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FCN bans minors over parental consent headaches

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Michigan convention Furry Connection North has banned minors from registering, a year after restricting them to pre-registration, due to the hassle in obtaining parental consent forms:

Overall registering 10 minors took us as long as the other roughly 400 preregistrations. Considering the total attendance for FCN 2012 was 1127 this meant that the total minor registrations constituted less than 1% of total attendees.

It became obvious to us at that point that Furry Connection North does not appeal to the under 18 demographic. That combined with the serious burden that minor registration placed on our registration department compelled our board of directors to decide to eliminate minor registration from FCN.

While those under 18 will now be excluded, con-chair Gir Tygrin hastened to add that the event will not be changing in "rating" as a result, perhaps to avoid the spectre of FOXmas.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (14 votes)

Any parental fur thinking of bringing their children to a con needs to read some of the CP-advocates in the Mizzy thread.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

This isn't necessarily a decision without precedent in the fandom, as Camp Feral became a 19+ event several years ago. However, Feral's rationale was different -- as they allow alcohol on site, there was a significant difference in insurance premiums between having minors on site, and not -- and the con really never had all that many minors attending to begin with. (For reference, the legal drinking age in Ontario, Canada is 19, just in case that age seems arbitrary to non-Canadian readers.)

I can't blame FCN, but it certainly sounds like they has gone the extra mile -- going to the length of calling parents to ensure that proper permission has been obtained. Granted, I've also noticed a bit of variation among conventions re: treatment of minors -- some require notarized forms, some don't.

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This is not the right way to go especially when the fandom is getting younger. Perhaps instead of excluding them have a separate panel for furies under 18.

http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_11b84537-8a25-51c8-af1e-d7e9f19ebbe2.html

I do not think your problem are the minors but Maybe the problem your preregistration. We getting a lot of 14 year old at on Furtopia and I ran into a 10 year old fursuiter at rainfurrest. Eventually we have lean to deal with the young set or find some mature adults (over 30)in the board room that can. (I see this as another gen Y problem , the inability to deal with those outside of their group). I feel worst are the brony fandom.

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It's not just a matter of the groups not wanting to mix - the convention risks legal responsibility if it does not obtain parental consent forms for a minor. It may even be a condition of their insurance. If kids show up without them, they have to expend resources keeping them safe, or expelling them and keeping them out.

I agree with you that it's not ideal, but in this case, they seem to have decided it's just not worth the hassle.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

I would feel a thousand percent more comfortable attending a convention if I knew it was limited to legal age adults.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (4 votes)

May I ask how old are you?

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THANK YOU. I hate going to a con where I know there's going to be free flowing alcohol but minors are also allowed.
True fucking story, I was drunk at FC 2014 and this guy I thought was pretty cute kept hitting on me, touching me, trying to schmooze with me throughout the night, turns out he was friggen 16 (and i'm 24 jezzuz christ) years old even though he'd been allowed in a partyroom with alcohol!!! SORRY, NOT MY FAULT, ya conventions need to have an age limit!!!

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At the risk of drawing the ire of minors reading this . I can't say I'm upset at this development either. Even though this bucks the trend of younger ones entering the fandom at increasing levels, I don't see furry conventions for the better if teenagers (and pre-teens) start propagating in them.

One, for purely personal (and I'll admit selfish) reasons, I simply don't want furry conventions going the same way most Anime conventions are now. Which you'd think were exclusively high-school and middle-schoolers given a quick glance. They're not of course, but they sure seem that way at times. Never mind the behavior or just their sometimes irritating habits, I just don’t want to navigating my way through a hall full of 14-year olds at a convention. And I’ll disclose the fact that I just entered my 30’s not too long ago, so I’m in that window where I could be either Gen X or Gen Y, depending on who you ask.

Much more importantly though, is the conflagration that would fire up if something were to happen to one of them during the convention. Say one of them winds up drinking and blacks out, or ODs. Then the consequences would be felt amongst the entire fandom, regardless of age. It’s one thing if a regular attendee gets in trouble. It’s a whole other matter, with multiple-times the outside attention, when it is a minor involved. And it’s not the legal-age adults that I worry will get them in trouble, but the minors themselves not having the restraint; doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing, or try to finagle their way in a panel or the like they shouldn’t be in.

