Pride brings excitement for Bay Area Furries, with 50% rise in attendance.
by Patch O'Furr
Following this week’s “Pride in Furry Mecca” item –
It was an incredible rush to march with dozens of fursuiters in the 2014 San Francisco Pride parade. It was a good cause, but besides any message, the parade was full of music and cheering that made it pure fun. On ordinary days, it was a main route of the city full of buses and cars, but that day it was blocked off to make a stage a mile and a half long, with crowds on BOTH sides. It’s rare to get such audience (over a million) for jumping around and being furry. The hot sun made me ease up to shady parts of the barrier, and ask watchers if they could spare a dog bowl of beer.
2014 was the first time the Bay Area Furries returned to march since 2005. Excitement is building for the 2015 parade, on June 28. There are 50% more RSVP’s than last year. Friends and lurkers will probably increase it too, with likely attendance of over 70. Everyone is expecting another amazing event.
A valued regular commenter gave skepticism about the idea of “furry pride”, because it’s just liking something, not an achievement. I responded that it’s just one of many social groups supporting Pride (capital P), not a parade representing furries.
Here’s more info courtesy of the group organizers. It’s script info that goes to TV announcers, to help them figure out what they’re looking at. The parade requests one from every group.
Expect: a truckload of fuzzy, bouncing, two legged animal characters. No, you didn’t fall down a rabbit hole – it’s just the Furries!
“Furries” are a worldwide subculture rising out of Science Fiction fandom. This one is defined loosely by a love for anthropomorphic animals. Think – anything from werewolves to Bugs Bunny or Rocket Raccoon. It was formed in the 1980’s around comics, cartoons, and participatory creativity. Nowadays, expect to see them represented by the 20% or so of members who love mascot costuming, because it’s amazing to get hugs from a fluffy talking dog, or see an acrobatic dance from a fearsome tiger. However, it’s not commercial – it’s a passion. Members perform as their own original “fursonas” that they invent themselves. It’s unique among all other fandoms, because furries aren’t fans of any one central kind of work or artist – they’re fans of each other. It makes a thriving, self-generating community. It’s semi-underground, but gaining respect for bringing millions of dollars to cities where their conventions meet. Their interest is most basically, just a hobby – but social research has found roughly 1/3 identify as straight, 1/3 gay, and 1/3 bi or other. Nobody knows why, so you can’t assume anything except that they’re fabulous and loveable. With ultimate creativity to make your ideal identity, it’s about being as free as you can be!
The Bay Area Furries have been around since the 1980’s as an informal collective of friends and events. It’s often said that the Bay Area is the world’s Furry Mecca. They had floats in the Pride parade several times in the early 2000’s, re-appearing again in 2014.
More about Furries in San Francisco:
- Furries to march for millions at San Francisco Pride 2014
- Making a successful Furry float for San Francisco Pride 2014
- Tag: “San Francisco”
More about “street fursuiting”: