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Furries In The Media

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Furries In The Media -
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Inside the Convention Where 2,000 Furries Come to Party!

Mon 1 Sep 2014 - 05:40

A world in which animals roam the streets on two legs and share a good laugh over cocktails with their buds after work — this is the life of a furry.

Berlin's Estrel Hotel became a playground for nearly 2000 self-identifying furries from August 20 to 24 for the 20th annual Eurofurence, the largest furry convention outside of the United States and the longest running convention of its type in the world.

Furry fandom, a term used since 1983 refers to a subculture whose followers express an interest in anthropomorphic, or half-human, half-animal, creatures in literature, cartoons, pop culture, or other artistic contexts.

This year's events included special "guests of honor" including Ursula Vernon, author and illustrator of the graphic novel Digger; Kyell Gold, author of gay furry erotica including The Prisoner's Release; and Sardyuon, a furry juggler and acrobat.

As a yearly tradition, Eurofurence also orchestrated a charity auction, asking participants to donate artwork and rare items. This year's proceeds went to Stiftung Fledermaus, a German foundation that aims to protect bats from extinction through research and public engagement.

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    Police officers halt traffic as delegates to the Eurofurence, "Europe's biggest furry convention" arrive at the conference hotel in Berlin.

    Image: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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    Eurofurence's organizers describe attendees as "a collection of artists, animators, writers, costumers, puppeteers, and just everyday fans who enjoy cartoon animals and their kind."

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    Furries greet one another at the conference. The earliest citation of anthropomorphic literature regularly cited by furry fans is Aesop's Fables, dating to around 500 BC.

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    A Furry enthusiast attends the Eurofurence 2014 conference. Many but not all of the followers of the movement wear furry animal costumes.

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    Delegates to the Eurofurence, "Europe's biggest furry convention" pose for a picture in front of the conference hotel in Berlin.

    Image: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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    Some furry enthusiasts take a more casual approach to cosplay. The anthronthropomorphic character created by fans is known as a fursona.

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    A furry enthusiast collects money for charity during the Eurofurence 2014 conference. This year's proceeds went to Stiftung Fledermaus, which helps protect the bat population.

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    Furry enthusiasts take a break between events at the conference. Attendees enjoy a weekend of workshops, panel discussions, art exhibitions, dances, parties and more.

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    A furry enthusiast holds a camera while attending the conference. Furry fandom is also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom.

    Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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    Furry enthusiasts take a break at the Eurofurence 2014 conference.

Categories: News

Cats wearing stockings and bears in satin corsets: 2,000 adults dress as sexualised cuddly toys.

Mon 1 Sep 2014 - 05:33

Everyone loves a sh*t show. But that's what Daily Mail is all about...

Grown adults dressed as sexualised cuddly toys met at a gathering for ‘furries’ in Germany at Eurofurence, Europe’s largest furry fandom convention.

Cats in tutus and stockings, bears in cleavage baring tops and a creature in a satin corset were some of the 2,000 people who attended the convention in Berlin for fans of animals with anthropomorphic qualities.

The 20th anniversary of Euroference saw adults cuddling up in their figure-hugging outfits – which can cost as much as £5,000.

But Liza, a 29-year-old graphic designer based in Brighton, denied the convention was a sex party for people with a furry toy fetish.

She told the Independent: ‘We’re sick to death of reading that furry conventions are all about sex.’

Fans claim that adopting ‘fursonas’ to engage in animal roleplay by touching, petting, hugging and stroking each other is just harmless fun.

Anthrozoologist and social psychologist Kathy Gerbasi, who studies the furry phenomenon and has a fur suit herself, agreed there was a sexual aspect.

She said: ‘There is a sexual element for some people but I don’t think that applies to the majority.’

Ms Gerbasi, 65, argues that most people are interested in animals from a young age. She said: ‘We grow up with teddy bears, stories and pets. But furries take this interest in animals further.’

Some take it so far – that they actually believe they are part animal.

She said: ‘For most furries it’s just a fun hobby, but for others it’s an alter ego. Some think they’ve been reincarnated as an animal.’

New Yorker Ms Gerbasi, who is married to a pediatrician and has three children, got hooked on furry fandom nine years ago after coming across the underground movement on the internet.

She began studying the craze and ended up buying a dog costume based on her pet basset-springer spaniel for £180, which she wears every year to a festival called Anthrocon.

She said: ‘Most people spend around £5,000 on their costumes but I opted for a cheaper one and decided to make the body myself.

‘The first time I wore it to a furry convention I was nervous, but after a while I relaxed and it was so much fun.

‘My husband and children think it’s ridiculous but they let me get on with it.

‘The only thing is that it gets very hot in the outfit.’

But Ms Gerbasi does not wear her outfit in public. She said: ‘I’ve toyed with the idea of wearing it out but I was worried I would scare the cats.

'I do know some furries who go bowling in their costumes, but I think most like to wear them at conventions where they are surrounded by like-minded people.’

Conventions are held around the world and the UK scene is reported to be very active, though there are no reunions currently held on the scale of Euroference.

