Furries In The Media
Here's an article, dated February 1, in a Finnish publication, the Vantaan Sanomat.
It is an interview with fursuiters Vilma Loikkanen and Essi Antervon, of Vantaa, Finland.
Vilma Loikkanen, 12, and Essi Antervon, 13, is the kind of hobby that brings joy to others than to themselves.
Fursuitissa of karvapukuilussa Vilma put ylleen clever Sepe-wolf-like furry outfit komeine head-on. The head adorned with a plush, stylized and Purple eyebrows. Vilma says his character susihybridiksi.
Essi changes fursuitissa reliable oloiseksi and cold resistant huskyksi.
Coat Costume can in fact be imaginative, it does not need to follow the correct animal's appearance. Vilma puvussakin is so thick and long tail that the correct susikin would be green with envy when they see it.
Vilma found fursuitin last summer, when he thumbed through illustrations and photos of Instagram.
- When I saw the wolf-dog fursuitin, I was just like 'oh, my god, what is it! The hill harvest of resident Vilma times.
Fursuit shook his consciousness as a force that supplies its own suit was to begin to acquire immediately. He was assisted in the mother and godmother, who sewed the suit and did the head. Vilma trimmed head of hair to your liking.
- We were looking for hair Tallinn, he says.
Vilma and Park City Essi kind of got to know each other street dance class in Tikkurila. Gradually, they found that they have the same courage to madness, and the courage to do something other than the amount of the mainstream. Then Vilma looked up pictures of fursuitista.
- They were wonderful, really wonderful, Essi enthuses.
And it was business as usual. Both girls stopped Street Dance and Essikin began to make a suit. He is, inter alia, in the oven of twiddling curable mass huskynsa teeth in the mouth.
Have passed since the end of the supplies to more than a hundred euros. The time is gone for about three months, but of course I had to go in school between.
- YouTube videos can be found on how the head is made, Essi advises.
The girls plan to do more costumes, but until then they will surprise people under the name of Zero susihybridinä and Fuji-huskyna. As recently as the Jumbo shopping center, when they dressed partial suitiin, or just the head, paws and tail. Even came in just enough hot.
No one knows who you are. And you can be someone else. "
The duo käppäily and vilkuttelu did not go unnoticed. Especially small children were excited and curious. Many adults and teens camera-shy because they have no knowledge to know how to deal with strange revelations.
- Who are you? Who are you? Come here! cried three year old James Sjöblom wide-eyed at the playground.
When Zero and Fuji approached him, the boy started a little suspicious, but interest was maintained and the baby was not even close.
Vilma and Essi's view, it is nice shows Zero and Fuji, and to make people happy.
- No one knows who you are, Essi start.
- And you can be someone else, Vilma continues.
Dated January 22, humour website collegehumor.com takes a poke at the worst excesses of the furry fandom with their NSFW video "Furry Superheroes Are Super Gross":
Here is an article (dated January 21) on metroactive.com, the website of the Metro Silicon Valley newspaper:
It describes last weekend's convergence of "animal-suited fanatics, stoners and high-school volleyball girls" at San Jose's McEnery Convention Center. And it seems that, on the whole, everyone got along just fine.
In Culture January 21, 2014 by Stephen Layton
“It’s not wholesome!” a middle-aged mom shouted as she shut the trunk of her SUV. Was she talking about the stoners at HempCon or the costumed masses at FurCon? I didn’t get a chance to ask, as she hopped in the driver seat and sped off the scene of San Jose’s annual set-up for a joke.
Or maybe it’s more of an anti-joke.
Q: What happens when bunch of animal-suited fanatics, stoners and high-school volleyball girls walk into the McEnery Convention Center?
A: Everyone’s super chill about it and gets along pretty well.
At the time, Concerned Mom was loading whatever parents concerned with wholesomeness load into their trunks, I’d been asking a couple other volleyball parents what they thought of having a medical marijuana trade show and furry festival so close to their impressionable youth.
“Is that what they’re doing in there?” one asked, referring to the South Hall currently being hotboxed by HempCon. “They’re keeping it separate. We’re used to the cat convention [FurCon] by now. The girls think it’s funny.”
PHOTOS: FurCon photo gallery
The odd confluence has been going on for a couple years now. Bruce Newman wrote about it for the Mercury News in 2012, when the concerned parent contingent seemed to be significantly larger.
Key quotes from the article: “It’s just a bunch of degenerates who use medical marijuana as an excuse to do whatever they want to do,” says one parent. The same parent, regarding furries: “’Some of the other parents told me they had checked into it and found things that made it out to be basically a porn fetish convention.” He then “conceded his knowledge of furries is based on an episode of television’s ‘CSI.’”
So either the volleyball folks have gotten used to it, or “Freaky Stuff Scaring Middle Class White Folks” makes for a more exciting article than “Everyone Is Doing All Right.” Conflict makes for an easy hook. Emotions are high! People are fighting! Look! Look! So as a reporter, one might dig around a bit to find it. I asked each contingent what they thought of the others, and responses for the most part ranged from ignorance to unconcern.
