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Opinion: Why the furry experience hits home so deeply

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Originally posted to BAF and reposted with permission, here is a nice short piece by Spottacus.

The furry experience addresses a nearly universal desire to be seen as you feel you are

Whether you are a fur (who feels a species identity different than your human skin shows), a transgender (who feels a gender different than your birth body shows), or just differently colored, shaped, or pigmented than those around you, probably all furries and their kin were likely acutely aware at an age as young age as 4-8 years old that how people saw and treated them was very different than what they felt they were like inside.

This is true for all humans, in fact, who are instantly judged at some level based on impressions: blonde, female, Mexican, Asian, African, and so on, which also have nothing to do with who you are inside. Where furs step off this path of false impressions is that we, nearly uniquely, create a fursona that we own (we feel it, we made it, it was not set a birth), and then we project and interact based upon that character.

Online many people use such a projected character. But in fursuit, it goes farther. For me, to have adults and children approach me and treat me based on the very same image of how I feel about who I am internally is a very empowering experience. In really no other way do humans change their appearance, down the their very pelt and body structure, so that in real life physical and social interactions, other furs and people approach them based on their self-image rather than their inherited traits.

So why does, in my view, the furry experience hit home so deeply? It is because it addresses a nearly universal desire to be seen as you feel you are. and those of us who are furs, minorities of any kind, LGBT just are made aware of our differences, and the insufficiency and misdirection of our treatment at the hands of less enlightened people.*

Thus, for me, putting on a suit, or interacting in character, is so transformative because I am approached as I feel I am, not as others may judge I am. If only mundanes could do the same thing.... everyone should be so lucky as to experience this.

* If you asked me why two years ago, I would have simply said because it removes pre-judgments by hiding our gender, racial, age, but not noted the deeper connection tied to the fursona as reflecting something more than that.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

This post, is beautiful. Could not agree more. <333

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

While this piece may describe what furry is for the author, who didn't actually post it here, I think it fails to describe those furs, perhaps the majority, see themselves. When there's no spiritual aspect then furry becomes more something fun then a projection of your "true" self. That doesn't mean furs don't identify with their fursona, because they do, but for being one's "true" self it's remarkable transient. Looking at the ARP results furs (and therians) have around 3 fursonas over their life and in this case life seems to be the average of around 7 years they've been a fur. That seems less like a reflection of their "true" self and more like a reflection of their current interests. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think people generally change that much over one or two years that they see themselves completely differently.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Yeah, I certainly don't see myself as my fursona or my fursuit character. When I discovered furry is when I first created my fursona, and I created my fursuit character 8 years after that.

I agree that probably the majority of furries do NOT believe they are their fursonas on the inside in the same way a transgender sees himself as the opposite sex on the inside. At any rate, I don't.

At the same time I think I get where the author is coming from: Fursuiting certainly does change the way people look at or judge me. I'm more noticeable, and I seem to be able to make people smile just by being around them. It also changes the way I see and judge myself. I feel like I am goofier, cuter and appreciated more.

So in some way the author is right: When I'm fursuiting, the way people see me tends to be closer to the way I see myself. But only because fursuiting changes the way I see myself at the same time.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I like this article! :)

I may have created many characters over time, but there has only been one that I would ever consider my fursona; Trishcabob Ratgirl. I have had her around since 1998 and she is more or less an extension of myself.

Some of my characters may seem cooler or more interesting as her, but for me, Ratgirl is set above the rest in my eyes. She surpasses being a simple avatar, or the latest year's model design. Maybe not everyone feels that way, but that is how I feel. :3

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