Thursday, November 01, 2007
Hell Hath No Furries
For some people, dressing up like a stuffed animal is more than just a hobby. It's a way of life. Our reporter attends the 2007 Furries convention.
By Jennifer Abel

When I said I'd be going to a Furry convention incognito as a black cat, the response was almost unanimous: what the hell's a Furry?

What fun to answer. Furries, I explained, are like transvestites with an added twist: instead of claiming to be a woman trapped in a man's body, they say they're animals in human bodies. And wear animal outfits called "fursuits," similar to the costumes worn by cartoon characters at theme parks only with openings in sexually strategic places.

"How do you know all this?" came the next question, which I answered with links to sources ranging from "those crazy Americans" British documentaries to a 2001 Vanity Fair piece that still inspires growls among Furries — who say the portrayals of bestiality, animal-suited sex and a near-complete lack of social skills in the article — misrepresents Furrydom as a whole.

At any rate, when I learned there'd be a Halloween convention called FurFright at Waterbury's Grand Hotel I immediately e-mailed a request for a press pass, and got a polite-yet-firm response discussing their strict no-media policy (common among Furry gatherings, I learned, since the Vanity Fair story).

Thus I went undercover, after visiting a Halloween store to buy a belled collar, velvet cat ears and a nice piece of tail (30 inches, if you think length matters).

 

The best-known fan conventions, or cons, are probably the Star Trek gatherings where aficionados pay good money to wear Vulcan ears, discuss Federation arcana and rub shoulders with actors from the show.

Furrydom got its start at sci-fi and comic cons featuring art displays of human-animal or human-alien hybrids. (Think of all those sexy aliens from Stars Trek and Wars who look exactly like hot women wearing body paint and forehead prosthetics.)

Broadly, "Furry" refers to any fan of anthropomorphic-animal art or literature. Furrydom broke out of the sci-fi/fantasy ghetto and became its own subculture in the '90s, when the Internet made it easy for people with diverse interests to find each other.

FurFright was harder to get into than any sci-fi or comic con I've seen. Con admission's usually easy: fork over your entrance fee and get a badge. The Furries demanded photo ID. You also had to fill out an electronic form with your name, age and address, and choose from a list of available species; I picked "Feline/Cat."

The man at the registration desk looked suspiciously at my driver's license. Glanced at his computer. Back at the license. Now at me. Did that e-mail put my name on a media blackball list?

Then I remembered. "The change-of-address sticker's on the back," I said of my license. "And my hair's black because I was still Goth then."

He laughed and held the license next to my face. "I guess it does look like you."

How disheartening.

But despite the difficulty getting in, the convention looked much like any other: people in street clothes, folks in full costume, and others in everyday garb with a con accessory or two: no superhero capes, but plenty of animal tails poking out from shirt bottoms.

 

The day's first discussion panel, advertised as an "icebreaker," was moderated by a man in his 40s who wore jeans and a Trix Rabbit shirt, and called himself Wally Wabbit. There were also three men who self-identified as a Skunk, Coyote and Dog. Coyote wore jeans, a T-shirt with a picture of his namesake, a tail and paw-shaped bedroom slippers. Everyone else wore street clothes. (By dint of my ears and tail, I looked more animalistic than half the people there.)

Skunk, a nice-looking man somewhere in his 30s, introduced himself as a computer engineer from the Boston area. Coyote had another technical job. Both recognized me as someone who'd never been to a Furry convention before.

That's another difference between a Furry con and its sci-fi/fantasy predecessors: the majority of the Furries knew each other, either from earlier cons or Internet chat rooms. Walk through a sci-fi or comic con and you'll get no shortage of party invitations to check out some space-opera bootleg or a copy of the latest anime craze. I found no open invitations from strangers among the Furries.

The dealers' room, another convention staple, had a strict no-photographs rule, likely due to the original artwork for sale within. Most showed human bodies with animal heads and tails, usually in everyday human situations.

A few dealers had albums with adults-only warnings on the covers. The animal-accented human bodies inside were nude, posing alone or in softcore situations with others. (There's no apparent bias against interspecies coupling in Furrydom.)

Still, the adult stuff was rare and hidden from view. Everything else was child-safe: animal T-shirts, high-quality plush dolls and cartoons of the sort you find in kids' books. By fan-convention standards, it was all pretty tame.

 

Beside the dealers' and panel rooms, most convention space focused on social activities: group-action video games and Dance Dance Revolution machines, or tables for card and board games. Another room showed animal-themed movies like Chicken Run all day.

Outside the dealers' room I ran into Coyote, who invited me to join a group of fursuiters for dinner at a nearby buffet.

"I'm not a fursuiter," I said.

"Yes, you are," he replied, pointing to my ears and tail. I smiled and agreed to meet him later.

Earlier, I'd noticed a room labeled "Headless Lounge, for fursuiters, performers and staff only." Once I knew I qualified as a fursuiter, I went in for a look.

And left almost immediately. The room was far too cold for anyone in street clothes. Multiple fans spinning full blast amplified the already-high air conditioning, and enormous tubs of ice and chilled drinks covered the tables. People in fursuits with the heads off reclined on the floor. The Headless Lounge was a cooldown room, protecting people in heavy fursuits from dehydration or heatstroke.

 

When a few dozen of us met in the lobby for dinner, those of us with cars were asked to give rides to those without. I drove Skunk and his friend Monkey (in full-human garb) to a nearby buffet.

Monkey, a college student, mentioned his concern over the next big Furry con: it was scheduled for when he'd be at home, so he needed an excuse to give his parents.

"Your parents don't know?" I asked.

"No. They wouldn't approve."

"I don't see why. I've seen much weirder stuff at sci-fi and comic cons than anything here."

"Media sensationalism," Skunk said. "When the media does a story about Fur fandom, they pick the weirdest, most extreme people and say we're all like that."

No comment from me. I later asked him what the real, non-sensational face of Furry fandom looks like.

"It all varies," he said. "Some people just like anthropomorphic art. As for people relating to animals, it ranges from 'I think they're cool' to 'I have traits in common, like I'm quiet as a mouse,' to 'Yes, I am a wolf in a human body and I must run free with my furry brothers!'"

I laughed. "Still beats being a Klingon. So what makes you a skunk?"

"I like the striking colors ... and I was a maladjusted kid. When a skunk walks into the room, everybody leaves."

 

After dinner the con was more crowded, and lots of full-fursuiters milled about. Over the low murmur of voices I heard the constant click of cameras: Fursuiters showing off their costumes and posing for pictures.

Skunk suggested I attend the "Friday Furpocalypse" which, despite its ominous name, consisted of organized games ranging from relay races to Furry-themed versions of game shows. During the "Furry Match Game," a man wearing a hunter costume and carrying a giant plush carrot walked in, stalked by a terrifying mutant rabbit with enormous fangs and oversized claws.

Children's cartoons, Red Cross fundraisers, team sports and adult content kept discreetly out of sight. How wholesome.

Every half-hour I went to the bathroom to take notes in a private stall, and at 9 p.m. wrote: "May as well have gone to a Catholic school Halloween party. The dance starts in half an hour. Maybe something will happen there."

When I heard the strains of "Hungry Like The Wolf" emanating from the ballroom, I walked in to see a little toddler girl dancing with someone in a bunny suit. A minute later the girl abandoned the bunny to pull a cartoon fox onto the dance floor. She got more excited each time a new animal entered the room (good thing the mutant rabbit had left).

One man leaning against the wall surveyed the scene with a proud expression. "She's definitely my daughter," he smiled at me. "Look how much fun she's having."

"Of course," I said. "She's in a roomful of giant stuffed animals all come to life and dancing with her."

"You know," her father said reflectively, "I haven't been to a con since Anthrocon [another Furry gathering] a few years ago. These are the only people I trust. There's definitely a friendly vibe here."

 

There was. But what about the sex vibes I'd hoped to find? If I'd peeked behind every hotel-room door I probably would've found something, but that's true at any gathering of hundreds of people far from home. The Furry convention wasn't a sex thing but the exact opposite: an innocent world of children's-book animals, where a 3-year-old can roam with impunity and a maladjusted kid can enter the room with nobody leaving.

In 2002 a sociologist named David Rust published "The Sociology of Furry Fandom," based on surveys he'd taken in the late '90s. Rust noted that Furries tend to have a higher percentage of homosexuals than the regular population, but the "perception that Furries tend to be sexually overt and promiscuous" is "skewed."

And while the Furries obviously have a shared interest in anthropomorphic themes, their defining characteristics found by Rust were "a higher tolerance (than within mainstream culture) for displays of affection or friendliness" and for "variety in sexual orientation and activity."

Still, none of that sexual openness was visible to me. At 11:30 p.m. I attended an adults-only panel called "Safety Furst." Was this, then, where the infamous Furry sleaze was to be found? Maybe a lesson on how to do bunnysuit bondage without suffocating your partner?

Nope. Same safe-sex/anti-STD lecture you can find in any middle school.

 

 

Write to us at jabel@hartfordadvocate.com or editor@hartfordadvocate.com

Comments (125)
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First of all, even before the page loaded and I saw the article itself, I laughed out loud at the headline/page title: "Hell Hath No Furries." I don't know if Jennifer Abel wrote that herself or some editor did, but kudos!

"Thus I went undercover, after visiting a Halloween store to buy a belled collar, velvet cat ears and a nice piece of tail (30 inches, if you think length matters)."

I'm not a furballer, but that actually sounds kind of hot.

"... So what makes you a skunk?"

"I like the striking colors ... and I was a maladjusted kid. When a skunk walks into the room, everybody leaves."

That's actually rather moving.

