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Furries at San Francisco Pride 2013

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (10 votes)

A historic U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage created intense emotions and record crowds at San Francisco's 2013 Pride celebration. I was informally told the parade drew 1.5 million. Imagine pushing through them in the hot sun with inch thick fur on!

Video by Mallius
For dozens of local furs, the great fun and positive vibes of Pride 2012 were small compared to this year's enthusiastic turnout. If it grows as much in 2014, it'll be awesome to see.

Our meetups gathered at the chosen spot, in equal walking distances between the Castro and the Civic Center districts. On June 29, Castro Street was blocked off for Pink Saturday, where we experienced the city's largest nighttime street festival. The next morning, we reassembled at the Pride Parade. Here's a few recollections from our Pride weekend photos and the furry family in them.

The common street fursuiting experience is like being hounded by paparazzi who all want posing and hugs. One guy cajoled us into posing while he set up his promotional dog food display for a photo op.

We couldn't go five feet without being grabbed on all sides, as willing victims for photos. At one point, six of us were chased like escaped enemies of the king, into the church-like refuge of a street booth selling leather corsets. Its friendly proprietor made seats for us on her storage bins, while she fended off drunk stumblers who shook the tent poles.

The intensity of the experience was not for the faint of heart. A big group and spotters helped deal with risks like rowdy drunks. Samoy Wolf posted afterward:

I have a feeling that I will have a lot of um interesting photos of me on the Internet after pride lol. So many people loved my suit! And it got violated in so many ways along with me body "eh no not my boobs, those are real! Hey that's my ass! Don't pull on my tail! Do Not Open My Mouth To Make Out With Me!" A guy went to rub my crotch and said oh wait it's a girl! Ya I kept getting that. Yes those boobs are real! And oh ya I got a $5 tip for my suit lol. Oh the stories I have.

It was a bit disappointing that we didn't organize a parade float, as I hoped when I wrote about Furries at Pride 2012. That article was answered by historical Furry pride float videos:

The great turnout calls for someone to step up to organize a float next year. There's also been interest in a fursuiter booth instead. Whatever happens, we'll be there on the street, drawing smiles, photos and the kind of amazement that furries shed wherever they go.

Fry and Gravy huggingSan Francisco furries who attended included (sorry, there were too many to remember): Mallius, Amenophis, Vert, Chrisdafur, Shale Ari, Raxeraki, Kilo Coyote, Charm Husky, Silver Wolf, and Joe 'Fluffycloud'.

  • Relaxing Dragon was one of the few who braved the heat in full raccoon suit.
  • Spotticus vied with Wild Child for the most photos. Spotti in his Beastcub fullsuit got more energy the more wild the dancing and crowds got.
  • Ty Cougar brought style like a rock star in pink kitty arm and leg wear.
  • RuPaw had an exciting debut for her rainbow kitty suit.
  • Zantal held back from biting the guy who I saw smack his Gryphon head, like it was funny.
  • Quentin Coyote just arrived on a plane from NYC that morning, and it was his first taste of a new life in San Francisco.
  • I surprised a newly-introduced friend by swearing him to secrecy, then walking him into a room full of fursuiters ready to go party. After discovering this Furry culture he'd never heard of, he gave me piggyback rides in suit and called it amazing.
  • Fry and Gravy hugged for an hour to the delight of a circle of happy people.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I'm really glad you included the 2002 video. I was one of the (minor) organizers for that, and want to remind people that there was significant pushback from within the furry community -- including among some who consider themselves "leaders" -- to prevent us from doing this. They felt that associating with such an event would pigeonhole us as The Gay, or sex-crazed, or whatever. At times it was quite a fight.

Sometimes you just have to just ignore and contradict "leaders".

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

It's true, most leaders don't get that way purely by following others, though the two roles are not mutually exclusive.

There's usually something to learn from those with experience. If you ignore conventional wisdom, at least understand its basis and get trained up first, and be prepared to take responsibility for yourself and those you sway to your cause.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

They weren't too far wrong, you did kind of get connected with the gay community to the point where localize SF car ads are putting furries in lists next to other gay subsets as if they were an equivilent.

I will say furry isn't a gay thing, however, it shouldn't really matter if someone sees it as one. Being gay shouldn't be a negative thing so it really shouldn't be seen as being 'brought down' in any regard. There are worse things people can be accused of.

Though in 2002 and prior, it was a different world, and certainly fear of having to deal with the social stigmas gays had to deal with at the time.

Your rating: None

I agree with both of your points.

Your rating: None

Thanks for helping organize that! I think the video was posted shortly after that 2012 Pride story, so I only just found it.

This story about GaymerX briefly mentions hate from outside of furry fandom. Well, it is even getting some nastiness from within. It's interesting to receive such reactions personally. I wouldn't have seen any of it personally, before getting involved through furries.

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"pushback from within the furry community -- including among some who consider themselves "leaders""

I don't understand.
Why would you have to get permission from certain people, leaders or not, in order to include OTHER people in an activity?

"At times it was quite a fight."
How could it have been a fight? (see above)
Did you actively start a campaign to attempt to out furry "leaders" as homophobes?

And, how did they "push back"?

-QC

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

One doesn't have to get "permission" from furry leaders -- there's no official hierarchy. But in every group, some people have large influence, and can discourage others from taking part in your event. Further, you can lose friends by making an unpopular proposal. And let's face it: friendship is the main draw of furdom.

