What is your experience with negativity toward the fandom and your impression of those who perpetuate it?
I remember, one of my classmates sent me that video where some soldiers went to a park full of furries and started shooting them up, and I was kinda shocked that this kind of thing was out in the open. A lot of things people target to furries wouldn't be acceptable to target to literally any other group, regardless of context. Why is shooting, discriminating against, and literally forming 'anti-' groups against any community a joke to make? It's like people find this little niche where people don't know enough about furries themselves, and thus anything can be said about harming them without a particularly negative reaction from others, unlike if it were a race or something else. I'm still not sure what it is they want, however, but I'm pretty certain it's just attention-seeking or disguised homophobia, and not much else.
People say, "If you're only focussing on your fursona, that's stopping you from becoming yourself in real life". Yet somehow that's just not the point. Ten out of ten furries I know changed monumentally irl because of becoming a furry, and I'm one of them. It's like what we do in the fandom helps awkward or different people find a way to express themselves, and loosen up a lot to the world around them. The skeptics are right in a way, though, because bringing furry stuff from online and your own mind into real life can change things a lot, and make people judge you. For example, when they found out, my best friend was like, "The art is okay, but I won't be able to stand if you get a suit", which is annoying because only a very small amount of furries have suits anyway. With such a large amount of people, any group of people really, people get preconceptions, which can't really be avoided, and in that way I'm kinda more comfortable when people say "anthropomorphic" rather than "furry" when it comes to my work, since it's a diffucult situation to have to ward off the judgement, no matter how well you could hypothetically do so. Some people seem to think that furry is a demeaning word now, just like some people would say about feminism, or when people joke sarcastically about being gay, and it is kinda sad to see trolling and negativity both within and without turn groups and constructive labels against themselves.