In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tails and Tornadoes is a young convention that's been running in the Central U.S. state since 2019. Its premiere year was reviewed here on Flayrah by one-time contributor Koori Kitty. Like the weather system it was named after, the con has subsequently found itself in a whirlwind that's rattled its organization.
The first shakeup was one that affected most gatherings, in that its second year was unable to be held in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures. But on top of this, the same year brought in political fallout from the final year of Trump's presidency. Riots in the American Midwest soon spurred worldwide protests following the murder of George Floyd by a law enforcement officer, where the unarmed black man was strangled by a knee to his neck that was held there for over eight minutes. The entire duration of the strangulation was recorded on a smartphone and shared over the Internet.
The United States government, under the leadership it held, decided to go against the advisability of de-escalation in these matters and instead responded with hostile rhetoric. Given the shutdown of many non-essential jobs due to the pandemic, this created a perfect storm of vocal protests and rioting towards an unsympathetic system, sentiments that spread far beyond the Midwest where the murder took place.
Update: Correction made about staffing shifts from 2020 to 2021 in Tails and Tornados per Koori.
Disclaimer: This article will not take a side in this matter and is merely a publication of the events leading to the public conflict in question, thus falling under “Neutral Report Privilege”. People’s comments below are their own, and do not contribute to Flayrah’s position on any pending legal matter.
In the first week of February, furry twitter lit up as a furry fan by the name of Qutens posted a GoFundMe page to raise money for a legal defense against the fursuit creating business of Don’t Hug Cacti LLC. The LLC sent a cease and desist to Qutens that stems from the publication of witness testimony of alleged sexual misconduct behaviors of the business’s founder Lucky Coyote that was published in September of 2020 on the below tweet:
I am posting this document on behalf of the victims.
The following is a collection of testimonies from concerned fandom members regarding BlondeFoxy / Lucky Coyote and her pattern of grooming & abuse.
We ask that you please read it.https://t.co/Z0P3mZO4RY pic.twitter.com/jlUbroR9qT
The 2000s were not an easy time for those who were furry or gay. The mainstream media was still hyper-focused on the sexual aspects of fandom expression in a freak-show style of coverage, instead of the overall complexity of the community. The ability to marry individuals of the same sex was still not federally recognized in the United States and wouldn’t be until the early 2010s. It was in that era that one furry artist named Rukus took their own life at the end of 2008.
Now, just over a decade later, someone who knew this artist on a personal level has finished a documentary covering the life of their lost friend and their interlude with fandom. That director, Brett Hanover, contacted me and gave me the opportunity to view a screening of the film.
The show releases on Vimeo and their own website today and can be viewed there. You can choose to watch before I go over the details and review below. Though the review may help understand some of the nuances of the film.
In Brazil in March 2019, a furry bowling event had gathered under the name Furboliche. In attendance was Crash Azarel, a popular fursuit performer who had been guest of honor at Brasil FurFest the previous year. At the bowling event there was also another group in attendance to take photos of the fursuiters, to show them wearing sneakers for an advertising campaign for Converse (a brand bought by Nike in 2003). These adverts have been recently released on their Argentinian and Australian sites. Crash shared the news of the marketing launch on his Twitter feed.
WELL CONVERSE-ALLSTARS's FURRY COMERCIAL IS OUT.
So far only in Australia and Argentina, but coming soon near you! XD on their site and on their shops! pic.twitter.com/TMdbVWmCkG
— Crash Azarel (@Crash_Azarel) July 13, 2019
Afterwards, some furs began to be critical of the collaboration, concerned about using one's fursona for the profit of another, and fears of corporate culture and marketing infiltrating the fandom. True to its brand name, the shoe being worn by the furs of Brazil were starting a conversation on outside marketing within the fandom.
Update 7/27: Brasil FurFest has announced a sponsorship by Converse since this article was published.
Being a con's programming director may sound easy on paper. You take a bunch of panel submissions, and assign them to rooms. However, there are a bunch of logistics involved. Like the conflicting interests of the panelists, who want to attend other events themselves, or making sure there are no schedule overlaps by knowing which rooms are available, and when.
And now to that list of concerns we can add: Making sure that inviting a particular headliner won't cause interpersonal issues with other performing talent who'll be attending.
IndyFurCon, a furry convention that takes place in Indianapolis with a Hawaiian theme this year, found itself in the midst of a gnarly programming snafu last week when it began to announce its guests for this year's gathering.
In order to celebrate their tenth anniversary, there was a decision to try and bring back the special guests they'd honored in all their prior years of operation. Things have changed in that decade though, and one of the returning alumni, 2 Gryphon, was seen as being too controversial. This led not only to Internet outrage, but other performers to back out of their planned attendance.
YouTuber Keemstar of the channel Drama-Alert, with approximately 4.5 million subscribers and covers topics of controversy on the platform, found himself in one of his own involving the furry fandom this week. On his twitter account he made a quote of saying that furries “must be deleted” and that he wished to make a video game in which you hunt and kill furries.
Furries are the biggest threat to the gaming community. They must be deleted. pic.twitter.com/eyFzicdbKD
— KEEM ???? (@KEEMSTAR) February 26, 2019
Two furry Youtubers, 2 the Ranting Gryphon and Tantroo McNally, find themselves in a poignant brouhaha. It all started in mid-February when an infamous furry comedian made a statement on hate crime statistics, and would lead to a long winded discussion of righteous condemnation that left audiences in awe at how two angry old men could find literally nothing better to do with their time.
