Furry Ambassadors: protecting and promoting the fandom.
by Patch O'Furr
Furry Ambassadors – a recognition program
“Furries ruin everything.” “F#$king Furries.” “Yiff in H$!!.” The furry community can face stigmatization from the mainstream – and for some, fursecution is real. That being said, there are good people who put a lot of effort into the furry community. Between helping people financially, educationally, or by going out of their way to help keep the peace, there are good furs out there who deserve to be recognized for their efforts.
On June 1st, 2017, the Furry Ambassadors Program was initiated on Fur Affinity: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/furryambassadors. An ambassador is someone who protects people, promotes prosperity, or works for peace. Meeting one of those three duties has become a requirement for someone to be recognized a Furry Ambassador as well, as this is not a popularity contest. Being a Furry, however, is optional.
The list of Furry Ambassadors to date are as follows.
- June 2017: The chairman of Anthrocon, Dr. Samuel Conway aka Uncle Kage aka kagemushi
- July 2017: Doctor Courtney “Nuka” Plante aka Nuka-kitty
- August 2017: Aberguine from the YouTube channel Furries in the Media
- September 2017: Arrkay and UnderbiteDragon of the YouTube Channel CulturallyFD
- October 2017: Founder of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, Dr. Kathy Gerbasi
- November 2017: Civil litigation lawyer Boozy Barrister Badger
- December 2017: DogPatch.Press, founded by Patch O’Furr/Patch_Packrat, with Furry Historian Fred Patten, and contributing editor Pup Matthias.
- January 2018: (skipped due to holidays). More is coming soon… please get in touch with them to nominate furries who deserve recognition!
Want to nominate your own FurryAmbassador or learn more?— FurryAmbassadors (@FurryAmbassador) October 23, 2017
Please visit our FurAffinity page for more info!https://t.co/vD8rwja1FS
How are they selected and what’s the goal?
Anyone can be nominated to be a Furry Ambassador. We have a list of everyone nominated, and pick someone to be reviewed. A vetting process then occurs for the nominee. We research the person to see if they have met the ambassador requirements, as well we reach out to people who have had contact with the nominee to get any additional background and or perspective. If the nominee passes the vetting process, then a recognition is written and privately provided to the nominee to review. If the nominee consents, then at the beginning of the next month, the recognition is posted on the Fur Affinity account and posted to be shared across various art blogs and social media outlets. If however the nominee does not meet the ambassador requirement upon review, then the recognition is shelved. A shelved recognition can be reviewed at a later time when evidence of the nominee’s meeting the ambassador requirements can be identified.
So what is the benefit of being recognized as a Furry Ambassador? Does it make the person into a super fur, or do they win an award? Absolutely not. Being a Furry Ambassador is just the ability to have a title, plain and simple. Obviously, a title would not change a single thing about these members of the furry community. That being said, giving someone the prestigious Furry Ambassador title is a way to give a big shout out to highlight the positive things that furries are doing to make the fandom a better place. Help is always appreciated in the way of nominations.
As far as future plans are concerned, the number 1 goal is to simply strive for consistency, plain and simple. Ideally, with enough participation, the Furry Ambassadors program will hopefully continue with minimal to no interruptions for a very long time, as we do not see an end of good furries to review any time soon! Also, we have a few ideas on how to give rewards to those recognized as Furry Ambassadors. A Ko-fi tip jar has been set up, and funds permitting, we are looking to make buttons, or if funds permit, challenge coins to give to those recognized! http://ko-fi.com/X8X17Y8J
Who is involved?
In the spring of 2017, a Texas furry artist by the name Pez Wolf got bit by the fur suiting bug, and started working on his own fursuit design. Having a shoe string budget and being in close proximity to fur bashers, Pez shelved the fur suiting and redirected his energy into researching the furry fandom. Pez repeatedly ran across furs who have been making great steps toward reducing the stigmatization of the furry fandom, and making the furry community more acceptable to the mainstream. Pez’s day job is working at a major financial institution that has a culture of recognition. Pez took the values he learned at work and applied them to the furry community by recognizing furs who have made contributions to the Furry Fandom. Thus the Furry Ambassador program was created.
Azarion has been a part of the furry fandom since 2013, where the kitsune has found the warm and fuzzy welcome of many new friends. Ever since Azarion discovered the negative press media coverage from main stream media sources, he has been determined to bust the typical myths about the furry fandom. In the fall of 2017, Azarion stumbled upon the Furry Ambassador program, and knew immediately that he wanted to be a part of the writing and administrating processes. Azarion is currently studying humanities with a focus on the European Continent, and learning about other peoples and cultures has always been a big interest. Being able to promote and give exposure to people that are making a positive impact on the fandom has provided him with a new field of research that’s also given him plenty of warmth and fuzz.
Note from Patch:
This is a great idea worth supporting! And what an awesome honor to even have them notice me before I noticed them. If you think other furries deserve it, that’s why you should send them YOUR nomination to spread the love.
It reminds me of this excellent thread I noticed, and one key point I’m highlighting that shows why I think Furry Ambassadors is a great idea.
Just realized I've seen the furry fandom go from a recreational clique to a legit counter-culture.— 𝕷𝖆 𝕽𝖊𝖓𝖆𝖗𝖉𝖊 𝕰𝖈𝖗𝖎𝖛𝖆𝖎𝖓𝖊 (@threetails) February 17, 2018
Sooner or later, the furry fandom will have to show a clear preference for its own art, music, costuming, etc.— 𝕷𝖆 𝕽𝖊𝖓𝖆𝖗𝖉𝖊 𝕰𝖈𝖗𝖎𝖛𝖆𝖎𝖓𝖊 (@threetails) February 17, 2018
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