Monday, July 18, 2011

Ever heard of a “Furry” before?

Just when I thought I had heard of everything, I came across a group of people, called “Furry’ in the singular, and ”Furries’ or “Furs” in the plural.
According to Wikipedia, (from where all the following information comes): “The word furry has several meanings, dependent on the context in which it is used. Predominantly, it means "consisting of or resembling fur".
It also pertains to an interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or mythological or imaginary creatures which possess human or superhuman capabilities.
The plural form of furry in all its contexts is furs or furries; the subjects of furry interest are also known as furries. Because people in the fandom tend to identify closely with their avatars (or fursonas), the word is often used to mean a group of furry characters in art or roleplay.

What it means to be furry: Someone who says they are furry is generally expressing an interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or creatures (and perhaps some affiliation to furry fandom). They may express that that interest in a variety of ways - through art and stories through to roleplay and performance. How deep or meaningful an interest in Furry is varies greatly from person to person.
Furry's gamut of interests: Below is a list of common interests with which a fur is likely to identify. A furry may be interested in any or all of them, to any degree.
Cartoons and games
Interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or creatures can be as simple as the many popular furry cartoon characters, known as funny animals. These may include Bugs Bunny, Tony the Tiger, Sly Cooper, Star Fox, etc. However, someone who merely happens to like these characters is not necessarily a furry; the degree and nature of one's interest is relevant here.
Spirituality: Some furs believe they have a spiritual connection to a particular animal which is typically their fursona, but also may be a totem. Strong spiritual believers may often say that they are "an animal in a human body" (and in fact may identify themselves as otherkin, weres and/or therians which are their own categories and not linked to the furry fandom just by interest). Some join and find the furry fandom to be a place to be themselves, as most of these groups are underground and the furry fandom is more open to the world. However, not all
therians have their theriotype as their fursona.
Art and creativity: Some furs may be interested only in the creative aspects of the furry fandom. Furry content, both online and off, is easy to obtain, and available in vast amounts, and furs produce new works regularly. Furry artwork is also done by many nonfurries as well in targeting the fandom. Others may disassociate themselves from the fandom and refer to themselves as funny animal artists. Furries may also enjoy role-playing a particular furry character or fursona, sometimes writing about this character or recording their online interactions for posterity.
Fursuiting: Some furries enjoy the practice of dressing up in a costume that is typically designed after a fursona. These "fursuits" are usually worn at conventions, and a few are even designed to accommodate sexual situations. Some furries opt to wear a "partial" suit, consisting of a head, tail, and paws, instead of a full fursuit; others may just wear a tail or various other pieces. While only a minority (about 15-20%) consider themselves fursuiters, they tend to be highly visible at events where many furries are present.
Sexuality: To some furs, the sexual attraction to anthropomorphic animals is a part of what makes them furry. This is a topic of much controversy, as it has been the subject of early media attention (such as that from Wired Magazine and Vanity Fair), leading to its becoming a common stereotype of the furry community at large. This has spawned a few groups in response (such as the Burned Furs) with a desire to discourage this angle, or create a clear distinction between these furries and the rest of the community.
Other contexts of Furry: From within the fandom, anything classified as an anthropomorphic animal and/or creature could be called a furry. That could be anything from Scooby Doo to various sports mascots to Omaha the Cat Dancer. Since mainstream characters are generally not created with furries in mind, the furry context is presumed by most outsiders to not be present despite subcultural interest.
Any art showcasing anthropomorphic animals is generally considered furry artwork. Artwork that contains furries in sexual situations may be called yiff or spooge art.
Non-furry furries: Anthropomorphic creatures that are also considered to be furry (even with the lack of pelt or fur) include (but are not limited to): dragons and lizards (also known as scalies and herps, respectively), Cetaceans (dolphins and Orcas), birds and gryphons (also known as featheries or avians), and taurs (centaurs being the prime example).”
Well there you are! Now you know as much as I do about Furries, even if you didn’t want to know! As I had not heard of Furries before, I can’t help but wonder what other “on the Fringe” groups there are out there in the wider world? What are some you know off please?


CRNDR said...

Definition incorrect; furries = porn and some non-erotic material not based off that as such; perverted fandom based off zoophiles who wanted to be part animal themselves; in fact they wanted an animal to be part them; branched off somewhere in early 90s.
Anthropomorphic animal fan = anthropomorphic animal fan.

Anthro usually means furry.

Walter parker said...

Thanks for your Comment CRNDR. Much appreciated. As implied in the article, it is all new to me and I was dependent on Wikipedia for my source. Could you reveal yours too, please?