"The Furry convention wasn't a sex thing but the exact opposite: an innocent world of children's-book animals, where a 3-year-old can roam with impunity and a maladjusted kid can enter the room with nobody leaving."

That's actually quite touching.

And it's a good article. You took a topic that most people (me, anyway) tend to just think is kind of weird and funny, and put a human face on it, as it were.

Damn.








Posted by Stevo Darkly on 10.30.07 at 13.20
When I first read the Vanity Fair article I was shocked and disgusted, then I met some furries and I was a little creeped out, then I met a few more and found them to be little more than slightly more eccentric than everyone else.

So I went from being disgusted, to being amused. Now I wonder why I thought it was such a big deal in the first place.
Posted by mk on 10.30.07 at 16.26
It takes guts and skill to sensitively and fairly portray a group of people that strike the rest of us as more than a bit odd. But Jennifer Abel pulls it off perfectly, as she always does.
Thanks for an enjoyable read.
Posted by Number 6 on 10.31.07 at 5.35
As a "Furry" While I can't approve of your methods, I do appreciate your honesty and fairness. I do apologize for not being the slew of perverts you were looking for, but thank you for reporting the truth instead of making stuff up as you go along to support the errant view many have. Who knows, maybe you made some friends, and will come back next year on your own for real.
Posted by Anthony Urzi on 10.31.07 at 10.01
Huh. I gotta say I'd bought the hype and rumor, and I had the big-furry-group-orgy idea stuck in my head.

It's pretty clear that the 'conventional wisdom' is way way way off base. This is a great piece.
Posted by lunchstealer on 10.31.07 at 10.21
While I hate the media, large and small, and would gladly hang every single one outside the hotel by their toes while we all had fun inside... I have to compliment you on your unbiased and truthful report of the con.

While I don't condone you sneaking in, I understand that reporting is your job, and sometimes that forces people to skirt morality, if not ethics and the law.

Having been in the furry fandom for 15 years now I have been through every news article and tv-show that has focused on the sensationalistic view of Furries. The easiest answer I can give to people without writing a very good article like the one above, is "The Furry Fandom includes artists, performers, costumers, and the fans of all three. Some are shy, most are friendly, and some are as dirty as the lonely housewife next door. You learn to live with all of them. Be open to the culture and it'll be open to you. And no, not everyone has sex in animal costumes, full or partial."
Posted by Luphinus on 10.31.07 at 10.48
This's kind of a funny article, in that it seems like you came looking for some kind of expose or sensationalist scandal, but instead were pleasantly surprised to have your own personal stereotypes broken.

When joe-normal people think of furry Cons, they think of sex-orgies and creepy beastiality, especially since the media spin and the internet rumour-mill does nothing but blow things rediculously out of proportion.

Alot of hate is directed toward Furry for no particular reason. The funny thing is it's basically Nerds hating on other nerds for being more eccentric. Some kind of egoist pecking order. I don't get it.

From the standpoint of an Ex Anime congoer, the actual reality is truthfully alot blander and normal than most people imagine. You're more likely to find a group of people arguing over which was better, Warner Bros. or Disney, than sex-crazed orgies or weirdness.

Me? to quote a good friend: 'I don't dream about shapeshifting and long to express my inner dragon wolf cat fox monkey trumpet. I don't define my lifestyle in terms of my hobbies and preferences'. I'm just a fursuiter, something which brings me great enjoyment, mostly from the construction process and the performance aspect.

Compared to the costumers at coventions like Dragon-con, which range from leather bikinis to latex catsuits, It's pretty tame.

So maybe you'll come around next-time & attend of your own accord. You actually might *gasp* have a decent time & make some new friends.
Posted by Pew Pew!! Fire the Miabeam!! on 10.31.07 at 13.06
Well written, you are a rare but appreciated representative of your craft. I do hope the con at least tries to sue you or your employer however to demonstrate they are not going to simply allow this type of violation of their no-media policy. You are setting a very undesirable precedent that may result in a slew of reporters using your tactic to write more biased sleaze. Sex sells, not the harmless truth. Sorry, but thanks.
Posted by Rabbit on 10.31.07 at 14.21
Frankly, I think some furries are overreacting a bit to your creative method of infiltration. Maybe I would feel differently if your piece had been yet another tawdy collection of stereotypes and sarcasm, but unless the con makes you sign something stating that you are forbidden from writing about your experiences at the con, I think you're well within your rights.

As for your (disappointment?) surprise at the tameness of it all... it's a bit disheartening that people always seem to want to focus on the weirdest and most flamboyant people they can find, but I understand that the only thing worse than an inaccurate story to a journalist is a boring one.

Yes, the fandom contains sexual aspects, because furries are still people with normal sex drives. Many of them also love to entertain and enjoy an atmosphere that lets them not be required to maintain the stuffy air of indifference and aversion to personal contact that our society seems to find perfectly normal.

The fandom is still quite interesting and fun with or without the kinky stuff, but we don't expect everyone to get it. It'd be way too crowded if they did.
Posted by Croc on 10.31.07 at 15.19
Great article! I have been in furry for 13 years and this is pretty much my experience. I have met some incredibly awesome and creative and fun people through this thing. And the art is great too. Hope you come back!
Posted by Cargo on 10.31.07 at 18.19
Nicely written article! I just went over my 12th year in furry, and have been having a blast. I hope you enjoyed yourself at the convention besides for working and jotting down notes as well!
Posted by shy_matsi on 10.31.07 at 18.54
lol. Thats my costume you have a picture of there :D WOO FREE ADVERTS!
Also, thanks for the friendly face- we can use all the positive media possible. And if you want furry-sleaze; generally they're milling about- maybe one or two in a crowd of two dozen, the vast majority keep it behind closed doors, but every family has their black sheep(That and, Furfright has the lowest idiot/pervert ratio of any convention, thank little baby jesus. Anthrocon(because of its high attendance) has more just from pure percentage, but- having attended the vast majority of available cons presented in due time, I find Furfright to be the best small-portioned slice of the fanbase. Thanks for popping by and giving the scoop!
Posted by ArtSlave on 10.31.07 at 20.09
Finally! A fair and balanced report of a convention, and not just some retelling of that made up story done in Vanity Unfair (by someone who found so little titallation that the editor stuck in something about Smush fetish into the middle.) You did your own homework and research -- bravo! I tilt my virtual hat to you sirrah.

Furry fandom is reliving the golden days of SF fandom where the fans created and ran their own conventions and entertained themselves, since mainstream America wasn't about to. We create our own artwork, our own stories (I'm a writer in the genre), our own get togethers and our own shows. Like every other group in the world, we have our public sides, and our private sides. And yes, we are getting fed up with reporters grabbing the wildest, freakiest individual they can find (or hire for effect, as the Man Show attempted) and claim all of us are exactly the same.

We aren't the same. None of us. We have a love for anthropomorphism in common and that is all. Beyond that, some love suits and some hate them. Some love stories and some hate them. Some love the art and some hate it. But the genre is so vast and filled with so many talented people who the mainstream ignore, that everyone in furry can find something they enjoy, and other new-found friends who enjoy the same thing. It's a grand thing, fandom is. And we are less "weird" than most media would have you think.
Posted by shockwave on 11.1.07 at 5.00
I was actually the badge checker at the Saftey Furst panel and several other. Wonder who you were.
Why not come again next year?
Posted by Cyril A. Jaquel on 11.1.07 at 5.38
I was actually the badge checker at the Saftey Furst panel and several other. Wonder who you were.
Why not come again next year?
Posted by Cyril A. Jaquel on 11.1.07 at 5.41
Wonderful article. Pretty much sums up the convention very well. Kudos indeed. I felt it was fair and balanced.

You're welcome back anytime!
Posted by Aka Karyuu on 11.1.07 at 6.49
Very nicely done, its good to see an outside perspective that shows things as they are, not spun for sensationalism.

The furry fandom is a very friendly community, tight knit as you reported. We organize these conventions for us to get together and simply enjoy time with those who share our interests. I personally love the idea of creating an environment where those who aren't so fortunate to have acceptance from those around them to come and express themselves. I was one of those originally, now I welcome anyone else who wishes for friends that are like them, too.
Posted by Gramzon on 11.1.07 at 8.12
As one of the attendees to FurFright, and co-owner/creator of the fursuit pictured t the top, thank you for writing about what you actually witnessed.
Posted by JTMurdock on 11.1.07 at 8.12
Wonderful article!

Finally, someone who writes about what *really* happens at a furry convention, instead of zeroing in on the three freakiest people at the convention and basing their entire article on that.
Posted by XJ on 11.1.07 at 10.08
Thank you! Being a furry and seeing this brings a freakin tear to my eye.

My boyfriend, I'm a female by the way, has not told his parents because of the negivate media about furries. Seeing this gives me hope. I only wish I had been there, but I was attending another con.

Thank you for telling what can happen and what does happen at a con.

Xanthe
Posted by Xanteh Equine on 11.1.07 at 11.39
It's good to see someone else who thinks this isn't much different than sci-fi meetups, other than ones with furries tend to be more relaxed, and big fuzzy helmets are easier to put on than klingon masks with face paint. Oh, and those crazy weapons hurt!
Posted by Handsome Jet Project on 11.1.07 at 12.45
This was wonderful, I applaud you and your article!
Posted by Obsydian on 11.1.07 at 14.23
Always glad to see someone actually taking the time to debunk the myths and stereotypes about the fandom. Furries are awesome.
Posted by Xydexx on 11.1.07 at 18.03
That man in his 40's (Wally_Wabbit) is only 29!
Posted by Wally_Wabbit on 11.1.07 at 18.17
That man in his 40's (Wally_Wabbit) is only 29!