Friar had the perfect word for it above: I’d feel a lot more comfortable without them there.

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Seeing the effect of minors at large anime cons first hand.... Not always a good thing. Turns into a playground with people running through crowded halls. I am in my late 20s and I feel the same in this regard.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

I'm old enough to remember a time when Pounced.org did not have the 18 and older limits on it - there was once a time when folks could literally hook up with minors, such as Alan Berlin attempted to do.

Keeping the age limit to eighteen and up allows the convention to avoid many pitfalls in as GreenReaper said above, insurance issues and the annoying task of having to inform parents about the less than stellar side of the fandom. There have been some bad apples in the mix, and as such, we should be up front about it.

The kink community, for example, limits its interactions to those aged eighteen and over. If there is going to be a venue for minors to be present, it should be heavily regulated with a staff of qualified individuals known to have a good standing within the community. One may cry foul over claims of segregated sections of the furry world, but given its track record, I see this as being one of few options.

By promoting a culture of mature individuals, informing furry minors of its history, and being open and up front about its previous shortcomings, I believe we can turn around a long and troubled history of corruption and bring about meaningful change in the furry community. There are opportunities for growth with more regulations for who can and cannot be present at these events. When others see us holding conventions to a higher standard of quality, perhaps it will create incentives for businesses outside of the fandom to invest in advertising and offer services to us where they did not previously.

Furthermore, we have to do more in terms of working with the authorities to ensure that if conventions will have minors present, that they will be absolutely safe. Take the FurFright Dorsai scandal, for instance - we can't have security forces abusing their powers in a setting where minors are present. That sends the wrong message to them. They need to know that they can depend on someone to keep them safe under any circumstances. It is for their sake and for the sake of their parents' peace of mind.

It isn't about the ratings, and it certainly isn't about upholding a certain image - we have turned the page on many misconceptions about our nature as furries. But this is no longer 1998, we are no longer on the fringe - furry is quickly becoming the mainstream in influencing popular culture. More segments of society are aware of our presence, and we need to step it up in terms of building a permanent foundation of trust.

I trust you will agree with me having considered these points.

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Let me start by sayin I am on your side, and am only bringing these points up because they are going to be brought up and it might as well be a friendly perspective.

Actually, its really just the point; RE: Your third paragraph.

Furries, I have been told repeatedly, are not interested in creating incentives for outside businesses because ... well, I never really got a "why" and am forced to guess that it is literally because they are afraid of being made fun of by "outsiders" of any type.

The prevailing belief is you are either a furry, or against furry. Bringing in outsiders would only be for conversion; these outsiders must be furry by the end of the convention, or they must never be allowed near it.

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It's simple: If you are making money off of furries, that's bad, unless you are also a furry.

Furries give better service at lower prices to other furries, therefore it is in our interest to favour them.

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I have no problem giving my money to Hasbro, DreamWorks Animation or any other company that puts out high quality funny animal product; at least I know they probably* aren't spending their money on porn. They are spending my money on their next project, which may not be furry, but will at least be a real product.

Furries, honestly, don't have a goal they are working towards; they literally celebrate existing like this was an accomplishment. Those surveys bear this out; there was a section in the second to last Gerbasi/Nuka survey that said this. Furries aren't doing shit, is what I'm saying. Non-furry corporation's goal may be only to make money, but at least there is something they are working for. And, seriously, "more money" is totally a goal I can get behind.

Frankly, Green Reaper, furries don't deserve my money.

* Probably, because this is the 2010s, after all.

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I'm bored and cranky, so I'm just going to rant around down here for a while, karma be damned.

Seriously, what products are we even talking about? Dog dick dildoes? Okay, furries have kind of a monopoly there, but what else is their that I can't get better somewhere else?* Movies? Non-existent except one completely forgotten short about a tiger and a feature that barely qualifies and is available only on a DVD that costs almost as much as as a real movie's DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack. Comics? Well, webcomics are free, and yet I still manage to read more printed comics that have to be shipped to me. TV? Nonexistent. Books? Reaches the level of a Star Wars tie-in on a good day.

