Dragoneer's Dorsai complaints spark FurFright spat
October saw up to 1500 furs converge on Cromwell, Connecticut for annual Halloween-themed furry convention FurFright. However, the event was marred by controversial reports about the actions of the Dorsai Irregulars security staff.
On 28 October, Dragoneer declared he would not return to FurFright until the Dorsai's removal, citing complaints about their behaviour ranging from minor, unprofessional annoyances to threats of having him arrested.
I'm done. I'm done with this. Furfright is (was?) my go-to convention. I love this con, and I love the staff, but the security have overstepped their bound year after year, and I'm done with it. I've brought up these issues every year for the past five years to the convention and nothing has ever happened. Hell, I've even been told the Dorsai are not to SPEAK to me unless they went through certain Furfright staff first due to the shit that happened in previous years.
Dragoneer's sentiments were echoed by his fiancée, Sciggles, and Silver/ThatDamnWolf – a member of FurFright staff who subsequently resigned, saying he is unlikely to return even if the Dorsai are removed. A petition to this end had gained 266 signatures as of 5 November.
As Dragoneer leads the largest furry website, the incident became known all over the fandom. It only grew when, on 30 October, Sciggles tweeted that Uncle Kage, chairman of Anthrocon, had emailed her and Dragoneer, telling them to stop speaking out about the Dorsai's conduct.
I do not know what beef you have with the Dorsai, but I would like you to stop baiting them, and I want the public attacks on them to stop. You are a professional and you run a convention yourself; you should know better. [... Inciting division] is not good for the fandom and brings nothing but heartache to both sides. [...] Deliberately adding to the pressures other organizers have to endure is very, very mean.
Kage complained that Dragoneer's journal was not going through the proper channels, was creating two opposing sides and should have been resolved privately. According to Dragoneer, the issues have been brought up privately before and nothing was done about it.
Aside from being accused of interfering in other people's business, Kage was criticised by Sciggles, and others, for violating their privacy by using email addresses from Anthrocon's registration database. Kage later apologized for contacting Sciggles by mistake.
No statement has been made on the FurFight website, although dealers' room staffer SlideWolf claimed not to have heard any complaints while working with co-chair K'gra during the event.
Who are the Dorsai?
Formed in 1974 at the 32nd WorldCon – reportedly after friction with non-fandom security staff who were accused of acting insensitively, and failing to notice a thief walking out of Torcon II's art show with a Frank Kelly Freas painting after buying a lower-value work – they have provided a variety of security-related services as the DI (and as the Klingon Diplomatic Corps at Star Trek events) for almost four decades.
The Dorsai roster lists 100 living members, but many signed up decades ago, and some are no longer active, leading the group to continually recruit from those they serve – and increasingly from furry fandom. They are generally only compensated on an expense basis:
Our "Usual" deal is that all the expenses to get our crew to, from and through your convention are covered. (i.e. memberships, gas money - maybe food, rooms etc.)
Have no fears of "overbearing Stormtroopers" enraging your confolk. Uniforms and attitudes went out with the Seventies. We don't carry weapons (okay, maybe the occasional water gun and maybe some candy whips, but that's it!), we don't wear jackboots (okay, my mother does, but that's it! Really!) and we don't manhandle fen.
Our berets, belt buckles and shirts, (bearing a distinctive logo designed for us by Kelly Freas), are intended to enhance our visibility and foster a sense of teamwork and fellowship. Irregulars are longtime, well-known fans recruited for their ability to work well together and cope flexibly with the individuality that characterizes fandom.