I have been part of the furry fandom for a long time now. It started back in the 90’s. When I was a teenager, I would go around and wear a rubber dog nose and sometimes act like a dog. I would hold out my hands like paws, scratch my head, stick out my tongue, and pant. Why did I do this? Two reasons.
Because it was fun.
Because it made people laugh.
I loved going to Wal-Mart and walking around with my mom and sisters and have them watch peoples reactions. My favorite was the laughter or the smiles on people’s faces. Seeing very rarely act or respond back with saying “Such a good boy” or “Oh my goodness”. The children who just laughed and thought I was the greatest, funniest thing they have ever seen. I enjoyed making people smile.
Unfortunately, there where others.
There were parents who saw their kids laughing or smiling, and yanked on there hand and pulled the child away telling them not to look at me. I had a few grandmothers who looked at me in disgust and say how shameful I was. One came up to my mother and told her to get me ” help” because I was acting out. It was a sad but very real reaction to some of the people we share this planet with.
Fast forward to more recent.
I still enjoy wearing crazy things. I have a wonderful hat (as can be seen on my video blog) that has crazy fluffy ears that are so much fun. I still get the same reactions from people, good and bad, though this time I have my kids around. My daughters have grown up with me and my ears or even sometimes tails that I wear in public and they think that is just normal for dad to wear. My youngest has started wearing a few things herself. The looks from parents are scalding to the touch. I see the hate about how not only am I that weird person buy now I am corrupting my child with this nonsense.
Now, people know furries from two places. The first is from a CSI episode that appeared over a decade ago. The episode (“Fur and Loathing“) show grown adults who are out of control in a sexual orgy. Great representation of furries. The second place is the Internet. Again, a few quick pictures and the main thing that pops out is the sexual deviant behavior that appears. I have often wondered why is this the first thing people see.
Well, sex sells.
From these two places, the rest of the world now looks upon those who wear ears and tails or even have a full fursuit (a full body suits) as these sexually depraved people that are to be shunned.
This makes me sad.
I know this is only my perspective and point of view but I am someone from the community. I feel I can speak for it.
Is there aspects of the community that are less than sunshine and rainbows? Absolutely. This is true in most aspects of life. I recall to mind the “50 Shades of Grey” phenomenon that came from the Twilight craze. Somehow, that was accepted by many and made into a best selling book and movie series. Again sexual deviant, but this time widely accepted.
To me, this doesn’t seem fair.
I have been accepted by my family and friends in what I like. I enjoy making people laugh. One of my close friends say it’s me getting in touch with my shamanistic Native American side of my. I smile to see her rationalize my behavior. My sister drew me a wonderful depiction of my “fursona” (the furry representation of my persona).
Another friend for my birthday had a badge for me to were at conventions.
Adorable and brought in my brony side as well.
I hope the tides are changing. I just recently saw the new Disney movie Zootopia. It is an anthromophic (animals portrayed acting as in human manner) cop buddy story. I went and saw it (with ears on of course) and I saw the furry connection everywhere. There were many jokes to the furry community. Disney seems to be a solid source of positive furry promotion. From movies like Oliver and Company and Robin Hood, there is plenty of material to support furries.
I also had an article sent to me about Syrian refugees who ended up at the same hotel as a furry convention. It seemed like a clash made for the ages.
But it ended up way different than anyone expected.
The children loved it. The parents were in shock but we’re happy for the kids. A wonderful representation of who the community is supposed to represent.
I have never been ashamed to say it. I am proud to be a furry. Yes, there are aspects of the community that are less than desirable, at least for me, but please don’t brand us all as terrible people. We just want to make the world smile by being silly. We feel safer hiding behind fur and ears and tails. It helps us control the anxiety or depression we might be suffering from. It gives us a chance to act or be someone different.
I am a furry Internet. I expect your rage and resentment. Bring it on.
#hugafurry my friends.