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So what's a furry anyway?

Furry fandom is a category (or sub-genre) of fantasy dedicated to anthropomorphics: fictional animal characters given human personalities and characteristics. It originated as a fusion of science fiction, comic book, and animation fandom during the 1980s. It has thrived and grown, evolving into its own branch of fandom and finding adherents all over the world – enough that they may be regarded as forming a subculture. Furry fandom has a large presence on the Internet, and many furry conventions in North America and Europe are held every year, the largest being Anthrocon in Philadelphia in July with an attendance of nearly 2500. Further Confusion, held in San Jose, California each January, is almost as large. In 2004, 19 such conventions took place around the world. The original furry convention was the now-defunct Confurence, based in southern California.

Furry fans, sometimes referred to as furries or furs for short, are eager for more material than is available from mainstream publishers. The demand is filled by fellow fans – amateur to professional artists, writers, and publishers who produce drawings, paintings, stories, independent comic books, fanzines, Web sites and even small press books. Fans with craft skills put together their own  elaborate furry costumes called fursuits (with features such as ears, fur, long tails, moving jaws, and even animatronics) and dress up in them for fun, or to participate in convention masquerades, dances, or fund raising charity events. Charitable works are a tradition in furry fandom; many conventions feature an auction or fundraising event with the proceeds often going to an animal-related charity. Over the past 5 years, furries have raised over $90,000 for animal rescue organizations and animal therapy groups.

Some furry fans create furry personas (imaginary characters based on their own personalities) by which they become widely known in the fandom. They may write stories centered on their characters, build or commission fursuits so they can "come to life" as their character, commission artwork, or engage in role-playing sessions on one of the many furry-themed MUDs on the Internet, the oldest of which is Furry MUCK. When such furry fans meet one another in person, they may be more familiar with one another's online personas than with their real identities.

There is no one single definition of what a furry is. Even within the furry fandom, people cannot always agree on just what makes a person a furry or not.

Some would argue that to be a furry, you must think and talk like one (i.e. use furry specific words and phrases). Even if you go to conventions, wear a fursuit, draw the art, writes the stories etc but don't talk using furry lingo, you're not a furry. Basically, someone that may walk the walk but doesn’t talk the talk.

Others would argue that even liking anthropomorphic creatures makes you a furry. You may have no idea the furry fandom exists or have ever heard of a furry convention, let alone any of the websites; simply liking 'anthro' critters makes you a furry.

The way I see it, if or if you don’t consider yourself a furry is a matter of personal opinion.

As with any hobby, most furries are normal people just like anyone you'll meet at work/school or going to/from work/school or anywhere. Then there is the small percent that are hard core fans and have taken what for most is a hobby and perverted it (sometimes in an all to literal sense).

As is with so many other things in life, the few that take it too far tend to be the loudest. The silent majority are often forced into silence by the loud majority for fear that people will label them as being in the same class as the minority that have perverted it.

One unfortunate side effect of the internet and the relative anonymity that some sites grant their users is people are able to engage in activities (even if only on a virtual level) that they would never even consider doing in real life. An example of this is trolls of message boards that say things to people they’d never say to them in person. I think a lot of the stereotypes associated with furries are because of this.

In conclusion, as with any hobby, there are some furries that have taken it too far and/or perverted what for many is a fun harmless hobby.

If only the silent majority were not so silent, people would realize there is more to furries then perversion.

 

 

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