Forum Posts

Beastly Drohan
Dec 23, 2021
In The Depths
I don't know about you guys...but I had a great 2021. And I write that with no sense of cynicism, sarcasm, anger, or even resentment. To me, no year has never been perfect as we often tend to see it all through a global scale and often neglect the personal, smaller side of things that contribute to our life stories. Yes, 2020 reigns as one of the worst because it was a year that forced us to become one as we saw our inept leaders struggle to control a dangerous pandemic because of political biases, we saw a rise in hate crimes towards marginalized communities, and overall, it made us all see how vulnerable we truly are in the end despite being a highly functional, privileged society. And yet as the smoke begins to clear on the fire that was 2020 into 2021, we still had many fires raging on a social and global level; the pandemic was still going around thanks to variants emerging due to the slow adoption rate of vaccines in some countries, hate crimes were still prevalent, and political tensions were more than prevalent (especially in January 6th). But despite that, there was a sense of bittersweet health recovery in that many of the things we took for granted slowly came back, despite restrictions. There were improvements all around the world, and many just felt some sort of relief after 2020. But you wouldn't know that if you were to just stay at home, watch the news 24/7, and read social media as they all paint a sort of "End of Times" mindset that at times comes off as fear mongering for the sake of clicks, ratings, and viewership. After all, it has been proven than in 2020 many companies and media outlets made record-breaking profit numbers because if they could keep an audience locked inside and make them watch your content, they will become accustomed to the mindset it presents. I like to reflect on the year through my own personal lens; yes, I still keep in mind all the good and bad that happened and what kind of impact it has had on me and my fellow human beings. But to relegate all of MY life to everything that happened globally and ignore all the good and bad that happened to my own world is to neglect the growth I had gained. There were many great things that happened to me in 2021 in spite of what has happened globally...and in spite of the major loss that happened to me in late summer. In 2021, I was able to discover new friends as well as re-connect with older ones once restrictions began to lift, entertainment wise I discovered a lot of new stories and characters to love, such as Arlo the Alligator Boy, the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Long the Wish Dragon and many more. I saw a nostalgic comfort character make a grand entrance to Super Smash Bros Ultimate in Sora from Kingdom Hearts, and career wise I have been able to maintain a healthy set of hours with new opportunities of career growth being given to me by the end of the year which I am more than proud of. If we are speaking furry, the return of conventions, specifically Megaplex 2021, made it for a grand homecoming where I could unleash all the pent-up energy and have fun with my fellow fuzzbutts. This leads to one of my own biggest personal tragedies of 2021; the death of my father due to COVID. Both of my parents being in the hospital due to COVID and not knowing what their fates would be was something that shattered my heart and soul, and while mom was able to recover and return home...dad never came back. Prior to his passing, I had suffered so much sleepless nights, so much stress and anxiety, and so much loneliness that I gave up on me and just wanted to end it all. His passing and my grief was a very complex, layered one that I had to take steps in surpassing as best as I could because once my father was cremated and mom was being treated for post-COVID...life had to go on. That's one very bittersweet thing about life; it continues even when you are hurt. You have to put on a brave face and continue living. I understood this reality and took great strengths in taking grieving counseling and therapy to slowly and eventually accept the death of my father. And even with that tragedy being a significant part of my year, it showed me how amazingly kind people can be. One would be led to believe that people have stopped all sense of compassion to pursue selfish needs, but I saw this year how people came to our aid when we most needed them as the cost of cremating my father and staying afloat as I returned to work made it hard to adapt. People without asking any questions helped me afford rent, pay the cremation bills, get mom her medication, and have food to eat. I was moved as I saw that people saw in me a heart worth loving and caring for and assured me that even in some decided to turn my loss into their own personal show many just showed their compassion. Outside of my own life, I saw many people live their best lives; many bought homes, started families, got engaged, got married, saw new career opportunities rightfully be given to them, re-connected with old friends and family, and most importantly, used what they had learned in 2020 to become a better member of society beyond just performative activism. These are things still worth celebrating because once more in a less than ideal social climate people still saw the opportunity to grow, be happy, and celebrate life. But once again, you would be led to think otherwise if all you do is watch the news or just stay on social media. It's ironic how now more than ever we live in an age where we are the most connected and have so many sources of information it has become such an echo chamber where similar ideas were only welcomed and rooms for discussions nearly became a thing of the past. You would think that this new sense of broad scopes would help people understand that life is not black and white and that the only way we can survive, and grow is to listen and get to know each other. But instead it kinda has created self-contained bubbles that want you to think like them, have the same opinions, the same thoughts or otherwise suffer widespread "cancellation" and face the "outrage" of people. That's why I decided to ignore all of that and judge my year through my own lens; seeing the triumphs both big and small, see the tragedies that went on to help understand the complexities of society, and learn from the tragedies I faced to help me path my own future. It's honestly easier said than done because on a personal level some people can't surpass their own tragedies, and some will see the whole state of the world as a litmus-test of their own self-worth. But it can be done because no matter what happens, life goes on and on, and you either got to pick yourself up when down, or stay forever down.