*Fursuits, but not a fursuiter so not a win for me, but I will give furries that one. Also, asterisk because it would have interrupted the vitriol.

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I must admit I did not expect the response to "furry has an 'Us vs. Them' attitude" would be Green Reaper going "Seriously, dude, fuck non-furries."

I actually am rather tired of the "eat crap and like it" line, but this is the really disturbing bit. Where do you people think the new product is coming fom? The sky?

Oh, that's right, furries will provide new product. And, ahem, services. Nevermind quality control issues, furries are, after all, so fucking dependable. Yes sirree, if ther was one word I would use to describe the average furry, it woul be fucking dependable.

Show some fucking respect, assholes.

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Now for my next trick, I swerve wildly on topic!

The headline here should read "Children not allowed at cartoon animal convention" and nobody sees the irony. I am not saying children should be allowed here; in fact, the convention is probably right here. Clean conventions don't work; there is not a single furry convention that does not openly sale porn. in fact, one of the reasons I never returned to Oklacon was because the "art show" contained no art; it was all porn. Every. Single. PIECE.*

And I guess I'm just mad it was all gay, no tits in sight, but come on, guys.

No clean furry art site has ever lasted. Meanwhile, the fucking VCL still exists! Jesus Christ, guys, we need help. This amount of porn is, well, we've obviously got a fandom wide addiction, is what I'm getting at. Seriously, if there can be family friendly anime conventions, (and I actually enjoyed the art show at the anime convention I attended because there was, you know, art), we ought to be able to put together a PG cartoon animal fest.

*I will admit that this may not be typical of furry art shows or even Oklacon, but I do read our own articles, and they do bear out my one off findings.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

And another thing ...

...um...

...

...

No, guess I'm done. Happy ... Veteran's Day, isn't it? Happy Veteran's Day, everyone!

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

That art show sounds atypical; my experience is that the majority of artwork offered for sale in them is PG-13 or below. I will admit that the porn arguably sells better, but not always.

The problem with clean furry art sites is that they're not as popular as art sites which allow other art as well. Which is kinda obvious, especially when the other sites allow you (to a greater or lesser extent) to achieve a clean view if you want. Why would artists settle for a smaller audience?

If you want a personal gallery that you can show to others without worrying that they'll end up somewhere they shouldn't, you probably use deviantART. Indeed, my own surveys show that about 65% of those selling art at furry conventions actively used deviantART accounts (topped only by FA, at 95%).

The impression I get from your comments is that adult work should be firewalled from PG work. The reality is that the majority of furries see adult material as "part of a complete breakfast", and don't want a purely PG cartoon animal fest. That's why you don't see one, and it's why PG-only art archives are not popular with fans.

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I think I was using the wrong terms; I was ranting.

I don't think Oklacon 2004 even had an art show actually; young, small con. I think what I was ranting about was the dealer's area (which had like three artists saling their stuff, though that was all porn). The small size of the con may have concentrated even that area.

That being said if there was one rant yesterday that really had a point, that one was it.

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Furry fandom takes anthropomorphic animals into areas that most businesses don't want to go into, because they see the market as small and the risk as great. That is what fans do - they push the boundaries, provide that which is not being provided already, and tell stories not yet imagined.

You say we are dismissive of those providing "new product", but the reality is that most of these products are remakes of existing anthropomorphic animal tales. Their idea of a more complex work is Rango. There may be giant bunnies, but they are probably not former human children addressing the ethical question of whether they should have been turned into a bunny. They are certainly not touching what to do when you're raped by a bunch of semi-sentient wolf-people kept as "pure" family members (let alone whether to keep the baby).

Imagine if the golden age of science fiction had been remakes of The Time Machine and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Would they have been more polished than what was actually produced? Sure. But they would also have been less creative.

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"It's simple: If you are making money off of furries, that's bad, unless you are also a furry."

I thought he was being sarcastic.

Anyway, yea, I really don't understand the whole "us vs. them" mindset. Obviously a lot of furries are hostile toward outsiders because they think they will mock and reject them, but if they act like being furry is something to be shameful, outsiders are going to think that there is something bad with the fandom. It's Catch-22.