Categories: News

Furrie invasion: 2000 fans attended Eurofeurence in Berlin to celebrate their love of anthropomorphi

Tue 26 Aug 2014 - 06:17

Furry fandom is a surprisingly little-known subculture, but where it is known, the idea persists that it’s all about sexThis weekend 2000 self-proclaimed ‘furries’ - fans of anthropomorphic animals in cartoons, anime movies, literature and computer games - checked into a conference hotel in Berlin for Eurofurence, Europe’s largest furry fandom convention.

In addition to workshops, art exhibitions and live performances (including a ‘Pawpet show’) , the event centred around the ‘Fursuit Parade’, some strutting their stuff in sports-mascot-style onesies rented just for the occasion, others displaying £5000 bespoke creations incorporating animatronics, lovingly rendered to represent a fully-fledged ‘fursona’ honed over years of furry fandom.

Not all Furries are into dressing up (whereas some occupy the middle ground of a fox-face-mask and bushy tail over jeans) but for committed fursuiters, this was their chance to go wild, and on Sunday night, the beer garden of the Estrel Hotel was crammed with dancing foxes, lions, wolves, tigers and cats, waving their paws in the air like they just don’t care.

For many furries, the 2014 Eurofurence (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year) felt like a watershed moment; after years of being maligned and misunderstood, the response in the media was largely positive.

There were no muckraking reports in the press billing the festival as a sex party, and when the police showed up, it was only to examine and admire the prop patrol car created by organisers in keeping with the festival’s ‘Crime Scene’ theme. (Previous themes have included ‘Aloha Hawaii’ and ‘Kung Fur Hustle’.) Reception staff at the Estrel Hotel gamely accessorised their crisp work uniforms with cheetah-ears and giraffe-patterned fuzzy bow-ties.

The cultural historian Fred Patten, who has written extensively about anime, fantasy and science fiction subcultures, dates Furry Fandom back to a Bostonian science fiction convention in 1980, where a discussion group about intelligent animals in literature, TV, periodicals and film spawned semi-regular informal gatherings at further conventions.

By 1983, the term ‘furry fandom’ was being used in fanzines, denoting ‘the organised appreciation and dissemination of art and prose regarding ‘Furries’, or fictional mammalian anthropomorphic characters’ - although many fans consider the origins to be much earlier, dating back to Osamu Tezuka’s 1950s series ‘Kimba, the White Lion’, Richard Adam’s 1972 novel Watership Down, and even George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Furry fandom is a surprisingly little-known subculture, but where it is known, the idea persists that it’s all about sex - kinky sex between socially inept oddballs who only fancy cartoon foxes, to be precise.

Even the most active furries - including Eurofurence’s organisers - conceal their true identities behind anamorphic avatars and pseudonyms like @BigBlueFox and @Cheetah_Spotty - but insist they are proud of their furry status, simply mindful of public prejudice.

“If you think we’re secretive and suspicious, it’s only because we’re sick to death of reading that furry conventions are all about sex,” says Liza, a 29-year-old graphic designer and furry artist based in Brighton. In a recent survey, only 37% of furry respondents claimed that sexual interest is important to their furry activities. For the majority, it’s about a shared cultural obsession, an online community and a burgeoning artistic genre.

“There are some seriously talented a artists out there, creating beautiful charcoal illustrations of furry characters, computer-generated montages, or incredibly detailed funny cartoons,” says Leo, a 38-year-old programmer from Glasgow.

“Linking all furries to fetishism is like saying all Japanese animation fans are Kigurumi (masked cosplay) fetishists, or that the Trekkie phenomenon only happened because everyone wanted to shag Mr. Spock,” says Liza.

“It’s extremely insulting - but thankfully people are starting to wake up to the fact that furry fandom is a cultural phenomenon rather than a sexual peccadillo.”

Categories: News

2000 Furries treffen sich im Estrel

Mon 25 Aug 2014 - 06:08

They wear homemade animal costumes and also move like their favorite animal. Furries hot these disguised legged stuffed animals. 2,000 of them currently meet in Neukölln Estrel Hotel for Eurofurence Convention.

Predators, foxes, wolves, tigers, and here and there an idiosyncratic mythical creatures, the main thing a lot of fur and fur. In the Estrel Hotel on Thursday afternoon it looks like on a costume party on the subject of animals. Hundreds of people lounging in colorful fur clothes at the entrance and in the lobby, they pose, hug and take pictures of themselves. Some wear even a stuffed animal under his arm.

You are Furries. Thus, the global movement usually called young people who like to dress up themselves because of their love for animals as animals and spend their leisure time in the self-made fur dress or like to draw animals and cartoons and make costumes. To Eurofurence convention, Europe's largest meeting of its kind, more than 2,000 furries from thirty countries in Berlin are the same arrived, also from Japan, Brazil, Russia and Norway. For the first time the global meeting place here, in front of the community met in Magdeburg.

