State of the Fandom
If the furry fandom is so accepting, why do so many people feel compelled to point out that they are not Furries, and just like anthro stuff? In a follow on to my previous column on how the press view furry fandom, lets take a look on how fans and artists view the fandom.
Opinion editorials are all about opinions. My last one was about my opinion on how the press view the fandom. Well, this one is going to be about opinions themselves. I asked a fairly random? Okay, I asked a bunch of people on the Internet, why they thought people who were into anthro arts and stories often insist they are not part of the furry fandom. Several of those asked took the opportunity to point out that they were not parts of the furry fandom. Who was and wasn't may be a surprise, but I'll get to that later on in the article. Now, I'll list some of the opinions.
All the following were solicited opinions, and have been kept anonymous to protect the interests of those who did not wish to be identified. Some quotes have been edited for clarity.
Well the thing is, that the fandom is based upon a genre of fiction rather than a part of it.
Every member of furry, regardless of whether they're on the spiritual fringe, lifestylers or merely fans of anthropomorphized animation, share a common and unified affection for the anthropomorphized style of artwork.
it's 'cause it -is- so accepting - they'll let anyone in, in spite of idiocy, perversity or ripe odor
Many of us like to keep up appearances, few of us like being called freaks.
If the fandom were more discerning, I'd be happier to be loud and proud
Certain parts of furry fandom don't distinguish "things that make you a furry fan" from "things people who are furry fans also are
I don't call myself a furry because I'm not into the lifestyle aspect and it is an interest that is only a small part of my larger spectrum of activity.
'Furry fandom is accepting.' IF you take that as fact, you're buying that pretty much anything and everything that wants to call itself 'furry' can. Thus, people who do not want to associate with such a broad term, whose specifics can be applied to them, and they may not like it.
The furry fandom is obsessed with image, and part of that image is 'tolerance'.
To my mind furries LOVE anthros. Fuzzy , anime, cutesy etc. Most furry creatures tend to be humans with fuzzy coats on...a furry head human attributes. There tends to be a lot of sexual connotations around furries. Which is why personally I think some people are so quick to deny that they are FURRY.
Now, let me address who the people who make up these quotes, and insist on not being part of the fandom are. They are people who hang around on 'furry' mucks. They are people who go to the conventions, and buy the comic books. These are also some of the people who *produce* the art and stories that the fandom loves.
Some of those who said they were not part of 'Furry' included costume makers, artists, writers, and even some people who had been invited as guests to Conventions.
So, that leaves us with one conclusion. The heart of the fandom has slowly been alienated from the rest. Not only is the fandom slowly loosing those who are the 'Fans' but they are also alienating the Producers. In the SF&F fandom, the vast majority of producers, writers, artists, costumers (Yes, there is an analogue for Fursuiters) and filmmakers all consider themselves to be Fans as well. But in Furry Fandom, they don't want to be associated with the group that is meant to be their fans, and most of their fans don't want to be associated with the group that is meant to be their fan.
I know a few people will respond that the furry fandom doesn't need these people. But this isn't true. Any fandom looses their regulars over time. All fandoms need new people to invest ideas. And fandoms especially need creative people who care for the fandom that surrounds them. Without these people joining, the fandom stagnates.
So, what can the fandom do to stop this?
I suggest people take a new years resolution, and that the fandom as a whole promises that
You do not squick the mundanes. In fact, you don't even call them mundanes, they're people who may or may not be into the same things as we are.
Tolerance is a two edged sword. You can expect tolerance of some of the things you do. But you do not have the right to foster your ideals or practices onto others, nor to claim them as more important than others.
Consider that as time goes on, much of the potential fandom will have such things as Jobs and Families, and even things such as being Active in their chosen Church, or taking part in local Politics. Do not do things that are designed to alienate these activities or make it hard on them to remain in the fandom.
Then maybe I and all the others who hang around on the fringe of the fandom can feel that we actually belong to it.