I'm also rather annoyed with the whole fandom rivalry thing. Whether your into anime, furry, comics, games, etc., you're still a nerd and all nerds are weird in the eyes of the rest of society (but it can be a good weird). Just enjoy being weird with other nerds no matter what fandom your from. Other fandoms need to realize that liking anthropomorphic animals does not equal being a sex deviant (though I find it hilariously hypocritical when the anime fandom jumps on the furry fandom for having yiff when they have bondage, lolita, hentai panels at their cons), and furries need to stop making a big deal about being furry. In other words, everyone chill.

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The lines for the midnight hentai showings at Ohayocon shame some registration lines at small fur cons.

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Now I kind of wish I went to a hentai panel at Youmacon just to see that line and all the shenanigans.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up how many mature panels were at Anthrocon, Eurofurence, and Midwest Furfest (they all had schedules). I didn't count the mature art show or any panel that was rated mature just because it had adult language. Combined, the three cons had a total of 5 adult panels that centered around mature art or writing, one of which was just a figure drawing panel (those are not pornographic, but who knows at the con). In Youmacon alone, there were 15 panels on some sort of bondage, yaoi, and hentai topic, all of which were labelled for sexual content.

Obviously this isn't an official study, but just briefly looking at these cons, I find it very interesting that one anime con has more sexually mature panels than three major furry cons combined. But then again I have no idea if the sexually is elsewhere in the furry cons (I hear it's in the art shows and dealers room). Youmacon had a lot of mature panels, but I'd say only about 20% of the artist's alley and dealers room was mature, and most were in private binders.

Also, furry con panels look really interesting.

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No argument here that anime fandom has its own porn problems. Bronies have porn problems. Like I ranted, it's the 2010s.

But just because their problem is bigger does not mean ours is nonexistent.

And there are completely clean anime cons; there are not completely clean furry cons. Anime fans may be the loud weekend drunks of fandom porn addicts, but we are the bar regulars.

We apparently can't function without our fix; telling ourselves we don't get stinking drunk like those anime fans doesn't change the fact that we're addicted just as badly.

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Crossie, how many furry conventions have you been to? Because I've gone to 30, and I can tell you that "being able to look at porn" was way, way down on my list of reasons to attend. It's like Otto says:

Woah! I don’t need drugs to enjoy this. Just to enhance it!

Most people go to furry conventions for recreation. They are not good places to measure the adverse dependency consequences necessary for a diagnosis of addiction, because you have no idea how attendees' recreational activities correlate to activities which may negatively impact their daily lives.

Does the fandom have porn addicts? Assuredly, just as there are outside fandom. But you can't tell how many by looking at a convention programming list. I'd wager that most are too "busy" to come to conventions, anyway.

As for "why no clean cons?", I'd argue that mature situations (inc. sex, drugs, etc.) are a key part of what makes "furry". You could have a big event without it, but it'd be like a convention without fursuits, or a writing track. You'd be missing part of the puzzle. Again, this comes down to fans providing something different to that provided by the mainstream.

As I see it, the presence of erotic art in the fandom is only a problem if you choose to view it as one, just like dressing up as a giant anthropomorphic animal on the weekends. (As a bonus, porn doesn't lead to liver cirrhosis.)

I also get the impression that you feel pornography is inherently bad, which is not a position that most furs hold. Perhaps this is because you see it as a corruption of the "pure" work created by others? Meanwhile, most furs are just trying to represent themselves, and their sexuality is a part of that.

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Saying pornography is a part of furry is like saying drinking is a part of being Irish; most Irish'll shout "Hell Yeah," except with a funny accent, but the one Irish guy in the back who doesn't drink feels a bit left out.

it's not fun being the Irish guy who has to point out the others are alcoholics; trust me, I know.

Actually, Rakuen had an inadvertently funny line about "responsible porn use" recently. Funny, but there you go.

And of course the addict is going to say there's nothing wrong with what he's addicted to; that's a sign of addiction.

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I'm saying that sex is a part of life, like drugs, violence and harsh language, and that a prime goal of furry material is that it seeks to represent all parts of life, not than just those which can be shown to children and involve cute bunny rabbits and lisping ducks. See Taral Wayne's quote.