The stoners, holed up in their big blue tent, hardly knew what was going on in the outside world. HempCon offered more than enough to occupy the average toker. The line for medical marijuana evaluations made a lengthy snake throughout the hall all day. In exchange for $60 and a chat with a doctor, one could enter the back half of the hall where South Bay dispensaries were selling weed and handing out free samples of all sorts of edibles: “Taste the food, not the medicine!”
Most of HempCon’s rhetoric still focuses around the useful fiction that everyone is here for the medicinal value of weed. While some definitely are, talking about weed as medicine sounds a lot better than saying that sometimes one just wants to get blazed and eat a family-sized bag of Doritos sans other family members.
Other highlights of HempCon that this reporter witnessed included a six-foot bamboo bong (“King Bong”) poached from a century-old bamboo patch by the Rose Bowl, an “herbonomically correct” weed trimming station complete with iPhone holder and “kief cling texture” and a booth holding a wide variety of polished rocks and crystals.
“Do stoners like crystals?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, they’re shiny, but they don’t emit their own light so it doesn’t hurt their eyes.” Makes sense.
As far as the furries go, they’re much less weird than they might first appear. Anyone who’s ever been to a sci-fi or comic book festival knows exactly the type: maybe a little more skittish than most, but friendly enough and passionate about very specific things. In this case, dressing up in full body fursuits and pretending to be various creatures.
According to Shawna Snopeck, a con-goer wearing a fuzzy white eared hat, the attractions of the furry fandom lies in it being “a way to express yourself other than who you are.” She traveled from New Jersey to go to the event with her “mate,” Adam Wolf.
When asked about the volleyball girls and the stoners, they hadn’t heard about any conflicts or bad vibes. I told them about Concerned Mom in the parking lot, and Philip, another guy listening in, told me, “This is wholesome for me!”
Later, Philip would get in an argument with another guy about the relative anthropomorphism of the rabbits in Watership Down and whether they used doors or not.
“There’s no doors in Watership Down.”
“Yes there are. Maybe you haven’t read it in a while.”
“Well I’ve read it many times and I don’t think there are any doors.”
“Yeah there is…well they went through a gate in the garden…”
On my way out, furries Kevin and Kat told me how heartbreaking it was to leave FurCon. In a fandom found mostly online, cons are a place to meet Internet friends in real life, at least for a weekend.
In the lobby of the convention center, I chatted with a couple more volleyball people. As we watched their daughters practice while fur-suited folks walked by, one mom told me, “The more the merrier.”
Outside on the street, a guy in big purple fuzzy feet and ears was talking to a member of a dispensary street team. “So, if I live in Oregon, can I get my medical evaluation in California?”
Here is an article in the January 17 edition of the online Silicon Valley Business Journal:
It discusses the Further Confusion 2014 convention, and its financial and cultural impact on the Silicon Valley area.
Editor in Chief- Silicon Valley Business Journal
Furries mean a lot of things to Silicon Valley. Their annual gathering in San Jose will fill thousands of hotel rooms and they’ll spend more than $3 million eating, drinking and shopping.
But the impact of furries, those folks who dress up in fuzzy animal costumes for fun, goes waaay beyond economics. Furries represent Silicon Valley’s last, best hope at getting weird.
I use the word advisedly. In the sense that Silicon Valley should be most eager to embrace.
A flood of 4,000 people dressed in animal costumes injects a desperately needed spore of creativity into Silicon Valley’s monoculture. A psychological realignment is forced on office workers when they have to cede the sidewalk to a group of pedestrians comprised of a marmot, a fox and a faerie wearing green tights.
Steve Jobs said his acid trips expanded his consciousness. Furcon does the same for Silicon Valley.
Furcon, this year titled "Further Confusion vs. The World: 2014" runs through Jan. 20 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.
Here is an article in the January 15 edition of the San Jose Mercury News:
The article talks about the three different events scheduled at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center this coming weekend: Further Confusion 2014, HempCon ("the medicinal marijuana powwow"), and "a girls volleyball tournament".
Last weekend, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center was packed with cars, cars, cars for the Silicon Valley Auto Show. This weekend's going to be much different.
There's going to be about 3,000 participants at Further Confusion -- the annual "furry" gathering -- and maybe 15,000 more at the medicinal marijuana powwow HempCon, which are taking place at the same time. If that wasn't enough, there's a girls volleyball tournament going on, too. Now, that's a show I would pay to see on Netflix.
Just a hint, but conservative-minded folks might want to shield their eyes around the convention center with all this alternative lifestyling going on. I wouldn't worry too much about all these crowds mixing, though. The pot folks tend to be a generally mellow, if sometimes stinky, crowd. And the furries -- people who enjoy making and wearing animal costumes that are sometimes pretty elaborate -- can be a fun group to hang around with, too.
However, I'm a tad worried about fighting for parking with the competitive sports parents. Some of them can get downright scary.
First, I live in Utah. Right before our startup con Unthrocon at the end of August, one of the radio shows found out we were having the convention. I decided to write in a letter, which they read on the air. The recorded show can be found here. They asked if they could set up an "ask a furry" segment, and have people ask questions. This was arranged.
Today we had our "ask a furry" segment. Show recording can be found here. Personally, i thought it turned out well. They were very interested in finding out about fursuits, fursuit sex, and the like. We did our best to make the fandom sound good, and delved very little into the sexual end of it. Overall, i thought it turned out pretty well. I know they were going for more of a 'shock and awe' story, but found we are more normal than they thought.
Thought you would like this.
Looks like Dr.Phil is looking for furries to appear on his show.
I've heard rumors that Evil Sibe has been chosen already to appear on the show.
Sibe is already banned from many conventions for his behaviors and antics, I can only imagine how this will go over.
Here is an article in the January 6 edition of the San Diego Reader:
It describes a recent furmeet at the Lake Murray reservoir in San Diego, California.
Furries descend on Lake Murray
Everyone was hugging, laughing, riding motorcycles, and playing tag
By Gloria Ciprian, Jan. 6, 2014
On January 4, LMFAO arrived at Lake Murray between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to have their monthly meeting, which they hold on the first Saturday of every month.
In this case, LMFAO does not stand for the vulgar “laughing my f*ing ass off,” but "Lake Murray Furry Anthro Outing."
Their gathering was held at the less-visited part of the lake — more like the “downtown” section, which includes the lake store, lake rentals, boat dock, and picnic area; the running trail attracts most of the park’s visitors.
The several members greeted each other and onlookers with over-the-top friendliness and glee. Most people who saw the “furries” wanted to know the purpose of the animated party. Each member had a badge with his or her “club” name written on it.
Ryka and Motomo were two members’ names, along with Hogwash, who claimed to be the group’s leader. Leo, one of the park workers, laughed and commented that he thought a lot of the costumes cost a lot of money.
Everyone was hugging, laughing, riding motorcycles, and playing tag. The atmosphere was joyful and playful. Some bystanders were wondering how they could become a member. Hogwash quickly told them that anyone who shows up on the first Saturday of every month could be a member.
“What is the real purpose?” was the question on most people’s minds. When asked, Hogwash responded that LMFAO’s sole mission was to have fun.
Between stressing families and noisy youths paws a collection furry, neon-colored creatures. In one corner stands a pink dog and a blue cat and trying to get to a call of Katy Perry's "Roar," which appropriately enough is played over the PA system. A large, nondescript fur animals with beaks and wings make some clumsy attempt to get their paws around an orange bowling ball.
The animals have come out of the woods, and collected on a rundown shopping center in Oslo east.
• See the entire documentary online later in the caseA suitcase full of fur
A few hours earlier in the day. We stand out in the winter sun with Astrid Hansen. She is one of a group of 15-20 people who gathered outside the bowling of Veitvet center.
- Right now I feel just empty. Excited I get only when we enter, says 29-year-old and looks away slightly towards the other at the small parking lot.
Inside the hall is Norway championship bowling in full swing. That's not why she's nervous. Astrid shall not participate in the championship. Astrid is "Furry". Today she is on her first bowling match.
The gang she is with one of the smallest, and perhaps the fussiest subcultures out there. It is mostly men. Some older and some younger. Apparently there is nothing that sets them apart from the others coming and going this Saturday morning. Like Astrid, several of the large suitcases or bags.
In the purple suitcase Astrid is two fur outfits she has made herself. A pink dog called "Temples" and the brown fox "Asha". On special occasions, or when she feels extra social, she is wearing the pink suit.
One is that you will be. Inside the jersey, no one sees you.- Astrid Hansen
- Has saved me socially
Astrid is quiet. She is dark, with a hint of gray in her long hair deferred. In most ways a normal girl. She speaks softly and low. Near the other people she chooses often placing themselves in the outskirts.
It has always been for her.
Before she began to walk with fur costume she was "the quietest girl in the class." The one who always stood alone, watching the others. She was just there, but did not exist, as she describes it herself.
Soon she will take on fur suit that makes her feel alive.
- I'm probably not so easy to approach. I've avoided other people ... I have somehow never quite known what to say, says Astrid and biting her lower lip gently.
- I'd probably not so good for a while, I think ... She pulls a bit.
- I have always been a lot to myself, never had so many friends that it does something. For my part, well this really saved me socially. I guess I've gotten a little spark of life again, one might say. She looks down at the ground.
I'm probably not so easy to approach. I've avoided other people ...Astrid Hansen
Dress up like animals
When she is "temple" or "Asha" she feels safer. When she knows that she is part of an environment that has the same interests as her. This makes it easier to be with others. Without her constantly need to think about or be afraid of being judged.
- You are the one will be. Inside the jersey, no one sees you. Although I have become more social and outgoing. I dare to be more normal in a way, although this is not exactly look so normal, she says and laughs a little of what she says.
Astrid is not alone. All over the world there are thousands who dress in fur suits. For a very few, it is a lifestyle. The phenomenon originated in the U.S. in the early 1980s as a "hairy" relative of the environment around the fantasy and science-fiction. They call themselves furries, fur animals. In short, they are a group of people who have a very strong and special attraction to animals.
Think of anthropomorphic animals like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, and add characters from various video games and cartoons.
Some dress up in full costume and live out fantasies, most of us have known since childhood.
