Creative Commons license icon

Furries In The Media

Syndicate content Furries In The Media
Furries In The Media -
Updated: 3 hours 57 min ago

Furries find acceptance, friendship among active community

Thu 3 Apr 2014 - 06:18

Here is an article from April 2, in the Central Florida Future, the student newspaper of the University of Central Florida:

The article describes the regular furmeets in Orlando, Florida, and interviews local furries Diedrich Wolff (unofficial leader and "popufur" cough-cough), Jonathon Ray (costume design assistant), Austin "Isaac" Beard, and Tyler "Dante" Smith.

Furries find acceptance, friendship among active community
Underground world of roleplay brings students together

By Bernard Wilchusky
Contributing Writer

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 00:04

A dog, a bear and a fox walk into a bar, but that isn’t the beginning of a joke.

It is, however, a little slice of what one might expect to see at the Oblivion Taproom on Tuesday evenings, when an average of 30 to 60 members of Orlando’s “furry” community meet at the bar for their weekly gatherings.

But what, pray tell, is a furry?

A furry is a person who dresses in a head-to-toe animal costume.

“A furry is anyone with an open mind,” said Diedrich Wolff, the unofficial leader of the Oblivion Taproom gatherings and a student at Valencia. “It’s a very diverse community. A lot of people are attracted, initially, to the art, but people come for all sorts of reasons.”

Wolff is known as a “popufur,” an informal title given to members of the furry community who are well-liked or renowned. He noted how the community has blossomed over the years, going from small get-togethers featuring around 10 of his friends to the large gatherings at Oblivion today. He estimated that Orlando alone boasts a community of more than 100 furs, with dozens more scattered throughout groups in Tampa, Miami and elsewhere.

“It used to be just a few of us,” Wolff said. “We’d get together at Steak ’n Shake and catch a movie at the dollar theater. Last year, the community exploded. One time, we had almost 90 people here at once.”

Indeed, on Tuesday nights the bar is replete with cat ears and bushy tails. And sometimes, a pair of furries in full-body costumes — known as “fur suits” — can be seen hugging and prancing about.

The fur suit is perhaps the most recognizable icon of the furry fandom. The suits, which each take about a week to make, can cost close to $1,000. Some have modifications that allow their jaws to articulate, their eyes to light up and even integrated speaker systems to project the wearer’s voice into the outside world.

“You know how brides go crazy over their wedding dress?” said Jonathan Ray, a costume design assistant. “The same thing goes for a suit. People want measurements, they want cloth choices, fiber choices, the works.”

Ray said that donning a fur suit comes with its own unique set of challenges. The headpieces restrict the wearer’s peripheral vision, and the fur on the suit’s outer layer causes its interior to become hot. Suiters often travel with a spotter who helps guide them through crowds and watches for signs of heatstroke or exhaustion.

“We always emphasize that fursuiters should have a spotter, especially if there are kids around,” Ray said. “No one is going to be happy if a suiter knocks over a little kid that they couldn’t see. Spotters are the ones who drag you away if you need to cool down and take a break.”

But furry art comes in many forms, and websites such as Fur Affinity, Inkbunny and DeviantArt provide portals for members of the community to connect and share their passion. In fact, the art provides the one common substrate among this community composed of performers, engineers and people from virtually all walks of life. All furry art features, in some form or another, the image of an anthropomorphized animal.

This animal character, personified with human characteristics, serves as the alias through which people operate in the fandom. And when furries aren’t donning their fur suits, they can often be spotted with their furry badges, emblazoned with the names and images of their animal aliases or fursonas.

For Austin Beard, a health sciences sophomore, his fursona, Isaac, is a character whose extensive background he developed through online roleplaying. Before he moved to Orlando, there just weren’t any real-world outlets for him to participate in the community, he said.

“Most of the people I’ve met, I’ve met on Twitter or online,” Beard said. “Getting to meet them in real life is great — you get to see them in person, and it’s like [your relationship] doesn’t even skip a beat.”

Still, he admits that he was hesitant to become a more active participant because of the historical stigma surrounding the furry fandom. Television shows such as “Dr. Phil,” “The Tyra Banks Show” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” portray furries as mentally unstable or sexually deviant people who wear costumes as a means to fulfill their perverse fantasies. Beard, in his six years participating in the community, has yet to see a single act of “yiffing” — costumed sexual intercourse — that the fandom was made notorious for.

“Everyone thinks we’re weird; they think we do weird stuff,” Beard said. “That’s not what it’s about. Furries are just different people with a different sort of hobby — it’s no different than collecting stamps or RC cars.”