My deepest apologies. I was not yet sufficiently caffeinated.
Posted by Jennifer Abel on 11.1.07 at 19.10
Thank you for a fair and balanced view of our little corner of our mind. Too often, sensationalism in every media, the never-ending quest for more ratings or readers or the masses lusting for more juicy bits of someone else's life skews and distorts reality.

I actually attended Furfright and never would have known you were there. And the fact that nobody screamed bloody murder about a journalist amongst us proves how well you blended in and took an actual look at us.

But I do have to agree with the father you mentionned; there is a brotherhood amongst furs that you can hardly, if not impossible, to find in any other subculture. It's one of the things that make it so special.

I, for one, thank you, from the bottom of my golden retriever heart, for your honesty and integrity. If more reporters were half as trustworthy to "tell it like it as" as you represent yourself to be with this article, the media in general would most likely be that much reliable.

Once more, thank you and I'm glad you had a good time nonetheless. ^_^

*tailwags*
Posted by Firebreath on 11.1.07 at 19.14
This is the fairest article on furry fandom I've read so far. But you tricked a trickster! You're good. (Even though you spelled my name wrong.)

My theory is that furry fandom is a reaction to the increasingly negative "mundane" world where we're told to treat everyone with suspicion and to report our suspicions in the name of "security", which results in more insecurity instead. We disassociate ourselves from that world and rebuild one where we can trust each other, be more accepting of our differences, laugh and have fun, and be nice and respectful and playful with others without someone thinking we're stalking them. If we have to act like animals to be more human with each other, so be it.
Posted by Coyoty on 11.1.07 at 20.02
Ha! I thought there was something different about you. You seemed very eager to participate in everything, and now I feel even more bizarre being the only other girl to go to the fursuiters dinner that was a real fur! *laughs* I also wondered what those notes you were writing in the bathroom were about. I was the girl who took a picture of you on the little scooter things. I didn't see you the rest of the weekend so I actually figured you were a reporter, a college kid doing an article or decided it wasn't for you, after all. If you'd asked me questions I would have gladly answered, I've been in articles before.
Posted by Emberlyn on 11.1.07 at 20.26
Thank you for having the courage and integrity to portray the truth about the folks at FurFright and the furry community in general. We really are, for the most part, pretty tame and don't bite. Unless you ask us to, anyway.

As for your methods?

Mmmmmm...well, I cannot say as I entirely approve, but this is a good step in the right direction. You see, we, as a community, have been burned to the third degree by the media. Some articles have seared us right down to the bone, and we neither forget nor forgive very easily. We can be really easy going, but tick us off and it will hang over your head for a very long time indeed.

However, reporters and media people around the world are starting to get the message. Treat us with respect, and you'll start to get somewhere with us. For now, most convention organizers are taking the well-traveled, long-established path of not allowing ANY media into the convention. But as more and more stories like this one come out, that will slowly start to change.

This article will help that along.

Well done!
Posted by IonOtter on 11.1.07 at 20.28
A very nicely written article! It's lovely to see somebody with some professional integrity. I was quite amused reading this, as this is the second time I've read an article about a reporter going "under cover" at a furry con, expecting to find the fursuit orgies. But the other article came over as being very dismissive of the furry fandom, and it sounded like the authors were certain those kinky perverts had the orgies somewhere! This sounds like you've really understood a lot of what the fandom is really about.

Though of course it's different for all of us. For me, furry is my job. I make fursuits. If you saw Coyoty's suit, well, you saw a head that I made! If you ever want to dive a little deeper into the furry world and get a suit of your own, I can hook you up.

And shame on the commenter above who thinks you should be sued! I don't think anybody needs to be suing somebody who's done such good for our image!
Posted by SPark on 11.1.07 at 21.04
Well, I won't repeat what the others say, but know that I agree.

Media can hype things up greatly, or portray them honestly. I know I was nervous about my first F.c when I went, but come to find out it's the best thing I've ever gone too and since have been hooked.
Although you were sneaky, I am glad you did what you did to get in and report on this. I'm a furry, but I also happen to be a journalism major, so I know what it means to have to get the story. What makes this article even better, is that you didn't try to spice things up or make things stranger than they really were in order to get the attention other writers may want. Yet, with what you wrote, I think that was enough in itself.
Thank you for the article.
Posted by pan-pan on 11.1.07 at 22.06
I have to say your article is well written.

In general, Furries tend to be, for the most part, accepting people.

Unless otherly stated, Furry conventions tend to stay "family friendly." Much like Comic Con, if it's anything adult-themed, it will be stated. At I-Con, they checked IDs at the door of any adult themed movies being shown for instance.

In a way, a lot of Furries find the conventions like a big family reunion. I've been to a variety of events, and they tend to feel the most like that. I've been to a number of Anime conventions, and though I've hung out with folks I know, it doesn't quite have the same feeling.

Mark Evanier described the conventions as fans of fans. An Artist maybe just someone out in the normal world, but within the fandom may be a celebrity. A lot of the conventions will have guests that are fan-based.
Posted by Erika Leigh R. on 11.1.07 at 22.16
My deepest apologies. I was not yet sufficiently caffeinated.

(Moose, as a man who is actually in his 40's, makes mental note to time any move on Jennifer to a time when she's not fully caffinated, hoping for the "No, I'm really only 29...yeah...that's it..." approach. Then, realizing that he'd probably be uncaffinated himself at such a time and bollox it up entirely, gives up in a fit of despair and goes back to digging holes with large tonka toys)

So, I'm curious, and this is a serious question though it sounds somewhat not so. Not being a furry myself, despite the name, is it that y'all believe you're mis-bodied animal spirits, or reincarnated animal spirits, or that you want to be an animal, or just having fun?
Posted by A Moose on 11.2.07 at 4.54
To A. Moose> I think your question has already been answered in the article above. Specifically:

"It all varies," he said. "Some people just like anthropomorphic art. As for people relating to animals, it ranges from 'I think they're cool' to 'I have traits in common, like I'm quiet as a mouse,' to 'Yes, I am a wolf in a human body and I must run free with my furry brothers!'"

So, the short answer to your question it something along the lines of "D: All of the above".

There is no strictly defined boundary where you must like something enought to be a fan. Everyone likes the athro- related stuff to whatever degree they want, and that can vary from day to day as much as it does from person to person.
Posted by SpotWeld on 11.2.07 at 5.37
'Yes, I am a wolf in a human body and I must run free with my furry brothers!

I guess my question is more to mechanism rather than effect. The above statement could either be construed as "I would like to be such", with "like" varying from minor desire to that of a sex change candidate. It could also be construed as someone who was, in fact, mis-bodied (is that a word?), meaning, somehow their spirit arrived in the wrong body. It could also be a past life reincarnation thing.

I'm just curious as to the underlying belief structure. I don't particularly care if someone wants to consider dressing up as an animal or a tree is their version of fun, it's not mine to question.
Posted by A Moose on 11.2.07 at 6.33
A. Moose> Again, there is pretty much a full range. Of those whose beliefs are at that end of the spectrum (Furry-dom is a way of life: to paraphrase) you find there is still a pretty diverse list of specific interpretations. Web-searching though the various forums and groups and I think you'll find examples of fandom members who individually express exactly those examples you mention as well as a good dozen or so variations beyond.

Furry fandom, unlike a more familiar branch sci-fi fandom is not tied to a specific canon. Rather the fans are discovering/interpreting/making-up their own as they choose. (Individually or in smaller sun-groups.)

Additionally; if there is something specific you are looking for, you'll probably find it in time.
Posted by SpotWeld on 11.2.07 at 6.43
=^_^= *hugs and scritches Miss Abel*

Thanks for the awesome article. As a furry, you kept me in suspense with your story by not mentioning anything risque. I'm not really put off so much by the sensational articles. I don't care what people think of me. I was waiting for it, but not only was it not there, but the article turned out to be one of the best I've read on furries. Be prepared to be bombarded with many positive comments from hundreds of furries. Just ignore the few bad comments you're gonna get, probably from furs who just read the first paragraph. Even though you are only working for the local Connecticut media, this story is going to be read by every fur around the world. I see that it was just published yesterday, but it just hit my furry group list and is sure to spread quickly.

Thanks again for the REAL convention experience and I hope that you can come to Anthrocon in Pittsburgh next June or Midwest FurFest (MFF), to actually be a part of the fun, with or without your 'fursuit'.
Posted by Aiden Raccoon on 11.2.07 at 7.02
As a media professional myself and member of the fandom, I have to say this is one of the best, most balanced and unbiased articles I've seen on furry since I got involved more than a decade ago. It gets away from the sensationalism, the "it's a fetish! It's all dirty naughty sex!" claims, and all the other negative perceptions and portrays the fandom as it really should be recognized - a subset of science-fiction/fantasy, much like the Trekkers. Sneaking in undercover is something I'd probably never have done when I was working newspapers, but hey, the positive article makes up for that. Nice work! And keep the ears and tail around - maybe use them again next year!
Posted by Tony on 11.2.07 at 7.54
See, we're not *all* bad. Just the outcasts of teh fandom...-points to a tiny area in the side where you can see two oddly dressed fursuiters looking around quickly, spouting "I LIKE CHEESE!"- It's just those types ya gotta worry about. xD
Posted by Kahami on 11.2.07 at 10.12
I thought this was the most unbiased, straight forward article on a fur con, and the fandom in whole, I have ever read! Yes, I'm a furry, and though you were so bold as to break the rules, I think you did an awesome job.