Spend about 500 euros for the Furries in the coming days at the Estrel and experience there is a full program, modeled on the American crime series, CSI Berlin under the motto is. A molecular biologist talks about securing DNA evidence, animal lovers donate to a bat project in Erfurt. There are workshops for sewing their own costumes, shows, concerts and dance competitions. 300 Artists occur. Also a flirt and Introductory Course will be offered. Because even Furries can be shy. And prefer to stay anonymous.Fixed rules and roles they have not. "Everyone shall determine for itself what a Furry he wants to be," says Michael Graf, one of the organizers. And everyone Furry associate with a particular animal also special properties, says Earl. Think of the cunning fox, the lone wolf and a cat that moves elegantly. These movements can take on in his role. "And then you can dive into his fantasy world."

In this world, a woman who calls herself Tshania moves. She is wearing a large cat's head made of white faux fur. The big cats eyes are so realistic design that makes you feel observed. Tshania is 27 years old, comes from Hesse and works as a Women's Clothing Tailor. She is for the first time at a Furry meeting. "I think it's great that everyone is so open and loving each other," she says. She was even more introverted.

In fact, the scene is like at the Estrel a big cuddle party. Hugs, kisses, Streicheleien. The Eurofurence Convention is a gathering of two-legged stuffed animals. You can see happy faces when they are not hiding under an animal mask. Tshania says, her costume did she dedicated her dead cat, with whom she has lived for nineteen years. Seventeen animal costumes has now made Tshania. "I'm having fun in dressing up," she says, "but I'm also like a man."

There are circulating so strange stories about the estimated 8,000 Furries in Germany. Some would spend whole weekends in costume, literally live out a fetish. One is reminded of the movie "Finster World", in which the policeman Tom, played by Ronald Zehrfeld, in pink bear costume with other furries meet in a secluded hall. A police officer in a bear costume. Funny.

"Some people react funny and find what we do, unnatural," says a man who Quack, the Husky is called. Therefore, he wants to tell anything definite about his private life. Only so much: he was twenty years old, working in Hamburg in the environmental and love dogs. Quack should be a naughty dog, with thick, strong legs that can also dance well.

Then Quack takes off his thick dog's head and stroking the sweaty hair to the side. A pleasant young man comes to light, open and confident. "My parents are surfing when they were young," he says. "And I wear for fun sometimes just a dog costume."

Categories: News

The Furries make Berlin a playground of stuffed animals

Mon 25 Aug 2014 - 05:53

His real name is Thorsten. But here he is Coltlan. Like most he has passed his real identity at the door. Thorsten is shy, has few friends, is unsociable. Coltlan however, is communicative, smiles to all, accessible. Trustful, one would have to say, because Coltlan is a Husky in human size. In it, Thorsten infected, but this is not important here at all, how and what he wants to be. A 1.80-meter-tall Stuffed Husky on two legs is not something that would be more than 2000 people who have come together in Neukölln "Estrel Hotel" at the Sun Avenue to "Eurofurence" irritate.

Since Wednesday, the lobby of larger than life foxes, cats, wolves and dogs is dominated in all colors. They stand in groups together, entertain and embrace, and there's a communal atmosphere. For the 20th time, Europe's largest gathering of supporters of the so-called Furry genre is already taking place, and it still serves to Sunday all the lovers "anthropomorphic animal beings or animals with human attributes," as co-organizer Jörg Reuter describes it, to also times personally acquainted. Because the exchange is normally run via social media.

"Furries are people in animal costume," said Reuter. However, the term also describes the whole community, which since its creation in the 80s defined by an interest in fantasy animals in text, sound and image. About half of the Furries is German, the rest comes from all over the world. "We have Americans, Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians, who easily together eating breakfast and talking about art," Reuter describes enthusiastically. "This fascinates me as the love of the Beasts brings together the people." As a harmonious family gatherings be it here, the Furries he actually looks as an artist community. There are graphic designers and illustrators, but also bakers, merchants, and IT specialists who meet here.

Seminars, stories, Party

At the convention the Furries do together what they normally do at home alone, here in the form of lectures, workshops and seminars. One can learn to sew a costume to move in costume to draw characters and stories devise around them. And with all learning very important: Party! The Furries are nocturnal, and the evening is the life really begins. "It's surreal at first, when a bunch of people moving in the fur to techno, but it's just great," says Reuter. That here just a few freaks dress up as their favorite stuffed animals, he finds "unacceptable escalation". There were quite a few that would identify "very" with their figure. "But for all, it is of course the ultimate running around in a costume," he says. And also a real challenge.

This proves impressively a green fox on the way downstairs to the toilet, curved like a sickle, because only a vertical view of the stages saved him from falling down. "You have to imagine that, like looking through two toilet paper rolls," Kathi aka Sinea describes the still running around in civilian clothes, their view of the fur. "The eye slits are small and you really have to watch out that you can not be dropped." Then they must take as furry supervisor. It leads the Furries through the area, ensures that they drink enough and admits chairs out of the way. For Werefox, a relatively natural, red-brown giant fox, which is very important. He is deaf and dumb and is only dependent on these slits in his senses. But he was with heart and soul into it, for three years, he signaled with his big paws.