I'm also saying "addiction" has a specific meaning, and to use it you have to show negative impact. I can think of examples; the fur who spent his last dollar on commissions. But they are exceptional. Most furries do use erotica responsibly - as a form of recreation. That is why it is on our websites.

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You're conflating art and porn, but that's beside the point.

As far as negative impact, well, I don't know if you heard, Green Reaper, but an entire convention had to kick children out of there con recently. Sarcasm aside, the reason those kids under 18 were kicked out is because of heiadaches caused by laws that make it illegal to sale porn to minors in order to protect them, much like similar laws for drugs and alcohol.

And those things kill people.

You may not think porn is harmful, and your opinion may line up with the majority of furries, but furries are people who write essays about how they don't really feel like their true selves without wearing a mask, which makes them either the protagonists of a superhero movie, or the antagonist of a slasher. Have you met these people? Because they don't give off a superhero vibe.

While I've got you, thanks for the Pokemon link; apologies for the belated thank you, but computer in shop. I could probably emailn you on this phone, and God knows I've written long enough posts on it that "no computer" isn't much of an excuse.

Also, you'll probably have to email me the October Newsbytes. Or, hell, submit them yoursef, I guess.

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Judging by Anthrocon's consent form, the big issue is the risk of personal injury and responsibility for actions taken by the minor. They try to keep kids away from porn, it's true, but what they really don't want to be is in loco parentis when the cops are called.

People frequently overdose on alcohol and other toxic substances at conventions. The last thing con staff need is to be calling up a parent who's already frantic about where their kid is to tell them they need to collect him/her from a hospital 500 miles away.

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Well, that's not a fandom specific problem, I'll grant you. Neither is the porn thing, either, really.

I think my point there was we all believe furry can run a family friendly con; we just don't need to prove it. Why would anyone even think we couldn't; nobody's saying we couldn't. So we won't.

I mean, we totally could, just not now. Don't want to.

Look, we don't need to prove anything to anybody. We totally could do it, but we're not going to, because we don't want to.

Not because we can't. We can. Totally.

Seriously, you're thinking to yourself why won't he drop this, not because he's wrong, but because you're thinking to yourself well, you're probably a big hypocrite who is addicted too.

As far as FurFright is concerned, there are about a thousand and one reasons why minors should not be allowed, and theyare all as sad as the next. To go back to the whole "outsiders at furry conventions" thing, the only furry convention that has a chance is the first furry convention that bans furries.

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No, I'm thinking "doesn't he know Megaplex tried that for seven years?" What con staff saw as appropriate, many fans saw as prudish. Avoiding the term "furry" due to turn-of-the-century media coverage probably didn't help.

Attendance jumped by 2/3 in 2009 after word got around that they'd wised up in 2008, although I doubt it was the only factor. (The low showing in 2007 was probably due to unfavourable location and scheduling close to FWA.)

Furry conventions are private clubs – legally, in most cases. If the atmosphere is such that its target audience believe that the club is not for them, or their friends, it will be less successful, or fail.

A convention that bans furries will, by definition, not be a furry convention. Such an event might be quite successful, but probably not if it seeks to attract fans of anthropomorphic animals.

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Me: You know, furries can't seem to attend a convention if they don't run porn. Just saying, might be a porn problem in the fandom.

You: Oh, yeah, crossie, well here's a link showing furries not going to a convention because there wasn't any porn! What now, bitch!

Me: Well, thank you Green Reaper for backing up my observations with a link. I'm always so lazy about that, even when I'm not using a cell phone! Don't know what I'd do without you, buddy! It's like that one time on CYD where I was pointing out that the most visited WikiFur article at the time was for High Tail Hall (hey, more porn!) and I said jokingly if I was lucky Green Reaper would appear in a cloud of magic fairy dust and back me up because I said, WikiFur. And then the very next post was you backing me up with appropriate links, which I edited to say "Poof!" in the next post, because I'm a dick!. Anyway, good times, good times.

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Oh, and as far as funny animal conventions minus furries is concerned, I got one word for you. Well, maybe two. Is BroNYCon one word or two? Anyway, I got one or two words ... does NY count seperately? Or would that even be four, you know, for New York? Anyway, I've got between one and four words for you.

BroNYCon.

Good night and good luck.