In fact, I bet that once staff members of other cons read this article, you might actually be granted press access while others, who are generally known to sensualize it like, "Look at the freaks!", and we're a bunch of sex-crazed lunatics. I'm tired of all the bad press. I think we all are. Of course, no amount of bad press could ever cause our numbers to stop growing at an exponential rate. It just gives an unfair view of what we're about to those who are not "enlightened" or, what we call "mundanes". Common people who just don't know and/or aren't involved in the furry fandom. And I certainly wouldn't want my grandmother to read that bad press... That....would be bad. But, she knows I would never do the things that are described in those articles.

Why do I keep rambling on like this? It's like I'm giving you a free interview...but you're not asking any questions. It's a confessional!

I haven't been to a convention, yet. But, in two weeks, you can find me in Schaumburg, IL at Midwest Furfest.

Actually, speaking of that, I also found your article to be very informative to those who maybe have never been to a furry convention. But, that's FurFright, one of the smaller cons. MFF is the third largest furry con in the world. From my statistics, Eurofurence in Suhl, Germany is the second largest, and Anthrocon in Pittsburgh, PA is the largest. I'll be there, next year, if all goes as planned.

I have nothing more to say, so I'll end with a word of wisdom....or just some strange quote. You decide.

You don't really know where you're going until you're there.

I think that fits with me. I went to school for computer science, and sought after a career in veterinary science, and now, I'm a dental assistant. Make sense? I never thought I'd be here until....well...three days before I started working here. So, unexpect the expected.
Posted by Rian Welles aka Knux the Fox on 11.2.07 at 10.39
So much has been said here, and I hope you have received the general vibe that furries are, generally speaking, wonderfully open-minded, friendly, loveable, different, and all-around fun. :) I'm not SURE about reporting undercover, but I'm not one to say anything, since I am not a reporter, and since I have the hidden wish for the media to report us in a well-rounded way as you did.

You wrote honestly...looking for the "juicy bits" of the fandom, but finding instead a greater majority of what it truly is. The chairman, staff, security, and attendees of FurFright all try to make it as family-friendly and as fun as possible for all involved, and it warms me to know that we've achieved that for everyone, including you! :-) Thanks, also for a GREAT photo of my favorite fursuiter there.

I won't rehash what everyone else has said, except to announce to you and all who read this that I am eternally thankful to all furries for giving me more friends, care, love, fun, and happiness than anyone/anything else in my life, not to mention EQUALITY. No one is "better" or "worse" in the fandom, and nearly every fursuiter I found was definitely not above giving a hug or sharing a photo with me. I'm glad that you were invited to the fursuit dinner, and I really hope you had an excellent time.

As others have said, please consider coming again next year if you want, but if you can, leave the reporting materials at home and come as you are! :-) Hopefully my walrus suit will be completely done by then! LOL

Thank you again for the positive and great article!!! Take care!
Posted by Furio on 11.2.07 at 12.09
As most everyone has said, wonderful article! While I was saddened to not make it to FurFright, it sounds like it was a wonderful convention and hopefully able to make it next year.

I just hope more reporters don't take your methods at other furry conventions. Getting bad press about a convention you help out with is disheartening. If it is good press, it will be nice but worrying, because, will there be another person who was there that is going to write a sensationalist article?

Furry Conventions, for the most part, are run by all volunteers who put blood, sweat, and tears into something so everyone has a great time. The only compensation most folks who help out is a free membership to the event and many thanks for their help. The money put in goes to pay for the event and in some cases, give extra to the charity they are hosting for the year.
Posted by Takaza on 11.2.07 at 15.59
Thanks.

I ran the Safety Furst panel. Sorry I didn't kick it up enough. I guess singing the steps to condom use to the tune of "Row Row Row Your Boat" isn't enough. Maybe next year.
Posted by Michael Mayer on 11.2.07 at 16.02
Buddy, you're confusing furries with therians.

Therians are the ones who think they're animals in human bodies. Furries make fun of them.
Posted by Havoc on 11.2.07 at 16.56
Huzzah, one more reason I love living in Connecticut! Smart people! Balanced opinions! The Huskies ;) The BoSox/Yanks rival- wait, getting off-topic...

This is, I think, literally the first media coverage of any furry oriented event/goings-on that has not made me embarrassed to consider myself furry. I don't really even have my fingers deep into the scene (I like some of the art, grew up with cartoons, I think a suit might be fun sometime down the road... *shrug*), but I've met a lot of cool people within the community. It's just hard if the subject comes up in common conversation with someone who isn't furry, and all their exposure to it is CSI, MTV, Vanity Fair, etc etc. It also sucks when you can't talk to those close to you, like parents, siblings, friends; about one of the few things that really lets you be who you want to be... You have to keep one side of yourself completely sheltered, and I think that might be another reason why some ties and friendships within the fandom get so strong, and also why the fandom as a whole is much more accepting of different people (I say we're still human, though, and therefore we still fall victim to being judgemental in our own ways).

Long story short; awesome article. Thanks a lot!
Posted by AG-Wolf on 11.2.07 at 19.50
I ran the Safety Furst panel. Sorry I didn't kick it up enough. I guess singing the steps to condom use to the tune of "Row Row Row Your Boat" isn't enough.

Please don't think this reflects badly on you. Bear in mind my first big story for the Advocate was called For A Good Time Call Jennifer: My Brief Career As A Phone Sex Worker.

And I did have a fun time at the convention. Thank you all! Especially Coyoty, Wally, iSkunk, Emberlyn (the pictures came out great, thanks) and the father of that adorable little girl. And all the con and panel organizers, too.
Posted by Jennifer Abel on 11.2.07 at 20.10
I remember seeing you at the safe sex panel (Safety Furst). I was the loud one up front wearing black. I just wanted to say thanks for writing such a splendid article. Its nice to see an honest journalist, and its a pleasure to see how much detail you put into the article.
Posted by Eidy on 11.2.07 at 20.53
Ms. Abel, you've surprised me. I was linked to your article through a furry forum I frequent, by someone who loved it and raved that we were finally getting some genuine "good press." And I wasn't quite sure what he meant by that. We furries are so used to being burned by the media that our standards for "good press" are really rather low. I saw a Houston Chronicle article about furries a few years back that basically focused on one disturbed high school kid, detailing his various mental disorders and intimating that furry was just a form of escapism for people like him--and the most common response in the fandom? "Thank GOD, finally an article that isn't obsessed with the sex!"

But this? This was *good*. You scared me with those first few paragraphs, lol, but overall it strikes me as less like a "look at this weird group of people who dress up like animals" piece and more like a simple "con report"-- all about what you did, where you went, who you talked to, and what you saw (and NOT obsessing over the things you wanted to see but didn't). Your subjects were sensitively quoted, not just used for soundbites. It was amusing in spots and poignant in others. It doesn't resort to stupid cutesy cliches. All in all, it reads almost like it was written by an insider. (Are you *sure* you're not a furry posing as a reporter posing as a furry?) =;)

There's one thing we should tell you that you might not have bargained for: you ain't just writing this for the fine folks of the Hartford metro area. A LOT of people from all over the world are going to be reading this article. You seem to have gotten a sense from the general atmosphere at FurFright that furries are very, very wary of the media; because of this, many of us watch the newspapers like hawks, and whenever any mention of the fandom turns up, good or bad, it gets passed around the internet lightning-fast. I would estimate (conservatively) that about half the furries in the country are going to be reading your article, along with plenty of furs from abroad. And you know what? You've comported yourself pretty darn well. =:)
Posted by Arbutus on 11.2.07 at 21.24
A lot of the furry people just do it for aesthetic reasons. In every day life you're an overweight till-jockey or a desk pilot... you go home.... and you can be a dragon who flies, or a superbly buff wolf, or a centaur with perfect hair.
In other words, it's stress relief and freeform social RPG.
Posted by Cuprohastes on 11.3.07 at 0.58
I cannot express how much I appreciate this respectful article. When I was emailed a link to this story, I was afraid it was going to be yet another horrible misrepresentation. I was pleasently surprised...Jenifer Abel, you just gained 50 cool-points.
Posted by Nate aka Narkiel on 11.3.07 at 4.38
Thank you. I'm a furry and a high school teacher; these two worlds must, by virtue of negative media coverage and cultural perception, be mutually exclusive. I can only hope that more articles like this one start making the rounds.

here's some additional food for thought: Mephit Fur Meet, a convention that takes place every Labor Day weekend in Memphis, has a history of being a family-friendly and philanthropic convention. Most of the people who attend are regulars, giving the con the feel of a family reunion, and these people are usually very well off in the world.

MFM's badge of pride, in my opinion is their reaction to Hurricane Katrina. When the disaster hit and refugees started fleeing, MFM welcomed all families with open arms. Con-goers offered to buy rooms. Free passes were handed out to families so they could enjoy themselves at dances, panels, movie rooms, etc. We fed the refugees and welcomed them in just as we'd welcome other furries.

It is my sincerest hope that stories like this one start to permeate the "we're all loonies that dress up like foxes and have sex" mentality that's so prominent in the media.
Posted by Slyford on 11.3.07 at 5.18
Jennifer: Thanks for the fantastic article. I know firsthand how the media can take something and turn it into something else entirely; I also know firsthand how the media can take something and show it for what it really is like. The latter is what you did, and it's what journalism is supposed to be.

I haven't really considered myself a member of furry fandom, though that's changing; my partner definitely is, however, and he's becoming well known for his furry character. I'll be at MFF with a costume (fursuit) of my own, and we'll see how that turns out.

