Art by Aberguine
Is it me or are Furries popping up in news stories more? It feels strange to bring it up, but I swear the fandom has been getting more media attention and a good amount of it has been positive. Yes, I know, it weirds me out too. The reason I’m writing this opinion piece is, in part, because of my own history in the fandom. I got involved with the Furry Fandom around 2009. If you were a Furry around that time you were under the shadow of, what I prefer to call, the “Vanity Fair Era”. Named that cause of the infamous article published by Vanity Fair titled, “Pleasures of the Fur”, in 2001. Which presented the Furry Fandom as a sexual fetish and only as a sexual fetish. Along with MTV’s Sex2K episode, “Plushies and Furries,” and the famous CSI episode, “Fur and Loathing,” in 2003 that painted a clear picture of the fandom to mainstream audiences. Supposedly we are about sex and only sex.
Of course that isn’t true. It’s a part of the fandom but it’s not what defines the fandom. Furries are people who love walking talking animals and how they show that love depends on the person. It is as silly for people as it is serious. You can have a fursuit or not. You can create artwork in the fandom or be an observer. It can be sexual for you and it cannot. We all have different levels based around that same love and as long as we are respectful and understand people’s different viewpoints we bring forward a beauty of community the Furry Fandom provides. Anyone who has been in or actually explores the fandom understands that, but with stories like CSI that wasn’t what people were seeing. It’s why for the longest time, and still to a degree, Furries don’t talk to the media because the media has done a poor job with representing us.
Which has lead to moments like the Inside Edition undercover story at FC in 2015 or several smaller press organizations trying to sneak in to get the right sound bite that fits into the ‘Furries as only a sexual fetish’ narrative. I remember when getting involved with the fandom watching those Uncle Kage videos about how to interact/ avoid the media or how he responded when the media went to him. There was no question about it. If you were a Furry under the Vanity Fair Era you were one of the lowest of the low. Someone to be openly mocked and ridiculed. Something you had to hide.
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