So what is it that has people participating in the furry fandom?

Without exception, the word on everyone’s lips was friendship.

“This is such an open and loving community,” said Tyler Smith, a sophomore marketing major who goes by the fursona Dante. “No matter what race, religion, sexual orientation or political views you have, no matter who you are, you’re going to find friends.

“If you have a fur suit, you’re loved.”
Categories: News

Meet the Penn State Furries

Mon 31 Mar 2014 - 10:06

Here is an article by Maggie McGlinchy, in the Onward State (the student-run blog of Pennsylvania State University).

It looks at Penn State Furries club, with comments by members Cory Grube and Corey Friedenberger.

When I made the descent into Irving’s basement, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. It was to be my first meeting with the Penn State Furries, the Happy Valley sector of the fan culture for people who like to, in its simplest form, dress up and pretend to be animals. My own naivety led me to expect someone like Todd Cleary from Wedding Crashers, or perhaps a unicorn-clad soul hunched up in the corner.

Instead, I found Cory Grube and Corey Friedenberger, two sociable and amicable members of the Penn State Furries club who are trying to bring the group back to its former glory.

Grube is a junior chemical-engineering major here at Penn State, and Friedenberger is a recent graduate and long time PSU Furries member. As someone who already had predispositions about the Furry community, the Cor(e)ys were quick to explain that the Furries are not a culty pack of weirdos.

“It’s always the bad egg that goes to the media and gives us a bad name,” said Friedenberger. “Most of us are just a bunch of people with the same anthropomorphic interest trying to have a good time.”

The Penn State Furries colonized in 2007 during Friedenberger’s freshman year, although the group’s membership eventually dwindled and became inactive with time. After hearing so many stories about the group’s former glory days, Grube decided he wanted to bring the club back to life.

“I was really disappointed at how stagnant the group became,” said Grube. ”I just wanted to grow my friend-base, while growing the friend-bases of others at the same time. More friends all around makes the world a better place, you know? Also, I really wanted to see it reach a place similar to where it was when Corey was a student. Whether that’s possible or not, I have no idea, but we’re going to try.”

The Penn State Furries group is independent from Penn State to allow non-students to participate. While still based around Penn State, anyone from State College is welcome to join, per the Facebook group description:

“For all those tail-waggers out there who bleed blue and white! This group is for current and incoming Penn State students, alumni, faculty/staff, and State College locals who are part of the anthropomorphic furry community in one form or another.”

The casual, open-armed attitude also translates into a strong bond among the Furries in its group. Take, for instance, its membership flier: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE! THERE ARE TONS OF FURS IN THE AREA LOOKING FOR FRIENDS LIKE YOU!”

(membership flier)

Grube said the group has no plan to affiliate with the university any time soon, because he wants to maintain its loose schedule and officer-less structure.

“Having officers or leadership positions makes it too bureaucratic, at least for my tastes,” Grube said. “For the purpose of getting to know people, I don’t want to be the leader or president or whatever, I just want to be a friend.”

Additionally, even among the Furries community, the interests are so diverse it would be nearly impossible to hold an actual meeting.

“We could offer things at meetings like an open space for furry art critique, panels for teaching a skill like sewing, useful for things like fursuit making, or what have you,” Grube said. “The group is so spread out in terms of interests, so for any particular topic, we might only have 10 or 20 percent of the group that would be interested. It wouldn’t be a very effective means for getting to know each other, which is the core purpose of the group.”

Friedenberger considered affiliating with Penn State when he first started the group, but chose not to for the same reason. Despite the economic benefits that come with being an official club, it would be too formal for this liking.

“There’s no real subtext or motive to the group,” said Friedenberger. “It means different things to different people. For some people it’s spiritual, some people are really into anthropomorphic art, some people really feel they are an animal trapped in a human body, and others are just people who like to party.”

The highlight in the life of any “Fur” is attending the various Furries conferences. In January, a solid contingent from the PSU Furries attended Setsucon at the Penn Stater hotel, which is focused on anime.

“Small cons usually exude a cozy, friendly feeling,” said Grube. “Lucky for us, we have a small convention right at the Penn Stater, Setsucon. It’s not a furry convention in reality, but an anime convention. Regardless, it still draws in a lot of local furry artists, enthusiasts, and fursuiters. There are two reasons for this: Many furs have another common interest, anime. A secondary reason is that furries like conventions in general, as long as they get to hang out with friends and have a good time.”

There are dozens of larger Furry conventions across the country, including Anthrocon, held annually in Pittsburgh, and FurFest. Furries sometimes spend thousands of dollars on costumes for these conventions, often going by their names and personas from Fur Affinity, the largest online Furry community in the world.