One other note: Havoc distinguishes between furries and therians, and says that the former make fun of the latter. This may be true in some segments of the furry community, but it's by no means universal. Most of it is much more accepting of people, no matter what they think or believe.
Posted by Jay Maynard on 11.3.07 at 5.30
I'm one of the ones just interested in the art. ;D Drawing it, actually. I've never been to a con.

But I must say, even if I wasn't a furry [and it wasn't until recently that I would admit it because of the response saying so got me], this report made me want to attend a con.
I'm normally pretty shy and anxious around people but something like that just sounds like a lot of fun. Who knows? Maybe I'll catch AFF in Spokane in April. (:

Thanks for being unbiased. Your article was really fun to read!
Posted by xainy on 11.3.07 at 8.41
Exceptionally well-written article. Kudos to you for attending as you did, and for reporting truthfully what you saw. While I don't personally enjoy the necessity of undercover work, I can certainly appreciate how--in situations like this--it's the only way to get the job done.

It's funny you bring up Star Trek conventions. Years ago, I attended Origins the week before Anthrocon, and I was in an elevator when the subject of furries arose. The unanimous opinion of the individual dressed in full Klingon regalia, the girl in the chainmail bikini, the bearded man dressed as Sailor Mercury, and the individual wearing a playing card costume was that furries were "freaks" because they "liked to dress up and pretend to be animals."

Your article was very enjoyable, and hopefully you were able to have a little fun--aside from your research, that is--during the convention.
Posted by Beau Wolff on 11.3.07 at 9.27
I really don't have much else to say that my furry brothers and sisters above haven't already said for me: thank you for presenting us in a fair and favorable light. Your methods may have been shady, but in the end it's good to see your heart was in the right place and that you didn't already have this article written in your mind before you even showed, looking for justification.

We'd love to see you again next year or better still, the year after since - as you may have heard - the Grand Hotel is going to have an indoor waterpark by then ;)

Seriously, kudos to you, miss. Were that more reporters were like you...

Posted by Ramensnax on 11.3.07 at 10.54
It was very refreshing to read such an unbiased opinion of what the majority of the media has downright bashed. You'll have negative stereotypes in every subculture you run into, and while there is a few unfavorable stereotypes out there, it doesn't , and shouldn't, reflect upon all of us. Thank you for being fair and honest.

I've been a part of the furry fandom for almost 10 years now, and an artist for about 5 of that. For me, my "furriness" is more of a spiritual thing, although I can also state reasons similar to the Skunk you mentioned, for being the animal that I am (a Wolf).

I have to admit that the way you chose to attend the con was rather clever, and I'm glad that such an honest person like you thought of it first. Hopefully more negatively based reporters will not follow your example to portray the fandom, that most of us feel can be closer than family, in a negative, stereotyped, light.

I'm not really saying anything that the many furries above me haven't already said, but seeing this makes me feel hope that maybe we won't be seen as freakish outcasts. While I know that there will always be those out there that feel we should all burn in hell, hopefully the rest of them will come to accept us as just another subculture, a group of people that have found their niche in the world.
Posted by Silvermidnight on 11.3.07 at 12.03
Well congratulations on a well written article. Subject aside, your flow was good, your structure was fantastic.

On the subject of furries: Also good, and a fairly apt assessment of a convention. I help run Rocky Mountain Fur Con here in the Mile High city (Denver, CO). and I would say it is much like furfright in that respect. And we want it to stay that way.

Personally? I don't mind if someone plays around in their rooms. thats private territory. If they are kinky and do something in that, I honestly could not care. And you pointed that out quite nicely that this sort of thing happens at pretty much all conventions by their nature.

So, unofficially (since i am not the con chair) come over to RMFC. We do allow press as long as the intentions are good (we had a glowing article written about us in the local paper, the Westword).
Posted by Ivan Rudakov on 11.3.07 at 12.18
Speaking as one of the longer-time members of the fandom (been at it for, dear Lord, more than twenty years), all I can say is "Thank you." Far as I'm concerned, you're welcome at any convention I have anything to do with! :)
Posted by Major Matt Mason on 11.3.07 at 12.27
I find your article quite worthy of reading and at first I thought it was another furry-hating article, there seem to be many of those now adays by people who do not go and experience for themselves.

And furry cons are more timid than even the Renassiance Festivals. Adult things are kept between adults who have know each other from furry related websites, such as FurAffinity, and even Devianart.com.

The furry community is jsut that, a community. And like different societies, we have our drama-king(queens), we have our goths, our sunshine characteristics, and more. I loved your article. Made me smile and it spoke the truth, and that is what the world needs more of ^..^.

~Anarchity

P.S. Yes we draw pin-ups and soft core, and sometimes bondage, but hey, in real life, "normal" humans go farther in bondage on one another than furrys do *nods*
Posted by Anarchity on 11.3.07 at 12.33
Wow! What a revelation! I never even knew this sub-culture existed until now. Thank you for the illumination. Well-written and compassionate.
Posted by VeeSee on 11.3.07 at 13.38
I have been around the furry fandom since 1996 and I do appreciate the article you have written on what you viewed. The idea of looking for sexual situations in a convention or elsewhere with in the fandom is much like looking for them in real life. They tend to be private and behind closed doors. Most of the folks also respect that view and keep it that way. As a whole, the furry community draws a very diverse set of views and culture in similar to other type of conventions like Anime cons. There are some like myself to where fursuiting, the art, and other aspects are just a hobby. Some make it their business or life in some cases. There are different draws and appeals to everyone that participates. The social interaction aspects of it tend to peak my interests more. Take fursuiting in public for instance. I had an event I participated in that was run locally, advertised, and went off without a hitch. There were around 3000-4000 people that were around during the event we were at and everyone seemed to get a kick out of the fursuits. That being taken in to consideration, its amazing to see how people reacted. 80% of them would random come up and hug you or feel the fur on your costume, smiled and enjoyed just how out of the ordinary everyday thing it was. About 18% of them, looked, smiled and wandered off with just a glance. Either to shy about it or seeming to view it as far to silly to interact with. Then there was the 2% that was tainted by media views from Vanity Fair, MTV, CSI, and similar. They were the ones that asked things about sexual situations, or would even go as far to attempt to grope you while their friends took a picture (had one girl that decided to that... :( ) Just looking at how that worked though was interest. I was happy to see such a large percentage of the folks have a positive experience and response. The ones that gave the looks and wandered off is fine too. The 2% that viewed a non-perverted situation and twisted it to a point where they made it perverted and expressed that was totally different. Maybe it was partly the alcohol they were consuming, playful youth (21ish demographic), or who knows. Its why good press about what really goes on only helps emphasize what furry is about and pushes back on that 2% that views it as a perverted group.
Posted by Jon on 11.3.07 at 13.40
I think you did a great job of explaining a furry. Thank you for showing people what we are really like. And thank you for showing me what a furry con is like. I haven't been able to go to a furry con yet, but I hope to someday. And I hope that my experience will be just as wonderful as yours was.
Posted by Sci the cheetah on 11.3.07 at 13.42
As a fur who has associated himself with the community, but is now entering it in earnest I am glad to have read your article. And all the comments show just how much community there is in the fandom.
Posted by NeoSibe on 11.3.07 at 14.22
I'd like to say that your article is very nicely written. I'll admit, your opening bit was a little scary to me at first, but as I read on, it was very informative and shows that your initial bias was turned when presented with facts. You ma'am have a very level head; an attribute becoming more and more rare.

My hat's off to you! Thank you.
Posted by L. L. on 11.3.07 at 15.11
Heh, going undercover to find a seething, deviant gathering of orgy minded furrys in full furvert mode eh? I've been to several fur cons and yup, your article pretty much describes all of them. Fur cons are like the old Rendezvous early American pioneers held a few times a year to trade, meet up with old friends, give and receive news and yes, find some privacy and be intimate with others so inclined. In a wilderness full of ordinary joes and in towns like Mayberry where the most creative mind is Floyd the Barber and the only person for hundreds and even thousands of miles that is interested in the furry fandom is you, one can easily understand why we gather. Nothing, and I mean nothing I have ever seen at a fur con can even compare to the absolute hormone hotbed of the average anime con and I haven't been to a Star Trek convention in decades due to the prevalence of Kirk and Spock slash or any slash that featured McCoy in any fashion... there just isn't enough brain bleach to cleanse my cerebellum.

Posted by Kathmandu on 11.3.07 at 16.01
Very nice article. I'm glad to see there are reporters in this world who have the integrity to "report the news" rather than "make the news" Thank you!
Posted by Wulfsige on 11.3.07 at 16.13
I was a tad put off by the opening of the article mentioning "sexually strategic places", but after reading it had a different opinion; overall well written and non-biased as many other sources are. I guess I consider myself a furry, though not a fursuiter and haven't been to any cons personally.

There is a lot of bias against furries in general and a very negative stereotypism of a community largely consisting of zoophiles and homosexuals which is not at all accurate (no offence meant to those in the community that are). I?m very happy with the way the author portrayed the furry scene and look forward to future articles on a similar level and understanding as the furry community grows.
Posted by Yukon on 11.3.07 at 16.42
"Every half-hour I went to the bathroom to take notes in a private stall, and at 9 p.m. wrote: "May as well have gone to a Catholic school Halloween party.."

LOL that was almost one of the reactions I had when I went to my first furry con in Florida (Megaplex 5 in Florida) last year. I saw a lot of silly and crazy things from the fursuiters and attendees, but nothing explicit or embarrassing in public.