The Southern Poverty Law Center tallied 1064 incidents of hate crime in 2017, relatively few ending in death.
3500 people on average are killed every year in swimming pools. Swimming pools are a larger threat than racists. Why aren't you going after them? https://t.co/zgw2WDbB5a
The La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, California, a suburb of San Diego, will present the world premiere of a new play, “The Squirrels”, during its 2018-2019 season. The dates and casting have not been set yet.
“The Squirrels” by Robert Askins, directed by Christopher Ashley.
Winter is on its way, and the squirrels are restless. Mistrust is growing between the Grey Squirrels, who enjoy a rich cache of nuts, and the outcast, hungry Fox Squirrels. When a wily outsider ignites a savage war, the consequences are catastrophic. This epic play reveals the animal instincts driving us all.
The choice of species is fitting for the local given the squirrels in Southern California are primarily fox squirrels and gray squirrels.
An article on November 8 in the San Diego Union-Tribune says that Director Ashely calls the new work "playful and super-funny and unexpected in every possible way," and says that as with good sci-fi, the fantastical setup allows the piece "to explore our society with just enough remove that you can make bold, interesting statements. It’s squirrels in a tree, but you would recognize lots of things in this cultural moment."
Ashley noted that the costumes were not going to look like 'Disneyland', but they will convey an essential ‘squirrel-ness,’ to coin a term.
Tickets to the Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season are available only via subscription at the moment: (858) 550-1010 or lajollaplayhouse.org.
Keep tuned in as more news will be added here when it is available. It will be interesting to see how much the play’s costuming looks like fursuits.
Washington state has had a rough time with furry conventions in recent history. Rainfurrest had to shut down after they gained a sour reputation with hosting hotels due to reports of vandalism. So local furries were elated to hear of a new organization starting up by the name of Anthro Northwest. This convention, while a bit more stringent on their rules (particularly around adult material), was a welcome possible restart in relations with hotels in the region with furries.
But as activities started word leaked onto the internet of on camera release forms being deseminated for a show called "This is Life with Lisa Ling", a property of the channel CNN. Instantly locals had recollections of another incident that had occurred at another pilot convention one state south, Furlandia.
Update 11/15/17: Attendance has been announced and Anthro Northwest has been noted as being the largest attendance for a first year furry convention at 809, article updated to reflect this.
I detest unnecessary wordiness, but keeping it short just doesn't work.
Before I begin, I would like to present an apology of sorts to Patch Packrat. I very much dislike to be misunderstood, but also cannot stand to be the source of said misunderstanding. I guess I should have been more clear with my choice of words.
Now, with that out of the way, today's topic.
Throughout the years, I have been around the various reaches of the web, and met a ton of really good artists. Many really liked to draw humanized animals (for fun and profit). For some, the subject made up most of their galleries; some drew furries exclusively. As we conversed, the topic of furries inevitably arose. Aside from the occasional "yep, I'm a furry", most replies went something like this:
- I like drawing talking animals, but I don't have a fursona/fursuit, so I'm not a furry.
- I like drawing talking animals, but to me it's not a "lifestyle", so I'm not a furry.
- Furries are creepy, and I don't want to be associated with them.
Answer #3 was the most prevalent.
Drama: it's a complicated little word that with a large negative connotation when used within the furry fandom. There are those who don't always see the best in furry; who point out flaws in what sometimes seem an overbearing manner, and decry some within the fandom from their own corner of the web. These voices may seem pointless at best and harmful at worst to the health and enjoyment of the furry fandom.
However, a recent event in the college football fandom might show why furries who see and speak no wrong in the fandom could be just as harmful as those who see only wrong in it.
Isiah Jacobs: Hello again, Rukis! It's so nice to have you on the show again! It's been too long!
Rukis: That it has. Wait . . . it's been like a few months. Really not that long, honestly.
Isiah Jacobs: Much too long, in my opinion! I'm sorry you couldn't make it for the interview with Kyell Gold about Green Fairy. However, by that time, you were busy wrapping up Unconditional and preparing for AC, so I don't blame you. You had originally started working on this back in January or so, right?
Rukis: That was the plan. Progress was slow for a while, though, for purely financial reasons. It's tough to work on a free-to-read comic and pay the bills. The income I see from comics generally comes after they've been printed. So it's always a balancing act, making time for them.
Isiah Jacobs: Were you a little upset to work on your own again after working with Alector for so long?
Rukis: Not at all. I enjoy working at my own pace, honestly. I've only got myself to answer to. And I also really want to improve my background work before I work on Conviction, and this was a good opportunity.
Five members of Fur Affinity staff announced their resignation yesterday:
- Photographurer, former photography department head
- Luftwoofe, former photography department administrator
- Writerwren, former writing department head
- Grammatist, former writing department administrator
- Silver R. Wolfe, former support administrator
All but Wolfe were brought from Furocity and placed directly into administration positions. Grammatist cited privacy concerns as the reason for his resignation; three others directed criticism towards the original FA staff members, and slammed Dragoneer for poor leadership.