When people barely friends

Werefox enjoy the freedom to be here, who he wants, translated Sinea. "There is a tolerant atmosphere, which is why we also have a large proportion of gay and bisexual men here." The ladies share the other hand, is about ten percent, and Sinea know why women of such meetings away sooner. "In costume, people feel free," she says. And some female furries were the cuddle ambitions of their male counterparts just too far. So the men thus remain largely among themselves, and Thorsten aka Coltlan enjoys the sense of community.

"As a person I had previously barely friends," he says. "Through a TV report I have become aware of the Furries and got me in March at Furbase, an Internet platform account." Since then he meets, the gardener is during the week, on weekends with other furries and running in costume through the city. "I trust in my costume much more, can better reach out to people and have more confidence." He enjoyed the attention of the people, especially the happy children when they see the huge stuffed animal. The question of his true identity, he can not answer clearly. "I am a human being. And a passionate Husky."

© Berliner Morgenpost 2014
Categories: News

Anthrocon 2014 Media Mash-up

Mon 25 Aug 2014 - 02:58
Random articles and movies about AC 2014 that are too small to deserve an entry of their own!!!


Norwich Late and Live #3

Uhhh, I have no idea <_<

WTAE-TV Pittsburgh
Categories: News

Imaginary Friends

Tue 19 Aug 2014 - 19:30
The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday livesBy Leah Sottile

Furries at Spokane’s First Night

NOTE: this is a very long article about many different fandoms and subcultures, thus I'veonly included the part about the furry fandom, feel free to visit the OP link to read the full article

It doesn't matter who this man really is. In this world, no one cares that he's a 31-year-old business owner who lives in North Idaho. What matters is who he wants to be.

Who he wants to be is Quip — a mostly white York Chocolate cat with a striped tail.

Quip likes to hide underneath desks and sneak inside cabinets when they're open. Occasionally, he'll nap in the afternoon sun on the top of a late-model sedan parked in the driveway. He likes stuffed animals and jumping on the counter.

Sitting at a downtown Spokane coffeehouse, Quip explains that he's a lot more than just a man sitting here. That this animal side is him, too — a part of his personality he has nurtured for decades as a member of the "furry fandom," a worldwide subculture devoted to animal characters with human traits. For some, being furry means enjoying books, cartoons or films starring talking animals — say, Watership Down or The Muppets. For others, it means adopting an animal personality, or a "fursona," like Quip. And for others, it means spending thousands of dollars to create a custom "fursuit" to wear at conventions and furry meetups.

Quip, who spoke on the condition his real name wasn't printed, is this man's fursona. Being Quip is his escape.

"My fursona — it's like a person's counterpart — is a cat. Others identify themselves as a wolf," he says. "We even have people who identify themselves as dragons, lizards — we call them scalies. There's no fur, but we still love them too."

Escapism is nothing new to the human experience. Ask the guy who drops his paycheck on Zags season tickets, or the people waiting in line for a movie on a Friday night. Ask comic book fans, artists, musicians, gamers, woodworkers, distance runners, Civil War re-enactors, avid fans of Game of Thrones. Odds are they'll all tell you they're just looking for a vacation from the norm, a few minutes when they can forget the bills to pay, the obligations to meet, the 9-to-5, the problems they don't want to address.

"When we fantasize, we experience the same emotions we would feel if we were in reality. Think of the fear you feel with a nightmare. Happy fantasies make us feel good," says Norman Holland, author of Literature and the Brain and a researcher of psychoanalytic psychology. "All work and no fantasy makes Jack pretty gloomy. We all should have some space for fantasy in our lives. Fantasies — escapism — give our emotions a workout. That's why the imaginative arts are good for you."

But even today, when there are arguably more outlets for people to escape their everyday lives than ever before in our history, some fantasy cultures still raise eyebrows. Some people feel they are social pariahs because of how they choose to escape. Some say they have keep their fantasy lives secret.

Like Quip. He says to him, being a furry is just a casual hobby. But he knows that's hard to understand — so his family and friends, and especially his clients, have no idea that he's a part-time cat.

"You know, you're a professional," he says. "What would happen if tomorrow you dressed up like a half-nude panda bear and started playing fetch with all the vases in the office?"

People aren't that open-minded, he says.

"I do much the same thing [as anyone else]," he says. "I just go home, I make myself a nice little salad, I catch up on email, and then I put on a dog collar and go to sleep."

Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, has made a career out of studying escapism. He writes about geek culture for the New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post and has appeared as an expert on escapist cultures on PBS, the Discovery Channel and BBC. He points to what he sees as one of the modern-day origins of fantasy-escapist culture: Dungeons & Dragons, a game that remains wildly popular today.

"Dungeons & Dragons, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, was ... one of the few 'games in town' for immersive fantasy escapism when it first came on the market in 1974," he says. "Back then, a game like D&D was cutting edge. Today, its tools — dice, maps, rules books — seem rather rudimentary compared with the sophisticated toys and diversions we have today."

But as technology has evolved, Gilsdorf says fantasy has become a part of day-to-day life. It's in the CGI movie effects that make movie monsters larger than we could have ever imagined. It's in the immersive digital communities and social media that have become as integral to our lives as going to work and eating breakfast. Fantasy isn't just for geeks anymore.