There are many reasons why people become furries. It varies from person to person. Most people find interest through cartoons and video games. Many come from the environment around anime and cosplay, Japanese cartoons and masquerade associated with this.
For some it's a sexual thing, but within the community there are also many who reject this. Most telling about the other reasons why they dress in fur.
Some feel almost like an animal trapped in a human body. Others like the creative and artistic. For them it is an opportunity to create and develop imaginative characters, sew costumes or subscribe. Some make music or movies, or just hanging around because they think the environment is exciting.
Currently, the Norwegian environment little. Somewhere between 100 and 200 Perhaps it is only between 20 to 50 as Astrid, who is in suits and fur live life fully. But the environment is growing. Internet forums as Norwegian Paws and Furaffinity testify that there are furries all over the country.
This Saturday has many turned up. Record number, I know. They have reserved three courts. When the time is approaching five, moving the herd slowly into the alley.
There has meanwhile arisen a crisis. Having been told to use bowling there are several that will not change. "- It has never been before ...", whispered it. Some shoes will simply destroy the illusion and experience of the costume, explaining one of fur animals.
Astrid will run "partial," animal head, paws and tail. The rest she takes on when the bowl is finished.
Noticeably disappointed they carry the equipment with them. They have borrowed two small rooms where they can change. The transformation from human to animal is a tedious process. First a layer of clothing and face mask to protect costly suits against sweat. A range also on a small corset before he sneaks into the thick layers of synthetic fur. More people need help to get all the gear in place.
When my paws out of the sweaty locker room, they transformed into animals.
Astrid has decided the brown revedrakten today. The pink dog, a friend borrow. "Asha" is ready for her first bowling match.
For many, this is not something you choose to be, it is simply something you are. Although I was born that way, I think.Steinar Eliassen
Norway's first "furry"
In Norway probably started it all in 1994. Then the cartoon enthusiast Steinar Eliassen across a site for furries. He was immediately enthusiastic about what he saw. The following year he stood as a lone Norwegian participant at a meeting in Los Angeles.
Nearly 20 years later, the 41-year-old father of the family is still one of the most active in the Norwegian environment. It is he who arranges's bowling.
- This is not something you do to become popular. Actually it was pretty lonely for some years. For many, this is not something you choose to be, it is simply something you are. Although I was born like that, I think, says Steinar serious.
He lives in Norway, just outside Doylestown. In a small townhouse packed with teddy bear and animal pictures he keeps to a wife who is also furry, and her two children.
In the locker room he is about to become "Sayh" a wonderful mix of mandarinand and red panda. A "Panduck," as he calls it. The suit is so big and unwieldy that I must help him to lace up duck feet and the large wings.
- I do not know why, but I always felt like that. It was always clear that it was a bird that would be my character, he says.
For Steinar is it like to be an animal trapped in a human body. He has always identified strongly with animals, and feel a strong spiritual connection with their characters.
So strong that when the huge bird head is hoisted into place he puts the furry paw over his beak and signals that now is the end of the talking. In full costume he communicates only with a few small nods and gestures.
To get out of the locker room, he must pry their way through the narrow doorway.- The animal in me takes over
In "Dame locker room" also has Astrid got the suit. For her it was almost by chance that she was furry. Unlike Steinar she feels no spiritual connection to their characters.
Not yet at least.
For her, it's mainly about the social. And if the costumes. Astrid has always been interested in toys, comics and design. She is creative, loves to sew and has made cartoons that have been published in several newspapers and magazines. It was supposed to be her way into the environment.
For me, it was liberating. Just talking to people though quite large.Astrid Hansen
- I have always been aware of what it was and that they were there, but I never thought anything special of furries before a few years ago, she says.
In 2011, at a meeting for comic fans, she became acquainted with a furry. With her interests was easy to find the tone. Gradually she became drawn into the environment. Eventually she agreed terms. It was when she was she "saved," she says. Now she crawled almost only other furries.
- For me, it was liberating. Just talking to people though quite large. Finally I met someone I knew how I could communicate with, she explains.
After a while, she decided to create her own animal nature. Suddenly there appeared a figure she could not let go.
- "I must have suit!", I thought, says Astrid.
- This is about belonging
A short time later she had rigged up in a corner of the living room and had started to sew her first costume. It was the brown fox "Asha", which is now headed for the bowling alley. Since it has thus reached a new fur animals in her life. It is the slightly more playful "The temple", which is a mixture of wolf, dog and little cat.
- Now the only animal in me more and more, she says, laughing a little himself.
Although the term and interest for most people might be perceived as odd, are the driving forces behind very normal and human.
- There are certainly many different approaches to this, including outside of the purely psychological individual may have. For many, it's probably primarily about belonging, says Arnbjørg Engenes, who is a sociologist at Vestfold University College.
All people have a need to be part of a social community. All we have also strategies to gain entry. Some choose soccer jerseys or T-shirts with their favorite band, the second thus fur suits and living that fantasy.
- What is special is that it has so many strong elements of play and childishness. There are very few other subcultures that have, she says.
She thinks it's one of the reasons why furries have a relatively low social status, and that they largely have ended up being ridiculed and looked down upon.
