Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Society and culture

Meet Emma the Tiger – A Showcase of Fandom Love from BLFC 2018

by Pup Matthias

Thanks to Matthias and Rune of Rune’s Furry Blog. Her guest article about the story was submitted at the same time, so some of her info is included too. – Patch

This was the sixth year for Biggest Little Fur Con (BLFC), one of the biggest and fastest growing furry conventions in the fandom. Last year it had over 3,500 attendees and raised $36,000 for charity. This con has been The Con on many Furries lips… (or is that maws?) Many furs will travel far and wide to attend for a weekend of anthropomorphic fun. It’s attended by many fandom favorite suiters and seems to have good control of its public image.

However, with cons as big as BLFC, news and drama from within can spread like wildfire on social media, for better or worse, becoming the “face” of the convention for that year. Things were going smoothly at first, but during the con it was reported that a 10 year old girl was a target of verbal bullying.

The story of Emma the Tiger and how she almost left the fandom emerged on Twitter.  A user posted a screen grab from Instagram by Krysta Kennedy (xrainbowdawnx) explaining what happened. Emma was there for the fursuit photo shoot that takes place at every con’s massive fursuit gathering. She was approached by two mice who started to mock her fursuit. Emma was so embarrassed that she ran out without her father, saying that she hated being a furry and didn’t want to be in the fandom anymore.

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AZ Republican Leader Exploits Furries To Disguise Anti-LGBT Policy, “Concentration Camp”

by Patch O'Furr

By Tempe O’Kun and Patch, with thanks to Tonya Song for interview questions.

Recently, AZ Rep. Kelly Townsend (a politician in the Arizona House of Representatives since 2013) stumbled into the furry fandom.  She’d been threatening to sue teachers who were organizing for resources to fix a crisis in schools with leaky roofs, 25-year-old textbooks, rats in classrooms, and no budget to afford toilet paper. It all started when she responded to criticism by Pepper Coyote, a furry who happens to be a teacher in Arizona.

Furries, as we are naturally inclined to do, welcomed the curiosity with the usual range of mostly-SFW responses. This sort of interaction happens with some regularity. Some innocent outsider happens upon the fandom, and we get to watch him or her discover the wacky world of talking animals. Sometimes they even become a loved fixture of the community like Boozy Badger.

Except that’s not what’s happening here.

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Eagle Furdance swoops in with a dance party for Swiss fandom – with bowling!

by Patch O'Furr

Furclub: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” The concept has been spreading since the late 2000’s. It’s a dance party independent from cons. It builds on their growth, but takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than informal meets and events that happen once. Those can stay inner-focused, but this brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new support for what they host. It crosses a line to public space, so a stranger can walk in and discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

Parties that give a Q&A get a featured article. See The Furclub survey for questions and party list. Here’s Eagle Furdance in Switzerland, introduced by organizer Avalon Bluejay. Their 4th party happened on April 28, 2018.

Who is involved? 

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The Cure for Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube.

by Patch O'Furr

Editorial with Sam Hyena in collaboration with Patch.

Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube

Over the last 2 years with the demise of Vine, many Furries have started to migrate over to YouTube. Many have amassed groups of followers, hold regular livestreams on Twitch, or have Patreons. And some have used this platform as a guise to get away with borderline toxic or outright hateful behavior.

The platform makes every click content-neutral. Getting attention for any reason gets advantage over quality, so being edgy plays to the lowest-common-denominator. Lines get persistently pushed, and suddenly things that aren’t debatable at all get some asshole demanding a debate. Is the earth round, is evolution real, should racist altfurries get kicked to the curb after swatting Califur? Yes, yes, and yes, if we’re all telling the truth.  But unending conflict between “sides” is a substitute for good stories, real jokes or having anything sincere to say. It brings the clicks that raise clout for edgy people.

While the line-pushers thrive on conflict, faux-“centrists” tag along and enable them, trying to play all the sides and turning definitions to mush. They do posing about freedom, but really have no side except mercenary selfishness. It’s a cooked-up conflict between people who act in good faith vs. people with none.

In this barrel-scraping free-for-all, there’s many examples of people doing it and it goes way beyond just furries. Let’s name names.

In 2017, JonTron did a livestream with right-wing commentator SargonOfAkkad in support of Donald Trump, which continued on social media and this video, where he promotes reactionary “white identitarianism” while denying that’s what it is. (They love disguising it as “both sides” centrism to cook up a “debate” that spreads the racist side no matter who “wins”.) The first step is calling white a race, for false equivalence between an arbitrary label and specific conditions – like being redlined or arrested for sitting in a Starbucks while black. It’s as disingenuous as saying that incident wasn’t racist because they served black coffee.

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“Naughty Bits” fursuit video shoot with Rachel Lark – sex-positive art in the age of Trump.

by Patch O'Furr

(Adult content)

Armed with a ukelele and raunchy/smart songs like “Fuck My Toe”, Rachel Lark is an Oakland, CA based singer-songwriter with a fierce and funny voice. She has a new song, “Naughty Bits”, that playfully protests against sex-negative politics. It’s a response to SESTA, a law against sex trafficking that throws free expression under the bus. Furry dating site Pounced closed in fear of overreach of the law.

For those of you who don’t know what’s up with SESTA (and I’m not judging, there’s a lot going on these days) here’s what you should know….

1. It equates all sex work with sex trafficking (not the same thing)
2. It hurts sex workers AND victims of sex trafficking
3. It has serious and scary implications for free speech on the internet
4. It potentially criminalizes sex worker solidarity and advocacy

This law sucks, but when things suck, we make art, and that’s the only way out of the despair. Rachel Lark

Rachel wrote an in-depth article about this: SESTA, Sex Work, and Art in the Age of Trump.

