Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Performance

The Spectrum: Fursuiting with Autism (Part 2) – Guest post by Enjy

by Patch O'Furr

Guest author Enjy shares a three-part story about the history of Autism research, its place in fandom, and interviews with 3 furries who give their personal insight.

== DOC FOX – ASPERGER’S SYNDROME ==

 

Doc Fox (@Doctor_Red_Fox), real name Ted, is a 27 year old man born in Chicago, now living in Utah and attending college at the University of Utah. He is studying information systems. Doc Fox has the Autism Spectrum disorder known as “Asperger’s Syndrome,” sometimes referred to as “High Functioning Autism”. This can manifest as lack of social awareness, inability to infer the thoughts of others, sensitivity to noises or touch, and/or over-adherence to routines. He was diagnosed as a freshman in high school in the year 2006, but became a furry in the year 2004. However, his fear of being judged due to people’s negative perception of Autism, mostly people using it as a slur or insult, made him afraid to visit any furry meets until he tried his first one in 2012, at a local Illinois bowling alley. Having purchased his fursuit in 2014, Doc is very proud of his life now, and hopes that his story here can make Autism more visible, because he thinks that being public about your diagnosis can be scary.

Enjy: What does Autism mean to you, personally? How would you describe it, from your own point of view?

Doc Fox: For me, like, I’m aware I’m human. But I kinda feel like I’m always a stranger or an alien. I struggle to read other people, and sometimes, to understand other’s emotions. I’ll miss social cues that other people just take for granted. I really care a lot about if my actions hurt other people though, and I’m always afraid that people just tolerate me because I’m “weird.” It’s really hard sometimes to even talk to other people about these things too. Things people just understand like “folkways” aren’t always apparent to me and others often assume you’re acting out or in bad faith because they just take understandings of these concepts for granted.

Enjy: That was a very well thought out answer. Do you think the furry fandom has been better at coexisting with and understanding your condition than the rest of the populace?

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The Spectrum: Fursuiting with Autism (Part 1) – Guest post by Enjy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Inspired by the above Twitter thread, I proposed doing a whole article. Guest author Enjy took it on and delivered far more than expected from a one-line topic. A lot of the content comes from interview subjects, as Enjy said: “I wanted to stray away from brevity and let them speak naturally to help neurotypicals understand how autistic people formulate their thoughts, that they might consider it when interacting with them.”

Thanks to Enjy for hard work (and thank-you tips are now being paid for article submissions too. A site sponsorship is coming soon to make it even easier with a PBS-like model.) Thanks to Patreon patrons for helping to fund this and to @Deotasdevil for supporting Enjy.

Parts 2-3 will post later this week. Enjy continues. ‚Äď (Patch)

Thanks to Doc Fox, Heathen (fursona Manik), and Pluma for doing interviews.

 

== A (Very) Brief History of Autism ==

 

Autism.

It is a word that is scary for some, misunderstood by most, and impossible to pin under a single definition. Due to it’s prevalence today, with new technologies allowing easier and more thorough evaluations of a child’s health, you may be under the impression that autism is a fairly new disorder. However, this could not be further from the truth.

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Margaret Cho barks about furries, pride, and costuming on The Masked Singer

by Patch O'Furr

From E News interview (Fox/Getty)

Dogged persistence seems necessary to win success as a standup comedian. In school, the class clown might not be who you expect to become a household name. That’s why one like Margaret Cho can be extra fascinating among mainstream celebrities. She’s got layers. Fabulous, fluffy layers.¬†

Live touring, TV, movies, fashion and music are all part of her creative canvas, with a palette of adult humor colored by mentors like Robin Williams,¬†1970’s San Francisco childhood, 1990’s alternative culture, Korean-American experience, female and LGBT identity, and enduring love for non-conformists.¬†Her bio includes¬†Grammy and Emmy nominations, accolades from the New York Times, and awards for representing the LBGT community among other¬†activism for social progress. With such an arsenal of badassery at her disposal, she still graciously got on the phone with a little furry blog.¬†

Research for our chat turned up a few interesting facts: The show format (guessing the hidden performer) originally came from Korean TV, and she was tuned in to it before being cast. Despite the comedy label, her background includes burlesque and serious study to create comedy music on the level of pros like Weird Al or Flight of the Conchords. You can watch her on Season 1, Episode 4 of The Masked Singer on Fox.com. Enjoy РPatch

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San Francisco furries party with Jello Biafra, plus PAWcon, Bass Totem and Decompression.

by Patch O'Furr

Just popping up from the sewer to update you on local news. You might not have seen (or smelled) my rat fursona before, and my fur might need combing, but that goes with being a sneaky rat. Now I’m too excited for stealth because of this amazing flyer. It sure made my whiskers twitch when I saw it, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop smiling about it!