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"You may not think porn is harmful, and your opinion may line up with the majority of furries, but furries are people who write essays about how they don't really feel like their true selves without wearing a mask, which makes them either the protagonists of a superhero movie, or the antagonist of a slasher. Have you met these people? Because they don't give off a superhero vibe."

I know this is a shameless case of topic necromancy, but... Oh thank Buddha I'm not alone in thinking that you don't need a degree in abnormal psyche to think that murr-suiters give off a general vibe that at times would scare the piss out of Charlie Manson. And that their justifications as to WHY they only feel safe "whole" and "true to themselves" until their actual, real-life human selves are completely subsumed into some eye-searing fantasy of discount shag from Jo-Anns would probably have Freud trying to jam a lit cigar into his frontal lobe. Bravo, I would certainly like to shake your hand for being brave enough to say what a lot of us are thinking as well.

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I must be that one Irish guy in the back then. Oddly enough, I don't feel left out.

Kind of disagreeing with both you and Greenreaper. You two seem to be implying that all furries are into the sexual stuff. Furries are people who like anthropomorphic animals, that's the most basic definition. Saying that a person who likes anthro animals is predisposed to liking yiff as well is kind of unreasonable.

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My claim is that the majority are, to some extent. It is based in part on the results of this poll, in which over 60% placed "the 'adult' aspects of furry fandom" at least on an equal footing to other aspects of the fandom. They were probably thinking of sex, but I would include topics such as drugs/alcohol, graphic violence and slavery - e.g. Green Fairy, which even crossaffliction said he'd pick up; and Red Lantern, which includes just about everything.

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The problem is 1) that poll dates back to 2002, so the results may be outdated, 2) 286 people is not a huge sample, and 3) where did the furs come from that participated in the survey? If they came from FA, that poll would make a lot of sense, but there's also an anthro community on DA which has much cleaner stuff. Many of them cross over with FA, but many of them don't.

Speaking of polls, The ARP's Summer 2011 survey showed that sex is the second to last most important thing in the furry fandom. https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/past-results/international... There's no way to know for sure what the interest in sex is since every single furry can't be polled, but considering the contradictory results of these two polls, further research is in order. I'd actually like to someday create a survey of different fandoms that compare these and other elements. Part of the problem in identifying the furry sex aspect is we have nothing to compare it to in other fandoms (if you know of a good anime or comic poll that has this kind of data, please point it out to me).

Basically what I'm saying is the furry porn issue may not be as bad as others think, simply because we don't have enough information about it. Though to be completely honest, I don't see porn in any fandom as that much of a big deal. All fandoms have porn, lots of porn in one form or anther, it seems to be a normal thing, and the sooner people stop making a big deal about it the better. It is however a delightfully interesting sociological topic to study. :)

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The poll is of Flayrah's readers at the time. I think it was a pretty broad section of the community, although of course you had to be online to get to it. FA didn't exist back then.

The ARP's Summer 2011 survey showed that sex is the second to last most important thing in the furry fandom.

What question are you drawing that statement from? I see "MUCK/RP" in Q27, but that's like saying "news is about politics" – try dropping by somewhere like SpinDizzy sometime.

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Sorry, question 25.

Actually looking at a more recent survey, it stated that 4 out of 5 top furry sites featured porn (https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/past-results/anthrocon-201... Q19), so I don't know. It requires further research.

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By promoting a culture of mature individuals, informing furry minors of its history, and being open and up front about its previous shortcomings, I believe we can turn around a long and troubled history of corruption and bring about meaningful change in the furry community. There are opportunities for growth with more regulations for who can and cannot be present at these events. When others see us holding conventions to a higher standard of quality, perhaps it will create incentives for businesses outside of the fandom to invest in advertising and offer services to us where they did not previously.

:) This sounds like sweetly grandiose optimism for changing a freaky party full of nerds, beautiful weirdos and perverts into a respected institution of people wearing tweed jackets with elbow pads, and acting like they're on Masterpiece Theater. No thanks, I prefer perverts and weirdos. Having more formal folks with business and PR smarts running it would be cool, though.

The regulating minors thing. Makes total sense. It's kind of too bad, but reading about how long it takes a small con to register a few minors says it's smart, for a small con. Do large cons have a better structure to handle such things and rope off adult areas (like anime cons)? I'm guessing they do. So, yeah, regulate minors now, but keep it interesting so people want to come when they age up, and keep things growing.