The most common representation in the media and popular culture are typical nerds and losers. The controversial radio host Howard Stern has repeatedly made condescending articles about the environment. Major TV series such as "Entourage" and "CSI" have used them as humorous touches. On the web there are numerous sites and discussion forums that make fun of them.
Many therefore choose to live out the interest in hiding.
Astrid and Steinar are two of the few who choose to stand openly with your name and face. For most it will be too difficult. Many dare not even admit interest in friends or family.
- For some, it is actually a major barrier to come out as furry than coming out of the closet as gay, says Steinar before bowling.
- I know furries who lives at home with parents who have no idea what they are doing. They hide suits and smuggle them out when they are on the hit, he said.
Currently, there are in fact few who find it healthy or natural for older people dress up as something that looks like it was taken from a picture book for children.
For it is fur animals differently. And visible.Becoming more courageous
Inside the bowling is almost full. When fur animals transcends into it as if someone pressed the pause button. The sound level drops and bowling balls are left in peace. More to come over to take pictures or ask about what's going on. Some whispering and pointing. More simply shake their heads over what they see.
"- Is there a bachelorette party?", "- Plays the music video?». It is clear that more has Ylvis `" The Fox "in mind when they see the small herd.
Fur animals can not seem to be affected by all the attention. It appears in the least. Now that the fur has come on, the atmosphere is noticeably different than moments ago. Quiet chatter and nervous laughter disappeared. Several starting to take some careful dance steps, or to pose and do pranks for the onlookers.
A few of the animals go and greet those in neighboring lanes. The kids are doing great eyes when a big blue fox suddenly comes over to hand out hugs. A small child is so scared that it starts to hylskrike.- A bit like Russian suit or bachelorette party
- Although this is undoubtedly special interest, they are not really so different from football fans, or anyone else who is heavily into a particular concern, says Lars Jørun Langøien.
Langøien is a social anthropologist and has written thesis about cosplayers. It is a phenomenon that is closely related to furry.
For some fur suit mean a chance to live out a more playful and social side of himself. It could also be something to hide behind, which means they can be who they want to be, he explains.
- There will be an opportunity to get away from the ordinary, mundane everyday life.
... They both dare and ability to break with what is considered "normal".Lars Jørun Langøien
As furry they can play and extend the boundaries of their own identity. Do things that are not socially acceptable, or that they may not dare to normal.
- It is a phenomenon most of us know. It is like the Russian suit or stag party. The costume makes you dare to expand their usual repertoire, he says.
He believes that being a furry in many ways requires far more of a person than many other communities. It is extremely much more taboo than other subcultures.
- So even though this very much could be called a "nerd culture", I'd be very careful to call these people losers, says Langøien.
Disappearing in the crowd is in fact not easy when you are dressed up as giant, live cartoon characters. It takes courage to live out that in many ways bothersome interest.
- It just shows that they both dare and abilities to break with what is considered "normal". One can just as easily turn it around and look at some of them, socially, as a strong people, he said.
It is like the Russian suit or stag party. The costume makes you dare to expand their usual repertoire.Lars Jørun Langøien, social anthropologist
- Nice to get out among people
The bowling has the worst commotion subsided. Fur animals appear to have found its natural place among the other guests. When one path is a black cat and drinking cola and eating french fries while waiting for it to be his turn to play. A gray wolf is straight out of the parquet after sending the bowling ball in the gutter of "enteritis" time.
Astrid gets only four throws before she goes back and change into full costume. After all, fur is all about today.
When she comes back, there are already some who have given up for the day. In the suit, it quickly becomes hot. More is soon to change. When they come back, they are fur-free faces red and dripping with sweat.
Astrid goes back and forth. Greet someone, turn off and a short chat. Although she has been fitted with an electric fan in the head of the costume, she soon out in the parking lot. This time with her friend in the pink suit.
In the documentary series ID you meet people who take unusual choice to get to be themselves.
Tell us about the people and stories email@example.com !
- It's nice to see something new for a change. Get out. Hitting people, not just sit at home and stare at the wall, she said.
Soon she also goes to the locker room and begins to undress. The face glisten with sweat as she takes off her mask. She is hot and tired, but when she pack up your bags, there is no doubt that she is happy with what she has experienced.
- I'll definitely next time, she says, smiling broadly under the sweat bangs.
But first she partying with the other fur animals. Then the suits get be left in the purple suitcase.
Sarah (24) lives in Trondheim dressed like a fox. She is part of the furry community in Norway.
- I'm a 1.80 meters high rev. Brown, black and white, with big fluffy tail, long pink tongue and sharp teeth. But I tend not to bite, says Sarah (24).
She sits around a table at a cafe in Trondheim with two friends. Sarah is wearing revedrakt from head to toe, while your friends have collars around their necks.
- Look, it says Kirino engraved, with a little bling on.
They are called furries. There are people who share a passionate interest in dressing up like animals. They are fascinated by animals with human qualities, who can walk on two legs, talk and think like people.
- There is no more required to be furry than being an animal lover, says Sarah.