The once annual convention in Detroit, Furry Connection North, became so popular that they had to shut it down after six years. This video helps illustrate the scene:


The Cor(e)ys told me that cons often start small at various cities, only to become insanely popular. The parties get bigger and more wild, and eventually the convention moves another hotel, as was the case with Furry Convention North. I was told more than a few times that Furries really know how to party and that’s what the community is for a lot of people: a group of people looking to have fun. Just, y’know, in costume.

Here is a video from a dance competition, which is often a highlight of the conventions. The furry in gray is a former Penn Stater.


Here are some photos of PSU Furries from this year’s Setsucon:


What’s important to note about this group is that because their interest is so…unique, so is their friendship.

The Furry community is very accepting of people’s identities, especially in the LGBTA community. Discussions can range from weird stuff the Furs read on the Internet to casual conversations about sexuality — they come up all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a con, a party, or even just at a coffee shop. Grube told this story from his last Anthrocon as an example of the virtue of the community:

“I feel like furs are more open-minded and chill about everything, in general. We were in our hotel, and it was probably 3 or 4 p.m. In fur-con time, that means it’s time to drink. So we’re going about that, when someone knocks at the door. We open the door, and some guy none of us know basically walks in while saying hi. He’s pretty smashed already, and offers us some beer. We proceed to have a conversation about lots of random stuff for probably 30 minutes before he left. None of us really knew what happened, but we were like ‘Eh he was pretty cool, I don’t mind.’ That’s the kind of chill attitude that lots of furs tend to possess.”

More than anything, though, Grube wants the Furries to be more than a label, more than an embarrassing sound byte or joke. At the end of the day, it allows a group of people to take their virtual interests and create friendships IRL. And really, that’s what the PSU Furries are all about.
Categories: News

Maxim again brings up Furries

Sun 30 Mar 2014 - 12:20
Maxim (Dec 2013, pg. 70, picture of performance artist as body-painted unicorn)

...And while not a furry himself, (Alex) Kovas concedes that he does have a bit of a following within the community. "Evidently, my humanimals are based on an almost naked human body, so most people are bound to get sexual associations with my portrayals," he admits. "Furries find my humanimals very appealing, but probably in a slightly more twisted way."

Categories: News

Official video Dr. Phil on furries

Thu 27 Mar 2014 - 04:21
Official posting of the entire episode minus commercials.

Categories: News

Download Dr. Phil show about furries

Tue 25 Mar 2014 - 23:49
Aired 3/25 at 3pm EST. Commercials edited out except for one at 28:30, a dog food commercial comparing dogs to their grey wolf ancestors (technically, your dog is a subspecies of the grey wolf)!Np5yVa7K!cr8K-WurR4q1iUdHpupMa6pEpSOdZ4e4_3fS-Xdo6AY
Categories: News

Furries on Dr. Phil

Mon 24 Mar 2014 - 02:28

Description on TiVo for the 3/25 Dr. Phil show, "Animal Obsessed": "Frances' obsession with her 13 rabbits may be hurting her relationship with her daughter; Gary says he is part human and part dog and tries to live as much like a canine as possible; Lori hates that her 20-year-old daughter attends furry conventions."

See, the fandom had nothing to fear from him.

Categories: News

Furry Weekend 2014 Is Happening, So Get Your Fursuit On

Sat 22 Mar 2014 - 11:25
Here is a brief article, dated March 22, in the Huffington Post:

It covers this weekend's Furry Weekend Atlanta.

The fur is flying in the South this weekend.

The 10th annual Furry Weekend Furry Weekend, a furry convention held in Atlanta, kicked off Thursday, and the fuzzy festivities will last through Sunday night.

Activities at this year's Furry Weekend, themed as "Furry University," include a fur-suit parade, workshops on building a collar, a talent competition and various dance classes and dance parties.

Last year, they even had a furry Harlem Shake:

Attendance costs for the whole four-day span of the convention ranges from $45-$250, or guests can buy a one-day pass for $25-$35.

The convention is the fourth largest gathering in the world for furries, meaning people who have an "interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or mythological or imaginary creatures which possess human or superhuman capabilities," according to WikiFur, a wiki managed by the furry community.

Many furries like to dress up like their animals of choice, but some express their interest through other ways, like art or performance. While some are sexually attracted to these anthropomorphic animals, this is not the case for all furries.
Categories: News

Simpsons + Warriors + Furries

Fri 21 Mar 2014 - 01:46

The most recent episode of The Simpsons brought together the movie The Warriors (1979), Mascots, and Furry. "Can You Dig It?"
Categories: News

True Life: I Want Respect for my Sect

Wed 19 Mar 2014 - 22:26
Hello everyone!

