Useful Notes: Furry Fandom
"Gadget was in many ways the perfect character for me in this pre-sexual phase. The clear social expectation that I’d eventually have to date and find a wife (a process that, in 4th grade, I treated as an upcoming errand, not entirely dissimilar to emptying the dishwasher) was made easier by the knowledge that there were people in the world like Gadget — hyper-intelligent female mice — that I could marry."
A furry is, at its base, a fan of anthropomorphic animal characters (whom are frequently and somewhat ironically abbreviated to simply anthros
). Exactly where on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
these characters are doesn't matter, but most of them fall under Petting Zoo People
and Funny Animals
, and they're not on either extreme end. The characters may in some instances also be shapeshifters, transforming from fully human form to some kind of animal.
The majority of the fandom consists of people who enjoy fiction and art centered around anthropomorphic animal characters, ranging from being in the form of text stories, art, and comic books, to more elaborate and mainstream forms of media such as Dreamworks Animation
's popularly and financially successful film franchise Kung Fu Panda
, among other widely-known works based around anthropomorphic animal characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog
and Star Fox
, to name a few. Furries may simply take part in what others create, or they may be creators themselves. Many, but not all, also have a fursona note
, which is a furry character representing the individual who created it.
On the deeper end of the fandom, there lies those with literal anthropomorphic animal fetishes, including an even smaller subset of erotic cosplayers and other individuals who take their fetishes well beyond the computer screen. Despite the small size of this group, they have gathered the most attention in the fandom, much thanks to popular media like CSI
, Aqua Teen Hunger Force
, Vanity Fair
, Something Awful
, Check It Out With Dr Steve Brule
, and numerous other programs. With this media exposure, the broader public repeats thinking it 'knows' what a furry is - that is, a vaguely comedic pervert in some kind cartoonish way. This crude 'all the same' fallacy has left many furry fans distrustful of the media, and for several years, the fandom went so far as to ban members of the press from certain conventions to avoid being subjected to a two-minute 'smear job' on the news. In the past few years, media coverage has been increasingly positive (NBC News was granted a unprecedented level of access during Anthrocon 2014
, something that probably wouldn't have happened 5 years ago). This isn't necessarily because the media have become more tolerant - many attribute the decrease in negative media attention to the rise of other fandoms
making furries look less strange in comparison to some other subcultures. The change in public perception, however, has been slow at best, as evidenced by the news coverage over an attack on Midwest Fur Fest in December, 2014, when chlorine gas was used to injure 19 people. Considering that the negative stigma still remained at large, the news organizations tended to get sidetracked by the oddity of furries instead of concentrating on the attackers, and in correlation with that, some people on the internet decidedly supported the attackers rather than treated the attackers' actions as having crossed the line of what the victims might have actually deserved from a moral standpoint
. Likewise, sites like The Mary Sue.com
instead treated the attack seriously
due to the reputation chlorine gas has as a historically-significant chemical weapon with living victims from years past like World War 1 and some terrorist attacks in 1980's and 1990's.
Another subsection of the fandom that is often confused with the fandom as a whole would be Otherkin
. Those who declare themselves to be one of these believe that they are, in real life, not actually fully human. It may be that they claim to have the soul of an animal, which may or may not be that of a real animal (therians limit themselves to real animals). Some go so far as to disown the human species entirely, and claim they've been born as the wrong species. Of course, even other furries will often mock Otherkin, just to give some context as to where Otherkin lie on the social ladder.
There is a significant stigma to identifying oneself as a furry,note
mainly because on the internet, they are often the butt of many jokes. For this reason, there are many who might clearly fall under the definition of a furry, but wouldn't identify as one. On the other hand, someone might be generalized as a furry simply for liking one or more works with anthropomorphic animal characters in them, which would technically be wrong since the reasons are rarely due to the anthropomorphic nature of the characters themselves. However, what exactly defines a furry is up for debate, and the only people you can be certain of are the ones who identify themselves as such.
Also, meet Dr. Kathy Gerbasi
, social psychologist to the furs.
NOTE: There should be absolutely NO links to NSFW content.
This fandom contains examples of:
All done! Now don't you just have a warm, fuzzy feeling? :3