- Read what Wikipedia writes about Furry culture
The character of Sarah talking really, but she made an exception today.
- If people talk to me when I'm in character, I usually just nod. Torvus does not actually use human words, she explains.
All the furry community has found a character that they identify with, such as a fox, badger or raccoon. Some use only the tails and ears, while others have full fur suits.
Being furry is all about expressing their personality through the character.
- Furries are people who have a genuine interest in animals, and expressing it in many different ways. Both art and music and so we meet and talk about the interest, says "Kirino".
The three round table would not come forward with their real identity, for they are afraid of the reactions that can occur.
- It's not all in my social circle who know I'm furry. It could be that they have only heard negative things about furries. If only I was associated with the positive things, so I probably told the whole world that I am furry, says Kirino.
They have experienced negative publicity in the media, and especially remember an episode of the American television series CSI.
- There were furries portrayed as people who have sex in animal costumes, and it's certainly not what this is about. There are certainly a tiny percentage that may hold the stuff, but they keep themselves to themselves, says Kirino.
Her character is a cat, and yet she has collar, paws, tail and ears. Soon she will order a full suit, called a fursuit. But it costs. Sarah has just ordered a new revedrakt, and it costs 16 000.Love to hug people
Sarah leaves the cafe and goes out of Trondheim with revedrakten on. Many people stop and stare, while others rush past.
- The character makes me cheerful and playful. Now I have an energy in the body that I want to share with others.
She runs away to people on the street and throwing around their necks. Some run away, while others surprised the opposite. Children think it's always nice with clips from the fox.
- In the summer I was in the square in Trondheim and hugged many children. A girl was long behind her mother, and finally she asked about getting a hug. Then she hugged me for five minutes, and the tears flowed when they had to go.
Sarah smiles when she thinks back on that episode.
- It makes me so happy to think of it, it gives me a spark, she says.
For her, the main thing with being furry to please others.
In the pedestrian zone in Trondheim are Sarah stopped by a woman who wants to take a picture with your mobile camera.
- It's a rare sight, so I have to take a picture. It was funny, she said.
Furry fandom has probably originated from fictional books in the 1960s, but got real foothold first in the 80s in the U.S.. In Norway, the environment has grown in leaps and bounds since it was established in the mid 90s.
Last year, it organized a large gathering in Oslo, and there came the 51 furries from around the country.
- Cohesion in the environment is very good. Most people will just express joy or interest, and it's really nice people, says Kirino.
During the collections draw the plays video games and organizes party games in a fur suit. Between the matches together they usually online forum "Norwegian paws . "
- There are all kinds of people who are furries. There are just ordinary people who share a common interest, says Sarah.
She loves to wear revedrakten and enter the role of Torvus.
- I'm going to be furry and walk in fursuit as long as I live. I'm quite sure.
Original article: http://sundial.csun.edu/2013/12/finding-themselves-within-their-fursuits/
A furry is a member of the furry fandom, a subculture consisting of people who are interested in anthropomorphic fictional characters. Photo credit: Crystal Lambert / Contributor
Subcultures, some with a rather odd nature, are emerging globally.Most can thank the Internet for their success; through forums and social sites, people with closet interests have been connecting in the public. One of the largest is the furry fandom.
Often called furries, this group grew out of a 1980s science fiction convention. Writer Steve Gallacci had a character drawing from his novel, which centered around anthropomorphic creatures. Anthropomorphic is defined as animals with human-like characteristics such as walking, talking, and intelligent thought. Throughout the decade the group gained more and more members until 1987 when the first convention was held and soon after the Internet became available to the public.
“I’m in the furry fandom because I can express myself, my love of cats, and my love of art and animation simultaneously,” said Mathew Netzley, a CSUN alumnus whose animal persona, or fursona, is an orange cat, even though he does not have a fur suit… yet. “I feel connected to the community, and have made many lasting friendships with wonderful people because of it. Especially now as an adult with an adult job and adult bills, it’s wonderful to have an escape and an excuse to get lost in the collective imagination where we can all become our talking animal fursonas. It’s fun, it’s silly, and you probably can’t call it normal, but that’s why I like it.”
Most furries have an emotional and/or spiritual connection with animals, and connect with their animal or animals through art or music. However, other furries may dress up in mascot-type outfits called fursuits. The fursuits are often an attention-grabbing aspect to the furry fandom.
“From a social psychological standpoint, people might seek out (the) furry fandom as a way to foster another social identity,” said Professor Debbie Ma, who teaches psychology at CSUN. “Humans possess a fundamental need to belong and this drives us to forge social relationships with others. We tend to prefer forming these connections with smaller sets of social groups.“
A member will spend anywhere between $500 and even more than $3,000 on a fursuit. Suits can be purchased online or at conventions, while some fursuits are handmade with assistance of online forums and advice.
“The furry fandom means many things to so many individuals,” said Desmond Rayford, a member of the furry fandom who wears a black and white cat with purple hair. “After stepping into and joining the fandom I would say that, to me, it means being around like-minded people who share your passion of seeing a smile on a stranger’s face.”
However, the suits are not the entire fandom. Most members discover their “true” selves by visiting online furry sites and participating in role-play games. The fandom has a following of art, animal, and music enthusiasts.