I just found out about a recent episode of MTV's True Life titled "I Want Respect for my Sect". It features furries along with Juggalos and vampires. The furry in this episode is somewhat young and I think got pulled into MTV's scheme of featuring "freaks", but it really wasn't that bad overall. I even remember her fursuit from RMFC, haha!

It can be watched here:
(I don't know if it works outside the US)
Categories: News

Furry fandamonium

Wed 5 Mar 2014 - 08:26

Here is an article in the online edition of the Coast Report (the campus newspaper of Orange Coast College in California, USA):

It describes the campus Furry Club, with comments by club members Matthew "Hems" Geddes, Alex "Ace" Nobles, Justin Cha, and Marcella Norling.

Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:00 pm

Gino Riccardi, Staff Writer

With a flip of his tail and a wave of his gloved paw, Furry Club President Matthew Geddes called the first meeting of his anthropomorphic friends to order on Feb. 27.

Geddes, who goes by his Furry alias Hems during the meetings, presided over the meeting of artists, musicians and self-described nerds. The band of members, known as Furries, gather weekly to discuss their passion — a love of all things, well, furry.

Club members said each Furry has an original character persona — an anthropomorphic alter ego that is personally designed and interpreted through elaborate and expensive Furry suits.

Not every Furry has a suit however. The cost for a full body costume can come in at a staggering $1,000 to $3,000, so during the recent meeting club officers wore only fluffy tails, and in some cases, collars.

“Nobody is going to ruin their fur suit,” music major Alex Nobles, 20, known by his furry name Ace said.

More than anything, the group indulges in creating and displaying their own art and ideas. Rather than focus on comic book or video game art, Furries like to create new identities through costumes.

Along with being imaginative, group members are also adept designers, administrators and organizers.

“With Furries, we’re all fans of ourselves,” Geddes said. “And fans of anthropomorphic art.”

In addition to weekly meetings on campus, members attend an array of Furry events and conventions every year, Furry Club officer Justin Cha said. Furries also host fundraisers to assist animal shelters, museums and children’s hospitals, members said.

Furry Club adviser Marcella Norling, a religious studies professor, said she didn’t know much about Furries when she agreed to assist the group, but has already learned a great deal about the pastime.

“I have nerd in my DNA,” Norling said.

As a veteran of Renaissance fairs, she said she understands what it is to break off the shackles of the ordinary by participating in what some may consider an alternate reality.

When asked how she came to be the club’s adviser, Norling said she found Geddes at a booth during Club Rush and asked his name, what his club was about and who its adviser was.

They didn’t have one. So she took on the position and she said they are a fun and lively bunch.

“Just wait until the third and fourth meeting,” she said. “It’ll really be something.”

Club members hope to raise awareness of ongoing meetings throughout Southern California and expect to have their own events on campus.

The club meets on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the Social Science building.

Categories: News

Furry Convention In Vancouver, VancouFUR, Celebrates Third Year

Mon 3 Mar 2014 - 00:30
Western Canada's furries descended upon Vancouver this week for VancouFUR, the city's first furry convention.....
Categories: News

White Bear Lake Company Creates Costumes "4 Cats"

Fri 21 Feb 2014 - 20:02

Here is an article by Andy Greder, in the (upcoming) March 2014 edition of the White Bear Lake Magazine:

It describes the work of Snap E. Tiger's costuming company, ByCats4Cats.

By day, Trent Fleury is a help desk administrator at a custom metalwork company. Nights and weekends, he’s sometimes a silver fox. As a member of MNFurs, a community committed to their crush on creatures, Fleury and his comrades bring their love of animals to life with costumes made by By Cats 4 Cats in White Bear Lake.

Founder Eric “Snapcat” Stevens purchased a black-panther costume for $400 after trying on a tiger costume at a camp-out near St. Louis, Missouri in 2000. Stevens, now 38, wanted a second costume, so he bought a cheap sewing machine and made a full-body custom-made white tiger costume in 2001. “Everyone wants to own their own business, and I thought this would be great for my creative outlet,” Stevens says. “Basically, I’m living the dream right now.”

Stevens’ sewing skills began to catch on with science fiction fans who dress up like characters, particularly of the feline variety. Word of mouth ramped up demand as he constructed about five costumes in 2009, about 15 in 2012 and an estimated 48 costumes of different species last year. “I’m booked usually six months ahead,” Stevens says. “I even have to close down my website for people looking for quotes every month or so, so I don’t get overwhelmed.”

Stevens’ talent overwhelmed Deron Adamavich. Two winters ago, the White Bear Lake man contacted Stevens, who was then living in Omaha, about a costume. “I didn’t have any reference art or any pictures,” Adamavich says. “I wanted a white lion with a big, poofy mane and just told him, ‘Just make it look great.’ ”

Adamavich met Stevens in Omaha, where he was presented with the final product. “I was absolutely speechless,” Adamavich says. A respectable 6-feet 2-inches when dressed in street attire, he put on the costume while still in Omaha that Easter Sunday and walked around the downtown area dressed as a 6-foot 6-inch lion. Families, bikers and shoppers all swooned and snapped photos. “It was a totally incredible experience for me,” Adamavich says. “It was the first time that I had a costume on. I wasn’t Deron; I was my character. You are someone else. It’s just different.”

The connection established at that first meeting was so strong they began a relationship, and Stevens moved to White Bear Lake later that year; the couple married in 2013.

Stevens’ differentiation is his craftsmanship and efficiency, Fleury says. On Fleury’s silver fox, Stevens took precise measurements from the end of Fleury’s arm to the tip of his fingers. “He is able to get those measurements precise,” Fleury says. “Then, when trying it on, it was perfect. Never any issues where things are too cramped or too long.”

Costumes commence at about $2,200 and go up from there; details can include stripes or LED lights. With that price tag comes routine correspondence. “I’m in communication with every single one of my customers, from when they give me a deposit to when they get the suit, and even a year after they have it,” Stevens says. “I do ask them to be brutally honest with me as far as what they like about it and what they don’t like about it, so I can make changes.”

Each costume has between 80–120 hours invested into it, with some bodies now done by a seamstress, which allows Stevens to focus on the head, paws, feet and tail.

When people see Stevens, Adamavich or Fleury in costume, they sometimes think it’s peculiar. “Sure, some people think it’s weird, but that’s just people,” Steven says. “ ‘What are you doing?’ That is the No. 1 question we get, ‘Who are you?’”

Stevens compared it to men in purple face paint and braids at Vikings games, those that enjoy bowling or those that “put a V8 in a ’68 Mustang.”

“We just say we are doing it for fun,” Stevens concludes.
Categories: News

TV Report, "Outsiders", Kanal 5, Sweden

Fri 14 Feb 2014 - 01:03
This report contains a few Furries from Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands. It was aired at prime time on the swedish TV channel "Kanal 5" on a series called "Outsiders". Talking about Nathalie, Pao, Kwisa and Keenora.

There are english subtitles on Youtube.

Direct link to their website:
Categories: News

Read about Frolic

Thu 13 Feb 2014 - 21:49
Categories: News

Gameshow "NRW Duell", WDR, Germany

Thu 13 Feb 2014 - 19:26
There was a little Gameshow in the local TV channel WDR in Germany, called "NRW Duell". The material, which was used, was basically from another WDR report, which you can find here too. The moderator is a german comedian, named Bernd Stelter.

Categories: News

Documentary about the Fursuiter Keenora on "Faszination Leben", RTL, Germany

Thu 13 Feb 2014 - 19:18
This is a long documentary about Keenora Fluffball and mainly fursuiters in Germany. The original channel is actually pretty known for bad reports, but this one turned out pretty good. The series is called "Faszination Leben" which literally means "Fascination Life". You can see the following people here: Keenora, Berion, Codydawg, NeoXIII, Mathijs

There are also english subtitles on Youtube.

Categories: News

Local TV report about Furries, "Lokalzeit", WDR, Germany

Thu 13 Feb 2014 - 19:03
This short report was aired on the WDR (West-Deutscher Rundfunk) which is a local TV channel in Germany. The material was also translated to an english and spanish version. The TV show itself is named "Lokalzeit".

Its about the Fursuiters Keenora, Werefox, Kimutiger and Berion.

There are also english subtitles on Youtube.

Categories: News

Karvakaverukset tekivät yllärikäynnin Jumboon – katso video

Sat 1 Feb 2014 - 18:08

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.

Categories: News

Collegehumor: Furry Superheroes Are Super Gross

Thu 23 Jan 2014 - 19:37
(c/o Flayrah and LordNagetire)
Dated January 22, humour website takes a poke at the worst excesses of the furry fandom with their NSFW video "Furry Superheroes Are Super Gross":
Categories: News

Worlds Collide at Furcon, Hempcon and High School Volleyball Tourney

Tue 21 Jan 2014 - 16:12

Here is an article (dated January 21) on, 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?”
Categories: News

Page traffic