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Remembering Kim Wall, a journalist who found the best side of furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Furries are on a list of news articles by Kim Wall:

  • How Cubans deliver culture without internet
  • Inside the Ugandan Mall at the Center of China’s East African Investments
  • Asian, queer and dancing defiance: ‘Everything we do now is resistance’
  • When China’s Feminists Came to Washington
  • Ghost Stories: Idi Amin’s torture chambers
  • The Magic Kingdom Meets the Middle Kingdom in Shanghai Disneyland
  • Tour Buses to Sri Lanka’s Battlefields
  • Can This Tiny Island Restore Haitian Tourism?
  • It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures

Does it feel special to be on such an interesting list? It’s on a site for Kim Wall and her work. She was an independent journalist writing about identity, gender, pop-culture, social justice and foreign policy. Tributes from people who knew her paint a portrait of a talented person full of curiosity, who made a warm and lasting impression. Her stories spread that vibe on behalf of their subjects.

This headline understands- “It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures”. The story mentions bad media attention and furries being targets of hate while they celebrate self-expression. In my opinion, we were lucky to get such a good story and it’s one of a handful of the best you can find. This is why to welcome media notice if this little subculture is going to get it.

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Fluff Party in Salt Lake City: a furry dance at one of the two gay bars in Utah.

by Patch O'Furr

Furclubbing: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” The concept has been spreading since the late 2000’s. It’s a dance party independent from cons. It builds on their growth but takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than informal meets and events that happen once. Those can stay inner-focused, but this brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new support for what they host. It crosses a line to public space, so a stranger can walk in and discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

Parties that give a Q&A get a featured article. See The Furclub survey for questions and party list. Here’s Fluff Party in Salt Lake City, from organizer Oaken.


The party launch: 

Fluff Party was started on April 28th, 2017, at Club Try-Angles then known as “Bar Night” in the local Utah Furry group. Fluff Party started out with a sizeable furry group, for a small major city, of around 25 attendees. During the 2017 AWU Convention in downtown SLC, “Bar Night” transformed into Fluff Party. The event, held on October 27th, ended up being the largest to date with nearly 75 attendees from Washington, Colorado, and Idaho. This was later eclipsed by the January 2018 Fluff Party which had nearly 100 attendees. In February 2018, the Party extended the weekend to include a Saturday event with its first ever After Party, held at Area 51 Club in Salt Lake City, an 18+ dance club.

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Furry founder Fred Patten saw more partying, less fandom in 2018 with the Ursa Major Awards.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten started off with a message to Patch O’Furr:

This is a rant, as much as anything.  I wrote, as Secretary of the ALAA (AKA the Ursa Major Awards) to the AnthrOhio Committee, to invite it to host next year’s award presentation ceremony.  AnthrOhio is the new name of former Morphicon in Columbus, Ohio. They presented the Ursa Majors in 2008, 2011, and 2015.

I got a very nice reply from Danny Travis, this year’s Director of Programming for AnthrOhio.  He thinks it’s a great idea and has agreed.  But his reply implies that he’s never heard of the Ursa Major Awards, and that he was unaware that they have been presented at Morphicon/AnthrOhio in the past.

This makes me wonder how many of today’s furry conventions are being organized by people who are mainly interested in putting on a big party with fursuits, and little interest or knowledge in furry fandom beyond their own convention, including their own con’s history.  Some like Anthrocon with Dr. Sam Conway and CaliFur with Rod O’Riley (and any con with staffers who have been around for a while) know what’s going on. But how many are being organized by young people who only use the trappings of furry fandom to have a good time?

You have been following not only the conventions but a lot of the smaller furry parties and raves.  Do you get the impression that most attendees are more interested in partying then other active fandom?

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ORANGE IS THE NEW FLUFF: Furry Life in Prison – guest post by Farrah “Sisk” Barney

by Patch O'Furr

Before the web, zines were a gateway to subculture. In the 1990’s, one of my subscriptions was to Industrialnation, a zine for music where robots met punk. I never expected the prison-industrial complex to get involved. It offered a free ad for subscribers, so to be silly, I put something like “send pranks and hate mail”. The underground obliged. I got comics, tapes, and a cursed baby doll with monster fangs and one eye popped out (plus spiders, nails and burned nipples). It was gross-out hilarious. But the most unexpected thing was mail from lonely prisoners. A few of the letters needed to get picked up with tongs and thrown in a barbeque, but most were just forgotten people who’d write to anyone with an open mailbox. It was almost like bottling it and throwing it in the sea. They were in no position to hurt me, and just wanted a voice from outside. Now imagine having a family that didn’t communicate well, and a parent intercepting a letter and shitting squirrels about it. I felt misunderstood. That’s how giving an ear to society’s trash can become mind opening.

http://www.saveoursisk.org is the introduction you need for why Sisk is jailed for a sex offense. Please be familiar with “Sisk’s Story” to make informed comments about her guest post.

I don’t claim to know more facts, and I have questions, but here’s some context I found important. For sex charges against an LGBT person, with extradition from Utah to Arizona, one place is Mormon and the other has Joe Arpaio’s “concentration camps”.  It seems like being gay in Uganda and getting sent to Mordor. If this did involve misunderstanding/prejudice, expect railroading. Whatever the case may be, she’s getting what a court deemed to be fair punishment. Here’s what Sisk has to say about it. – Patch

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Furry is Punk | Culturally F’d

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel. See their tag on Dogpatch Press for more.

Furry and Punk have a lot in common, way more than you think! Arrkay discusses the parallels of the two movements, their philosophies, their work ethic and more! We’re really excited for this episode as it’s been on the list of suggestions for over a year!

This episode came together with the help of a lot of different furs! This article is going to look at some of the research we used, and a shoutout for everyone who helped.

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