Some furries choose to have more realistic qualities but still maintain many anthropomorphic features such as intelligence, walking on two legs, and human speech. Photo credit: Crystal Lambert / Contributor
Link to news story
Not bad story in my Opinion
It describes the furry fandom, with input from furries Scott Santamore, Amanda "Pine Cole" Green, and Meghan Hakey.
Typical hobbies for college students often include blogging, drinking or playing a sport, but for Scott Santamore, his hobby is a little furrier.
“A furry isn’t just the fur suit part of it, but it’s somebody who enjoys the furry fandom. It could be the art aspect of it or just enjoying the idea of anamorphic animals,” Santamore said.
Each fur suit is unique and represents a different personality. Santamore’s furry is a purple and orange Husky. He says he picked those colors because they’re like a yin-yang. Where one side of the husky has orange in a spot, the other side mimics with purple.
“My furry is a pygmy goat. I chose a goat because I'm stubborn, playful, vegan, and I like to head-butt my friends,” said Amanda Green, a Lyndon State student. “My character is male because I tend to relate to male characters more than females.”
Greens’ furry’s name is Pine Cole and his colors are gray, black, and white with lime green accents.
“His right ear has a white accent on it to reflect my own natural blonde patch that is on the right-back side of my head,” Green added.
However, a furry isn’t just a hobby to some; but a sexual fetish. Yes, some like to take it into the bedroom.
“I think it’s a little weird. At the same time I don’t want to judge people. They like what they like. It’s definitely nothing I’m interested in,” Santamore said.
Though, sex is just one small aspect, there are some die-hard furry fans out there. Some that will go far enough like Green, and make their fur suits.
“I’ve been making fur suits for 2 years. I’ve made 11, so far,” Green said.
Green explains that making the fur suit is quite the process and that she’s still learning.
“The first thing you need to do is to study the animal you wish to create. Draw it out and make sure you have a design. It's very necessary to have the design to look back on throughout the entire process,” Green said. “To generalize the actual construction, I start out by carving foam into the shape I want. I then make my own patterns, and fabricate the foam base. The last thing I do is add the eyes.”
Green and Santamore are just two people interested in this large fandom. Like super heroes, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter, furries, too, have a convention. Luckily for Green and Santamore, they were able to attend FurFright recently.
“I was absolutely in love with the fact that I could see in person the fur suits I had admired from pictures on the internet,” Green said.
Though, Green and Santamore are huge fans, they both don’t wear their fur suits as often as they would like.
“I’ll wear it maybe for two or three hours absolute max for a few different reasons. It’s very tiring and it also gets really hot in that suit. Your average fur suit gets about 110 degrees in about twenty minutes,” said Santamore.
Seeing a furry on campus is something new to many. Some run away with fright, while curious others stay and ask questions.
Theater major, Meghan Hakey, took it further and did her own research on the unique hobby.
“I think it’s actually good that people have an outlet like this,” Hakey said. “I mean, Comic Con is a really huge thing and people go dressed as super heroes and comic book characters, so if people want to dress like animals, that’s cool.”
"Furries" were on Storage Wars.
Nobody has mentioned it here or are we just going to ignore this and hope it goes away?
(clip is also available at trutv.com)
Featuring Skroy, Kody Collie, Frisbee, Blizzard and Ghimno. Some comments from Skroy on the video:
It was actually Kody's idea. It was a short drive away from a hotel during a convention that we were at and he thought it would be fun. He asked for my help so he'd have a translator and I said why not?
The "miami sporting event" line was something scripted that they asked me to say. You know.. "TruTv" afterall.
(Just for clarification, I'm just sharing this here, and I was not involved at all. If you have any questions for the furries in the video I have linked to their pages on FA where you can message them.)
Here we have...
* The UK's Daily Mail ("Meet Boomer, the dog trapped in a human body: Unemployed IT technician, 47, roams Pittsburgh dressed as a canine and barking at passing cars")
* The Huffington Post ("Gary Matthews Wants To Live Life As 'Boomer The Dog'")
* Orange News ("The man who wants to live life as a dog")
Here is a photogallery in the Phoenix New Times of October 14. It contains images from the recent Arizona Fur Con:
Members of the furry community from all over the southwest gathered at the Embassy Suits Phoenix-Scottsdale Hotel from Thursday, October 10, to Sunday, October 13, for Arizona Fur Con 2013, the first event of its kind locally.
Attendees brought along their fantastical and elaborate costumes of anthropomorphic animals and creatures to the event and were willing to pose for the New Times cameras.
Here is an article dated October 14, in The New Zealand Herald. It is comprised of an interview with local fursuit maker Juliet "Sparky" Johnston (who makes 'suits under the label "Sparky Can Do!").
Seamstress finds furry niche
By Nathan Crombie firstname.lastname@example.org - WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE
7:40 PM Monday Oct 14, 2013
Sparky was a little white fox terrier that Juliet Johnston as a kid loved to dress in gangster hoodies, tuxedoes and cowboy suits she had hand sewn and rhinestoned herself.