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Beastly Drohan
Sep 13, 2021
In The Depths
On September 10, 2021, as the sun began to rise, the sun was setting on my father, Pedro Juan Hernandez Colon, as his battle with COVID-19 had ended with him leaving in peace. By that time, my family and I had accepted his fate and would no try to go against it and agreed to let the nurses and doctor let him go peacefully. Prior to this, though, I went through one of the worst existential and emotional meltdowns yet, one caused by inconsistent information overload, constant isolation, uncertainty and a lot more. Both my mother and father were sent to the hospital due to being infected by COVID-19. Now I want to make this clear statement; I am not going to turn this into some sort of "SEE WHY THE VACCINES AND MASK ARE IMPORTANT?' because I feel it's neither here nor there. Yes, I know some get morbid joy out of watching anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers get their comeuppance and want to say "THEY HAD IT COMING", but I came at a point where trying to argue the effectiveness of the vaccine would be tone deaf as all of us just wanted to be home together and recover. Well, that was my naive mindset at first. Mom had been more than staple and recovering, and because she was in a regular hospital room, I could talk to her and stay updated. She was alert despite everything so at least one worry was lifted. My father, however, was a much different story. He was a man that had almost every illness known to man; from cancer to diabetes, to bad kidneys, heart attacks and strokes. This is why the argument for vaccines was almost moot as his body was already way too weak to handle even basic treatment. So even if he looked like he would be recovering just like mom was, on a Sunday morning I was disrupted by my sister desperately banging on the door, and I half asleep went and saw her while she yelled "CALL MOM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, DIED GOT WORSE OVERNIGHT, HE'S ON A VENTILATOR!", and then just ran off, while I ran to call mom to confirm it, and yes, he was put on a ventilator as his oxygen levels dropped severely overnight. This is where the game of telephone as I like to call it began, both literally and metaphorically. You see, I am someone that likes to sleep with his turn off because I don't want any obnoxious alerts or spam calls from telemarketers to disrupt the sleep I can get. But this was a medical situation and because I was the only one in the family that was both readily available AND spoke fluent English, I had no choice but to keep it on. Thus began a series of painful, annoying, depressing and ultimately heartrending calls that lasted for WEEKS. When I say that this started the game of telephone, what I mean is that every day I would get a call from a different nurse or doctor taking care of dad in the Intensive Care Unit, thus giving me their take on how his condition was from day to day...or even hours to hours. It was like if ten of my closest friends went to see the same movie over the weekend and they all told me what they thought of it and the opinions are WILDLY varied, but none exactly painted a clear picture of what I would expect from it. Some would say "OH HE'S DOING GREAT HE OPENED HIS EYES HE'S REACTING WELL TO MEDICATION" to "HE HAS NO LUNGS THE RONA ATE HIM ALIVE GET THE FUNERAL HOME READY!". This game of telephone drove my anxiety and emotions to their maximum level as being calm knowing he was fine one minute to then getting a call the same day to tell me that he was dying was like they intentionally grabbed my heart and pulled it in ALL directions to see how quickly they would break me. And break me they did...Boy, they broke me something fierce. Let me tell you, I have had my fair share of heartrending moments where I have been told that I was useless and worthless to threats towards my family and all, things that would send someone over the edge. But this, it was a group effort but they did it. On the eve of my father's passing I was disturbed YET AGAIN by calls, this time saying that dad was dying...right after mom's doctor had seen him at the ICU and said that he was more than fine and recovering. I couldn't handle it anymore as I felt like everyone was trying to force an opinion of a reality that was not what was happening. Thus, not only did I go through all the several stages of grief, I went through some other ones like imposter syndrome to survivor's guilt. For you see, I believed that this was some form of punishment for being selfish, that all the good things people said about me were lies as I was nothing but a worthless scam that just existed to make everyone else's lives worse. I believed I was a waste of oxygen, and that the one that should have been lying in bed dying with machines on me was me, not my father or my mother. I was constantly crying, having trouble breathing, could not eat, was short of vomiting and many other things. It may have been a legit Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode as some friends would describe it. It was hard to believe in anything as I felt nothing had value, everything was a lie, including my own life. But why did I drop that low? Was it a genuine thought that came out during a very dark moment that allowed it to over my heart, mind and soul, or was it a physical reaction to weeks worth of emotional stress caused by the uncertainty and misinformation by everyone? The answer would be a combination of both; yes, it WAS hard to believe in anything because I was given so many opinions, diagnosis and ideas that it confused my mind into a state of disbelief, but also my mind had been put through the ringer allow it to release my inner emotional demons. On that night, I was able to recover thanks to the wisdom of an old dear friend of mine, and had calmed down and began to accept the fact that dad would pass away. But then we got another call; but this time it was different. It was a female doctor, she formally introduced herself, explained what her role was and gave me the actual story; dad was indeed dying and had very few breaths left in him. She calmly told me all of that not in a cynical, cold manner but in a manner that understood that I was being told something lifechanging. In other words; she treated me like a human being. As she said that the weight of reality started to set in, and asked me if should his heart stop should they perform CPR or let him go in peace. I talked to my mother and sister, and we all nodded in agreement to let him go in peace as he had suffered long enough, not just from COVID. As the sun was rising on September 10, the sun had finally set on my father. It was a new reality that I now has to face and accept. Not only that, I had to take on a new role; be the representative that arranged the cremation services as well as my mother's confidant and own personal assistant during her recovery and in handling information, calls from friends and family and such. This began a new chapter in my life where the thing I feared most as a child was my reality as an adult, and it was both a humbling and empowering experience as well as equally tiring and stressful. But the more I did it, the more at peace I felt, and the more I talked to my friends about the great memories of my dad, the happier I felt. I had reached full catharsis by this point. It's amazing how all it takes is what was likely a PTSD meltdown to make you realize how wrong you are about yourself and how strong and lucky you are. Will I have scars from this experience that I will have to address at some point? Most likely, but I learned so much from this, making me realize that sometimes life will force you to lead, even if you don't want to, and it can be a rewarding thing on its own right. I also came to this realization; no matter what I would have done, if it was going to happen, it was going to happen. We pretend to think that we have a lot of control of our lives and the lives of others, but even the best laid out plans can lead to failure and while many people would try to find someone to blame, themselves included, sometimes circumstances can say otherwise. We all wish we could all live in a film in which if we were to experience failure, we could find a way to fix it. If the Avengers had lost the first time to Thanos and they saw half of the world snap away, they figured out a complicated way to use time travel to find a way to reverse what Thanos had done. In the film, they did it. But even when they did it, they still had to lose the lives of many beloved people, thus confirming that death is certain and for a life to live, sometimes one has to set. Morbid, I know, but my father has passed away. No amount of crying, praying, anger and resentment is going to bring him back. Even if I could go back in time to alert my future self of what would happen, chances are fate would still intervene to have the outcome be different but with the same results. In this mindset, one may think that I am being cynical. But on the contrary; I am offering the most uplifting and optimistic way to cope with a major loss in my life, all things considered. I believe that I will have episodes in which I will be hit by grief and some intrusive thoughts may come in at the worst time. But feeling sorry for myself, feeling angry, or resentful can't change anything, so the best thing to do is...live my best life. My father lived his life, I was part of it. Now that his life has ended, it's my time to keep living my life. Even with this loss I feel these has been the best years of my life, being able to find friends that love and accept me for who I am, love my eccentricity, and discover sides of myself that were hidden or were newly discovered. I am thankful that dad was able to be part of it and eventually came to love me for who I was rather than feel disappointed that I was not the "ideal son" he sometimes would bemoan in his younger years. My words, of course, don't reflect everyone's own journeys in life as many either just pretend it never happened or instead be ridden by grief till the end of their days, and that's something to respect as the least I want is to be like those doctors and nurses who kept calling me to try and dictate how I should react to whatever was going on with that. But sometimes the pain numbs, especially if you let it numb.
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Beastly Drohan
Jun 30, 2021
In The Depths
Furry Drama...OK, you know what? No, I will take away the furry part now. DRAMA is often artificial outrage created by people to make sure there is a good enough level of attention and audience engagement that keeps them coming back for more. The best example of this is reality TV. It's almost common sense that reality TV, whether it be a competition show or a "THESE STRANGERS ARE DOING THESE THINGS IN A STRANGE WAY WHAT WACKY HIJINXS WILL ENSURE?" type, is often manufactured to create narratives out of the plight and insecurities of every day people and make them either the hero or the villain depending on what engagement the audience is getting out of it. The good thing though is that with the accessibility of the internet creating platforms we can share our thoughts on, people have made it so that they can examine and study how these moments of artificial drama can have real life consequences and effects beyond a screen. And thus with enough pressure many are forced to change things up to make it more transparent about their intentions and strive for a better experience that doesn't compromise the integrity of those involved. What about "furry" drama, though? Why aren't there people examining how drama on social media really is artificial and often created by someone seeking to create a narrative that gets people fuming at the mouth and engaging in the worst manner possible? Turns out there is... Kabba the Fox explains it better than I could, using the oh so controversial topic of poodling as an example. The video, though, was made in January of 2020, mere months before the world seemingly started to burn and suddenly people had to take that anger and vent it elsewhere. Soon the blatant need for attention turned into an attempt to be more radical, more righteous and more in tune with what was going on in the world. A lot of good came out of this as furries were in a way forced to see that behind the rainbow colored fursuits there were real people with real problems that compromised their safety in the fandom. But the bad is that suddenly people came out of the woodwork to start drama for their benefit disguised as a way to alert the fandom. The short version of it is that often these moments of dramas are really just passive aggressive attacks at people who they don't like so they will find something from their past that is decades long and bring it to light so that everyone can see how horrible they are. Or someone makes a hot take about popular furries, trends in the fandom, fursuiters, and the ever so dreaded "FURRY SHOULD NOT BE OPEN ABOUT THE ADULT STUFF!'. All of this comes from a place of wanting to create a narrative in which the poster IS the hero, the subject at hand is the villain and those watching and participating are fanning the flames to create a bonfire where no one ever wins. This is amplified even further by furry YouTubers who spend their time making videos about bad people in the fandom, making current drama even worse by dedicating long videos to it, some reacting to them saying they are part of the problem. Again, ALL of it is because people want to be part of a story in which THEY are right and everyone should agree or go the Hell home! And yet, people wonder...why is there drama in the furry fandom? Truth is that the "furry" drama is really a human condition that we have been taught to make a spectacle out of because we love it, we enjoy seeing others pop-off while others cheer them on. Jerry Springer didn't get famous because he had insightful topics about the human condition, and Maury Povich didn't make a whole legacy out of saying "you are NOT the father" because they wanted to create the best relationship possible; they are all part of a system that will use a "noble" cause to elevate drama to the extend that it becomes a circus without a ringmaster. If you have seen Kabba's video by now, then you know what his conclusion was...there really was no one making elitist, judgmental and harsh comments on poodling as a whole. No one knew where it came from, no one new why it was a hot-button topic...but everyone went along with the narrative because it is easier to follow everyone else than to just stop and question WHY this is going on. Drama is often about fighting a threat that never really existed and some will try to put a face to it so the target becomes easier. I would genuinely love to say that we can escape drama if we just don't engage in it and avoid it, because the truth is that drama is everywhere you look; at work, at school, at home. It's almost human instinct to be upset over nothing just to gain some form of instant validation without the effort it requires to get it. The best we can do is identify it when we see it, don't give them the attention and don't let them drag you down, and most importantly, don't engage when it becomes beneficial for you to do so. It's hard, but not impossible. At the end of the day, this is about your own general sense of judgment and learning to choose your fights. The questions asked before engaging in any drama is "how am I benefitting from all of this? WHY this is a thing that should merit my attention? How will this improve the fandom and my life somehow?" or do what I do...scroll past it, block it if I must and move on. It is not me being compliant with any issue being talked about, it's me having enough mental fortitude to say that my mind and energy are better spent elsewhere than trying to rub someone's ego. And no, this does NOT have anything to do with post about real causes and movements like BLM, Stop Asian Hate, or focusing on criminally charged members of the community. Those two are very different, just that they get tangled in the same web because the end reaction it's the same; a narrative weaved into our lives in hopes that it catches enough people to make the narrative that much more explosive.
"Oh The (Furry) Drama!" content media
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Beastly Drohan
May 26, 2021
In Fuzzy Logic
One thing I adore about the furry fandom is exchanging stories about the inspirations behind our fursonas, whether they be part of a larger narrative in their own self made lore, or they represent something about themselves, their backgrounds, their hobbies and ideals. Fursonas can be a playground for self-expression and imagination to roam free. And yet for some, that playground is highly fenced, and they can't climb to join the others. As I meet more furries, I find fascinating how many of them don't have a fursona, not because they act as if they need one but because they just don't know how to make a fursona. To clarify, no, you don't need to have a sona to be a furry. You don't need to have a million sonas, you can only have the one. You can have a straight forward sona or have one with details and layers to their development. But for those that want one, they don't know exactly how to start. I had this conversation with a fur on Telegram and we tried to make him a fursona. We asked him what animal he liked, he said a fox, but then was not sure on his choice. We asked him what he wanted out of his fox-sona, he said "I just want to not be seen as one of those extra, over the top stereotypical fox furs". This conversation gave me a better vision as to why some struggle to come up with a sona; there is a set of expectations, stereotypes, and the need to be original. Yes, there are many fox and wolf furs in the fandom, but the idea is that you have a sona that represents who YOU are, and if that happens to be a fox or a wolf, treat yourself. Most of the expectations set on some furs when it comes to sonas come from biases about a wider selection of fursonas which I understand as I want to see more takes on different species and be brought to life as art or as a suit. Unique sonas also send to draw so much attention because it is different, and if done well, it's going to attract a lot of attention. Case in point... A suit like LED Raptor is sure to get people talking because it's new, imaginative, tells a story and is hypnotizing. So someone sees this and their first take is to "give up" because they cannot live up to masters of the craft. It creates a sense of disillusionment because they don't know how to make a fursona, much less make an "unique" fursona. The last straw for me regarding this was a video discussing someone nefarious in the fandom where he casually made the comment of "meeting colorful fox furry number 204". That in itself is a micro-aggressive comment that throws people off because if its accepted as the norm, it discourages people from even trying. There was also an old TikTok of a guy complaining that the furry fandom is "SO CREATIVE" yet everyone has the same face and they are a fox. Once more these comments send the message that unless your sona is original is gonna get dunked on. Yes, many of the most famous furries are part of the same species as the most popular species of sonas, and likely many want to imitate that. But many create a sona that represents who they are as people and carry with them a lot of heart and effort. We should not be ones to judge someone's sona just because it's of a species that's very common. Unless it's literal sona theft, it should not be a problem. Until people realize that people will struggle to create a sona because they need to be original to stand out when all you need to do is to just be there and be who you are.
The Duality of Fur...Sonas content media
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Beastly Drohan
May 08, 2021
In The Depths
Art by @Paco PICTURE IT! Summer 2020; yeah, we all wanna forget that summer, the pandemic was still raging, the nation was still divided in a heated political race and across the globe people were marching to stop social injustices. And yet, the odd beauty of life is that even when it seems like everything is going down in flames, some sparks manage to light up fireworks in unexpected ways. One night, I told the story as to why I have such a deep fondness towards Disney Castles, specifically Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World, in Paco Panda's Patreon chat. Paco was so moved by the story that on my birthday, July 17th, he asked me if I could join him and his friends Koidel, Apolo, and Roni in telling the same story on his podcast. I was so moved by the kind gesture that I wanted to immortalize it in a drawing by Paco as a Patreon reward. Last night, I finally got the piece and it was more than I ever hoped for in a picture; it captures the warmth nostalgia of a young Drohan discovering the joys in a toy castle to present day Drohan admiring how far he has come. But what does the picture actually mean? That's where my story comes it. It starts in the brightest of my days; kindergarten. Growing up, I was introduced very early on to a lot of classic films and animated shorts. Some of the first that stuck out in my mind the most were the Disney Animated Classics. I had seen "Alice in Wonderland", "Dumbo", "Robin Hood", "Pinocchio" and more. Despite how varied their stories were, they all had one thing in common; there was a castle ready to start the show with just a few notes of "When You Wish Upon a Star". Even when I was young and not an English speaker, I knew that as soon as I saw the castle, I was in for a treat. This applied to the beloved Disney Afternoon shows and many other Disney stories. Knowing this very well, my parents and I went on an outing to a Sears store (and if you remember what that is congratulations you just aged yourself!). I went through the toy aisle to see what they had, believing that whatever I wanted I would get it. As I traverse through the seemingly endless aisle, I finally see it... a Disney Cinderella Castle playset! I knew right away it was the castle from the Disney films as it had Mickey and Minnie, some generic toy guests and even a trolley! I knew what I had to do then....ask my mom and dad to get it. And their most amazing, incredible answer was a big, fat, resounding NO. My parents were not there to buy me toys, they were there to do their adult stuff. And as any kid at that age would do I accepted their answered and went on with my life...Kidding, I SCREAMED hard because I REALLY wanted that castle. I did not want it later, I did not want it for Christmas or my birthday...the moment was right there and then. I made such a huge show I was dragged kicking and screaming out of the store. This type of reaction is common for any child that age as they have yet to understand that some things are frivolous purchases that can't be made at that time. More importantly, boys would want an action figure, a video game, a huge action playset. Girls would want the prettiest doll, or any boy toy they could not get because "boys have boy toys and girls have girl toys". Me? I just wanted a castle. It was just a fantasy castle that wasn't epic or elaborate. But for me, it represented something that made me genuinely happy. You see, growing up I was a very bullied child, I was a special needs kid in school, I was a very odd kid even in kindergarten. Disney films were my comfort food because even if I didn't understand what they were saying, the stories as told through stunning animation and music managed to touch my heart in a manner that shaped who I would become as a person. A few months later, I forgot all about that toy castle. Funny to thing how I went to screaming bloody murder to just forgetting about it. Time marches on, and now it was time to graduate Kindergarten and start life in elementary school (spoiler alert, not fun times). During the ceremony, our teacher would call us to the stage to grab a present. As my name was called out, I was a very clueless kid having no idea what to do, especially with my parents and other people telling me to look at their cameras left and right and to smile and pose properly. Geez, all of this for just a present photo! With that out of the way, I opened up my big box and it was...THE CASTLE I WANTED TO BADLY BACK AT THE STORE!! I didn't knew it then, but not only was it a dream come true, it set off a narrative that would follow me to this day; everything you want in life is order earned and worked hard for. I had to graduate Kindergarten for me to get that castle. Who knows what type of child would I have become if my parents had just caved in and gave the the toy to shut me up. But my parents did not cave in and instead save the toy for a special occasion. I remember playing with that castle so much, using some of my other toys to pretend that they were invading the castle and I had to protect it! I was the hero in my own little world. Growing up, however, has the tendency to make you forget about those little pleasures as the desire to grow up sets in strongly. I pass through high school as best as I can, by college I began to blossom socially, and most importantly I got my Disney groove back thanks to re-releases of my beloved classics on DVD and Kingdom Hearts on the PlayStation 2. I went back to a Disney kick unlike never before. I began to read Disney theme park blogs on LiveJournal, watch short videos and vlogs (long before there would be such a thing as a Disney Influencer Vlogger like we have now) and soon joined a group of Disney theme parks that would chronicle their theme park outings. Going back to my youth, I knew that these places "existed" because I remember growing up watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" Sunday nights and they would feature specials taken at the Disney parks such as "Walt Disney World's 15th Anniversary" and "Snow White's Golden Anniversary" at Disneyland. But my status as a poor kid to factory worker parents meant one thing; these were impossible trips. In my adult years, however, I gained this sense of desire beyond just watching videos and living through someone else's story, I want to LIVE the moment. Soon, I began to gain friendships with Disney Travel Agents who were more than quick to offer their services. In 2012, I had gotten a job that paid more than decently and I have made a life changing decision; I was going to Walt Disney World to celebrate my 30th birthday and meet my online friends for the first time! A common theme that you may see is that whatever I want is not obtained so easily; not only did I have to work hard to make the trip a reality, in early Spring my father suffered a heart attack that left him in the hospital for almost three months, During this time, I was working, keeping the house intact, managing family matters and paying off my trip. Thing is, if my dad would not leave the hospital or passed away, I would have cancelled it. And of course...he lived! I kept on working so I could gain more money for the trip! Some trips to the other parks later, the date had come; July 17th, 2012, my 30th birthday, If you are a Disney parks fan, you will know that July 17 marks the opening of the Disneyland Resort, on July 17, 1955! Sharing a birthday with one of the biggest icons in American history just gave everything a sense of fulfilled destiny. After meeting with friends, I had decided to get on a Main Street car, and close my eyes, I asked my friends to let me know when I had the perfect shot of the castle. That was going to be the first time in my entire life I was going to see Cinderella Castle. They countdown to one, I open up my eyes and there she was; not a picture, not a video on YouTube, not a broken up TV broadcast, it was the castle I had wanted to see and visit for so long. And once again, I had to work hard and endure obstacles to make this a reality, making the moment that much more significant. A few more trips later, I realized something major; I had to leave Puerto Rico for good. Not because I wanted to be near Disney, or I just wanted a change of scenery but because its social and economic stance was getting worse by the day. Despite me moving to a big city jobs were scarce, and for many Puertoricans moving to the United States was the only option left. I had been convinced that moving to Orlando was the best course of action, but I didn't know it was going to happen to suddenly. Come October 2014, I had packed all my belongings and flew with my mom to Orlando to stay on a motel to start life anew. As expected, I was hired right away to work at a restaurant then a movie theater. That period was some of the hardest I ever worked and the one with the most turmoil as my dad was alone in Puerto Rico, my sister (who was living there) had a major fallout, and mom and I were living in motel rooms while I worked to jobs that would often start in the morning and end late at night. I persevered, though, because I knew that gaining that job experience would help me reach better career goals. I endured workplace harassment, extreme fatigue, deep depression and anxiety that nearly made me quit, but I kept on working hard as I had finally settled in to a new house and my whole family was here. Jump to 2018 and I officially become a Walt Disney World Resort Cast Member! Turns out all those years working hard made for an impressive resume. It was then that last year I would celebrate both my birthday and return from furlough due to the pandemic by buying a Disney Theme Park Castle Playset, thus marking a full circle moment for me. Three decades, three castles, and one dream made real. And in all three, I learned that no dream is ever impossible if you work hard for it. I understand that this phrase may seem cynical and disingenuous in today's world, but for me that WAS the case as I learned that everything worth obtaining in life is worth through hard work and waiting for the right moment. Each of these moments happened at crucial moments in my life that would forever change how I viewed the world, and the castle represents to me just that; how we are all living in our own Cinderella story and we all have a grand scheme to pursue.