I commend you on your well written article. It was fun to read. And I hope the furs at FurFright arent angry at you for sneaking in incognito will let you attend again.
Posted by Wild`Bill`TX on 11.3.07 at 16.45
Thank you. I can't say anything more. I hope that the attention and everything goes well for you. <3 Thank you Jennifer!
Posted by Shayley / Rhari on 11.3.07 at 18.06
I don't much agree with you sneaking into a con, but thanks for giving our little fandom a fair shake in your article. I tend to feel that what we do in private isn't much of any one else's business, but I can see why you'd want to know what was going on.

I think we're all a little leery of you folks given some of the previous media attention, but it's nice to know some reporters can look at this with a balanced viewpoint. Maybe stuff like this can help build some trust that not all the reporters are out to do sensationalist hit pieces.

By the way, they check for ID cause of the adult stuff that's sold, if somebody sold something to a kid the con would catch all kinds of hell over it.
Posted by Ferinoch on 11.3.07 at 20.12
Thank you for the thoughtful and accurate article. For the last five years I've been working for an external security group brought in to help with Anthrocone, the largest of the furry conventions. The first year I'd heard only rumors and had no idea what to expect. I came away charmed and impressed with the sense of community and depth of respect these folks have for each other. Every year since I've volunteered to be one of those who comes back to work Anthrocon, and when the opportunity to work FurFright came up I seized it.

Your article is the first I've seen that shows the qualities of the attendees and the depth of difference between the public image and the actuality. Some of our own staffers are now bringing their children to the conventions for the same reasons expressed by you and by the father in your article. As cautious and careful parents we keep a close eye on our kids. That's how we know that the furries are treating them with kindness and affection - if they weren't, we'd be seeing it.

I wish that there were more reporters like you and papers like the Hartford Advocate; papers more intrested in telling the actual story rather than bending over backwards to find the sensationalistic. Thank you, and congratulations on a job well done.
Posted by Steve Simmons on 11.3.07 at 20.14
I am a trucker by profession. Because of the media that us furries get. I can not allow other truckers to find out that I am a furry for my own safety. If I was to be found out. I would get threats of harm to being out right attacked. That is because of so called truth telling reporters telling the public that we are sick animal rapist.

I agree with the policy about no media at fur cons. For the reason that there there looking for the next sex story. As you said in your own article. You where where looking for the same thing that other reporters have put out. All you wanted was another story of the furry perverts. If all of your comrades in reporting where as honest at what happened at fur cons that you where. There would be no need for no media polices at fur cons. We are a all welcoming group of people. If it was not for the crap that we get form the media every time we turned around. We would be more than happy to have reporters at are gatherings. At one time we welcomed reporters. But we have found that we will not be treated fairly. We are the victim of sex sales news reporting. Maybe with this story you might be welcomed to next years con openly as a reporter. That I cant say. I am not the powers to be. But from what you said in your article it looks like there are furs that would welcome you as a person.
Posted by Donkey on 11.4.07 at 3.40
A well written and unbiased article. I was happy to see that your conceptions of Furry were proven to be misconceptions. Fursuiters everywhere do a lot of good work entertaining children in hospital wards or otherwise and are easily the most visible segment of Furrydom. Being a Fur ranges from the Fan who appreciates the art, the artist who creates it and all through the spectrum to spiritual and psyche oriented Therianthropes and Weres. Who knows, maybe when you selected that cat ears and tail, something was speaking to you from inside your own spirit, something you didn't even know was there. Me and others like me know that every human has the potential to be a Fur, you just have to tune the World out sometimes and listen.
Painless Black Wolf
...Here for the Dawn...
Posted by Painless Black Wolf on 11.4.07 at 9.29
This is a really good article. I must say that one of the postives of living in Northen Ireland is that no one knows what furries are and so don' t have any misconceptions about the fandom. It does mean there are no conventions near me though which kind of sucks.
I thank you whole heartedly that you have shown that we aren't all perverted animal lovers. I personally, as a kid who gets bullied relentlessly at school, found the online fandom a truely accepting place. The people are so friendly. I feel so much happier because people don't judge me on my looks or lies that they have heard, they get to know me.
Thank you for showing that we have a good side ^^
Posted by Ramsay_Baggins on 11.4.07 at 9.42
I am really glad that someone from the media was able to do a peice on furry fandom that was not skewed in some way. I'm fairly new to the fandom, Anthrocon being my first con (this year), but i've enjoyed furry art for many years. It's refreshing to see us portrayed realistically rather than how we are often shown in media and tv.

Whenever i try to explain furs to my family, they always immediately jump to that episode of CSI that included a lot of Yiffing, and Fursuiters aren't like that. We're just everyday people.

Thank you, now i have some sort of reference point that will allow me to better explain what "furries are"
Posted by MDS on 11.4.07 at 10.48
furs is a lot of fun, the security is excellent. making sure of everyones safety.
you meet many people, from all over.
who may seem different at first, ( because of the costumes) but they are all like you and me, just out having a good time.
it is easy to get caught up in the games, the art show, the auction, and many more activities.
it is a shame the furs had some bad publicity, but closed minded people seem to have a negative outlook on anything different.
when to me it is like one gigantic Halloween party. with lots of fun and laughs even if you are not wearing a costume.
plus it's proceed always benefits some organization in dire need.
although I am not a furbie, I always have a good time and most make me feel a part of it.

Posted by Jackie on 11.4.07 at 12.09
Thank you so much for writing this article. I don't feel as afraid anymore to be what I am.
Posted by Frog Prince on 11.4.07 at 13.36
It looks to me, that the most amount of sex talk has been in the responses than the article itself. This is a wonderful story, but there have been others. The problem of course, is that people generally don't remember the good, only the bad (this is true in life as well); and as Men In Black say, "People are smart, Mobs are dumb, scared, and panicky." (obviously not the exact quote cause I can't remember it.). Thank you for the good article, and would be interested to know if you received local feedback or not.
Posted by Blue Heeler SunFire on 11.4.07 at 14.07
OH NOEZ!!! You found out teh sekret to teh furrie fandom!!!!

"Furry is not as exciting nor promiscuous as the media wants us to be." We're sorry 'bout that... Try Comdex? =P

There's a simple reason that we're not a "sex thing". And to be blunt it's an overheating issue. Wear a fursuit (or wrap yourself in an old carpet for that matter) for anything involving activity and you'll understand VERY quickly why it's not healthy to have sex in a fursuit!

The one thing you didn't mention in the article, and I can't blame you for it, is the generosity of the furry community. Another con routinely raises thousands of dollars for "Tiger Haven", a rescue and shelter facility specializing in big cats. It's not unheard of for cons to support everything from animal shelters to wildlife preserves. Oh, and in the same idea, in a week the Furry community brought over $3 MILLION to the Pittsburgh area for Anthrocon. Fur Cons make an impact, and it's a positive one.

We are an open group of people, more so than others. But we've also been burned many times in the past. Articles like this one actually help mend the wounds, so I thank you for that. Oh, and why you didn't get a lot of party invitations? A lot of the room parties are "open invite" and it's assumed people will just walk on in. If nothing else, head to the con suite and sit down on the couch, you'll end up meeting a friend you just haven't seen before.

But the big question is will you attend another con in the future? I hope you would, but I can understand if this was a 1-time thing. Just don't throw away the ears and tail. Might come in handy someday.
Posted by Socks on 11.4.07 at 15.00
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's frankly about damn time that someone got curious enough to write the true story and got past the "censors" to get the truth. It has always irked me to no end the lengths people will go to in order to keep reporters out, but the even further lengths they will go to in avoiding keeping the reins on the situation.

If you want the press to get the true story, take them around. Show them the appropriately "clean" dealer's rooms, with everything "inappropriate" properly covered. Show them the con suites, and other "all-access" rooms intermixed with "regularly dressed people" and those in fursuits.

If they run around, as press, of course those who don't want to hide are going to jump out and spoil it. Those who ruin our reputation don't care about reputations because they don't see anything wrong with what they do.

It's those of us that get derailed by the "over-the-top 'fringe' minority" who have everything to lose, because we can't tell people about what we enjoy for fear of being though of as freaks.

To those of you who are actually pissed at this reporter for breaking in, just think about this. She has written, without a doubt, the most accurate, kind, and positive article about us I have ever seen. This will get out, it will be seen, and it could start a trend of reversing what everyone thinks of when they hear of us. That kind of publicity can't be bought at any price, and it should be welcomed. Anything we can do to be accepted is worth the price.

Being Gay, Pagan, and Furry, I've pretty much spent my entire life being afraid that someone would find out "who I am", and hate me for one, or more, of the attributes I have. If this article makes even one of those ideas less "thoroughly repulsive" to even one person, I'm grateful it was written.

-Michael
Lafayette, Indiana
Posted by PalaceCat on 11.4.07 at 16.15
THANK YOU! Finally, a voice in the crowd that's NOT condeming us. It's refreshing. although I've only been in the fandom a year and a half, I feel very much a part of it, and am exrtemely grateful that you did this. :3
Posted by Dare Arkin on 11.4.07 at 17.11
My name is Sofur, not Monkey.
Kudos for the positive (if a little over-glorified) take on the furry fandom!
Good luck trying it again. ;3
Posted by Sofur on 11.4.07 at 17.55
To A.Moose:

I think you're trying to pigeonhole a group, which is a very common, human thing to do. But like most groups (religous, political, social, etc), the "fur" community pretty much runs the gammut of ages, interests, professons and yes, sexuality and spirituality.

