Let's be clear about one thing from the start: furry is still a fandom. That should be a fairly uncontroversial statement, but a recent article by JM on [adjective][species] tried to put forward the case that furry can no longer be described as a fandom. I think there are a number of major errors in that essay that need to be corrected.
Fandom or not?
JM's argument against furry's status as a fandom rests on the lack of a furry canon.
Fandoms revolve around their canon. The canon provides a permanent reference point for all fandom-related activities. We furries have no such thing, and so furry is defined by whatever we, collectively, decide.
This paragraph is only partially true. He's wrong about what constitutes a fandom; there is more to it than just canon. Turning to the infallible resource of Wikipedia (that was irony, but it is pretty reliable), we learn this about fandoms:
I recently posted an article on [adjective][species], Furries & HIV, that I think deserves wide attention. The furry community hasn't has a significant outbreak of HIV, but we're being placed at risk by attitudes towards safe sex.
I chatted with a HIV-positive furry (who was happy to be publicly quoted) and a furry porn actor, who both feel that the reluctance of furries to use condoms is a real problem. We also look at ways in which condom usage can be normalized within the community.
The article has generated a fair bit of interest in the couple of days since its publication, and at least one furry convention - Toronto's Furnal Equinox - is looking at adding a safe sex panel to their schedule as a result.
[adjective][species] has an interesting article on cub porn and its impact on the furry community. Controversial topic but worth a read.
On sites where it is allowed (and even sometimes when it is not), it’s ubiquitous. A full 3% (out of 200,000) of posts on e621.net are tagged “cub”. Yet attraction to underage characters is discussed as if it existed in the extreme margins of furry.
The prevalence of cub porn suggests that a significant minority of furries are paedophiles. Or, to use a less inflammatory phrase, many furries are sexually attracted to underage characters.
In the furry community, we don’t have a significant problem with homophobia. But we do have a problem with hatred towards some of the more unusual sexual orientations and interests, such as transexuals, babyfurs, zoophiles, and more. In all cases, people are being attacked for things that are innate.
Interesting read, if provocative at times.