Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: laws

What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran?

by Patch O'Furr

Fursona of Rastin, a furry in Tehran

Governments are supposed to represent their people. Instead they often end up representing a few haves against many have-nots. It might put oligarchy and corporate greed first, or theocracy and military power. You can read between the lines of headlines about the USA vs. Iran.

But how often do people in both places talk to each other directly without borders, filters, propaganda, stereotyping, and forced conflict? And when they’re pitted against each other, what could these different societies possibly share in common?

Like pizza, you don’t need to speak the same language to love art. So furry fandom builds bridges around the world. That’s how Croc (@Microdile), a California furry, first made friends with Rastin (@Rastin_woof). Rastin is a 16 year old member of a generation living after the 1979 Iranian revolution, which put religion and laws together, unlike the USA which separates church and state (at least in theory.)

In the following Q&A, Rastin uses forbidden internet contact to discuss forbidden topics — criticizing authority, oppressed LGBT identity, parents who don’t understand, and fandom that isn’t shared by anybody near him. His fursona species isn’t even tolerated (dogs aren’t loved pets in Iran.) What stands out more than differences is the universal stuff in common: creativity and self expression, and wishes to escape to a more peaceful world.

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Furry Youtubers fear penalties under new COPPA law, but it’s not as bad as you think

by Patch O'Furr

Posted by a friend: “Marked all my videos as unlisted — Will delete them later — I’m sorry to disappoint everyone but the voice acting video is canceled due to the new law.”

Yikes! That’s not a nice thing to post, and plenty of others are feeling afraid of being fined under the Children‚Äôs Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA.) The law is around 2 decades old but was recently used for major action about violation by Youtube. It seems to threaten a growing scene for furry Youtube creators:

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The closing of Pounced.org is a wake up call for fandom attitudes about sex.

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday’s article covered the closing of Pounced, a long-lived furry dating and personals site, out of fear of¬†legal liability under a controversial new law, FOSTA. A statement on Pounced discussed ill-defined wording that made the law overkill; and how the smallest organizations may face the worst liability. It particularly could require administration that sounds easy on paper, but makes an untenable burden in practice.

FOSTA is meant to protect assumed victims of sex trafficking, but falsely makes ‚Äúvictims‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúsex work‚ÄĚ the same thing. My article suggested that nobody wants trafficking abuse, but sex work isn‚Äôt illegal everywhere, it exists everywhere and can be called a healthy consenting adult issue. Beyond that is anti-free-speech, anti-business, and intrusive paternalism of a law that has collateral damage on stuff like harmless dating. Here’s some editorial elaboration.

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Pounced.org shuts down – international fans affected by American politics.

by Patch O'Furr

The site was key to starting a convention in Sweden.

Pounced.org, launched in March 2003, was a free, location-based service to help furries meet other furries. This long-time staple of fandom served them anywhere they exist. According to Wikifur, over 71,000 users and 13,000 personal ads were listed in 2016.

Ethan Staghorn, a Swedish furry, told me:

Ethan Staghorn

Pounced was key in making @NordicFuzzCon happen, and in growing the local fandom. Through Pounced, I found my very first local fandom friend, @MrJoelFox. A few years later, we decided to advertise a local furmeet since we wanted to make more local friends. About eight people showed up, among them¬† and @traxswe, who both were attending their first furmeet. They started talking (and spoke to me) about doing a convention, which became the first NordicFuzzCon a little over a year later. They were the first two chairmen. NFC really did wonders for the local community, too. But I doubt any of this would have happened if I hadn’t seen Joel advertise on Pounced. He’s the only person I ever contacted through the site. I don’t really get personal ads, but his ad was calling out to me “this person is in your town and must be studying the same thing as you; you have to contact them!”¬† knows the exact dates of many of these occurrences, since he recently did some digging for a wonderful panel he hosted at NordicFuzzCon about the history of NFC.

The site feared legal liability under a controversial new law –¬†Fandom can’t just say no to politics.¬†

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Costume bans and security, part 2: A furry movie theater worker’s opinion.

by Patch O'Furr

This guest post¬†is by¬†a furry and usher for Cinemark, one of America’s largest theater chains. ¬†He asked not to be named for employment reasons.

He¬†raised an international issue I didn’t think of in Part 1. France has had some high-profile riots and political violence. As a result, since 2011,¬†the country has a law making it “illegal to wear a face-covering veil or other mask in public places”. It’s caused interesting¬†enforcement, like banning costumes on Halloween. ¬†Comments wanted from French furries – has this affected anyone personally?

