I’m surprised I haven’t touched base on this before seeing as it’s been almost two years since this has started happening. Today I’m going to educate and run you down on the sexist and possibly transphobic issues that go on in art fandoms. I can only speak from the anthromorphic side of things since that’s where my art business takes place. But I thought that this was important to cover as many people didn’t know that this was going on or if it was even a thing.
I’ve worked almost 6 years in the ‘furry’ fandom. I started out like most, pulling pennies from long hours of work for about two years or so until I built a client base. I constantly worked and committed full time in 2012 to my art. Up until January 2014 I was presenting as female as I had just really came out to my self and wanted to start transitioning right away.
Before I came out to my clients and the fandom I had a large customer base. It was a good revolving door of new customers and repeat ones. I was always able to open up a few commission spots and they’d be jumped on with in 30 minutes to an hour. I very rarely would have to keep posting follow journals to get them sold. I had loads of work and was making a decent income. It was enough to keep the bills paid for a while and I was content in my work and client base.
Before I chose to come out to the fandom I was fearful that this would impact my client base, as I had many hetero male clients who would often flirt with me and indulge me by buying commissions etc. I knew the scales might tip to a point this could impact my income but verged forth anyways because I wanted to be true not only to my self but my clients and who was producing the art they enjoyed.
Over the course of 2014 things started to slowly decline. Customer base dropped and among that happening a few things caused me stress beyond to where I could hold onto and I hit a depression pit for the rest of 2014.
2015 wasn’t much better either, and for lack of typing time I’ll just sum it up as horrid patch in my life for most of the spring/summer. When things finally stabilized I I became more aware just how many of my clients had really left. Granted, I can’t blame it solely on me being transgender. There are I’m sure many factors why some left and haven’t returned. So don’t take this as me individually pointing fingers to folks. It’s easy to say, well because of your slow progress people just gave up on you or whatever. Sure it is easy to say that and sometimes I still say that to my self so I don’t throw my self into another depressive fit over who I am.
But the bottom line still remains. A booming, mostly hetero client base is now gone and I am no longer able to pull in the income I first had. Comments have dwindled to barely any unless I draw something favorable. Clients have now come down to a few select ones and so on. I’ve also noticed I have gained more female followers and clients as well and even more trans ones. Sadly that doesn’t equate to the male follow base I had. In the long run it might but there is a gap. I’ve been running my business for long enough now I can feel it both financially and emotionally. When you always saw comments from people and then they just magically poof after you post a picture of yourself, well.. kinda hard not to point that finger to that certain reason.
Sure, we all know every line of work is full of sexist, bigoted assholes. I’m not stating anything new by any means. And it’s not like I can just expect people to come up and go, “yeah I’m a sexist.” It doesn’t work that way.
But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t anger me to no end. I like to put faith in people too much I guess. I’d like to think that people enjoyed the art I made and not my tits. It was a nice thought to trick my self with I guess. But in reality? Because I wasn’t longer desirable eye candy they got up and found someone else who was. It wasn’t about my art and to an artist who draws to make people happy that’s a pretty big crushing statement.
Maybe it’s one of the reasons I’ve been feeling my mental state more and more lately.
I’ve been back to the work world since I’ve transitioned. It was a nightmare. I’m not your typical chauvinistic pig of a male you find lanking around here. I don’t talk about football. I don’t spit my flem on the ground or adjust my balls in front of you. I’m not an emotionless asshole. I still catch my self saying feminine things or my body movements will still be there from prior. I give my own self away if I have to interact with others for longer periods of time and it’s a recipe for being outed and treated like a freak or subhuman who doesn’t deserve to even piss in a place I feel comfortable using because of who I am. There are very few workplace trans protections here legally and I swear if I hear another person say, “Just find a transfriendly work place!” that’s like saying, “Hey go be a lawyer just to feel safe at work!” It’s a moronic statement.
So right now, I feel comfortable continuing my business in art to a better extent than the work force. But how am I to do that if my income has been slashed at least $500 a month? I don’t have the time anymore to be working 12 hours for less than minimum wage. I don’t have the client base to be upping my prices either and if I drop them I’m literally cutting my self out of even more money for the work I put in. I’m stuck.
Being transgender is fucking horrid. It’s not easy and if anyone ever tells you it’s a fucking choice, bash them over the head with a massive book made up entirely of quotes like that, that make every transperson suffer.
When you reach a point in your life you feel like you’re a subhuman to the rest of society and it directly effects you, than you get some space to comment.
There’s my insight I guess. I’ll keep trucking because I’m not going to loose out on my life but I’ll be damned if I stay silent and take the shit coming at me either.