Are we scaring away potential furry fans? Google says yes.
I detest unnecessary wordiness, but keeping it short just doesn't work.
Before I begin, I would like to present an apology of sorts to Patch Packrat. I very much dislike to be misunderstood, but also cannot stand to be the source of said misunderstanding. I guess I should have been more clear with my choice of words.
Now, with that out of the way, today's topic.
Throughout the years, I have been around the various reaches of the web, and met a ton of really good artists. Many really liked to draw humanized animals (for fun and profit). For some, the subject made up most of their galleries; some drew furries exclusively. As we conversed, the topic of furries inevitably arose. Aside from the occasional "yep, I'm a furry", most replies went something like this:
- I like drawing talking animals, but I don't have a fursona/fursuit, so I'm not a furry.
- I like drawing talking animals, but to me it's not a "lifestyle", so I'm not a furry.
- Furries are creepy, and I don't want to be associated with them.
Answer #3 was the most prevalent.
Furry fandom is swimming in drama, and most furries seem to like it that way. But I am not here to build the ranks for Burned Furs Pt II. I am not here to tell you how to live your life, or argue on what is right or wrong. I am here to ask different questions.
As I mentioned, without naming any names, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of young, talented artists who like to draw anthropomorphic content. Most of them do not want to join the furry fandom because they are legitimately afraid. You can probably guess why from Google's suggestions. They are afraid for their reputation.
Flayrah is one of the leading furry news sources. When somebody new finds this site and scrolls down out of curiosity, what do they find? Why, lovely stories like "Boise furry arrested, accused of having sex with cat". While far from the most common type of article here, these are the ones that WILL get the attention of an average person. We are wired that way; it's impossible to help this.
What does that article has to do with furry? Freaking NOTHING, that's what. Who cares if a crazy person who fucked a cat/molested a child/murdered 99 people identifies as a furry? And why are we giving them publicity?
More importantly, why the need to display private (your sex life, orientation) and disturbing (man fucks his cat) things in front of everyone? Does the world really need to know that? Does it WANT to?
After all I said above, many might say "I don't care! I do what I want, and if it offends people, then nuts to them!"
Sure, of course, you can live on your little furry island, have only furry friends and not give two shits about what non-furries think about you.
Still, I have one last thing to add. Think of all the young fans of anthropomorphics; fans who would surely enjoy joining a fandom of like-minded individuals. And yet, they hesitate, because they don't want to be seen close to a bunch of weirdos.