"A culture of mature individuals" : furries :: oil : water. LOL, OK there's tons of awesome loveable people in it. I just wouldn't WANT it to be too mature (boring). It's a fantasy-based hobby.

Also, what do you mean by "a long and troubled history of corruption"? Isn't it more like "a history of petty drama that nobody cares about?" What furry has power to be called "corrupt"? When I think of corruption I think corporations, police and government. When I think of furries I think hobbyists, self employed crafters, volunteers, and a couple of faux-prestigious uncle whatevers. There's no heirarchy that can compel anyone to do anything beyond banning someone, or real money in it. Anthrocon's whole budget wouldn't cover the salaries of a couple of bus drivers where I live. There's no power to corrupt. You're probably thinking of the shortcomings of individuals. It's a party, shit happens - "turning things around" sounds irrelevant, but modest expectations keep things real.

When others see us holding conventions to a higher standard of quality, perhaps it will create incentives for businesses outside of the fandom to invest in advertising and offer services to us where they did not previously.

Meh, just keep it fun and let people party. It wouldn't be "fandom" without DIYness. Investment comes from audience and potential money, not standards (bad reputation doesn't stop the porn industry from putting on conventions.) Put the attention towards supporting things that institutions do. Like, what if college media studies included anthropomorphic fiction courses (sci fi fandom has academic cred like that.) Forget "the community" and "building trust" and "meaningful change" (boring). Just help make and promote content inside it, the kind you think will earn respect if you want more.

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"it should be heavily regulated with a staff of qualified individuals known to have a good standing within the community" Unfortunatley this will never happen at conventions because of furry nepitism, the only way to combat is is to hire REAL security gaurds for outside each roomparty. I'd be fine with that, if their job was just to check ids and keep people from getting nude in public I'd be allll for it.

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I just worry about sending the signs to the regular world and the young furry to be folks that * you must be this tall to go on the ride* and we all know how that makes people so happy.

It is nice to be able to have furcons and such to go to where we can *be safe from the kids* but I know enough furry parents that attend that are not going to be happy if more cons shut the door for them since they literally can not just pass the kid off to a friend or other for 3-5 days to go to a furcon. I know most of us do not have kids or even plan to sire any but lest we forget the new furs have to come from someplace and that is from youth that sees the fandom as a place to come into.

The amusing point is we want to restrict or gate the cons behind a adult rating when it is a fandom founded in large part by kids cartoons. What would George Carlin say I wonder about that?.

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I think age-restrictions are a good idea, but, as a sixteen-year-old, I am obliged to complain about 18 being the youngest age allowed.

Durn dirty old folks.

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Dirty old folks indeed *laugh* It is a truth that cons need older wiser heads to run it and younger ones to *run it*. Not a bad thing for a age restriction but then we start having wagging tongues doing the * say if that con is now a adult only con that means we can do this* sort of stuff that a certain not to be named convention wanted to do.

And it is still a bit of a insult to the folks that do have kids and like many with family they take them on vacation cause the kids deserve fun too, and hey admit it folks we offer cartoons, folks in fursuits!, gamerooms, and we do not expect kids would want to come into all this fun?

I understand FCN fully on what they are doing but the kid inside me weeps cause conventions are a wonderful place to have fun, and when suiters and kids interact its almost always a cause to smile seeing them act like they just had Santa Clause show up and give them a candycane. Much less the gameroom of course or the hotel attractions.

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Just because something has cartoons or dressup or video games doesn't make it appropriate for children. There are many examples of video games or anime with 16+ or even 18+ age restrictions for all sorts of reasons and costumes can be used for sexual roleplay. I would've thought furry would have an interest in breaking down the stereotype that cartoons or anthros are a juvenile pursuit.

"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~

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Depends on your goals (or lack thereof, in most furries cases).

If your goal is all fight the power, whoo, I'm fucking out there man! Well, then by all means, power to you, in your fight against the, uh, power. Said that wrong, I think.

If your goal is to actually effect real change, however, you might want to tone it down a little. You don't win people over by shocking them; that's why noone likes modern art. You want to people to actually enjoy this new take on cartoon animals.

