The furry community has a message for the rest of the world: their culture is not about sex.
In fact, people in the nasty society are very annoyed by how their society has generally been depicted by common media.
Most people know that depictions of sexual fetis who carry fresh costumes and cavorting at wild parties are wrong and fair injustice, experts say.
For the unconscious, we are talking about a worldwide community that is estimated to be hundreds of thousands who call themselves furry fandom.
They consist of old and young, all sexes, CEOs, prospective workers, singles, couples, parents, students, LGBTQ and straight – all who celebrate imaginary animal characters with human moves.
How do they celebrate? To each one's own. The different ways track the gamut.
For example, do you have an unusually powerful fascination with Bugs Bunny?
Well then you can be a furry.
Perhaps you like to kill original animal characters that reflect your alter ego or persona, aka your "fursona".
Again you can be a furry.
What if you love your animal character so much you want to wear a suit?
You may well be a furry.
Too many furries, put on his suit sparks a fascinating metamorphosis.
Take longtime furry Joe Strike. When he puts on his reptile costume, Strike transforms from self-written "pretty mild guy" to a character, which he calls Komos.
"I get very sinful – very powerful and scary," says Strike, author of a book on fandom called "Furry Nation". "It's so fun to be the other person – this kind of mysterious, enticing character. Some women really are joking at him and it's really a blast."
Because the colorful fool costumes get the most attention in the media, it supports the perception that furriers are about costumes. But they are not.
In fact, the co-founder of the first Furry Convention does not own any suit at all.
"If you honestly believe that Furry Fandom is about to cost you, you've missed the score," said Rod Stansfield, perhaps better known in the community of his pen name, Rod Riley. "To say furry fandom is about wearing fur coat is like saying "Star Trek" fandom is about having pointed ears. "
During the 1980s, Stansfield and his partner Mark Merlino – during visits to science fiction conventions – realized that the furious fandom became a major issue of itself. In 1989, they organized an "experiment" as they called ConFurence Zero at the Holiday Inn in Garden Grove, California: the first known "furry convention and seminar."
Although only 65 people showed up, including only two or three in the suit, ConFurence Zero started a movement of varieties.
It gained momentum, which later resulted in similar conventions such as Califur, Canada's VancouFur, Australia's ConFurgence, Eurofurence and Anthrocon, now held annually in Pittsburgh. Last summer's Anthrocon, one of the largest, attracted approximately 8,400 people, including almost 2000 in costumes, according to the event's website.
"We do not feel like furry fandom is something we created, there's something there," says Stansfield. "We were just the guys who introduced it to ourselves. We just came up with a curious new way for fans to talk to each other-actually meeting face to face. People took it and ran with it."
Three decades later, race fights are much bigger, using the power of the internet to reach, organize, engage and share – through video clips, podcasts and art.
Pocari Roo, Barton Fox and Storm Folf are just some of the many furries that host video channels on YouTube that discuss fursonas, affordable pumps and other topics. "I simply want to help the world understand our fandom a bit better," says Stormi Folf, who prefers to use his fursona "for reasons of integrity and security".
"I'm known as a furry but only family and close friends know my real name," he said.
It's a subculture just like everyone else – including unique terminology.
- For example, a "greymuzzle" is an older member of furry fandom.
- "Bronies" are fans of the toy "My Little Pony", TV and film franchise.
- A "therian" is someone who feels intense spiritual identification with a non-human animal.
- A "baby fox" is interested in age games and young or childish characters.
- Milfurs are furries that are current or former members of the military.
- Here's one more: Furries who are in costumes are called fursuiters. And yes, #FursuitFriday is a real hashtag on social media.
Fandom has grown big enough to pay attention to the academy. A group of researchers has established a continuous research project at furscience.com that tracks healthy attitudes and backgrounds by asking them to answer questions about surveys.
"Demographically, it's usually white. They tend to be sort of middle class and they usually be what you like as nerds," says MacEwan University Instructor Dr. Courtney Plant, who runs the study together with researchers at Niagara County Community College, Texas A & M University and other universities.
The project website states that more than 75% of the puppies are under 25 years and about one third are identified as "exclusively heterosexual".
Sixty percent of pigeons who answered surveys reported part-time or full-time enrollment in upper secondary school.
"They often like computer games, computer games, board games, anime, science fiction, fantasy," says Plant.
Dance is also great among fursuiters. In addition to costume events on conventions, nightlife has become involved. For more than a year, Eagle Bolt Bar in Minneapolis has hosted "Suit Up Saturday", where 20-30 fursuiters appear weekly, the bar says.
An overwhelming percentage, 84%, is identified as male.
A female artist in society who calls himself InkTiger says that mostly male fandom has not been a major problem for her. "There is some sexism in the fandom, as in any other part of society. I do not think it's more pronounced in furry than anywhere else."
But what does research say about fursuiters and sexual fetishes?
"We find that with most furries and their fur costumes there is no sexual element for that for most fursuiters," says Plant. "That's because they want to be a cartoon character in the real world."
But like any other group, furries recognize a small element of sexual activity during meetings. In society it is known as "yiffing".
"Yiffing can refer to everything from affectionate hugs or nuzzling to completely ending it," Strike says. "It's definitely a part of fandom but that's not what fandom is about. If I had to throw a percentage, I might say 15%, give or take. "
Stansfield, co-founder of the first convention, says it's sad, the furious fandom is mischaracterized as a "sex style".
"Everything created by people has some degree of what people think is attractive – and attractive is a big, wide, undeniable word – but you define it."
Can that furry fandom heal?
Many furries have some kind of bullying story. Researchers found that they reported "significantly more bullying than the average person". According to furscience.com, 61.7% of furry mobs were reported from the ages of 11-18.
Compare it with bullying among American students grades 6-12. About 28% have been reported to be bullied, according to stopbullying.gov. Internationally, a World Health Organization survey of 35 countries showed that 34% of all young people were reported to have been bullied at least once in recent months.
"Research shows that furries take advantage of … interaction with like-minded others in a recreational environment, which is associated with greater self-esteem and greater life experience," says the website. Experts do not know if this advantage in furry culture attracts victims of bullying, but it can help to help bullying victims to heal.
Strike explains this way: "When they put on the fur costume and they become others, it is very liberating. You have the kind that lies behind the human person with all these inferences and problems. You become this kind of free spirit. being someone else you're not the rest of the time. "
Fandom tends to be shy, says Plant. Costumes make it easier to spend time "without fear of being sentenced".
Bottom line: Research shows that they can, for the most part, be more "normal" than you think. "The interesting part of the story is how surprisingly normal furnings can be despite having a weird hobby," says Plant.
The future of the furries
The future looks bright for furry fandom. Plant estimates that fandom is between 100,000 and 1 million people – and grows. "I do not think it will ever be common because it's an unusual hobby to have. But I think time will normalize just as the Star Trek and Star Wars fans were normalized in ways" Lord of the Rings " fans were normalized. "
If normalization comes through movies, Stansfield Hope technology will pave the way for making it cheaper and easier for furries to make Hollywood quality films.
"The turning point comes when we reach the level where a fan can make a Pixar movie in his garage," he says. "When that happens, more and more of the entertainment community will notice."
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