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.

The story was confirmed by Emma’s mom. Patch, editor of Dogpatch Press, met her shortly after the incident and learned that she was being overwhelmed with messages, and talked to Emma too.

As word of Emma’s story spread, a lot of Furries voiced out how this gatekeeping behavior is not acceptable. Rune Angeldragon said in her post about it:

If there is one thing the Furry fandom is NOT tolerant of… it’s bullies. This little girl loves furries and just wanted to be part of the con in her fursuit. It does not matter that she was wearing a maskimal… it should not matter that she didn’t have full sleeves or paws… or anything like that.

The word spread far and wide that furries of all shapes and sizes wanted to help Emma show what our fandom is really about. That would soon lead to a surprising ending.

After Emma was bullied and ran out of the con, her father and witnesses banded together to get her back. People started rallying behind hashtags such as #emmaisawesome & #bringemmaback2018 to show their support. Art threads appeared in furry groups across Facebook gathering art for Emma’s tiger fursona. And then they reached her personally.

Stories like these remind us how much love the fandom can show. The only thing left unanswered was who were the two mice fursuiters that bullied Emma in the first place? There was good news on that front.

Their names were not made public for a good reason.  It however led to other mice furs getting the blame. Two in particular were Click the Mouse and RC Mouse, who posted thoughtful threads in response to negativity aimed at them:

It’s understandable about where people were coming from, acting like a Mama Bear wanting to give protection.  The better approach is to speak up if you see it happen in person, but if it’s something heard second hand, check with con staff instead to see if they can address the situation.

To show Emma some love and support, visit her official Twitter handle.

There are many who wish to know who these mice were, but whatever was discussed with the parties involved was for them alone. It would be a good reason to look inward and work to be better people with a second chance. It’s also a story that doesn’t stop with Emma.

It was a good job by everyone involved including Telephone, the staff of BLFC, and furs who helped spread the story and gave Emma a con to remember. It’s also a reminder to keep your eyes and ears open during events like cons, meets, gatherings, or places like telegram or amino, for other Emmas who would love to know that they are welcome. Her story happened to take place during one of the biggest events of the Furry year, but you can help any time.

Here’s a few more sweet tweets – there are way too many to show, especially because Emma gained thousands of followers in days. Check Emma’s Twitter @emma_wolfie where she retweets a lot of the art and love everyone has shown her, with thanks to them all.

Till next time Fluffer Nutters. Have a nice day.

Pup Matthias

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