furaffinity.net/view/8556190/


My fursonas over time
By Sizz, posted 10 years ago Art Whore