Personally, I'm a 'fringe' - I consider myself an SF type, of which anthropomorphics is a piece thereof. I became aware of 'furry' as a separate fandom through my husband, who is more 'into it' than I am.
I've met some great people through the fandom, and some for whom I care very little.
Having grown up in SF fandom, people's perception of furries pretty much runs off my back. People are going to see what they want, and it can be hard to change those ideas. (Think: Dungeons & Dragons...)
When people look at me and say, "Oh. Are you one of those furries?" in that tone of voice that says, "I've read Vanity Fair...", I just ask them if they're a fan of Jodie Foster. Most of the time I get a "Yes..." So then I say, "Well then, are you going to stalk her and then shoot the President?" That pretty much reminds people that the 'wierd fan' is less than 1% of 1% of any fan base.

Thanks for being open-minded enough to ask, though! Remember the GI Joe cartoon of the 80's? "Knowing is half the battle!"
Posted by SuLin Panda on 11.4.07 at 19.25
You could have just interviewed some furries. There are plenty of us out there, and that isn't illegal as far as I can tell *shrug*

thanks for being fair and unbiased towards us!

- Anothe furry
Posted by Truro on 11.4.07 at 20.25
I don't really approve of what you did. You acted like a spy (trust me, spies are nothing like Bond or Ethan Hunt, they're extremely stupid and often blow their own cover by what they do and say) and pretty much got caught. Plus you did not go into the convention as a neutral party, rather you entered looking for the sensationalism that has stained visual media for years. I must say, the next thing I expect for you to do is go into the Pentagon expecting to find secret documents linking the State Department and the DOD to the events of 9/11 or even better, going to a mosque trying to prove that every Moslim is a terrorist or supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Army.
Posted by Karl on 11.4.07 at 20.56
Wow, disregard the haters who "didn't approve" of "what you did." You registered legitemately at a public event. :P I guess it's a case of you can't please all of the people all the time.
Posted by anon on 11.4.07 at 22.01
Loved your report!

I don't consider myself to be a furry, although others might. I am an anthro artist and writer, and have work up on several sites, DeviantArt being the main one I use.

My first actual furry convention was nearly 10 years ago. A friend local to the con talked me into it, and I had a blast. I didn't dress up in any way, but did see some awesome fursuits. This one wolf one...! Wish I had pics. Very realistically done, with the legs on the suit padded in the right areas to give the illusion of being digitagrade.

As you said, it was a very tame sort of event, and a lot of fun. And as I've done for nearly every other con I've been at, I did some volunteer work at it. When I saw that CSI on furries, I laughed at it. My first thought was, "Gee, I never saw anything like that when I've been at those cons." The second was to wonder what they =really= based that concept of theirs on. The story was so very improbable, while still interesting.

You did a wonderful job on this article. A friend on LiveJournal hooked me up with the link. And I hope you get a chance to go to more conventions in the future!
Posted by Catgoyle on 11.4.07 at 22.23
"Wow, disregard the haters who "didn't approve" of "what you did." You registered legitemately at a public event. :P I guess it's a case of you can't please all of the people all the time."

A common tactic is for intelligence gatherers to enter an area either under an assumed identity or their real identity, but having a different job than what they list, like the reporter here. She tried to enter as a reporter, then modified her title to get in. Normally, they are easier to spot since most of the time they're assigned jobs that they have no clue how to do (Chinese intel officer sent to Chad with the UN was under the guise of a Major in the Infantry, but had no clue how to do his job. He also asked completely stupid questions to a Naval attache to the UN Peace effort, questions like, what ship are you stationed on, last time I checked, Chad is no where near the ocean so how can he be assigned to a ship).

One thing you should do, if you understand anything, is that if you get a "No" for any kind of answer, you should respect their decision and leave them alone. They actually have grounds to sue, since the author violated their no media policy by sneaking in, then writing and publishing the article without their permission.
Posted by Karl on 11.4.07 at 23.07
The simple truth is that the media makes money when it says, "Panic! Run! Fear! Furries are sexual deviants who want to HURT YOUR CHILDREN!" rather than, "These are friendly, decent folks who just enjoy having a good time." Would people have watched a CSI episode about an actual furry con? Of course not. So they had to, y'know, lie it up a little.

"Dog bites man" isn't news. "Man pretends to be dog" is news.

That being said, we're hardly blameless, either. As a fandom, we've been running scared for so long, thinking that the media will cast us in the worst possible light, who can blame people for thinking we've got something to hide? Maybe if more fair, unbiased reporters sneak into conventions, some of that bad press will start to go away and we'll start to trust a little more.

In other words...

Thank you for being nice to us, Jennifer.
We're not used to it.
Maybe this is the start of something good.
Posted by Istanbul on 11.5.07 at 1.40
This was kinda nice, feels good not getting portraited as somekinda superfreak for once. The media report about us furries usualy focuses on somekinda wierdo and says everyone is like that too shock ppl and make money.

I can't immagine a storry about childfriendly big fuzzy ppl in custumes sell half as good as somekinda storry about a big group of ppl having sex all over the place.

I like this more realistic view, looking at the whole instead of the worst person ya can find, every culture and fandom got a few wierdos. Tho they don't represent us all.

Thankies for the nicer point of view xD *pouncehugs*
Posted by Karstein on 11.5.07 at 2.05
I must say, the next thing I expect for you to do is go into the Pentagon expecting to find secret documents linking the State Department and the DOD to the events of 9/11 or even better, going to a mosque trying to prove that every Moslim is a terrorist or supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Army.

Actually, didn't Jennifer already do that?

I think you're trying to pigeonhole a group, which is a very common, human thing to do.

No, I'm trying to understand out of simple curiosity, that's all.

Thanks for being open-minded enough to ask, though! Remember the GI Joe cartoon of the 80's? "Knowing is half the battle!"

Believe me, I have no preconceptions, perhaps that's the area where the misunderstanding comes from. Please understand that 1) I have never heard the term "furry" in this context prior to Jennifer's use of it, and 2) I really don't give a rip even if it was a sexual gathering. I'm just curious as to what the idea behind it is.
Posted by A Moose on 11.5.07 at 4.57
Your welcome to contact me for a press badge at my event. I like your work. Use my phone number on the site.
Posted by Trapa on 11.5.07 at 8.55
Ms. Abel:
Thank you for breaking the stereotype of journalists that furries have been taught to expect, and for destroying the stereotype of furries that some so-called journalists have come to expect.
Posted by Peter Eng on 11.5.07 at 11.55
A very nice article. Thank you for going to all the trouble to "sneak" in, observe and report the facts. Your article might not get all the interest of those who want something new to hate, but you certainly have got our attention!
Not all Furry conventions/meets have an anti-media policy. If you are looking to do more Furry research, try contacting other Furry cons. Also, check out WikiFur, our community wikipedia for general information.
If you would like to interview some people who have been involved in Furry since the beginning, please feel free to contact me.
Once again, thank you for effort!
Posted by Mark Merlino on 11.5.07 at 12.21
I hope your webserver is beefy; I suspect you'll need it after all the other pages that link to this site.

Congratulations on writing the first truly non-biased article I've found in the 8+ years I've been reading about this.
Posted by Eredien on 11.5.07 at 17.33
First, I thank you, as many other furries here have, for bringing forth an artical about the furry fandom that is not sex or fetish baised that has nothing or little to do with the fandom; but instead shows just what your average furry convention actually has happen. I have been witht he fandom for 5 years my self. And I have been on staff for the socal furry con we have out here since it started. I love the fandom and that it lets us feel welcomed. And to see any media that brings this truth to the light of the public's eye is always refreshing. True we have our deviants. But what culture and subculture doesn't? I would sudjest you look into attending another furry con in the future for you own accord and experience. Next one will be MFF, then FC in San Jose, CA in January. You will be supprised by the people you might meet, that including 2 the ranting Gryphon.
Posted by Ravenwolf Foxtrack on 11.5.07 at 18.31
Jennifer. Thank you for writing this article. I have to say I take issue with your means given what you imply your motives to have been. But you didn't have to write this story afterward either. I'm glad you did and condone your thoroughness and honesty in composition.

That said, don't stop coming! FurCons are plentiful and varied. Pick another nearby and make a vacation of it. Don't come as a reporter; leave your tape recorder and notebook at home. Just come and enjoy yourself. And take Socks up on their suggestion of hanging out in the con suite a while. Keep and open mind and let yourself smile when you find something neat or delightful. You may just enjoy yourself. :-)
Posted by Guardlion on 11.5.07 at 20.25
Dude you have no clue about the true reason for being a fur, theres nothing wrong with it, and its all not about sex, or yiffing. We do it cause we can there a need for change in our world. A change for evoluion to take place, and become better humans then we are now, an d yes im going ot rant on what you said about furs, cause we are just like anyone else. we just like to look like a more advanced species. and better looking body then a human. cause humans font have the atraction as animals do, and theres nothing wrong with being animals lovers. and i dont care what you say, its not going to work like that with me. cause im a fur, and im proud of what i am. and wont change back to being a week human for anyone. So you keep on ranting, about how you fill being around furs. cause we do more for the people then you think we doo. if it wasnt for us, there be alot of zoos loosing there animals and alot going igstinked, like the wolf killings in alaska. i dont think they should be able to do that crap. cause wolves are miss understood. and overrated in the killing live stock catigory. they need to survive like us , you and me talking about why you hate furs. cause i look foward to the future of our igcistants. anf have a better looking and atractive mate. then any human could ever try to to do , to make them atractive.And i Quote! We will be better noticed to the public as helpers of wild life , what goes on behind closed doors with a fur, is noones bussnuess.
Posted by ratty913 on 11.5.07 at 21.30
Thank you for writing a detailed, thoughtful, and unbiased article about furry fandom. Although you were expecting to witness the antisocial and deviant behavior promoted by other members of the mainstream media, you had both the character and integrity to tell the truth about furry fandom.
If you ever attend a sci-fi convention in Southern California, remind me to buy you dinner sometime!
Posted by Kurt Miller on 11.5.07 at 23.49
I very much appreciate your article and it's viewpoint and decision to look at all of us; not some hyper-focused sensationalizing that, as many people have pointed out, plagues our media image.