Three Decades of Dreams Made Real content media
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Beastly Drohan
Apr 30, 2021
In Fuzzy Logic
Have you ever been browsing through Furry YouTube and seen videos of furs, or heck even normies, reacting to what they deem "Furry Cringe"? Or how about on Furry Social Media where furries post memes that speak ill about the fandom through silly and exaggerated comments such as "furries will pay thousands of dollars for a suit but not pay a few bucks for soap and deodorant" or the ever classic... "ew furry" spoken by furries. Many claim that these comments and jokes are made ironically because "it's cool to make fun of yourself and others". That mentality is, in many ways, healthy as it prevents us from being too full of ourselves or take something so seriously as a fandom. And yet, there can be some hurtful elements behind this mindset that can alter how people view themselves and the fandom in the long run. The best example I can give of this is the 16th episode of the fourth season of " Full House" called "Stephanie Gets Framed". Best known for having a crossover cameo by Steven Urkel from "Family Matters" , this episode has Stephanie being told that she needs to wear reading glasses in order to succeed in class. Like every kid in the 90s, she was afraid that she would be mocked and bullied, being called "four eyes". That's when Steve Urkel comes in. Being the nerdy butt of the joke in his own sitcom, Urkel dispenses some knowledge of his own when it comes to people mocking you; "The trick is to get them to laugh with you than at you!". The next day, when she needs to get her reading glasses out, the kids ask her to wear them. Stephanie being intimidated, she begins to put on a myriad of silly prop glasses borrowed from Uncle Joey. This disrupt the class and the teacher disciplines Stephanie and confiscating all of the prop glasses. The moral of the story is that we tend to be so worried about what others may think that we quickly develop an image in our heads and we go on the defensive. What Steve was trying to show in this episode the concept of "laughing at yourself" or "self-deprecating humor/humility". This mindset is about learning to be able to laugh at yourself if you ever find yourself in a silly situation or trying to break the ice at a group gathering if you don't have the social skills to blend in. Self-Deprecating Humor is also seen most often on stand up comedy routines in which the comedians will make remarks about themselves often to make a statement about how the world perceives them as while reflecting on how some of those mindsets can be toxic, such as judging someone based on color, race, gender, sexual orientation and more. Sometimes it comes in the way of witty comments about their own person or some shocking visual imagery (an example being an Eric Andre stand-up special that ends with him stripping fully naked in front of a large audience). The key element here is that self-deprecation is done as a way to comment on how the world views someone and make people think through humor about those ideas. Yet online, this is being used as a self-defense mechanism that appears to be someone just taking light jabs at themselves and the fandoms they may be in because "it's not a big deal, it's silly I know but even I laugh at it". But the way furs use this is in my honest opinion not done right because it comes off as them trying to "acknowledge" that "the fandom is weird, silly, stupid and kinda cringe but we are aware of that and make fun of it too" to the non-fur audience. This example of more of a Stephanie Tanner than an Eric Andre example as this is furs trying to deflect some of the more common jokes and comments made about the fandom by the internet at large or even try to criticize some elements of the fandom that they themselves don't agree with but don't want to openly state it. Yes, the Furry Fandom in itself is a weird sub-culture that doesn't makes sense and it shouldn't make sense as everyone has a distinctive view on the fandom. But is constant self-bashing something NEEDED to make people understand that we are aware of how silly and "cringe" it may be? It stuns how the fandom can go from DREADING mainstream normie interference for fear of losing their identity and being cleaned up for a friendlier image to trying desperately to appeal to people by saying that we are aware how messed this can be. Worst is, it tends to take credit away from the GOOD the fandom can generate to people. And yet, I can see this being an automatic self-defense mechanism since the Furry Fandom has been the butt of so many tired jokes for over the years we want to try to get people to laugh with US rather than AT US. It has also been proven that constant use of self-deprecation can have psychological effects as the more it is use, the more the mind is wired to believe that these "jokes" are real. Soon someone may say "ew furry" ironically to "I am furry trash therefore I am worthless and useless to my friends, family and society as a whole" sincerely. And all to appear "cool and self aware" to people on the outside looking in. So what is the best way of using self-deprecating humor? One is by not over-using it in every situation. If someone asks about Furry or state "furry is weird" just say "Yes, yes it is, but it's a fun subculture where people can express their personalities through art, fursuit performance, music and more, just like any other fandom". That's it. Going back to the "Full House" example, the reason Stephanie acted the fool in class was because a kid asked to see her glasses. No mean comments, no jokes, no bullying, he just...wanted to see the glasses. And with so many decades of furry bashing it seems that we are set to quickly mock and ridicule the fandom and ourselves whenever someone asks "so what's a furry and why are people making jokes about them?". We don't need to show them Ash Coyote's documentary "The Fandom" in the spot, but we can't always be like "THAT'S BECAUSE WE ARE ALWAYS SO HORNY ON MAIN, WE HAVE WEIRD KINKS, AND WE ARE GENERALLY TRASH, MYSELF INCLUDED, LAWL", because that's just one twisted view that uses self-deprecation in a wrong manner, especially if someone was asking because they wanted to know what it was, not jump to make a mean-spirited joke. I feel this is something we will have to come grips the more furry has more visibility in mainstream media and the general geek culture online and in real life and many don't know how to explain what it is without saying "NO NO THIS IS NOT ABOUT SEX WE ARE NOT A CULT NO NO WE ARE WHOLESOME" or "YEAH WE ARE AN AWFUL BUNCH OF TRASHY PEOPLE LAWL". Fandoms, no matter how weird, extreme or silly it is, is about finding acceptance by people within that community through one passion. This has been proven to create long-lasting friendships and has even made people join other fandoms because the main fandom became an ice-breaker to find