Okay, buckling down to write the crap out of this message.
I basically had the same furry experience you did, I wouldn't say I grew out of it so much as it became just another normal, less important aspect of life for me. I never spent time with other "furries" or joined any communities based around it, and I rarely if ever identified myself as part of that subculture. Mostly because I didn't see it as a 'lifestyle' as others do, it was just more of a thing I liked (a bunch). I generally didn't join groups revolving around a common interest (these forums of course being an exception), because that's generally where my similarities with other members ended.
But for some reason, it was different with MLP. We were all just regular guys, but somehow there was sort of a mindset that everyone shared, and it was the kind of people I would hang out with normally. It was a diamond in the rough so to speak, where everywhere around seemed dull in comparison to such a colorful group of people. I think that got me even more engrossed in the series, in the end.
But recently there seemed to be sort of a disconnect between to "factions" of people calling themselves Bronies, where older members would hold themselves above other (generally younger) watchers. It's really hard for me to identify with either side, really. I agree with the older members most of the time, with their moderation outside of the internet, and their general belief on how people should be treated. But on the other hand, it takes a lot to be okay with the fact that you're shunned by a subculture you want to be a part of; older Bronies may have had issues being okay with their taste in shows in life, but being a younger fan gets you excluded not only outside of the internet, but in the group where you should be most accepted.
Of course, I lose most of that respect everytime some younger member spams "20% COOLER EXPLODED TWICE LOL" in the brony community I check regularly.
Really, having such a massive dichotomy in a group I once came to to escape all the aggression and opposing forces everywhere else has really put a damper on the giddiness I felt before.
Sometimes it feels like the magic just isn't there anymore, and that's certainly not a pleasant thought.
I've found that talking to individual people is much more enjoyable, since you can decide who those people are (I mean, duh, but you get what I mean). For some reason, talking to one member, no matter what category the fit into, is easier than being part of a group discussion with people I don't see eye to eye with.
But even the "worst of the worst" of Bronies are miles ahead of the worst of other communities. No matter how sick of the idiocy I see on the internet I get, I can always chill out with a discussion of which minor character is the best, or what's going to happen next episode. The more I look at it, the more into the show I realize I am.
By the way, spring for an on-model figure if you have the spare coin, they're as good as they look in photos, see mine here.
I don't really appear to people as obsessed with the show as I actually am, as if they expect me to jump around loudly telling everyone what my favorite cartoon is. Despite the incredible luck I had with some of my closest friends, I have a few who are polar opposites to them. Sadly, my doppelgänger Gavan isn't a fan of the show at all, he's always hating on it loudly when I'm around him (which is all the time, we're pretty close). In every other aspect we're alike, be it taste in music, taste in writing, GPA, whatever, we're equal.
[honestly, I think it's because he's insecure about himself, he sadly hasn't had any luck with the ladies]
It gets on my nerves sometimes, it almost gets me upset how brazen he can be. Lessened of course by the fact that he is usually outnumbered in opinion 3:1, but it makes me wonder how people can be so animistic sometimes.
Whoa, where did all that come from? That kinda just slipped out.
Anywho, it's almost the polar opposite for my other friend. He and I were always the least "uncool" out of our circle of friends, with our weirdly "cool" music tastes and what not. We have never had a problem with being total nerds, which we are, but somehow we can get along with pretty much anyone. Basically, he is the "cool" kid of our group (I wish there were better words to describe it than that). When he mentioned to me he was considering watching the show, a few weeks after I completed it, I was nonplussed. He was literally the last person I'd expect to enjoy the show, and that's what I love about the series. You never can tell who will enjoy it. I only wish you could've had such luck D:
I've never seen how can someone can be so into roleplaying (the creepy kind). Fanfictions? Okay, I get that, I can even enjoy those occasionally. But just the concept of roleplaying makes me feel sheepish; to each their own, I guess. Yeah I've seen people like that too, who just cannot do anything but discuss the show, draw the show, love the show. I shy away from that, but I can definitely understand how that could happen to someone, there's just so much to be a part of.
Yeah I'm pretty much 17 at this point. Still 16, though, so I think I'd either be generally too old or too young for most meetups.
And don't worry about you comic of as creepy or whatever, as you can see I went through some of the same things. Plus, if I weren't totally fine with things like that by now, I would probably have left the forums xD