I was lucky enough not to have seen or read about most of the negative hype before I attended my first convention (a little backwoods gathering of 150 - 250 furs called Feral!; unofficial motto "PG-13 CON!") and found it to be a fascinating and enjoyable place that I have come back to two years running and enjoyed even more each time. I have since attended two "Hotel Cons" recently and found them to be, while possibly more frenetic, definitely as enjoyable if not even more so.

Perhaps this is a new start in media relations... perhaps. I, for one, look forward to it if it is both beneficial for us all.

It might also be worth pointing out that I AM part of one small segment of the fandom but my friends span many segments and are the best I have ever had. Thank you for accurately representing us and our gatherings and for allowing your preconceptions to be washed away in a sea of good cheer. ^.^
Posted by T. I. Fox on 11.6.07 at 5.08
kudos! wonderful article!

there's little more to say than to apologize for the ranters x3
they're cute when they're angry :3
Posted by Buck Riley on 11.6.07 at 16.43
Nice to see someone actually taking the time to go out and find out what furries are really like rather than just believing everything they see on tv.
Posted by Dan Skunk on 11.6.07 at 17.20
Thanks for your kind article. It's good to finally have someone speaking the unbiased truth. =^o^<
Posted by NoirPZC on 11.6.07 at 18.05
Jen, I'd like to express my thanks for your article. It really impressed me that not all news media people bash furries at every chance they get, and it's about time that someone told the truth about us. Like the regular people, we do regular, everyday, normal things like everyone else does. We're a lot like them, in a sense.

If I ever see you at a furry convention, I'll pass a hello to you.

To the rest of the furs who posted your comments here, your attempts to write negative criticism on a positive article makes me laugh. If you think doing that to someone who is trying to help us out is going to earn you star points, I think it's best you'd get some new methods here.

To those that haven't, thank you for showing your support to this person. You all rock.
Posted by Mikau Seafox on 11.6.07 at 22.35
I liked the article a lot. It portrayed us in a fair light, and, while I haven't ever actually been to a convention (going to my first in December), I thank you for debunking many of the myths surrounding them. Its a rather good report on the convention, as well as the fandom as a whole. Now if only the media in the UK would do such a report on RBW I'd be happy...
Posted by Rugbywolf on 11.7.07 at 15.05
Hey, this article is good. It clears up more than one thing about furry fandom. I hated how media sometimes says things that are untrue, partially true, or worst, totally irrelevant. But Jennifer Abel, you did well. I hope the rest of the world will realize that furry fandom does not equates to sex.
Posted by Brian Ee on 11.7.07 at 16.42
Having attended eleven conventions, I can confirm that this article is rather accurate and synonymous to the experiences I've had.
Posted by Y on 11.8.07 at 9.44
I read the report and I think it was done very well. It showed that there is a lighter side of being a furry and that it is not all sex and bad things.
Posted by StuntTiger on 11.9.07 at 22.54
My ex was a furry and he took me to a con. I'm an avid anime-con attendee, so I figured it would be the same.

It wasn't.

Furries are VERY suspicious. Since I was a "guest--non fandom member" or a "hyooman" as one idiot dubbed me, I was not allowed to attend certain panels or events. My ex was at least decent enough to NOT leave me at the mercy of these people. True, their events were rather wholesome on the outside (there were adult-only panels including tips for sex in fursuits) but they were not very nice.

All the anime cons I've ever attended welcome any and all. You'll be waiting in line and make friends instantly. Maybe you don't liek the same shows, but the people are NICE.

Can't say the same about the paranoid furries.
Posted by LeAnn on 11.11.07 at 9.57
Just adding my voice to those wanting to commend you for this article. You may have gone looking for sensationalism, but that you refused to twist what you actually found is something to be respected. I know it's what journalists do, looking for the worst news in order to make a thrilling story, but hopefully you'll have learnt a little from this about how subculture - and human nature in general - is often a lot more complex, charming, genuine and kind than rumor makes it out to be; how the worst is often played up, and the wonder played down. I hope writing this article has restored a little of your faith in people, and that reading it will do the same for others.
Posted by Racoati on 11.11.07 at 10.10
You are the bravest person I've ever read of
Posted by Erik on 11.11.07 at 11.06
Thanks for giving a fair portrayal of a group that most media loves to play off of to say 'Hey, these are the people you need to keep your kids away from or they'll do things to them!'. I respect you, Jennifer Abel.
Posted by Michael G. S. on 11.11.07 at 11.35
Thank you Jennifer. It appears that there are some honest folk left in mainstream media.
Posted by Silver on 11.11.07 at 13.20
It's about time somebody wrote this kind of article. Kudos to the reporter for such a thing, though the tacts were a bit shady - but given circumstances, understandable. And by the way, boo to the moron above who hopes for legal action against her for going this route - may that person get what they deserve for that one.
Posted by Dennis The Tiger on 11.11.07 at 14.43
Im glad Im glad she was able to find and show the good side of being a fur that not many people see the kind of thing that makes me proud to be furry. =3
Posted by 16 yearold lion fur on 11.11.07 at 18.04
Thanks for doing an article on us! Your perspective is very refreshing and I hope that we'll be of interest to you in the future. I've been to several conventions myself, large and small, and while reading your article I was noticing that you were having experiences at fur fright that would've been different at a larger convention mainly with your observations about how people know each other. At small cons like Furfright, there will not be a lot of open party invitations. However, this is a completely different story at Anthrocon or Further Confusion, where people just leave their doors wedged open for strangers to come and leave as they please. Parties are advertised on posters and many people go there on their lonesome, not expecting to meet anyone they already know. If your thirst for knowledge about furries has yet to be satiated, you might want to attend a larger con at some point, so you can compare your experiences. Again, thanks for writing a factually accurate article and I wish you good luck. Cheers!

~Special Bats
Posted by Brent on 11.11.07 at 19.11
Trying not to repeat what everyone else has said, but it is nice to not be seen as a sex-crazed person obsessed with animals. :) And as I've never been to a con (not yet anyways), it's nice to know for sure that the rumors are just that. ^^;
Posted by Sashay on 11.11.07 at 21.18
Hello, my name is Draco. this article touched my heart in such a way that it brought tears to my eyes, im so happy that somebody has shed some light upon all the stereotypes and negative bias that has been running rampant. we need more people like you in the world, and i thank you from the bottom of my heart. *hugs*

P.S. i am one of the latter groups of furries that believe i am a dragon in a human body. I prefer to call myself Otherkin, however. I bless you ^.=.^
Posted by Draco the Silly Dragon on 11.11.07 at 23.13
am one of the latter groups of furries that believe i am a dragon in a human body. I prefer to call myself Otherkin, however. I bless you

Draco-

Just out of curiosity, how do you believe this happened? I am curious of the underlying belief structure, please don't take my question as anything other than curiosity.
Posted by A Moose on 11.12.07 at 4.41
So...I am a furry and after reading this, it only makes me smile. It is true, furries get a lot of bad rep and it's not fun. Whenever I went to my school in my fox suit for Halloween, I was actually able to talk to some people about how fur con's are not about the sex and what not, but it's just a big gathering. This article, it made me smile when I was having a bad day, that someone out there actually went out and looked first hand at what furries are about, and not going by word of mouth or internet.
But yeah, cuddos on finding out what you needed to know and what not. See, not all furries are bad like they say on CSI >.< But yeah, hope you had fun for the rest of the weekend than just Friday!
~Kyte
Posted by Kyte on 11.12.07 at 19.24
This is one of the best articles I've read in a long time... I have long suspected that the media was misrepresenting furries and it's good to know that they're actually rather "normal". Fantastic, fascinating work. Now I want to learn more!
Posted by Kevin on 11.12.07 at 21.54
To A Moose:

If you Google for "otherkin," you'll get more information on this than you could ever want. This belief structure is controversial even within the furry fandom (though, I should point out, it exists independently of the fandom), because for one to say "I am actually a wolf/dragon/fae/etc. but in human form" can easily be interpreted as an exercise in vanity. (There are certainly a few folks who can be quite in-your-face with claims like these, but for others it's no more obtrusive than mainstream religious beliefs.)
Posted by iSKUNK! on 11.13.07 at 8.13
"Of course," I said. "She's in a roomful of giant stuffed animals all come to life and dancing with her."

There is another Convention in Florida, that use to be held in Orlando. Now when you vacation in Orlando, everyone expects to see the Costumes in the parks, but when they just happen to accidentally come down in time for this convention and their kids see all these cute animal costumes running around, they absolutely love it and the parents all want the suits to take pictures with their kids.

I have been a Fur most of my life, and I am an entertainer at heart, and this article of yours seems to have taken a twisted perception of what the fandom is and let you see the truth.

I laughed. "Still beats being a Klingon. So what makes you a skunk?

And on the note of Klingons, here in Georgia the Klingons and Furries are not only friends, but just recently they have started inviting us to come in suit to their events. It just goes to show you, even different groups in the science fiction community can get together and have fun for a good cause.
Posted by Cedar on 11.13.07 at 8.14
It's wonderfull to finally see someone in the media honestly report what is seen at conventions. I have no issues bringing my family (including my son) to conventions because they are family friendly events and you see why now.

...now if only we could get the Memphis media to be as honest.....
Posted by D. L. Leonine on 11.13.07 at 13.18
Thank you.
Posted by Talon on 11.13.07 at 20.04
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