people with common hobbies and interests. The constant self-deprecation of the fandom takes away from what the fandom has done to a lot of people. It's OK to realize that this is silly, because as my time as a Brony has taught me is that taking yourself and a fandom VERY seriously can lead to delusions of grandeur, gatekeeping and inspiring a very hostile, toxic fanbase that doesn't want to loosen themselves up. Bronies initially got a bad rep because they were constantly being over the top serious about the fandom and how the show "WAS ONE OF THE BEST WRITTEN SERIES EVER BECAUSE IT DEALT WITH SERIOUS ISSUES"...At the end of the day, the show was a really good merchandise driven cartoon about pastel colored ponies in a fantasy world. Does that mean you should be less enthralled by it? No! But taking it seriously makes it look like this is too important. At the end of the day, it's all a balancing act. Learning to love and accept yourself for who you are is hard unless you have a great support system, and for many that is not the case. So they tend to go into self-deprecation as a means to show that they are cool and try to not let any mean comments get to them. But in reality, it can become harmful even dangerous. It's OK to keep yourself grounded, but not so much that you dig yourself into an emotional hole so deep you start to believe that that's where you belong. And sometimes that means pulling an Eric Andre and metaphorically undressing to a large audience with a big smile on your face as you welcome the cheers and loud laughter, because that's when you are laugh with them and telling yourself "Yes, I may be acting the fool, but I love myself for it and the people that love it". - Make Every Moment a Red-Letter One; Drohan
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Beastly Drohan
Apr 25, 2021
In Welcome to the Swamp
One of the things I absolutely adore about the furry fandom is how each sona is created based on many things; sometimes it can be as straight forward as "I loved huskies as a boy, my grandpa owned a husky named Rex and since I loved both of them and both have passed away therefore my sona is a husky named Rex" to having layers as to why the sona is the way it is. Regardless of how simple or complex a sona is, there is always one major element that stands out no matter what; how personal it is to the sona creator. I feel like starting a thread explaining how we all got our sonas, what inspired them, and why we gravitated towards them as our personal avatar. And who better person to start this off than me! Drohan as a sona is an interesting one as it has just as much of a backstory as he has as a character in his lore. It's a mix of everything significant I have lived in my life and he means a lot to me as my sona and my personal avatar for everything I do in life. First, why a bear; This dates ALL THE WAY back to the early-to-mid 2000s. I used to visit my friends in New Hampshire to spend the summer with them and be roommates. One day in 2006, my friend went on a blind date and as an ice breaker question, he was asked the furriest question a normie could ask; If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why? That question was profound enough that my friend returned home and wrote a whole blog post about it and choosing the wolf, because he felt that the majority of his life he was a lone wolf surviving by himself, but later realizing that he became stronger when part of a pack. So he dubbed himself "The Wolf of the Tower". Now my best friend was dubbed "The Gorilla of the Tower" because he was a big, tall hairy man with a deep voice. Out of curiosity, I asked what my animal would be and without hesitation, my friend says "You are the Cuddly Bear of the Tower!". At first I was like "Huh...ALRIGHT!'. The answer, though, left me curious, so I started to read more about bears, like the different species, their survival instincts, what makes each species unique and found them not just fascinating creatures but I identify with them being creatures that are misunderstood, big, silly, very protective of family and very curious about the world. So afterwards I fully accepted that I was the bear, but didn't think much about it since. Second, why a cinnamon bear; Out of all the species of bear my favorite is the American Black Bear. I just find them to be adorable in that they have rounder features and look generally cuddlier and fluffier. Plus even though they are large bears, compared to other species they are relatively small. In my case, I had always been the biggest and tallest in my family, but then I moved to the US where I was dwarfed so I felt being a black bear fit me best. But why a cinnamon bear? A cinnamon bear is the subspecies/color variation of the black bear. The color cinnamon is often associated with latino skin color so by choosing cinnamon I felt I was both going through a different path by choosing the subspecies of a bear and choosing a color that represented my latino roots. Third, why the name is "Drohan": This one is simple and to the point; back in the day, my best friend and I adored the Comedy Central show "Drawn Together" (very problematic show BTW). Captain Hero's running gag is that he kept calling everyone "Hey bro-han! How you doin' bro-han?". My friend thought that was funny so he took the last three letters of my real name, Pedro, and added the han so it became "Drohan". I liked the name but never really used it. It wasn't till I became a furry that I decided that Drohan would be a very unique and fun name for a sona because it sounds unique and fits the character; it has a cosmic element to it while having some Down-to-Earth humility to it. Fourth, and most importantly, the shooting star theme; Not only is Disney's Aladdin tied with Beauty and the Beast as my favorite animated classic, "A Whole New World" is my favorite Disney song and just song in general. I loved it as a kid, but it wasn't till I became an adult in which the themes and message of the world truly resonated with it. In 2004, I visited the US for the first time and it was truly an experience because it really WAS a whole new world after years of living in a poor mountain town in an island. Each yeah the song gained strength in my heart, and by 2012 it had been cemented as my comfort song, and the lyric that tells my life story till then is "I'm like a shooting star, I've come so far, I can't go back to where I used to be". That lyric beautifully represents my own personal journey from birth today till right now, that every day that passes I move into new horizons and I keep growing so much of mind, heart and soul that I can't go back to being in a small, conservative village with restrictions for absolutely everything. I can't go back to my mental trap when I had seen and learned so many things where I am right now. And that, my friends, is Drohan's creation story. How he is as a character, though, that's a story for another time.
