Opinion: Why the furry experience hits home so deeply
The furry experience addresses a nearly universal desire to be seen as you feel you are
Whether you are a fur (who feels a species identity different than your human skin shows), a transgender (who feels a gender different than your birth body shows), or just differently colored, shaped, or pigmented than those around you, probably all furries and their kin were likely acutely aware at an age as young age as 4-8 years old that how people saw and treated them was very different than what they felt they were like inside.
This is true for all humans, in fact, who are instantly judged at some level based on impressions: blonde, female, Mexican, Asian, African, and so on, which also have nothing to do with who you are inside. Where furs step off this path of false impressions is that we, nearly uniquely, create a fursona that we own (we feel it, we made it, it was not set a birth), and then we project and interact based upon that character.
Online many people use such a projected character. But in fursuit, it goes farther. For me, to have adults and children approach me and treat me based on the very same image of how I feel about who I am internally is a very empowering experience. In really no other way do humans change their appearance, down the their very pelt and body structure, so that in real life physical and social interactions, other furs and people approach them based on their self-image rather than their inherited traits.
So why does, in my view, the furry experience hit home so deeply? It is because it addresses a nearly universal desire to be seen as you feel you are. and those of us who are furs, minorities of any kind, LGBT just are made aware of our differences, and the insufficiency and misdirection of our treatment at the hands of less enlightened people.*
Thus, for me, putting on a suit, or interacting in character, is so transformative because I am approached as I feel I am, not as others may judge I am. If only mundanes could do the same thing.... everyone should be so lucky as to experience this.
* If you asked me why two years ago, I would have simply said because it removes pre-judgments by hiding our gender, racial, age, but not noted the deeper connection tied to the fursona as reflecting something more than that.