Sorry for the delay on this episode of the podcast, friends. A tiny monster got a hold of my microphone, and a new one had to be ordered. So if it sounds like two different mics, it is and will be for the next couple of episodes. Oh, the joys of the podcasting and having children, but back to this episode. I sat down with our resident Furry Expert, Nicholas Leonard, to talk about Furries. He’s been sharing the furry world with TGON fans since 2017. Before Nicholas arrived at our site, the extent of my furry knowledge was that they were people who dressed up as animals. Why? I didn’t know. Thankfully I’ve learned a lot in the past four years, and this podcast just opened my eyes more. I’d like to welcome you to your lesson in furries!
The most common questions Nicholas gets asked is what a furry convention is? or what is a furry in general? The easiest answer is a furry convention is no different than a Comic-Con or even a Star Trek Convention. Instead of Spocks and Kirks, you’ve got people dressed up as animals. Furries identify with the character that they are dressing up. It’s called a Fursona. There are two ways to define what is “furry content.” Some people believe that for it’s to be “furry,” it has to be created by another furry. But most in the furry fandom believe that if the content is animal-focused, then it’s considered in the furry fandom. That’s right, things like Disney’s Robin Hood, Lion King, Zootopia, and even Sonic The Hedgehog are all considered furry related.
One of my earliest questions to Niko, when we met, was if Furries considered it like cosplay. He said he definitely considered it like cosplay, but not everyone shares this opinion. Fursuits are a huge topic of this podcast. I was really interested in the rules of fursuiting and how much these things run. Some furries believe that you must never take off your head for there to be “magic,” but some scrapped that rule like Nicholas. Fursuits come in three different configurations:
- Mini Partial – Head, Hands Tail, Feet
- Partials – Head, Hands, Tail, Feet, Arms
- Full Fur Suit
Some people make their own fursuits, but for the most part, they are bought online. You can choose to go a custom route. Each suit taking time and talent from individuals to bring these Fursonas to life. Often it can take months before a suit is complete and ready to wear. Companies like The Fuzz Factory create fursuits ready for delivery at the time of purchase, but the prices start at a couple of thousands for a partial suit. Before you even have a fursuit made though, it all starts with a fursona. This is the animal or character you identify and like most. Nicholas shared with me that furries can have multiple fursonas and that you can actually buy other people’s fursonas. These fursonas are usually started in the form of art and built up from there. Honestly, you really could create an arsenal of animal characters if you really wanted to each one with a special and unique personality. But furry content is not all about the fursona or fursuit. Furries have created books and games. It’s really an intersectional fandom that is so very diverse.
The word furries sometimes bring up a negative reaction with people. At conventions, furries often weren’t on their best behavior and would drink while in suit. But for the most part, it’s because people in this fandom are open with their sexuality and preferences. The art they create usually is NSFW. While it not maybe your cup of tea, it is someone’s. The documentary Fursona which came out in 2016 was supposed to help but failed to do any real justice for the community. The latest furry segment with CNN in 2018 though did really shine a positive light on the furry fandom. While Fursona was created by furries, the CNN was not made by anyone in the community. It was the first time the community was shared and talked about from the outsiders perspective. The furry community is not only very accepting, but they are willing to teach others about the community if you want to learn. Nicholas talks about how some people use furries to work out their own life problems. They use their fursona to explore different parts of themselves or even hide behind their mask so to speak. Some furry fans have used their Fursona to come out to the community before family and friends even know.
My final question for Nicholas was, how does one get into furries or start? He says this is hard because it really depends on your preferences. Some people start with art. Some really like animal movies, and others are into books. His suggestion? Start online by talking to local groups. There are plenty of telegram chats locally where you can start talking to people within the furry community. You can also build a Fur Affinity account and start looking at the various furry artwork created by furries. Then you can always check out Furry conventions as they start to come back. I was shocked to find out that there are as many furry conventions as comic-con conventions all over the United States!