The Story Behind Your Sona: Drohan content media
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Beastly Drohan
Apr 25, 2021
In The Depths
One of the things I see get asked a lot is how people are managing to have good vibes, positivity, hope and something to look forward to despite everything going on in the world as it seems that it's hard to find some sense of joy when it seems that every day something happens that make us angry, depressed, cynical or like life lacks value now. As someone who has gone through A LOT in my relatively short time on Earth (and sorry if that sounded pretentious) I understand why the first instinct is to question why bother living when it feels like life is in a bad rut that we can't crawl out of. There is NO denying that last year was one of the worst when it comes to world events, social justice events, political events and just so many things. It was literally a world-wide event that left us with so many scars, many of them too deep to heal, and made us realize how frail a lot of things in life are and made us realize that some of the people we looked up to were not up to our standards. As I heard someone say, last year we saw who truly were leaders of the communities and a force of change and who were just people that were hiding behind a facade. This, especially for younger folks, is a hard pill to swallow because you are JUST starting life as is and you are hit with everything that could have gone wrong. So now more than ever the question of "how do I regain happiness and hope after all of this?" is relevant. And my answer is...depends on what kind of person you are. We may all have lived through all of this but the outcomes are very different for a lot of people; many of us lost jobs, loved ones, felt betrayed by people who supported politicians that believed in the dehumanization of a whole community, had to endure the worst in people while trying to sustain a living wage and more. These things have different effects on our psyche and thus how we move forward will vary from person to person. For me, it boils down to one phrase I grew up hearing all the time; "There is no illness that lasts over a hundred-years nor a body that can resist it". To me, what this phrase means is that nothing bad lasts forever even if in our mindset it may feel like it has lasted forever. Right now, we are entering a healing period in which things are improving for people in some ways, despite some very obvious road blocks we had to endure. And even if an episode is just a very personal one, it never lasts long again even if it feels like it. Everything has a beginning and an end, even the worst of times. This is not the first time the world has been engulfed in such a situation, and even with many lives lost, damages made and history made, humanity made it through to tell the tale today. What also helps me is that despite it all, I am thriving and most importantly, I am seeing others thrive too despite it all. Many of my friends have bought houses, been promoted at their jobs, have gotten fully vaccinated, have graduated successfully and more. The odd thing about life is that it never stops even if there seems to be "doom and gloom" everywhere, each and every one of us still have stories to tell, chapters to complete and new ones to start. As long as we are given the opportunity to live those moments, we are lucky and blessed. Seeing all of this inspires ME to on living on and taking it one day at a time, even if I have to wear a mask and protect myself at work and get vaccinated. The other thing that has helped me in the past is to just be honest and open about what is going on to someone you trust. Unfortunately, people have taken to social media to air their grievances without much results except more anger, more angst and more outrage. Venting online to me feels like you are yelling from the bottom of your heart to a wall; you said what you wanted to say, but the wall won't respond no matter how hard you wanted to because it's easier to yell at a wall than to speak to someone. That's sadly how many people see it; it's easier to vent their grievances online, rant and vent than to truly connect with someone and talk. Of course, that's also if the person seeking to talk ACTUALLY wants to seek action and find a solution. I have spent hours talking to many people over the last year listening to their stories and then seeing them be stuck on the same rut over and over, sometimes INTENTIONALLY falling over to seek validation. That's when I learned that you can offer your shoulder for someone to cry on and listen, but it's not your fault if they didn't learn anything or try to make a change. We can't always be felt like we have to carry everyone's burdens on our shoulders because you have to worry about your own first. That being said, being someone that can listen or have someone to speak to can do wonders in making sense of things and going back to regaining some of that lost step. Finally, for me what helps me is learning to appreciate ALL the things in life, from the small to the big ones. I feel that prior to 2020 we were all so wrapped up in many things that we never truly stopped to see how everything adds to the story that is our lives. In what seems to be a very weird blessing in disguise, we were forced to stop, shut down for a bit and then think about everything we had, everything we enjoyed, and how lucky and blessed we were. Now for many this drove them in further despair because they felt those things were gone for good. But for me, once some of those things started to come back, even with the frustration and growing pains, I was able to enjoy them in a better light and realize that in an instant it can disappear, but also come back. Living for those moments is what makes me continue to thrive and have a positive outlook because this is not the final chapter yet, this is just the bad chapter that every book has. To clear the air, no, having a positive attitude does not equal ignorance of the ills of the world. If anything it may mean that you love live and the people around you so much that you WANT to fight for them and cherish them more. But having constant hopelessness, sadness and cynicism is not healthy either. Yeah, it can be hard to not feel that way when it seems that everything has been programmed to remind us of the ills of the world. But think; you are reading this right now. I don't know what your situation is, but if you are here, right now, that means you are alive, that means that we were lucky to just be here and have this conversation. Now dream of everything great that can and will happen soon. That can be hard to do, but I always dream of that because I know I have a lot ahead of me and thus what keeps me optimistic, hopeful and happy through all of this is that I have so many red-letter moments to experience, friends to meet, places to be and memories to cherish, and someday it's gonna be worth it. To finish this off, I wanna leave off with this lyric from "Follow Me Home" from "Arlo the Alligator Boy"... "Look at me, look at you, don't you see we can move with it? Take my hand, I'm here today. It's a chance, it's a leap of faith. What it be, what we do with it. Without you I lose my way. One thing I know for sure, is that we'll never be alone. So follow me, follow me, follow me home, everything will be alright"
Remaining Hopeful Through It All content media
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Beastly Drohan

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