Holding up a sign saying "But we have porn!" sounds like a good plan on paper, but one half of the population'll say "ew that's gross" and the other half will say "I already have Internet access and they have stuff that isn't some weird animal fetish crap." And I'm not talking about furries; I get most furries like it this way.

But what I'm trying to say is this is not how most people like it, and this is why nobody likes furries.

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"I would've thought furry would have an interest in breaking down the stereotype that cartoons or anthros are a juvenile pursuit."

Yes, but you don't break down that stereotype by being just as juvenile in another way. Moving anthro up from Saturday-morning-cartoon age to the level of a seventh-grade boy obsessed with sex isn't much of an improvement.

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I'd love an expose into the growing "Red Rocket Culture" (as i've coined) growing in the fandom, but I think that sort of subject might be a little beyond Flayrahs scope.
There is a tendency to make zoophilia and bestiality into a casual "furry in joke" now days. Sorry to tell you but bestiality IS now the elephant in the room of the fandom.

Some background info on me, I'm 25, have been in the fandom since my early teens (13-14) and have seen the entire nue-fandom emerge
I don't know how to really encapsulate my thoughts on the matter but the things I have wittened, the trends, the in jokes, the themes. At a convention recently there was a photo shoot where you could pose with a giant red space rocket prop. So what was the joke huh, lemme see, the rocket was meant to symbolize A DOG'S PENIS, and furries are taking picture posing lewdly all over this time. Someone posted pictures a while back of themselves with a giant dog penis cartoon drawn on their chest in sharpie and walked around a con, and lets not even start with the whole stupid fucking "take the knot" joke furries can't shut up about"
I just have a problem with the idea that because it's within furry fandom that people don't have to take responsibility for their actions and interests. Outside in the real world bestiality is NOT a joke, it's something that'll get you modern day stoned to death. But inside the fandom it's becoming more and more accepted, it's becoming...dare I say..trendy? Yes, I'll choose to use that word seriously. This isn't my own paranoia either, I tags long at cons with some of the more influential furs, ones in the spotlight at cons and online for their artwork, preformances, and numerous people within those groups espouse interest and "curiosity" at bestiality/zoophilia, a general calmness about the subject, like it's a hobby to try because well there must be something and alright about it if dog genitals and dog like characters are so heavily popular right? Like they see it all around them as a theme and can't seperate fact from fiction.

All I'm saying is that honestly, honestly? If you blew the furry fandom wide open right now, right this very minute, totally public, people would be getting arrested and disowned by their families left and right, the fandom would become worse in the eyes of the public then bronies have ever been. You want to talk about how there's hope for the fandom, but we are SO far from it I can't even begin to think in when it would be okay to allow us to be mainstream enough to let the rest of the world get a real long hard look at us. I'm almost to the point where I want to just say yes, make all cons 18+ like bdsm and adult entertainment con. If I see someone making another "knot" joke I'll vomit.

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And if you disagree at least give us all another platform to talk about this on, maybe an article? Because it IS a problem, it is one that will never ever allow the fandom to be accepted, because sorry but sex with animals and finding animals sexy in any way shape or form is not going to be accepted by the public as anything but a mental illness. Not opinion, fact.

Edit: I'm not saying have harmless interests, art, and thoughts are wrong, but there is a growing epidemic of very REAL ideas concerning zoophilia within the community, it's not just about art anymore and we need to talk about it.

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Dude, please. You sound like an old person talking about rap music.

Someone tells an off-color joke about Scotsmen and sheep- everyone does a groan/laugh, but you take it as a sign of the apocalypse.

If you want a moral crusade, you're late to the party. Actually people who yell about "our" morals are the perma-offended ones you don't want at a party.

There isn't a crime wave of "dark triad" psychos running around and recruiting innocent youfs. A fraction who cross the line aren't contagious or something. The harmless majority who get hot for make-believe cartoon-animals have a symbolic species-blurring fantasy thing that goes back to cavemen.

Please avoid obsessing about slippery slopes and what the neighbors do in their spare time. Don't tie yourself in knots about it. Here, have a barf bag and go enjoy some cartoons or whatever got you started.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.