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Editorial: Furry - Our deliverance or our destruction?

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When perusing written news articles about furries written outside the fandom you’ll usually run into the typical faire. Some articles will talk about furries and try and introduce their unknowing audience to what the fandom is. Others will talk about the local convention in town and why the denizens will be seeing all these costumes about. Heck, some will not even be about the fandom at all and will just be using the term to talk about pets or the band Super Furry Animals.

However, 2017 has started off on a very interesting foot as two articles showed up on the feed which don’t take the tired and treaded routes. Both looked at pieces of the fandom and their relationship to the recently inaugurated president, Donald Trump and what he stands for in society in general.

One article from Slate covered a Kyell Gold book and discussed how the virtues with in could counter Trump. The other, from Motherboard, describes another piece of fandom and their alt-right tendencies and pondering if crass anonymity can lead to crass actors acquiring power.

So let’s go over these two articles and what they have to say about furry fandom.

Questions for Russian furry fans about anti-gay oppression

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Fox standing proudly with a gay pride necklace Sometimes resented, but real, there is overlap of different groups that some might call a "furry/gay axis". It brings theories, stereotypes, appreciation and much discussion.

Does it happen in Russia too? Do some Russian furry fans wear rainbows as often as some in North America? Do they fear Russia's anti-gay oppression in current world news? Would they think twice about costuming in public, or holding meets, if they might be charged with illegally spreading information about "non-traditional sexual behavior"?

Is there a place on the web where international furry fans can easily connect with Russian furs to ask about their opinions and experiences?

[Image: Standing Proud by Taurin Fox]

Furries at San Francisco Pride 2013

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A historic U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage created intense emotions and record crowds at San Francisco's 2013 Pride celebration. I was informally told the parade drew 1.5 million. Imagine pushing through them in the hot sun with inch thick fur on!

Video by Mallius
For dozens of local furs, the great fun and positive vibes of Pride 2012 were small compared to this year's enthusiastic turnout. If it grows as much in 2014, it'll be awesome to see.

Furs invited to GaymerX, the first gaming con with a gay twist

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GaymerX is the first gaming convention focused on LGBTQ themes for "gaymers", their allies, and geek culture. On August 3–4 GaymerX will bring contests, parties, panels and more to Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco's Japantown.

Panels at the con include Natural Allies: Furries and Gaymers, by Vulpinfox, and a bear drawing panel hosted by Grisser.

Founder and Director of Technology, Andrew Evans, told me:

Creating a safe space for queer geeks and their allies to come together, discuss their geekiness, hang out and feel safe is super important to the community. We felt like the gaming community wasn't doing enough to bring together queer geeks, which is why we're doing GaymerX and built out GaymerConnect. ["A service that allows you to find queer gamers and allies of every identity who play the same games you do."]

Update: Use code GX13FUR by July 26 for a $10 registration discount. [Latte]

Fursuiting at San Francisco Pride 2012

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The 42nd anniversary of San Francisco Pride happened this weekend. People from all over the world filled the city to celebrate. It was too large and fabulous for words, so I can only personally comment about fursuiting at some street parties. There was no organized furry event or mission, just a good opportunity to wear a costume.

The last organized furry participation was a float in the 2005 Pride parade, arranged via BAF and its mailing list. (I heard that there was some negligible drama about connecting furries + LGBT, but it stayed internal, with positive reactions elsewhere.) Due to logistics and cost, it hasn't reoccurred.

San Francisco Pride parade, 2005

However, one of the organizers posted on Facebook: "The SF Pride committee bugs me every year to bring the Furries back, and that's just what I am going to do for 2013! That's right, for the 2013 pride parade there will be a Furry float!" (Yay!)

KSU's gay magazine interviews furry students

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Fusion coverFusion Magazine, published by Kent State University students for the LGBTQ community, has based its latest issue on furries.

The coverage begins with a six-page profile of the fandom featuring Robby Conte (Robbyfox) and other NE Ohio furs.

Robbyfox describes his introduction to the fandom, his trip to Anthrocon 2010, and favourably compares furry fandom to the gay community, which he describes as 'more intimidating'.

The article then gives an overview of fursuiting and a dismissive mention of Vanity Fair, before diving into quotes from sociological researcher Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, a description of a local furmeet and a sub-interview with ObliviousAlly.

The Furry Sexuality Survey

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In issue 4 of the Furtean Times, I announced my "Furry Sexuality Survey" - the first survey solely dedicated to the one issue that appears time and time again for us furries and media representations of the fandom. Well, the results are in - thanks to the 192 people who took part.

Before I reveal them, I understand that there have been one or two complaints about the survey. For example, I heard that people complained about when I asked the gender of the people answering their gender, that they augured over the fact that I only included two answers (male and female) and that this would therefore be unfair towards people who were transgender, pangender and so forth. I would like to apologise towards everyone who has brought up issues, and will act upon them if I do another survey at some other time in the future.

Gay Penguin for President

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Repentent Republicans vote for Gay Penguin in 2004!

True, this nonaligned, amphibious alternative to conventional choices for President may be incapable of abstract thought. Then again, his inability to sign documents would ensure an absence of policies such as job outsourcing, the Iraq War, and a constitutional amendment defining marriage. See Gay Penguin's public stances on these and many other issues in this cleverly done satirical piece.

"Gay Penguin 2004. Because he's not Bush."

Trickster

Zoo Hosts Tours On Animal Homosexuality

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Among other events in celebration of "Warm May", the city of Zurich is conducting hour-long tours at their zoo focusing on homosexuality in the animal kingdom.

Full story at Swissinfo, here

He might be happy, but SpongeBob isn't gay

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Just because he has a high pitched voice, lives a happy life in a fruit and loves holding hands with his pink, triangular freind, doesn't mean the popular Nickelodeon character SpongeBob SquarePants is a homosexual.As a sponge, he's quite asexual, thank you, and though he's special says his creator, that's special as in stupid, folks. Creator Stephen Hillenburg is not surprised at SpongeBob's appeal to adults, and cites the tolerance and multifacited world of Bikini Bottom as a good reason why many gays in the US have taken to the weird cartoon character. That, and SpongeBob is just too darn silly.

Toronto gay paper Xtra focuses on furry and plush

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Now, first of, I'd like to note this isn't some "New Yorker" sort of gay publication. It's always full of sex articles, the raunchier the better. So the focus on sex is not actually something they themselves as the publication (and presumably their readers) see as bad. Also, as a gay publication, they choose to focus often on homosexuality in the various fandoms.