Jello Biafra¬†is the original Nazi Punks Fuck Off guy. I had some readers say “THE Jello Biafra?!!” He was the razor-witted singer for 1980’s punk legends Dead Kennedys. They mocked conservative greed, stupidity, and oppression, and faced down legal bullying from moralistic authorities when the satire struck a nerve. From then until now, Jello has been making albums full of hilarious, raw, protest-inducing rock and roll. It’s liable to give heart palpitations to uptight parents, bland media producers, Klan clowns or the powers of the status quo alike. He’s not just an artist, but a personality known for pranks, running for mayor, doing spoken word and motivating whole scenes as founder of the longest running indie record label. (Alternative Tentacles: “Tormenting the Stupid since 1979!”)¬†His message in all of it is: screw conformity, think for yourself!

All of that is why I can’t wait to see him party with furries, the DIY-powered fandom for talking animal media.¬† Furries breed a loveable kind of identity-play that I think vibes with the art and glam side of punk. That music and its DIY ethic has always inspired me (from the classic 1970’s roots), and this news site is a fabulous result. Another result is the massively popular message to¬†jerks who target kids¬†here like they tried with punk:¬†Nazi Furs Fuck Off!

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Interview with Adler the Eagle, who helps you smile with furry animation.

by Patch O'Furr

Adler caught my eye with his animation. It got a lot of sharing on Twitter and helped him build a following of 6K+ (and rising fast) because of how fun it is. Thanks to Adler for taking time for this interview. (If you like this, you might also like¬†How furry animator Jib Kodi found his art¬†or the¬†interview series with many other furries.)¬†‚Äď Patch¬†

Patch O’Furr:

Hi Adler!¬†I really love your vids you have been posting, and your fursona is super memorable. That’s why I got in touch. There’s tons of furs who have cute suits, but it’s easy to lean on the suit or just one talent like good dancing. I like how you round things out like a multi dimensional character who has good stories to tell.¬†The voice acting and performance timing are big ingredients to make things so rad and fun. You kind of remind me of a mascot who hasn’t had a cereal made just for you yet.

If someone made a cereal just for Adler what kind would it be?

Adler Eagle:

Wheat based with little hard sugar bits mixed in. Probably Called Eagle Bites. They would be good, wholesome, and contain low amount of sugar, but a high amount of family fun and value.

Patch O’Furr:

I get the idea you’re into professional animation, maybe with a few years of experience prior to doing furry stuff. And is there any pro performing experience there too? Read the rest of this entry »

Meet Robert Hill: Artist, performer, and history’s first sexy fursuiter.

by Patch O'Furr

(Don’t miss the interview with Robert!)

Come my pelted pals, gather around… and look back to the distant, dusty past Before Furry Cons.¬† A time when seeing a sexy “fursuit crush” in public was as unimaginable as looking at them on a phone in your pocket. (A phone with the brightness dialed all the way down, of course.)

It was the 1980’s, when apparently everything was written by eye-blasting lasers with no dial-down button, so wear your raddest shades:

Let’s meet a pioneer. It’s not a label anyone chooses, but what else do you call the first fursuiter at the first furry convention? (ConFurence 0… actually a test before the first one). And they weren’t just a generic cute thing you could see at Disneyland, but a *look away kids!* pleather-clad dominatrix deer. Schwing!

Astonishing vintage VHS footage of this Bigfoot-like creature was unearthed by Changa Lion, archivist for the Prancing Skiltaire (the furry house run by the founders of ConFurence in Southern California.) When Changa posted Hilda’s 1989 con video to Youtube, it went viral outside of fandom (with over 75,000 views to date). Then he found an even earlier one that few have seen until now.

