by Patch O’Furr
- Did you hear about that one time when President Obama invited a furry to the White House?
- Read interviews with personalities like Pixar movie directors, punk rocker Jello Biafra, comedian Margaret Cho, and the most devoted fans.
- See how fursuits sell for $25,000, and the biggest furry conventions raise six figures for charity and millions in local spending.
- Furries in movies, on the front pages, featured on Youtube, trending on Twitter, and more.
Dogpatch Press has published over 1200 articles so far. These got high traffic, dug deep to uncover a story, or they’re just favorites.
Makers and Doers make a subculture thrive. Whether they build it or feed it with stuff we like, they have valuable stories to tell.
There’s a fur con somewhere in the world every weekend of the year. There’s furry houses with multi-generations of fans. Here’s roots, coming opportunities, spotlights on what makes a good community, and how far their influence goes.
Furries have more influence than they even realize. Advertisers covet the street cred of subcultures. Disney winked at us with Zootopia. Are there celebrities who are secret furries? How do other subcultures overlap? What are the peaks of mainstream recognition for the fandom?
It’s the the most original fandom creation, with it’s own coined name. Nobody does it like furries and nothing else represents them so directly. Fursuiting is a booming cottage industry and makers are raising the craft until they’re envied by commercial mascot designers. Only 20% own this costly wearable art with scene-stealing looks, but a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s hard to deny their huggable appeal (representing the touch-based name of this subculture.)
Cons are expanding at a healthy rate. Furry creators work fan-to-fan with self-sufficiency that even supports full time careers. Their main site Furaffinity is an independent project acquired by a venture-capital funded company. It’s rising beyond a full-fledged subculture to possible commercialization. How will it develop?
Fandom has hidden connections to a rich history of art and performance. A “museum of furry” could exhibit work that look like it’s from a parallel universe. Call them Paleo Furries. A “Panto-animals and Paleofurs” con panel could uncover hidden depth for what we love.
It’s one of the most creative fandoms because all the content is self-generated. Sometimes it gets recognition in galleries and more.
Film and video can be more challenging than other media where furries thrive. Other subcultures have developed enough to support independent film making. There have been a few attempts at furry features and some outside ones that come close. There are many fursuiting shorts (especially music videos) and animation student work. The holy grail might be a furry-made animated feature.
Since around 2010, furry dance parties are getting established as urban night life. They build on the growth of cons, but take their own direction in partnership with established venues. Howl Toronto says – Con dances happen once a year, and “that’s just not enough to fill the need!” There’s also a slice of the fandom that makes original music and is starting netlabels, composing for video and games, and performing at cons.
Media exploitation makes sensitivity about being in the spotlight, but it’s a chicken-or-egg relationship. Rising recognition and appreciation brings power to negotiate and be better represented.
It’s not an urban legend – some furries get wild. But sex isn’t a definer. It can be a family friendly hobby too. Media hypes sex, but romantic themes are part of being human, and furries are just regular people with extra rich imaginations. Being unusually open and expressive is required for an interest spectrum beyond the default. It can cause controversy. It also makes first-time visitors call them the most friendly people you could ever party with. This blog is anti-prude and not shy about sex-positivity.
- 2018 – Going strong with several dance parties and a furry float that won an award from SF Pride.
- 2017 – San Francisco Pride had a furry float after taking the previous year off, and this time it was a Burning Man art car.
- 2016 – Bay Area Furries did a booth and fursuiting plus movie screenings at Frameline Film Fest.
- 2015 – Return of the furry float, a huge year because same sex marriage bans were overturned across the USA.
- 2014 – The first furry floatat SF Pride since 2005 in front of national media and huge crowds.
Acceptance is a big feature of furry subculture. It draws interests together, but nothing represents every member, because membership is self-defined. Some interests get conservative disapproval. It makes tension between freedom and collective interest. It can involve prejudices, laws, or times for a social group to stand up for itself.
Furries have been punching-bags with sensational media exploiting them as freaks. It can come from bias to only look for the worst in people. It can show stigma, shaming, scapegoating, or a streak of homophobia. But negativity doesn’t build anything, and that’s why it’s losing power with time. If you hear of “inherent” problems, look at the positive, expressive nature of the group.
Any community has crime, so it naturally happens with furries sometimes. Most everything they do is harmless and positive, but rare problems can get sensationalized and it needs caution about bias.
See the “Newsdump” tag. These digest posts had curated links and “list worthy” small stories from around the web and the border between subculture and mainstream. They gave a look at the state of the community over time.