Time and again I’ve been approached and asked one of the all too familiar questions: “What’s up with the animal costume?” or “What’s up with all those other animals you’re with?” If you’ve wondered the same thing yourself fret no more, as I’m here to give you a quick rundown of the Furry Fandom and its various aspects.
So what exactly are “furries”? Well simply put we’re folks that enjoy animal characters. No, seriously that’s it. If you’re more partial to animal characters of various kinds then you’re more than a good fit for the furry community. And the “Furry Fandom” is really just the overall name for this community of furries. Though sometimes furs feel like they either have to have a fursuit – the fandom word for what’s essentially a cosplay of one’s furry character, or “fursona” – and others feel like they have to write, draw, or do something creative. While creativity, art, and fursuits certainly are a major part of the fandom, there’s still plenty of room for folks who just simply want to enjoy all the cute and colorful animal characters and make some new friends in the process. Furries tend to be a very inclusive and diverse community as well, with furs ranging from all walks of life, gender, race, careers, and so on. To quote the old Kingdom Hearts promo it’s, “A journey where you’ll never know who you’ll run into next.”
Now the next question might be what kinds of media and entertainment would qualify as furry? To be honest I’ve actually seen multiple schools of thought on this. The most common is that furry is anything that has animal characters of some kind, whether they be anthropomorphic or not. Others have argued that only things created by furries should be called furry – “By Furries for Furries” only, basically. Even still, others argue that anything that has animal elements in it can be considered furry – which would include franchises such as Batman and Hawkgirl due to these heroes having animal motifs, or even the Ancient Egyptian Gods due to their animal-like appearances. Even if you go with the first definition you’ll still be in store for some definition debates – just ask any given group of furs if Five Nights at Freddy’s counts as furry or not.
Finally, there’s the question of what we all do. As mentioned earlier furries do plenty of activates such as writing, fursuiting, drawing, and more. Plenty of furries have an interest in other hobbies as well and it’s not uncommon to see games of Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh unfold at meetups, and as far as gaming is concerned did you catch that big Super Smash Bros. tournament at Biggest Little Furcon that was also live streamed? I should also mention that fellow furry SonicFox is also the #1 ranked Mortal Kombat X player in the world. So needless to say, you’ll find plenty of geeks and nerds amongst the furred flock.
You’ll also notice I’ve mentioned furry meet ups and a convention. It’s not uncommon for furs to get together and organize various community meetups and activities that, much like the members themselves, are quite diverse; heck over here in the Southern California Furry Community (“SoCal Furs” for short) we’ve got meetups that range from the well-known house party Prancing Skiltaire to a fursuit bowling meetup to a meetup at Lenny Sinatra’s own Executive Suite night club. Seems like we definitely know how to get around! And yes, there’s conventions a plenty that happen year round and all over America with a few happening around the world too. California itself hosts three different cons: Further Confusion in San Jose, Pacific Anthropomorphics Weekend – also known as PAW Con – in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Califur over in Pomona. You can find all full of all kinds of furred goodness and that ever financially dangerous spot known as The Dealer’s Den. It’s essentially the furry version of an Artists’ Alley.
All in all, we’re just a bunch of fun loving fluff balls that, like pretty much anyone else, just want to get together and have fun, whether it be in person at various meetups and conventions, or through a large and ever expanding online community. So if you see one of us out in the wild don’t be afraid to stop by and say hello and stay for a while. Also fursuit hugs are fine, just make sure to ask first.