It was "quite a fight" through discussions in email, on forums, and in person. I'm sure you've experienced disagreements on the interwebz, no? ;)

You're mistaken to assume that the opposing party was a "homophobe", per se. He himself was (and, I guess, is) homosexual. He just didn't like any connection implied between furdom and gayness.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (7 votes)

I going to step out and why I am uncomfortable with this. The furry has gays in it but furry not a gay fandom. Nor I think no region or group should have so much impact of the perception of the fandom after all it was ConFurence that got us into this mess in the first place. We not a West Coast gay, East Coast gay(my perception of previous comment not here), straight but a fandom of people why enjoy anthropomorphic animals of prople whop come form different backgrounds,form gay to straight and from atheis to Christian, Cathlocto event Evangelical Fundamentalist.
.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

If a furry wanted to wear their suit to a Christian function, then they are free to do so. If they find a church willing to tolerate it.

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

Actually I know some who did as part of the children''s program.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

If you're not comfortable, don't go, end of story.

A group of furries enjoying their own meet is not somehow responsible for the image of all others everywhere. Nobody needs to be concerned about assumptions by outsiders who have nothing to do with it. Thankfully, in the USA, nobody needs to endorse a meet before people freely assemble.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

"If you're not comfortable, don't go, end of story."
So True
There more to the issue concerning my distaste of identity politics, but as a rule if I think it going to cause more drama I rater post it on my own blog.

Your rating: None

This is the best response I could never do:
http://www.actfuronair.com/s1-ep10-renewable-menergy/

Starts at 1h 13:20. Treat yourselves to some wisdom.

Well, I'll be...

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Cute plug and all, but one problem. There's no timer in the embedded player.

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Yeah, I downloaded it myself because of that. Design flaw!

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Double click "download", and open in a new window/tab. Then enjoy the rant.

Also, it is 1:13, as if 73 minutes.

Well, I'll be...

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Fun :) Yeah, this was not about "furry pride". We brought a hobby to a celebration for something else. Like, the East Minneapolis Model Airplane Club That Happens To Have Many Gay Members going to a Pride parade. Since these crowds respond well to furries, there's no reason not to follow the demand with a float next year.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I had a lot if fun. The crowd was open and positive. I have suited to concerts, other parades, even comic-con. An event like this is all about the love and positive energy... and in no way says any one group defines furry. That being said, the creative arts (such as dancing, acting, and fursuiting) all draw a higher percentage of LGBT participants, so a float in the parade is a great idea... I would support this.

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Interesting suggestion, though I'd like to see statistics to back it up . . .

To my understanding, art is 50/50 male/female within the fandom (vs. 80/20 normally) and women tend to be more straight or bisexual (though a significant number are trans, too).

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Reaper:

I do agree. On the art side it is much more balanced with regard to gender as well as orientation.

The Pittsburgh studies (ref below) does shows the overall distribution puts about 1/2 of the fandom on the heterosexual side of hetero to bi, and 1/2 on the homosexual side of hetero to bi.

Whether sampling from the online fan community or from furry conventions, it seems to be the case that approximately 80-85% of the furry fandom is biologically male"

As should be readily apparent, furries were far less likely to report being exclusively heterosexual than the general population (in which 80% of the population reported exclusive heterosexuality as their sexual orientation).

Additionally, furries reported being 4-5 times more likely to consider themselves exclusively homosexual than in the general population, and were much more likely to report varying degrees of bisexual sexual orientation. Additionally, furries were more than 6 times as likely to report "other" as their sexual orientation than the general population of Americans (15.0% versus 2.4%), with other representing orientations such as "pansexual", "asexual", and a variety of self-identified orientations.

In sum, there is ample evidence to support the claim that, as compared to the general population, there is a much higher prominence of homosexuality within the furry fandom. That said, it would be inaccurate to define the furry fandom as "predominantly homosexual", as the most frequently-cited sexual orientation among furries is still "exclusively heterosexual"

Reference:
https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/past-results/anthrocon-201...

Your rating: None

I guess I should have been more specific; I'm well aware that the sexual identity of members of the fandom diverges from the norm (we covered it at WikiFur News back in 2009), but I haven't seen evidence that such fandom activities as dancing, acting, and fursuiting are primarily the domain of LGBT members (e.g. 25% of fans are primarily homosexual, but they make up 40% of fursuiters). It is an interesting question, though; I will ask Nuka.

… or perhaps you meant that such demographic groups are drawn to the fandom because of the presence of such activities, not that such members are inherently more interested in "creative arts"? Or a little of both?

Your rating: None

I asked Nuka to run an analysis on the data from the 2011 interests survey, and here's what he said:

There is a VERY small effect of sexual orientation on writing, such that the more homosexual you were, the more you were likely to self-identify as a writer. This, of course, was a very small effect, only made significant by the fact that the sample was nearly 2,000 people. So, yes, it's there, but it's very small.

As for wearing / owning suits: actually, if anything, we found the opposite: again, VERY small effects, showing that heterosexual folks were a bit more likely to own a full suit or furry paraphernalia. Can't emphasize this enough, while statistically significant, very small effect (if you know anything about stats, the standardized beta was only .07; so it's a very small effect --> about one third to one half the size of the effect of video games on aggression!) But yes, it does seem to be statistically significant.

(Those with their own questions are welcome to ask the ARP team directly.)

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