In fact, fantasy escapism is a booming business. Last year the largest comic and pop culture convention, San Diego Comic-Con International, attracted more than 130,000 attendees. Tournaments of one of the world's most popular video games, Defense of the Ancients — better known as DotA — have become so massive, they're being broadcast on ESPN.

"People are attracted to fantasy lives for a variety of reasons: to escape from bad times, to get a break or respite from day-to-day life, to experience wonder and magic, to feel empowered, to be able to do something or be someone they can't be or do in real life, to feel camaraderie, fellowship and socialization," Gilsdorf says. "Ultimately, we want to feel part of something bigger than ourselves, something grander, something more epic than day-to-day life."

Even the smaller subcultures, like the furry fandom, play to that notion.

This year's Anthrocon in Pittsburgh attracted 5,861 furries from 26 countries. That's a far cry from the beginnings of the furry fandom, which sprouted out of 1970s fanzines, found an online home in 1990s chat rooms and took off with the advent of the World Wide Web.

Here in Spokane, the Inland Northwest Fur Folk group on boasts more than 130 members — that's everyone from actual "fursuiters" who wear animal costumes, to folks like Quip who simply have fursonas but don't dress up, to people who just like to nerd out on talking animal characters.

Ritzgaul Gryphs is another member of the group here. The 28-year-old man works at a Spokane Valley grocery store, but he won't divulge any other details about himself or use his real name — and it's not because he's ashamed. He says it's how the media has portrayed the furry fandom as an a animal-costuming-wearing sex group of sorts that keeps him anonymous. He says that's not what the the majority of the fandom is about.

And yeah, sure, he says some furries do like to have sex while dressed up as foxes and wolves. But not all of them. And it's certainly not exclusive to fursuiters.

"There's no denying things like that go on," he says. "There's no denying that at Trekkie conventions there's going to be Klingon sex."

Ritzgaul says he's been a furry since 1998, but he's never assumed a fursona. He's a human. "I never found a furry side of me," he says, "but when you really deeply think about it, humans are animals too."

But he's just as much a part of the fandom as people who wear costumes. When Ritzgaul thinks about his attraction to the furry fandom, he thinks about being an 8-year-old kid watching afternoon cartoons. His still remembers his first crush: a villainous wolf on the cartoon TaleSpin.

When he found the fandom as a teenager, he said it actually changed him as a person.

"It got me social. It got me out of the house more. It got me to discover myself as a person. It helped me," he says. "It pretty much saved me from boredom. It helped me become more active and discover things, learn things."

Quip, the man who identifies in the fandom as a cat, says with furries he found a group that was more accepting of who he was than anyone else he'd encountered.

"That's the interesting thing about the furry fandom, it's really an anything-goes sort of community," Quip says. "Nobody will lambaste you because you listen to this type of music as opposed to another type of music. No one will rib you because you like to watch cartoons."

So it isn't sexual for these men, but would they prefer to date someone who is a furry, too?

Quip answers that with a laugh. "If you know anyone, just..." — and he holds his hand up to his ear like a telephone.

Categories: News

Photos: Animal Attractions at the Rocky Mountain FurCon

Fri 15 Aug 2014 - 07:32

Dated August 11, here is a blog article on the website of the Denver Westword:

It is essentially a collection of photos from last weekend's Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2014.

Article text:

You have to wonder why FurCon happens in the heat of August, because, like, thick fur everywhere? Nonetheless, the furries convened over the weekend at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, clad head-to-toe in plush costumes. Thank goodness for air-conditioning. Danielle Lirette brought back these pictures and more of FurCon's heavy-duty cosplayers; read on for some of our favorites.
Categories: News

NBC News covers Anthrocon 2014: "Party Animals: Meet the Furries"

Wed 13 Aug 2014 - 13:54
A positive story from NBC about this year's Anthrocon.
True Believers: When 6,000 Furries descended on Pittsburgh, NBC News' Amna Nawaz was there to see what makes people want to dress up in full-body fursuits.

NBC's Link in better video quality:
Categories: News

Furry fever: Boston furry convention sheds light on far-out fandom

Mon 4 Aug 2014 - 06:19

Here is an article in the US Metro:

It covers the weekend's Maltese Fur-Con event in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nearly 200 fiction fans met up at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport over the weekend for the first local furry convention, shining a light on a mysterious and often misunderstood subculture.

So-called “furries” are interested in fictional anthropomorphic characters, and in some cases even dress as and take on the persona of the “animal-like” creatures.

“Thirty years ago when Star Trek came out, a lot of people who followed the show were ostracized for it. Now that community is really embraced by everyone. I think our community has taken the place of Trekkies in that respect,” said Fur-Con Organizer Rourke Danyals, 31, of Haverhill, who has been embracing his furry side for 18 years.

The subculture, which is said to have sprouted at a science fiction convention in 1980, has gained notoriety for its connection to sexual fetishism that involves role playing with the suits.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a part of it,” he said. “But you’ll find there are sexual aspects to communities all over the world. It’s not the defining aspect, but it is an element of the furry community … It’s a lot broader of a community than people realize.”

In fact, only about 10 percent of furries actually wear the hand-crafted suits, which can run upwards of $5,000.

