San Diego Furries Show Their Pride
by Patch O'Furr
Better late than never, here’s a look at a cool happening from July.
I was reminded to put out the story by a writer from Vice, who just asked me for help to talk to members of the SoCal furry community in L.A. She’s happy to meet in person, and she was nominated for the fandom’s Ursa Major Award in the past. Please drop me a note to get in touch with her.
Dave Dutch (Dax Yeena) led the furry plans for San Diego Pride. I was tipped by Joe Bear, a fur I know to be as friendly as a whole parade by himself. I told Dave about organizing the furry float for S.F. Pride, and he mentioned interest in doing L.A. Pride. I thought it was a nice idea to bring furs from SoCal and NorCal. At this rate, parades will have to tell them to let humans have a chance!
I tipped Dave Dutch to talk to the ALSAOCC (Dogbomb’s charity) for a parade. And for S.F. Pride I even tried asking Margaret Cho (a prior Grand Marshal) to be a guest of the furries. It could happen — she did an interview with me. She was busy on tour this year, but there was an actual reply so asking again is smart.
Here’s Dave Dutch’s chat with me.
How did San Diego Pride go for the furs?
It absolutely went off perfectly! So many people showed up and were all excited to be there!
Who got it going, and can you talk about particulars, like how much effort and cost was it and will it be bigger next time?
Well for 7 years I lived in Maine with my mom. She wasn’t the most supportive to me for being LGBT… but she was supportive of me being a furry. So I found out the second year living in Maine, that Portland Maine was having Pride Parades. I wanted to go, but I was always gone during it until my final year being in Maine, when I graduated high school, my local furries were going to be in the parade and suit there. I wanted to go, I told my mom about it… that was the first time I really felt bad for being transgender. I’ve heard hurtful things before, but hearing them said to me days before pride, it really brought me down. I never went to pride until San Diego Pride 2017. I went with my dad and step mom, I have never been happier. I loved seeing everyone in the parade and all the supportive people. 2018 was when I discovered the San Diego furries, I went to some of the meets and didn’t feel like I was fitting in too well. But I got to know JarJar and his partner Rasmus, then from them, I got to know everyone else.
2018 Pride was right around the corner and I though “hey why don’t we get a small group and go?” I wasn’t planning to be in the parade, just going in suit and watching it. But so many people entered my chat group, all under the assumption to be in the parade. I tried to get us registered but since it’s last minute I missed the registrations. I ended up passing everything to Chance Dragon. I felt bad but everyone that went seemed happy. I wanted to try again, this time I started early. I revived the chat being used previously, informed everyone about it, and set up a donation box at meets. In one day I raised $212 for just registration alone. Registration for us, non profit organization, was $100. The rest went towards renting our truck. Truck rental I set to be $400 and sure enough we made that goal. With $100 left over towards next years Pride Parade.
I’m the one who put all this together for the furries in San Diego Pride. I had help spreading the word, and of course the amazing Steve/Labrat was our driver. For cost, everything was mostly done by donations, like registration and truck rental. The water, Gatorade, ice and granola bars that I brought, were because of my dad and step mom who wanted to help us out. Decorations I paid out of my own pocket. The canopies on the truck were from Chance Dragon. Everyone who showed up early helped to set up the truck.
As for next year, I really do hope a lot more people will show up. From what I could tell that day, everyone is excited to do this all again.
Who went and what did you do? Did it bring any new furries out? Get any good reactions from the crowds?
The majority of our chat group attended with special guest Rascal Jackal. As for doing anything, we mostly decorated the truck and socialized. There was a group photo taken with everyone already at the staging area. For new furries, we did have someone who just moved to San Diego two weeks ago. They were beyond happy to be in the parade with all of us.
The crowds all knew who we were. Furries. It’s become something so recognizable now that everyone instantly got excited to see us. I never heard people cheer for us as loud as they did at Pride. We were loved by the crowd and for the very energetic furs (myself included,) we just wanted to interact with as many people as we could.
What are the plans for next time?
Definitely try to make it bigger and better. I’ll be reaching out to more people for San Diego Pride Parade 2020. I want to be the one that can make this happen every year. I want new furs coming out to see our group, be in our group, and know that things are okay. That who they are is okay, that here’s so many people just like them who support them.
There are so many furries supporting them as well. I want it to be known, I didn’t walk the parade for myself. I walked the parade with my transgender flag, for all the transgender furries out there who are scared to come out. You’re going to be okay no matter what you are in the LGBT+ community. I’ll walk for you every year.
Congrats to all of you, nice turnout for first time. They will get to know you if you go back!
Driving the San Diego Furries at the Pride Parade was an honor for me to support my Furries and the LGBTQ community. – Steve/Labrat
Now, an interesting little media moment…
A problem about being on TV in S.F. Pride
Pride started with a riot, and now it gets criticism about mainstream “rainbow capitalism” and respectability politics.
When I organized for S.F. Pride, there was one minor issue. In past years the furries were put next to a nudist group, so the TV cut to commercial. Some furries had family at home waiting for hours to see them who missed out. The group put their heads together to suggest dressing decent enough to be on TV. But that felt against the reason for Pride for a fur who went in head, paws and speedo in the past, and this year wanted to go topless with a “trans vixens are vixens” sign. We chatted to make them happy, they marched and it was great.
A problem about NOT being on TV in San Diego Pride
Watch the video and what the announcer says.
Aww! Sorry San Diego Furries. The first appearance at #SanDiego Pride didn't get much love. https://t.co/eyhwtHGBC5 But I already interviewed the group organizer so there will be good attention here, and there will be more appearances and better looks. #SDPride #Pride pic.twitter.com/IIuBSzq773
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) July 15, 2019
I was told that 10News was just there for the views, and NBC 7 did the official broadcast. Dave Dutch said:
When we passed NBC 7 announcers, they were excited to tell everyone “here come the furries showing their pride. Look how cute they are.”
One fur was mad enough at being slighted by 10News to talk about suing. I chatted with them about how TV air time isn’t a right that can be taken by discrimination… it’s their channel and they didn’t make a contract. So nicer reaction could happen by impressing them, or debunking bad info if it happens, but not starting a fight.
It’s really about how the furries felt in front of the crowd, and it sounds like things are going to get better and better.