Standing Proud

Standing Proud

Artist Commentary

Even after 6 years, this piece continues to be popular among my fans, who seem to appreciate its intended message. Unfortunately, it also remains popular among certain internet trolls, who continue to use it as a way to harass me.

This commentary is meant to clear up some misconceptions that have intentionally been spread about this piece, and to provide my own thoughts and motivations for anyone who actually cares to hear what it's really about.

-It is NOT about "fursecution!" As I explained in my original commentary, this piece was entirely about GLBT rights. It was created at a time when I was feeling especially vulnerable and angry at the government for what it was doing to the GLBT community. The only connection this piece had to the furry community was the fact that it featured my personal character, an anthropomorphic fox. Since I was expressing my personal feelings about the situation, and because my audience was primarily furs, it made sense for me to use my furry persona as the subject of the image.

The actual motivation for the image came as a result of the 2004 presidential elections. During their campaign, Republicans (especially Bush's re-election campaign) lashed out against the GLBT community in order to try and get as many of their socially conservative supporters to the polls as possible. This included, among other tactics, pushes for state and federal constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.

Whether or not the tactic actually got more of their supporters to the polls is debatable, but the damage done to the GLBT community was undeniable. 11 states succeeded in amending their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage (and in many cases, ANY form of same-sex relationship recognition), a trend which continued during the next few election cycles. As a result, over 30 states now have similar constitutional amendments.

Not only did this tactic deprive millions of same-sex couples of the opportunity to pursue the legal rights and responsibilities that go along with civil marriage, and established our relationships as inferior according to those states' most important legal document. It also established the idea that it's acceptable for voters to take rights away from a vulnerable minority via a simple majority vote.

I realize that not everyone views marriage as a fundamental civil right. There are even those in the GLBT community that couldn't care less about it, or would just be happy with the legal equivalent. But for someone like me, who sees it not only as access to thousands of legal rights and protections, but also as the ONLY form of relationship which implies a universally-understood statement of commitment and love, these developments hit me like a blow to the gut. I experienced a newfound sense of vulnerability and anger towards my fellow citizens who continue to vote my rights away, and for a government that encourages them to do so.

-The character in the image is male. Apparently the amount of shading on his chest has caused some people to think the character is female or androgynous. I personally don't see how it's confusing, and I didn't start hearing this criticism until the trolls I mentioned earlier started spreading it. So, just to clarify, the character is my persona "Taurin" and, as such, is definitely male.

-This is the only version I've done of this image. If you come across a different version with certain elements replaced by NAZI or other imagery, then you can be sure I had nothing to do with it. These are just the result of more attempts by the trolls who've been trying to harass me.