Danyals, like many in his community, only dons a suit a few times per year.

Typically furries socialize online at websites like, and will sometimes attend group “meet-ups” with fellow fur-fans.

But this weekend’s convention, officially named “The Maltese Fur-Con,” let furries do more than just mingle. Attendees were offered seminars on how to properly care for their fur suits – it involves Febreze – as well as games, dancing, fur pride parades, vendors, and more.

New York City resident Rebeccah Ortiz, 23, has been rocking her yellow fox suit – named “Elbi” – for about a year.

“Usually I get a very positive reaction. I make people smile, and they say, ‘Oh what a pretty costume!’ They want to take pictures and get hugs. It’s really fun,” said Ortiz.

Convention goer Jason Miclette, 27, of Connecticut said that although his alter ego “Zenfuhre” brings him joy, his favorite aspect of the fandom is its fundraisers.

“Absolutely the amount of charity work we do draws me to this community,” said Miclette, who hopes to host his own Fur-Con in the future. “I get to dress up and make a fool of myself and make other people laugh, so that’s the happy factor for me. But the other heart-warming factor is raising money as a group. The one we’re doing [at Maltese Fur-Con] is for [service animals].”

Considering the convention’s inaugural success, the Hub might see an even larger gathering next year.

“There are a few regular furry meet-ups in the Boston-area throughout the year, but I’d love to make this convention an annual event,” said Danyals.
Categories: News

Furries and bronies bond at Blitz

Mon 28 Jul 2014 - 17:12

Here, dated July 28, is an article in The StarPhoenix, a daily newspaper that serves Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada:

The article discusses the furries, bronies, cosplayers, and other attendees of the annual Saskatoon Blitz convention.

It's not easy being a furry.

Furries - or fur fans - are a subculture centered on animal costumes with human features. Participants dress up as human-sized dogs, cats, foxes and more. The suits can cost thousands of dollars.

Putting on a fur suit in public often draws negative attention. Media portrayals of furries have historically been unfair, and focused on a small sector of the community, according to Jessie Selinger, a prominent member of Sask Furries.

"People think we're just sexual deviants, and we're all in suits to get freaky, which is not the case at all," Selinger said.

This past weekend in Saskatoon, furries - along with bronies, cosplayers, dungeon masters and more - had a chance to let their passions out without fear of reprisal. Saskatoon Blitz, an annual convention devoted to anime and other forms of devotee culture, drew an estimated 4,000 people to Prairieland Park.

Costumes were everywhere, and ranged from mainstream comic book heroes to more obscure Japanese anime characters.

Renee Wiebe was cosplaying - the practice of dressing up as a character from pop-culture - in an elaborate red dress, inspired by an anime called Black Butler. She talked about the confidence boost that comes from congregating at such an event with like-minded people.

"It's good for self-esteem for a lot of reasons. I know people who've had bad selfesteem, or anxiety, but then you come here, you can be in a costume, and you can be with people who are into the same stuff," Wiebe said.

In the case of Selinger, the opportunity to dabble in furrydom at a previous convention became an avenue for self-realization. He had first been introduced to the idea of an animal costume when he played the mascot at a high school in the Battlefords, but he had never taken part outside of that setting.

"I think it was two years ago. It was the first time I ever dressed up in a suit. It was that point in my life where I was like, I'm a furry. This is who I am. I'm not going to deny myself," he said. Selinger was one of the leaders of a panel on furries at Blitz. They spoke about what attracts people, the breadth of the culture, and more practical things such as which materials to use when building a suit.

"The main part of fur fandom is just individuality, fellowship and being able to be yourself," he said.

The panel made a point of downplaying any connection between furries and sex, saying that media obsessed over the idea and it wasn't what the subculture is about. At the same time, Selinger pointed out that adults in any community will often couple off and have sex, and that a person's bedroom life is not anyone else's business.

Jon Leslie has also experienced stereotyping based on his interests. Leslie is not a furry, he's a brony. He was one of four people who led a panel on the subject at Blitz. About 30 people attended, with an even mix of males and females.

Bronies are a subculture of adults obsessed with the cartoon My Little Pony, and specifically the seasons released in the past three years. They obsess over small details, debate the merits of various characters, and often produce drawings, music and other creative expressions based on the show.

Bronies have turned My Little Pony's message of friendship and love into an ethos. Leslie described a brony convention where someone came to mock participants. The bronies responded by enveloping him in a five-minute-long group hug.

Similar to the furries at Blitz, the bronies relished the opportunity to get together at an event where they didn't need to worry about harassment.

"People shouldn't be afraid to express what they like. We get together, I like the same thing you like, and you're not alone," Ricky Layes, another panellist, said.
Categories: News

Yes, People Are Dressing Up Like Cartoon Animals and Walking Around Pittsburgh

Sat 19 Jul 2014 - 07:20

While most of us are probably spending the Fourth of July soaking up the sun in light clothes or bathing suits, a few have elected to go the opposite route, encasing themselves in hot fuzzy suits and hitting the streets of Pittsburgh.

They’re known as “furries” and more than 5,000 of them have descended on Pittsburgh for the ninth annual “Anthrocon” gathering, which began Thursday and lasts until Sunday.

