Video: National Geographic profiles fursuiters on 'Taboo'
The program spins furries as "people who enjoy wearing animal costumes in their adult life", calling the behaviour "bizarre", and quoting regular media commentator Dr. Sudeepta Varma:
Furries can be considered greatly taboo because we look at people dressing up in furry costumes as child's play, and it's something that should have been left in the past, and not brought into adulthood.
Update (24 Dec): The episode is to air January 3 at 9PM Eastern, and again at midnight. [cloudchaser_s/furrymedia]
When I'm Courtney, I'm shy, I'm nervous, I don't like having a lot of attention on me . . . Courtney is the stressed-out grad student trying to work on a PhD. I prefer being Nuka - he's mischievious and playful and silly, and when I'm in my fursona I don't mind people looking at me, I don't mind people looking at me, I'm OK with being the center of attention, I don't feel so embarrassed to have people's eyes on me.
If I got a pair of ears and a tail on, or if I'm wearing my collar, or I'm in the mindset of Nuka, I'll run up to a group of people and be really enthusiastic, I engage with people a lot more.
You think you're a furry, you feel like a furry, you're a furry. Like any other subculture, we come together because we have this common interest.
It's considered strange for grown men and women to dress up as furry animals because most adults can't relate to people who want to do that.
The show estimates that there are "up to a million" furries, citing unnamed research to say that "up to 85% believe they're not entirely human" (presumably that of Nuka's collaborator, Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, whose team has regularly surveyed Anthrocon in recent years).
Update (20 Dec): Ocean – another fur included in the show – has given more background on the shooting of the episode (registration required), and reports that it will be about "double lives", possibly also including footage of real-life superheroes and phone sex operators.