Juliet, 22, persisted with her gift for anthropomorphic costumery and close to three years ago began a supremely unusual livelihood infusing animal characters with broad splashes of humanity, manufacturing what are known as fursuits. The home-schooled entrepreneur, who was born in California and speaks with an American accent, founded a costume manufacturing business called Sparky Can Do! and is known online as Sparky, of course.
An industrial sewing machine dominates a converted bedroom in the home she shares with husband Bryce and it is there among the debris of carved foam and faux fur offcuts that griffins, anime otters or tigers are born and where rams, wolves, dinosaurs and bunnies first walk upright into the world.
She officially describes herself as a seamstress who creates specialised costumes, including the fursuits that are a physical expression of "fursonas" that self-titled furries manifest when populating their online and real-time world known as the furry fandom.
Some furries wear their suits to conventions, charity and role-playing events and some turn their sub-cultural penchant into passion, using the suits for sexual gratification, Juliet said.
According to Wikipedia, the term "yiff" most commonly refers to sexual activity or sexual material within the fandom, which is comprised mostly of males. The sexualisation of furry characters had polarised the sub-culture and while some were sexually motivated, the majority "took a negative stance" towards the fetishist few.
"Tread lightly. It's called the furry community and there's a dark side and a normal side, just like any community. It's like the pervert side of the internet, you know, it's a fetish for some people."
A partial costume comprising a wolf head and claws was her first attempt at a fursuit, she said, when she and a friend started dabbling, at the age of about 16, with the specialised art form. The fursuits she offers today have a starting price of $2000 each and her onesies, which are far simpler but just as brightly-hued one-piece costumes, start at $500 apiece.
The suits are crafted from foam padding, polyfilla and faux fur and vinyl and while partial fursuits feature only feet, claws and a head, the complete fursuits incorporate a head with articulated jaw, body, hands, feet and occasionally a tail.
They usually take a fortnight of up to 10-hour working days to complete although more padding and consequently more time is demanded when clients want specialised appendages or drop crotch designs.
Juliet has manufactured up to 70 fursuits and onesies and sells almost exclusively to clients in North America, Switzerland, Japan and Australia.
Anthrocon, held in Pittsburgh, is one of the largest annual furry conventions in the world, attracting up to 4000 furries every year. Juliet would happily rub shaggy shoulders with her clientele at the event, she said, and plans to make a trip to the annual bash within the next two years.
Juliet was working at The Escarpment vineyard in Martinborough when she collided online with the furry subculture, and her unique skill base and creative temperament came out to play.
"I found my niche market when I was introduced to the furry community. I already liked making costumes as a kid, you know, I'd make really weird costumes when I was 12 for Halloween or to go to Armageddon. Then I fell in with the furries and they had fursuits.
"I thought, hey, I can make these. I was working all year round at the vineyard but there's three months where you have no work and I thought I'd try making costumes. I made three fursuits in a couple of months and tried them online and they actually sold really well. I made a dog and a cat and a rabbit. People seemed to like my style, so I took on a few commissions and really, the work started from there. Right now I'm working on two suits and I have 15 commissions lined up and ready to go.
"I make fursuits but I also make other sorts of costume as well, like mascots and onesies. Whatever people want and wherever they are."
She had manufactured a Penguin mascot suit for the Junior Neighbourhood Support group in Wairarapa, which was spookily dubbed Sparky in an inter-school naming rights contest, and this year also completed her second World of Wearable Arts costume - a dinosaur/dragon named AWOL - after first stalking the WOW catwalk in 2011 with a creature called Toxic Plush.
Juliet's future in costumery is widening, she said, and includes the possibility of a switch to more realism in the costumes she creates, digital art, or costume manufacturing for stage or film.
Her clearest and dearest ambition is to construct a latex raptor suit with a view to moving into manufacturing more realistic dinosaur costumes. The raptor suit she has already envisaged would demand the wearer to be on stilts, she said.
"I've had a look at WETA (Studios in Wellington). It was great - looks like a lot of fun. But I've just started getting into resins and casting and being able to make my own moulds, so I'm happy where I am for now," she said.
"At the moment it's just sort of easier to make costumes which are just sewing and foam. I do make my own clothes too when I get the time, and I'd love to get more into drawing and painting and art. I'm getting into digital drawing as well.
"That was where I first started I guess, drawing with a pencil.
"Because you pretty much need that talent, you need to be able to draw and understand how things work that way before you can start making three dimensional costumes. It makes it so much easier to picture what you want in your head before you carve it out of foam.
"I have been thinking I might want to get out of the furry side some time and get into making latex dinosaurs instead, that actually look like dinosaurs. I'd love to get into that.
"I'll make myself one first and see how hard it is and how it goes. If people like it, that could be a go. But I can see them taking 10 weeks not two to make and they would cost quite a bit more.
"Maybe movie industry quality stuff even, so yeah, I'll have to see where that takes me."
Here is an article in the September 5, 2013, edition of Pacific Standard magazine:
It's about therians rather than furries, but I thought it relevant enough to include here. The article is a short interview with Shiro Ulv, who earlier in the year appeared in Logo TV's documentary What?!: I think I'm an Animal.