Furries are, essentially, people dressed as animals dressed as people.

They’re like many a sports team’s mascot, only furries don’t get paid to suit up and sweat — they do it for fun.

Event rules ban taking pictures of any costumed attendees with their masks off, and some furries seemed to be somewhat private about their hobby.

“I work for a weapons manufacturing company,” one man, identified only as “Kyle F.,” told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “If my co-workers found out about what I was doing this weekend, they might take a hunting permit on me.”

The furries seem to have found a safe haven in Pittsburgh. Local WTAE-TV posted nearly 100 pictures of Anthrocon attendees in their various furry attire, and event organizers said the city has treated them well, despite their odd hobby.

“There is no city that welcomes us in the way Pittsburgh does,” said Samuel “Uncle Kage” Conway, chairman and CEO of Anthrocon, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “People here have embraced walking foxes as part of the scene.”

Categories: News

PHOTOS: Furries Frolic In San Francisco

Fri 18 Jul 2014 - 16:55

Here, dated July 14, is an item in Queerty, an online magazine and newspaper covering gay-oriented lifestyle and news. It is a brief article about Frolic, with a photo gallery:

When the sun goes down in San Francisco, the creatures come out to play. Don’t worry, they’re not threatening: a cuddly bear, a gentle donkey, a few wolves, a bunny, and what might be a seagull (?) mean you no harm. They’re just regulars at Frolic, a monthly furry-themed party at The Stud.

This month’s Frolic served as an after-party for one night of GaymerX, the queer-focused video game convention. Following a game-themed drag show and a cosplay contest, furry-friendly attendees headed into the heart of SoMa to dance the night away and sweat profusely.
Categories: News

Pelsklædte glædespredere

Sun 13 Jul 2014 - 17:01

Here, dated July 12, is an article in the Danish newspaper Horsens Posten:

It concerns this weekend's Furtastic 4 convention in Denmark.

Horsens - For a while yesterday afternoon, Horsens was invaded by costume-clad men and women from both home and abroad.

Wearing home-made animal costumes, they crawled around and handed out hugs, high-fives, and smiles to children and adult passersby.

But actually, there was a deeper meaning to it all.

The group of about 15 costumers are so-called furries, who meet once every year. They share an interest in animals with human characteristics, such as Donald Duck.

Norwegians and Dutch have come to Denmark for the event, and last year there even two Russian attendees.

By walking out and about, with some of the costumes costing individuals upwards of DKK 30,000, the furry community tried to make the wider community aware of itself.

Whether the public on the street actually knew about furries is not known, but the kids enjoyed themselves at least, seeing this somewhat odd spectacle.
Categories: News

‘The Furries’ nuzzle up to Pittsburgh at 2014 Anthrocon convention

Wed 9 Jul 2014 - 15:52

Here is an article, dated July 9, in the New Pittsburgh Courier, a weekly newspaper catering to African Americans:

PITTSBURGH –Anthrocon, the world’s largest convention for artists, animators, costumers, puppeteers and fans fascinated with animal characters, returned to the City of Pittsburgh for its 2014 annual convention from July 3-6 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

This year, the Anthrocon Convention, also known as “The Furries”, drew an estimated 5,600 participants.

On July 5, upwards of 1,100+ attendees in full head-to-foot costumes (“fursuits”) posed for a group photo before participating in a parade inside the convention center.

Fast Facts:

The conference will generate an estimated $7,074,236 in direct spending to Pittsburgh’s economy.

Since its first convention here in 2006, Anthrocon has contributed more than $34 million in direct spending.

Anthrocon has raised more than $100,000 for local charities. This year’s charity is the National Aviary.

Delegates come from all over the world, and range in age from 1 to 85 years old
Categories: News

Style of Eye släpper Furries-video på ”Love Looks” - album 7 oktober

Sun 6 Jul 2014 - 21:37
So from what I can gather this is a mock furry documentrary music video??? It's kinda spot on with portrayels so I can't tell if they guy is a furry himself or just stole footage from actual documentaries. Nonetheless it's kind of surreal..

Style of Eye är just nu ute på en större Sverigeturné. Det firar han genom att släppa videon till låten ”Love Looks”, en video som gör ett nedslag i fenomenet Furry Fandom (människor som klär sig i djurdräkter).  Love Looks, skriven av Style of Eye & Lars Allertz, är andra singeln från Style of Eyes album ”Footprints” som kommer 7 oktober i år.

Det är en händelserik tid för Linus Eklöw, aka Style of Eye. Nyligen tilldelades han en Ascap Award för låten ”I love it” (Icona Pop) som sålts i två miljoner exemplar i USA och legat topp tio i 14 länder. Första singeln från hans kommande album, ”Kids feat. Soso ”, sålde nyligen Platinum och EP:n som han släppt med Galantis, duon han bildat med vännen Christian Karlsson från Miike Snow, har toppat iTunes topplistor i USA.

Idag släpps videon till senaste singeln ”Love Looks”. En video som ger en inblick i fenomenet Furry Fandom där vi får följa ett fåtal människo-Furries liv och deras sökande efter kärlek.

