Furry Senpai’s Furry 101
Just a quick rant today…
If you’ve been following my blog at all, or picked up an issue of Senpai Magazine, you know there’s much more to me than just being “furry.” I cross over into A LOT of different fandoms, including anime, gaming, comics, scifi, tabletop gaming, pro-wrestling, paranormal studies, and so on. That being said, I am friends with a lot of people that are not “furry” at all. In fact, some are even aghast and horrified when I freely admit to it, as if it is something weird and shameful. Other people, such as nonfurry vendors & artists heading to their first furry con, will often ask me what to expect. Also, I still get long-time friends asking me what this “furry-thing” is all about.
My response is that it’s really very simple. ”Furry” is a fandom, just like say “Steampunk.” Both fandoms are extremely broad, and incorporate a myriad of stories, movies, books, characters, ideas, and even other fandoms
For most, that is enough, but some persist. And here come the common misconceptions:
Misconception 1 – Furries think they’re really animals!
Before I address this, let me make it clear that the fandom of “Furry” is incredibly broad, and involves a lot of different people.
That being said, no, not all of us think we’re animals. However there are a few people that do think they have the spirit of an animal. These people are called “Therians.”
It’s a personal spiritual choice and, again, this is barely a fraction of the entire fandom. Seeing as how I’m not one of them, I’m content to live and let live there. Whatever helps one lead a more meaningful and happy existence, then more power to them. We should all be so lucky.
Misconception 2 – Aw c’mon, don’t lie! I know you all have “fursonas”
This is true, a lot of us do have “fursonas,” but we still realize we are human. Having a “fursona” isn’t the same as what I described above. However, a “fursona” can mean a different number of things. For some, it is a symbol of all the best qualities about oneself. This isn’t to say that someone that has a fursona of a wolf really wishes they were a wolf, fleas an all. Specifically, there are a number of attributes we commonly ascribe to wolves such as bravery, loyalty, and family. Someone who values these things will probably identify with a wolf, and hence a “fursona” is created.
For others, the “fursona”can simply be a character they may use in LARP or tabletop roleplaying games. And for others, it may just be a cool looking character that they like to draw/have drawn or dress up as.
However, one really does not need to have a “fursona” to be a furry. In fact, a lot of furries do not have one.
Misconception 3 – But you all love to get it on in fursuits, right?
Here are two big misconceptions, actually. Firstly, only a small minority of furs have fursuits. They are expensive, and very difficult to make. Without proper ventilation, they are absolute murder to wear during the mid-summer conventions. Also, believe it or not, there are furries out there that simply do not like fursuits. This does not make them any more/less “furry” than anyone else, as this fandom is about diversity and acceptance, perhaps much more so than other fandoms.
As for fursuiters having sex in those things… Well, most fursuiters, who spent thousands getting their suit commissioned, would flip if they ever spilled cola on themselves. However, a VERY small minority of suiters (and remember, fursuiters in general are a minority – so a minority of a minority) do enjoy having sex in costume. It’s their property, they can do whatever they want with it I guess.
And before anyone says “Ah ha! I knew it!” might I remind you that this number is, more than likely, significantly less than the amount of crazy weeaboos with K-On hugging-pillows.
If you have said pillows, or ever thought about kinky-cosplay, remember as Our (Time) Lord & Savior said, if you are without sin, you can throw rocks at people. Or something like that…
Misconception 4 – Ok, but you are still all a bunch of perverts. I’ve seen what your kind did to Sonic! Not Cool!
Well I’m not going to lie. Sexuality is a big part of the fandom. However, the reasons for this are many. First of all, as with most fandoms, rule 34 is always a factor. Secondly, going back to the “fursona” idea of it being a method of free expression, it makes sense that sexuality would be inseparable from this fandom, given how open and accepting it is.
Many that enter the fur community do it right around the time they become more computer-savy, and are looking for people like them. Now imagine being a gay/bi teen, and not being able to express it due to your environment. So, given that, it makes sense how that person will use their fursona and the fandom as a positive outlet for freedom of expression. In the furry community, that person is accepted and welcomed, as they learn more about themselves.
OK fine, this fandom is diverse. We get it. What do you all have in common then??
As stated earlier, I am a part of many different fandoms. However, Furry is probably the most imaginative and creative of them all. There is an exhaustive list of very talented writers, artists, poets, musicians, cosplayers, dancers, and actors in this fandom. On paper it would seem that we all have very little in common, but there are a few things that keep us together as a community.
First of all, it almost goes without saying that nearly all furries love nature and animals. Many of us have pets, and are the first to pounce upon the chance to spread awareness about an endangered species.
Secondly, all furries enjoy good storytelling that utilizes anthropromorphism in some way. In short, Anthropromorphism means giving human-like qualities to things that are not human. And anthropromorphism in itself is very broad, encompassing everything from Mickey Mouse to the Brave Little Toaster to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to mythology. Stop and think of how many books, movies, comics, and videogames have used anthropromorphism as a storytelling device in its characters, and one can begin to imagine just how large the fandom is and how many other fandoms it is part of.
Lastly, most furs have the right intentions and are good, creative, and accepting people.
We also love doing what we can to help good causes, and greatly enjoy life in general.
– Furry Senpai