As I've been browsing Twitter recently, scrolling through various news about the fandom, I came across this QRT (quote retweet for the less savvy) talking about a new con and how it was going to fail right out of the gate. Being the curious investigator I am, I decided to look at the original post from an organization calling themselves AWOO or Anthro West Open Organization. From what I saw, I was saddened by the number of my fellow furs calling for death to the con, or wish harm to those that would hold it, especially since we used to be such a loving fandom. I kept reading more into the reasons why people both hated, and loved this con or the idea of it (whichever it is, we'll know for certain soon enough).
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.
Oklahoma's first three-day hotel furry convention, Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con (TTFC), has a lot to celebrate after their inaugural convention – themed as "Taking Oklahoma by Storm", and focusing on local furs and their experiences of wild weather.
The convention, held August 30-September 1 at the Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa, OK, has been in the works for over a year, after organizers saw increased attendance at local meets, such as a furry bowling event.
TTFC's mission is to produce events with educational value surrounding the topic of anthropomorphic arts – and to raise awareness of local wildlife rescue organizations, such as their current charity, Safari's Sanctuary, based in Broken Arrow, OK.
TTFC 2019 hosted at least 507 attendees and 86 fursuiters, and raised $7000 for their charity. Chair Peace Wolf lead a team of sixty staff and advisors, working with TTFC's first two Guests of Honor, Stormi the Folf (of Mississippi) and Citrinelle (Texas).
Based on attendance, TTFC is currently the 46th largest furry convention globally. Next year's TTFC is to be held September 4-6, 2020, with the theme "Rawring 20's" — Guest of Honour and event details will be listed on the convention's website, once available.