In a way, these are like the Declaration of Sex-Positive Furry Independence. (Obligatory disclaimer for subscribers to the squeaky-clean side of fandom:¬†that’s just one kind of furry, not all of them.)

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“Naughty Bits” fursuit video shoot with Rachel Lark – sex-positive art in the age of Trump.

by Patch O'Furr

(Adult content)

Armed with a ukelele and raunchy/smart songs like “Fuck My¬†Toe”, Rachel Lark is an Oakland, CA based singer-songwriter with a fierce and funny voice. She has a new song,¬†“Naughty Bits”, that¬†playfully protests against sex-negative politics. It’s a response to SESTA, a law against sex trafficking that throws free expression under the bus. Furry dating site Pounced closed in fear of overreach of the law.

For those of you who don’t know what’s up with SESTA (and I’m not judging, there’s a lot going on these days) here’s what you should know….

1. It equates all sex work with sex trafficking (not the same thing)
2. It hurts sex workers AND victims of sex trafficking
3. It has serious and scary implications for free speech on the internet
4. It potentially criminalizes sex worker solidarity and advocacy

This law sucks,¬†but when things suck, we make art, and that’s the only way out of the despair. Rachel Lark

Rachel wrote an in-depth article about this: SESTA, Sex Work, and Art in the Age of Trump.

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Fursuit History 2: Skin Parts

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel. See their tag on Dogpatch Press for more.

It’s #FursuitFriday which means twitter floods with pictures of our fluffy creations. It’s also the time for us at Culturally F’d and Dogpatch to look back at some Fursuit History. Make sure to catch up on Part 1: Masks¬†and start your own exploration of animal costume performance with Culturally F’d.

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Furry Drama(tic Arts) – The Forgotten History of the Furry Musical, Part 2: Furry Tales

by Patch O'Furr

Patch here, with Part 2 of the story submitted by guest writer Duncan R. Piasecki.

In Part 1, we mentioned the theatrical nature of anthropomorphism: how fursuiting is related to a world-wide love for humans performing as animals. In the mainstream, it’s in musicals like the stage version of The Lion King or Andrew Lloyd Webber’s¬†Cats. Then, as we discovered, there was even a small, overlooked chapter of fandom history with not one, but at least two musicals focusing on the furry subculture.

One of these unique projects was Yiff!/<furReality>, which was fading from memory until we rescued documentation from the director. ¬†It can make you wonder… while the mainstream celebrates anthropomorphic performance, why haven’t such ambitions carried forward as fandom has grown?

Perhaps the ideas may get tried again, with bigger and better resources, stages and audiences this time. Looking into that may get you excited for a certain con in 2018.  More on that at the end. (-Patch)

Duncan R. Piasecki continues with the story of the other musical:

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Wild Things: Cinco De Mayo – furry fetish party in San Francisco, May 5.

by Patch O'Furr

Friday, May 05, 2017.  8PM Р1AM.

SF Citadel, 181 Eddy St., San Francisco.  

Cost: $25. Dress code: Animal-themed, fetish, creative, etc.

Visit the Fetlife event page for info. Many volunteer positions available.

WILD THINGS is an 18+ party for furries, petplayers, pups, primals, littles, and everyone who accepts them, but the furry community is the heart of it.  The first event was in 2014 (see WILD THINGS tag.)  In 2016 it became quarterly by support of the SF Citadel club.

For March’s Mardi Gras event, organizer Mark explained:

Wild Things wants to be inclusive to anyone who is new, making them feel welcome, unpressured, and free to learn and explore at their own pace, if they wish. ¬†We advocate tolerance and respect for others, so people can live and let live, and let¬†adults be adults however they choose to do so… come without judgements and see¬†for yourselves.

What’s happening this time? ¬†Perhaps sexy party games and pinatas, human/furry pinata suspensions, wrestling/Lucha masks… all that and a taco bar! Previous features continue:

– Music by DJ’s AuralIncarnation (Bent) and Gretchen Weeners (Death Guild, House of Nox)
– Suspensions by Naturalturn (Naughty Knotty)
– Vacuum bed & waxplay demos by Spottacus
– Petplay, puppyplay, and furry demos
– Fursuit gear demos
– The cuddle zone
– Petplay / puppyplay romp!

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