Se videon här>> :

Just nu är Style of Eye ute på en Sverigeturné där Emmabodafestivalen, Big Slap Festival och We Are Stockholm i Kungsträdgården finns bland turnéstoppen. Nu finns chansen att vinna biljetter till spelningarna och uppleva showen från scenen i en tävling med Rockbjörnen.
Categories: News

Furries Attend Annual Convention in Pittsburgh

Sun 6 Jul 2014 - 12:11

Here is an article, dated July 3, on the FOX 29 News website:

Pittsburgh, Pa.-Those who love to dress up in animal costumes are making their annual pilgrimage to Pittsburgh.

They call themselves Furries, which means they dress up as large furry animals for fun.

About 6,000 people are in town to see and be seen at Anthrocon for the convention.

"We love it. It's so much fun. I wish they could come more often every year,” said convention attendee Baris Budak.

And it's a big tourist draw for Pittsburgh also with participants coming from 25 countries.

"It’s what they're into. It makes them happy. It relaxes them. It gets them through the day," said Anthrocon Board Chairman Dr. Samuel Conway.

The convention has brought 41 million dollars to the Pittsburgh economy over the years with an estimated 7 million dollars this year alone.
Categories: News

WATCH: Furries invade Pittsburgh

Thu 3 Jul 2014 - 14:49

Here is an article with accompanying video, on the website of Global News (the news and current affairs division of Global Television Network in Canada):

The “Furries” are back in Pittsburgh.

Thousands of people dressed as “humanized” animals, known as “furries,” are in Pittsburgh for the annual Anthrocon convention.

“Furries” or anthropomorphics are people who attribute human-like qualities to animals.

Anthrocon is the biggest convention in the world devoted to “furries,” generating millions for the Pittsburgh economy.

“This has brought a total of $41 million to our economy,” Visit Pittsburgh President and CEO Craig Davis told KDKA. “Just this year alone, $7 million.”

“Furries” from over 25 countries attend the conference and they come from all walks of life, like this weapons manufacturer who’s dressed as a fox.

“I think if my co-workers knew this is what I do, they’d take out a hunting permit on me,” the Fox says.

Anthrocon board chairman Dr. Samuel Conway sees no harm in this fascination.

“Why do people buy tickets to the Super Bowl?” he asks. “Why do people go fishing? It’s what they’re into. It relaxes them. It gets them through the day.”
Categories: News

'The Furries' return to Pittsburgh

Thu 3 Jul 2014 - 14:37

Here is another Anthrocon article, dated July 3, in the Beaver County Times:

PITTSBURGH -- One of the freedoms to be celebrated this Fourth of July weekend is the ability to parade around in a furry costume with numerous others who enjoy that activity.

That's what you'll find Thursday through Sunday at Anthrocon, the world’s largest convention for artists, animators, costumers, puppeteers and fans fascinated with animal characters. Returning to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, this year's Anthrocon conference, also known as "The Furries," is expected to draw 5,600 participants, which would make it the biggest one yet.

The highlight will be Saturday, around 2 p.m., when upwards of 1,100 attendees in full head-to-foot costumes ("fursuits") will gather for a photo op and a parade through the convention center.

Registration is available online at or in person, costing $30 for a one-day pass and $60 for multi-day access.

As the Anthrocon website says, "Membership is open to any and all who like to imagine what it would be like if animals could walk and talk as we do -- and no, you do not have to wear a costume to attend."

There will be workshops, panel discussions, an art exhibition, and the largest dealers' room of its kind. Visitors can meet honored voice actor guests Jim Cummings (Tigger from "Winnie the Pooh"/Ed the Hyena from "The Lion King") and Lee Tockar ("My Little Pony"/"Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog").

Many fursuited attendees are expected to venture outside Friday night to watch the July 4 fireworks "as Anthrocon once again turns the whole of downtown Pittsburgh into a furry metropolis," according to the event's website.

With participants ranging in age from 1 to 85, the conference will generate an estimated $7 million in direct spending to Pittsburgh's economy, according to VisitPittsburgh, the region's official tourism marketing and promotion agency.

Since its first convention here in 2006, Anthrocon has contributed more than $34 million in direct spending, VisitPittsburgh said.

Anthrocon also has raised more than $100,000 for local charities. This year’s charity is the National Aviary.
Categories: News

FBI investigating threat against ‘furries’ in town for convention

Thu 3 Jul 2014 - 14:24
An article with brief video, dated July 3, on the WPXI website:

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11’s Alan Jennings reported that the FBI is investigating a threat against “furries” in Pittsburgh for the annual Anthrocon Convention.

Jennings said Pittsburgh police are involved in the investigation, and the threat originated on the Internet.

The convention has been held in Pittsburgh since 2006. On average, the event pumps nearly $7 million into the local economy.

Members call themselves “furries,” and thousands of devotees of anthropomorphics from all over the world attend.

The event includes workshops and seminars in acting, costume-building, animation, writing, art and design. It also hosts an extensive art show where the best in anthropomorphic artwork is offered for sale.

The convention began Thursday and lasts through the weekend.
Categories: News

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