AtheistI spent much of my early youth in the shadow of the 1st Methodist Church, attending Sunday school and for a brief time, even singing in the youth choir. I would end up going to church less in my teenage years, but I still believed.
Then around the time I turned 17, I started to learn about other religions and cultures around the world. I noticed that, despite the many similarities in the arias that really mattered, there is always friction on the trivial aspects that involved a deity or the words of the deity, and this friction resulted in hatred.
The TransitionThe years that followed led to a steady retreat in to agnosticism. In some ways I still considered my self Christian, but I had distanced myself from the church. I still attended on certain special occasions until the age of 21, when I realized that there simply wasn't anything I could do or find which could convince me that there was a god. I heard stories of people who have taken the journey from faith to reason, and with the help of YouTube I learned more about science and the beauty of the natural universe. This was also about the time that the Westburo Baptist Church started to make the news, and along with the stories of corruption, it gave me the push I needed to finally leave the faith for good.
FurryI've always had a keen interest in Cheetahs since I was 12, and it eventually led me to discover this thing called "Furry" about the age of 15. I dabbled about the Yahoo groups and a forum called "Furry Teens" off and on for awhile, scribbling doodles of my fursona (at the time, the first version of Striker was a feral cheetah with a regular spot pattern who was simply really strong). It wasn't until I was 18 that I really got in to the fandom, and discovered the awesome community within.
I attended my first 'official' furmeet in the fall of 2008, when I road up to Cedar Rapids with a fellow named Reaper, where Nbowa was hosting a Furry Game Night. My first convention was Midwest Furfest 2012, where I had the time of my life and fell in love with the community.