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
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.