(UPDATE:) This article was completed on November 13, only hours¬†before¬†a mass shooting in France hit the news. Relevant detail: “Julien Pierce,¬†a Europe 1 journalist…¬†has described what he saw: ‘Several armed men came into the concert. Two or three men, not wearing masks…'” ¬†Fans watching the band “Eagles of Death Metal” were shot.¬†¬†It’s interesting how heavy metal and violent movies have been¬†unfair¬†scapegoats for moral panic in the past. ¬†Will it increase for costumers? ¬†From tiny conventions to large shows, let’s value culture and liberties. ¬†Let’s also send¬†community sympathies to those affected¬†in France.

– Patch

Guest opinion from a furry theater employee about costume bans.

For a second, I thought the US was considering¬†a rule where costumes aren’t allowed anywhere except homes and conventions (kinda like what France is doing).

First off, I think the rule these theaters made are over-paranoid. I’ve taken a look at the 2012 Aurora Shooting (which started it all). ¬†Here are some important facts I noticed that I think Cinemark overlooked when they made this rule. ¬†(PLEASE NOTE: I got most info from wikipedia, so you may want to verify on your own.)

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Bad news for fans who plan to see highly anticipated movies in costume.

by Patch O'Furr

In March, Zootopia is going to bring all the furries!

Everywhere furries are, they’re talking about meets for Zootopia’s¬†opening week. ¬†My area has¬†a proposed meet (without even a location) and already 44 are signed up. At this rate, they’ll pack a whole¬†theater of their own (and it’s being arranged.) ¬†Mention the idea, and without fail everyone loves it. Many want to go in¬†fursuit. ¬†I won’t be surprised if furmeets¬†makes headlines.¬† I feel like this movie will bring Furry Fever like no other. ¬†Is this happening in your area, too?

Why go to the¬†movies in¬†costume? ¬†You’re just sitting in the dark. ¬†Well,¬†for some¬†it’s just a¬†great excuse¬†to¬†celebrate a shared experience with fandom. (NOTE: There has been a lot of confusion about this. ¬†It doesn’t mean to wear a costume DURING the movie.)

Here’s a sign of the hype. ¬†In June, maker Crafty Critters¬†went outside furry preference¬†for¬†all-original characters by making¬†a Nick Wilde Cosplay fursuit. ¬†It appeared astonishingly early after Disney’s June 11 release of the Zootopia trailer – just in time for Anthrocon.

Nobody knows who the owner is.

At Anthrocon. Nobody knows who the owner is.

Buzz kill РTheaters are getting paranoid about security and banning masks. (NOTE: the entire article was completed prior to tragedies in France.)
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Mask/hood bans: Haters love this excuse for war on fun and freedom.

by Patch O'Furr

3RANT!¬†Sometimes, you don’t know how good it is to have tolerance, until you¬†see it¬†taken away from others.

In Vermont, fursuiters were mingling with crowds at a¬†Mardi Gras celebration. ¬†They were high-fiving people and making¬†them feel like they were in magical unicorn-land, like fursuiters do. ¬†Then¬†a town official with a Sequoia up his butt decided¬†that fun should be illegal. Or they weren’t paying the Smile Tax. Or whatever.

Vermont town selectively bans fursuiters: Prejudice complaint and update.

Here’s what happened since: ¬†The¬†sad fursuiters patiently worked with the town, trying to¬†jump¬†through¬†their hoops¬†to get permits. ¬†The town officials stroked their Hitler mustaches, and came up with this scheisse:

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Vermont town selectively bans fursuiters: Prejudice complaint and update.

by Patch O'Furr

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Public fursuiting with the Vermont Furs.

 

IYCHXufVThe Vermont Furs have an active online presence including Facebook and Twitter. I see many positive events such as BBQ’s, bowling, camping, and a walk to benefit Cystic Fibrosis patients. They¬†look like a fantastic group- the kind that makes me love everything about furries. But their activities are being harmed by treatment they feel is unfair.

Fursuiters kicked out of Mardi Gras event in Burlington, Vermont Рbut not others dressed in masks.

Why were they being singled out, the furries wanted to know, when the streets were teeming with other strangely dressed revelers?

“It’s just different,” was the response, Owens said.

A thoughtful and well-written article in the independent alt-weekly Seven Days recently covered the February 28 incident, and following talks with the city.  The given reason was a lack of performer permits Р(to be clear, none of them were busking or asking for money) Рand child safety concerns.

For¬†evidence, there was mention of a¬†bad¬†incident with a costumed “Elmo” Sesame Street character in New York’s Times Square. ¬†I googled the incident as suggested, but it didn’t¬†mention children- only a panhandling offense. ¬†At the Seven Days article, I commented that it was quite a stretch to pick one sensationalized headline from hundreds of miles away, for a¬†“think of the children” argument about people who weren’t hurting¬†anybody.

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